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This Year's Event
Doors Open Background
Volunteer Information


 DOG 2016 Poster jpgversion


Doors Open Background

What is Doors Open Guelph?

Doors Open Guelph is a day-long celebration of Guelph's finest buildings, creative spaces, and artistically or architecturally relevant sites. The program aims to showcase and celebrate the hidden gems as well as the great resources, businesses, and creative spaces in Guelph.

Doors Open Guelph is a program of Guelph Arts Council. Guelph Arts Council is a not-for-profit, charitable community arts council dedicated to the encouragement, stimulation and co-ordination of arts and heritage activities in Guelph and surrounding areas.

What is the History of Doors Open Guelph?

Doors Open Guelph was launched by Guelph Arts Council in partnership with Heritage Guelph and Guelph Tourism in 2002 to celebrate Guelph's 175th anniversary and to increase awareness of the City's tremendously rich architectural and historical heritage. Since 2002, Guelph Arts Council has delivered the annual program, recording an average of some 6,000+ site visitors per year to many of Guelph's finest buildings whose owners have generously opened their doors for free public tours. Between 25 and 50 per cent of those attending each year have been visitors to Guelph. One of the main reasons for the past success of Doors Open Guelph events has been the enthusiasm and hard work of close to 150 volunteers who have served as tour guides, sweeps (following along behind the tours), greeters, counters, researchers, sign crew, photographers, and more.

Since its inception, Doors Open Guelph has been part of Doors Open Ontario, an Ontario Heritage Trust province-wide initiative that was also launched in 2002 to celebrate community heritage. The intent of Doors Open Guelph is to build awareness of creative, artistic, cultural, built, and natural heritage among community residents and visitors by providing free access to buildings and properties of architectural and historical value. Doors Open Guelph has had the distinction of being the kick-off event for Doors Open Ontario, opening the province-wide initiative for several years.

When is Doors Open Guelph?

The 2016 event will take place on Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Once again, it will be the first of more than 50 such events taking place across the province.


Who runs Doors Open Guelph?

Doors Open Guelph is delivered by Guelph Arts Council. As a charity, Guelph Arts Council is supported by operating funds from the City of Guelph and the Ontario Arts Council. However, most of our funding comes from donations, sponsorship, our members, events, and the delivery of programs like Doors Open Guelph, Art on the Street, and our Historical Walking Tours.

As a membership-based organization, we ask that businesses and participants in Doors Open Guelph consider contributing to the success of Guelph Arts Council and Doors Open Guelph by becoming a member or by showing your support of our mandate and mission by becoming a sponsor, making a donation, providing site-specific volunteers or by helping us promote Doors Open Guelph throughout your own networks and community.


Who is Funding Doors Open Guelph?

Doors Open Guelph is funded by Guelph Arts Council with the support of the City of Guelph. Additional funding and support is sourced through sponsorships, donations and in-kind contributions from community businesses.

Where can one get more information?

Patti Broughton, Executive Director
Guelph Arts Council
404- 147 Wyndham Street North
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4E9

(519) 836-3280 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


This Year's Event

 DOG 2016 Brochure VP PR2 coveronly




What buildings will be open for Doors Open Guelph?

You can also view sites on Doors Open Ontario's website http://www.doorsopenontario.on.ca/guelph

Hammond Radio Museum

595 Southgate Drive


hammond little

Founded in 1982 by Fred Hammond, one of the founding members of Guelph's Hammond Manufacturing, the Radio Museum houses an extensive collection of rare and historically significant pieces. The 2000+ items exhibited reveal the development of radio throughout the past 100 years. Included are crystal radios, early tabletop and broadcast, early wireless, military and Amateur Radio equipment.

Architectural Style: Modern Industrial
On Site Parking
Full wheelchair access
Guided tours

The Guelph Muslim Society

286 Water St.

muslim little

The Muslim Society bought this former elementary school in 2012 and developed it into a place of worship, offices, community hall, library, classrooms and a daycare. It can now accommodate up to 1000 people in the masjid for special services. Special tours and displays will help visitors to understand the religion and culture of Guelph’s present Muslims and incoming Syrian refugees.

Architectural Style: Modern Educational
On Site Parking
Full Wheelchair Access
Guided tours

Trinity United Church

400 Stevenson St N

Trinity Proper - smaller

Established in the 1950's, its architecture and stained glass reflect the retro feel of the 60's. Beautiful murals enhance the meeting rooms. The church provides an accessible, open, welcoming, multi-media gathering hub for the community. Trinity is proud of its legacy as a caring community of faith in northeast Guelph.

Architectural Style: Modern
On Site Parking
Full Wheelchair access
Guided tours


Sleeman Breweries

551 Clair Rd W



sleeman little

The Sleeman name is legendary in Guelph, starting with the first brewery established by John H. Sleeman in 1834 and continuing in today's modern brewery. The brewing process follows the original recipe book, the bottles follow the original patterns and the "Notorious" family story is showcased in the museum.

Architectural Style: Modern Industrial
On Site Parking
Guided tours


Beth Parks and Julia Grady's Home 
& Studio

41 Meadowview Ave



julia little

Built in 1855 of locally-quarried limestone, this was the home of George John Grange, first sheriff of Wellington County. It features original windows, doors and trim enhanced by modern environmental systems like grey water and heating with a Kacheloffen created by local potter Jessica Steinhauser. Behind the house is the modern studio of artist Julia Grady.

Architectural Style: Georgian
Street Parking
Guided tours
No photography

Bisson Dentistry

199 Woolwich

Site Sponsor: Bisson Dentistry


bisson little

This third John Hall-designed house was built of red brick with white quoins. Also L-shaped, it has a more elaborate door system: an outer door with beautiful glass, miniature hallway and inner door, a trademark of Hall’s designs. Its ornate curved staircase, crown mouldings, ceiling medallions, fireplace pillars and bay window trim and glass are original.

Architectural style: Italianate
Street Parking
Full wheelchair access
Guided tours
DOO Theme: Ontario’s Medical Science and Innovation
No photography

Dixon Distillery

355 Elmira Rd N

dixon little

Housed in an industrial mall, this spirited business is the first craft distillery in Guelph. Using locally-supplied grains, it produces spirits like vodka, gin and moonshine. When the distillery is finished with the grain, it is returned to local farmers for use as animal feed. Visitors will follow the distilling process from mash to bottling.

Architectural Style: Modern Industrial

On Site Parking
Full wheelchair access
Guided tours
Food truck on site

Blue Iris Studios

193 Woolwich



Blue Iris Studios combined promo photo

The studio is in the lower level of the 1901

Bell-Kennedy house. With its beautiful Art Nouveau features, the home is a bright and inviting space that has been adapted to suit the needs of a productive craft studio. Iris designs, makes and sells handmade functional pottery, as well as jewellery in fine silver and porcelain.

Architectural style: Edwardian
Street Parking
Guided tours

Dr. Reymarie Yabut Family Dentistry, (Dr. Yabut Smile)

215 Woolwich St

Site Sponsor: Dr. Yabut Smile


yabut little

One of a group of houses by architect John Hall, this frame house built in 1872, unusual in Guelph, was the home of John Hall and his wife. The L-shaped Italianate style is deliberately unsymmetrical. Now used as a home and dental office, it has original flooring, curved staircase, fireplaces, radiators, ceiling medallions and French doors.

Architectural Style: Italianate
Street Parking
Guided tours
DOO Theme: Ontario’s Medical Science and Innovation
No photography

Guelph Hydro

395 Southgate Dr


hydro little

This striking modern facility opened Phase 1 in 1995, phase 2 in 2006 and received LEED certification in 2011. It features many energy-efficient and sustainable characteristics including rooftop solar, a ground-source geothermal heating and cooling system, high-efficiency plumbing and lighting, and drought-resistant and native species landscaping.

Architectural Style: Modern Industrial
On Site Parking
Full wheelchair access
Guided tours


Woodside (Findlay Home)

40 Spring St.


ian little

Built in 1869, this unusual "Jacobethan" house features original window glass and frames, staircase and banister, baseboards and French doors. The owner has renovated the house and built many pieces of furniture using wood from the original trees on the property. It features a Kachelofen created by local potter Jessica Steinhauser.

Architectural Style: Gothic Revival
Street Parking
Guided tours
No photography

Woodlawn Cemetery & Lodge

762 Woolwich St


woodlawn little

Built in 1883 as the home of the Union (now Woodlawn) Cemetery keepers, it remains so to this day. Guelph architect John Day’s design fee for the lodge, a stable, greenhouse and coach house (still in use) was $58. Especially attractive are the original oval front doors, mouldings, trim, hand-turned banister and interior window engravings.

Architectural Style: Ontario Gothic
On Site Parking
Guided tours
No photography


Bonus Site: Trails Open - Arkell Woolen Mill and Dam Ruins

Meet at Barber Scout Camp parking area, off Stone Road East. 733 Stone Rd E, Guelph, ON N1L 1B8

The hike starts and ends on the Radial Line Trail atop the Guelph aqueduct, but will venture onto other trails to visit the ruins of the Arkell Woolen Mill and dam on Torrance Creek, and walk under some of Guelph's largest trees. Dress for the weather. Guided hikes at 11:00, 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30. Meet at Barber Scout Camp parking area, off Stone Road East. 733 Stone Rd E, Guelph, ON N1L 1B8

trails open little 2016 Mill






 Thank you to our 2016 Site Sponsors:

Logo Sleeman noir EN CMYK     grinham architects logoBisson logo      Dr. Yabut Logo Thick smaller



Call for Volunteers: Doors Open Guelph

Doors Open Guelph (April 23, 2016) is a day-long celebration of Guelph's finest buildings, creative spaces, and artistically or architecturally relevant sites. The program aims to showcase and celebrate the hidden gems as well as the great resources, businesses, and creative spaces in Guelph. For more on this year's sites, see above.

As of March 23 there are 50 spots left! High school students, adults, seniors, all are welcome to volunteer.


1) Tour Guides of historical buildings and creative spaces 
2) Greeters to meet the public and organize tour group 
3) Counters to assist the greeter and count participants 
4) Sweepers to follow the tours and keep participants moving 
5) Help-on-Wheels to help deliver posters in April, deliver signage and supply box to sites on the morning of the event, and retrieve them at end of day.

Volunteer shifts on event day are 9:30 - 1:00 or 12:45 - 4:15. Help-on-wheels needed pre-event, and on event day

Volunteer Training:
Greeters, Sweeps, Counters and Tour Guides all receive training at their assigned/chosen site, on an evening in advance of the event. Training sessions are 1-2 hours.

When you join our Doors Open Guelph volunteer team, you're helping to keep this highly regarded non-profit community event on top!
Please register your volunteer interest on this quick and easy signup form http://guelpharts.ca/doors-open-guelph-volunteeer-availability-signup

Contact Katie Wilde with any questions This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 519-836-3280. Thank you!


Training Dates & Volunteer needs - Updated April 15

Bisson DentistryTraining date: Tues, April 5, 1:00 pm Full - thank you, volunteers!
199 Woolwich Street N1H 3V4  
Dr. Reymarie Yabut Family Dentristy               Training date: Fri, April 8, 2:00 pm Full - thank you, volunteers!
215 Woolwich Street N1H 3V4  
41 Meadowview (historical home & artist studio)Training date: Wednesday, April 6, 4:00 pm
  Volunteers needed
41 Meadowview Ave, N1H 5S7  
Sleeman BreweriesTraining date:  Tues April 12,  1:00 pm Full - thank you, volunteers!
551 Clair Road West, N1L 1E9  
Woodside (historical home)Training date: Wed. April 6, 1:00 pmFull - thank you, volunteers!
40 Spring Street, N1E 1Z8  
Woodlawn Cemetery Gate houseTraining date: Mon, April 4, 3:00 pm Volunteers needed
Woodlawn Memorial Park, 760 Woolwich Street, N1H 3Z1  
Muslim SocietyTraining date: Wed, April 13, 6:00 pmFull - thank you, volunteers!
286 Water St.  
Blue Iris StudiosTraining date: Fri, April 8, 3:00 pm
Full - thank you, volunteers!
191 Woolwich Street (side door of 193 Woolwich) N1H 3V4  
Hammond Radio MuseumTraining date: Thurs, April 7, 1:00 pmFull - thank you, volunteers!
595 Southgate Drive , N1G 3W6  
Guelph HydroTraining date: Tues, April 12, 3:00 pmFull - thank you, volunteers!
395 Southgate Drive, N1G 4Y1  
Dixon’s Distilled SpiritsTraining date: Wed. April 13 – time TBDVolunteers needed
355 Elmira Road North, N1K1S5  
Trinity United ChurchTraining date:   Monday, April 4, 1:00 pmAll roles covered by site Full - thank you, volunteers!
400 Stevenson Street North N1E 5C3  
Trails OpenNoneAll roles covered by site Full - thank you, volunteers!

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