Guelph, ON – August 19, 2021 – Doors Open Guelph, a celebration of Guelph’s finest buildings, creative spaces, and artistically or architecturally relevant sites, will be presented online as a video series from September 18 to November 6. These digital stories, called D.O.G. Tales, will be accessible through GAC’s new online arts hub at guelpharts.ca and Digital Doors Open Ontario during Ontario Culture Days 2021.
Digital tours will be released on guelpharts.ca weekly from September 18 – November 6. Site details are listed below and will be posted with event updates on guelpharts.ca.
Since its inception in 2002, Doors Open Guelph has been part of Doors Open Ontario, an Ontario Heritage Trust initiative that was launched the same year to celebrate community heritage. Digital Doors Open experiences are presented by communities across the province at doorsopenontario.on.ca.
D.O.G. Tales is made possible by the enthusiasm and hard work of volunteer historians, tour guides, and community partners: Leanne Caron, Cindi Conlon, Guelph Sikh Society, Trails Open/Guelph Hiking Club, Muslim Society of Guelph, Guelph Historical Railway Association, and Susan Ratcliffe.
Guelph Arts Council thanks its event partners, including City of Guelph, Guelph Museums, Ontario Heritage Trust, and Trails Open. GAC also thanks its sponsors: Downtown Guelph Business Association, Grinham Architects, and RTO4, as well as all participating sites, and its Steering Committee volunteers.
2021 Site Listing and Video Release Dates
Stoneleigh, 225 Waterloo Ave – September 18
Waterloo Avenue, originally called Market Street, was one of the original entrances to the city of Guelph. As the street developed, it became the heart of the new town’s economy. By the 1850s, the quarries that surrounded Waterloo Avenue were a key part of that economy. 225 Waterloo Avenue was built on land owned by David Kennedy, one of the most important quarry owners and a master stonemason. He was one of the original owners of Guelph Limestone, now known as the Dolime quarry, the longest-operating quarry in the city. Remnants of the quarrying can be seen in the backyard. The house, home of Robert C. Kennedy, was built in 1880 of locally quarried limestone in the neo-Classical Georgian style with a centre-hall plan. The home is now being lovingly restored by its present owners.
Douglas Street with Cindi Conlon – September 25
According to Gordon Couling (as quoted by Cindi in her book A Limestone Trio, “Douglas Street provides an unexpected contrast to the spaciousness of Wyndham Street. … The street provides an impressive frame for the vista to St. George’s Anglican Church.” Because of its proximity to the County Court House and related buildings, Douglas Street became the location of many lawyers’ offices. Over the years, that tradition has continued but the addition of the Red Brick Café and other businesses has given the street its character. Because of its picturesque streetscape and collection of heritage buildings, it has become a popular film location and has often been used in the Murdoch Mysteries television series. Cindi will take you on a virtual walk and highlight the fascinating history of the street and its buildings.
Gurdwara – Guelph Sikh Society, 410 Clair Rd W – October 2
Nearly 13 years in the making, this temple is an impressive example of modern architecture built to inspire. It features soaring curved staircases, large skylights, marble walls, open spaces, and colourful banners. The building also includes a Punjabi school, an event hall, meeting spaces, and a kitchen. Its 18,000 sq.ft. hall will accommodate the 500 members of the congregation and can be divided into three separate areas.
Canadian Pacific Caboose 436994 – October 9
Built in the 1920s and rebuilt in 1941, this wooden-body caboose served the Canadian Pacific Railway for more than 60 years. For the past 27 years, it has been and continues to be beautifully restored by members of the Guelph Historical Railway Association (www.ghra.ca). The interior is now a railway museum on wheels, reflecting the glory days of railroading in the mid-20th century.
The Muslim Society of Guelph, 286 Water Street – October 16
The Muslim Society bought this former elementary school in 2012 and developed it into a place of worship, community centre, full-time elementary school, and a daycare. It can now accommodate up to 600 people in the masjid for special services. In 2021, congregation members have planned and developed the land behind the mosque as a public garden and park. The tour, talk, and displays will help visitors understand the religion, culture, and diversity of Guelph’s Muslim community.
Trails Open Guelph, Guelph Hiking Trail Club – October 23
Follow along with knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides as they explore the new Radial Line trail from downtown Guelph to the Arboretum. Starting at the Town Lattice Covered bridge, you will follow the path of the old Guelph – Toronto Suburban Railway. See the new walking bridge funded by the Trail Club campaign, find out about the flora and fauna along the way, and climb the limestone cliffs. You can end your hike by wandering the 10 km of trails and amazing collection of trees in the Arboretum.
Ontario Reformatory – October 30
On September 25, 1911, the Ontario Reformatory opened on 1,000 acres of farmland along the Eramosa River. At the site, Provincial Secretary William Hanna decided to reform the prison system by creating a program of humane treatment and useful work within extensive grounds and sympathetic architecture.
Doors Open Guelph has received many requests for tours of the interior of the Administration Building and cells since 2009, when 2,000 visitors lined up to see inside. This virtual tour will give visitors an inside view of this compelling heritage building.
About Guelph Arts Council:
Since 1975, Guelph Arts Council has been dedicated to supporting, stimulating, and promoting arts and culture in Guelph. Guelph Arts Council is funded in part by The Guelph Community Foundation and City of Guelph. We also acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.
Doors Open Guelph is sponsored by:
For more information, please contact:
Patti Broughton, Executive Director
Guelph Arts Council