There’s still time to take a peek as Doors Open Ontario events enter the home stretch for this season.
“Ontario's architectural and artistic showpieces, community landmarks and natural wonders are waiting to be explored – all free of charge,” said Liane Nowosielski of the sponsoring Ontario Heritage Trust.
Many of this year’s 55 events involving hundreds of communities have the theme of “Cultural Expressions.”
Upcoming events include Brant County, East Elgin, London, Markham, Middlesex, Niagara, Pickering, St. Marys and Waterloo Region.
Doors Open East Elgin includes horse and wagon rides at Farmtown Canada in Aylmer on Sept. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
This site has an 1850 heritage log cabin and hobby farm, antiques, fields with horses, animal stations and displays.
Other sites include Aunt Lena’s Country Market, Elgin Innovation Centre, Rush Creek Wines and Wieler's Furniture Gallery to view handcrafted Mennonite furniture made locally.
There are also horses to see at SARI Therapeutic Riding in Arva, during Middlesex’s Doors Open on Sept. 28 and 29. It offers riding programs for people with disabilities.
Other sites are the Thames Valley Central Model Railway Club and Ziraldo Alpacas, both in Thorndale. doorsopenmiddlesex.ca
Combine a “one-tank trip” outing with Doors Open Waterloo Region, the area including Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge, suggests organizer Jane Snyder.
There are 42 sites, many of which are not normally open to the public, to tour on Sept. 21, with hours mostly from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The rare ECO Centre in Blair is a nature reserve where guided hikes and tours of the renovated heritage buildings including limestone slit barn and farmhouse are offered.
Also tour North House, an ultra-modern, solar-powered and furnished “green housing prototype” at the centre.
Eleven sites have a modern architecture theme including the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre; Waterloo Region Courthouse; OpenText; and the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery.
The old includes the 1855 Detweiler Mennonite meetinghouse and 1848-era Laepple Organic Farm. regionofwaterloo.ca/doorsopen
PONG IN BRANTFORD
Visitors can play with computers and video games dating back to the 1970s at the Personal Computer Museum in Brantford during Brant County’s Doors Open on Sept. 21.
Also available to tour outside is the 1850 Bosworth Cobblestone House in Paris and the Woodland Cultural Centre’s 1831 Mohawk Institute Residential School, open for the first time to visitors.
PROSPERING IN LONDON
Self-guided tours of the Eldon House, London’s oldest residence, will be offered during Doors Open on Sept. 28 and 29.
Partnering with London Culture Days, there are more than 50 sites open “for exploration free of charge” with a theme: “Live. Grow. Green. Move. Prosper.”
New sites include the Art Gallery of Lambeth, Burridge Block (formerly the Wallace Building), the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and Fired-up Glass Arts.
There are also tours of the Jet Aircraft Museum and UnLab, while the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario offers a downtown walking tour. www.doorsopenontario.on.ca
A visit to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in St. Marys is a sure hit during Doors Open on Sept. 28.
In an 1860s’ house, it showcases artifacts and memorabilia while paying tribute to baseball’s Canadian roots and the accomplishments of its inductees.
In the town rich in limestone architecture and cultural heritage, other sites include town facilities and museums, churches and private homes.
Tour the 1879 Opera House, Town Hall and train station constructed in 1907 for the Grand Truck Railway and still functioning today as a Via Rail station.
Happening now: Cornwall and the Counties, and Haliburton Highlands-Minden, Sept. 7-8; and Kawartha Lakes, Sept. 8.
Next is Quinte West, Sept. 14; Haldimand County and Port Stanley-Sparta on Sept. 21; Amherstburg, Belleville, Burlington, Champlain Township, Markham, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oshawa and Parry Sound, all on Sept. 28.
Gananoque and Vaughan are on Sept. 28-29; Halton Hills is Sept. 29; Bradford/West Gwillimbury and Pickering, Oct. 5; and winding up with Niagara Ontario/New York, Oct. 18-20. Go to doorsopenontario.on.ca for detailed event information.