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Guelph Arts Council Announces Doors Open Guelph 2019 Sites

Guelph, ON – January 17, 2019 – Doors Open Guelph is a day-long celebration of Guelph's finest buildings, creative spaces, and artistically or architecturally relevant sites. Presented annually by Guelph Arts Council since 2002, the program showcases and celebrates Guelph’s hidden gems, as well as our great resources, businesses, and creative spaces.

The 2019 event will take place on Saturday, April 27, from 10 am to 4 pm. Site details are listed below, and will be posted with event updates on guelpharts.ca.

This year Doors Open Guelph will be enhanced by Telling Guelph’s Stories, an event-within-an-event that will increase the role the arts play in Doors Open. Visitors can experience dramatic storytelling at the Gow Bridge with artist Jay Wilson, guided public art and downtown gallery walks, and arts activations at Doors Open sites.

Launching the weekend, Guelph Museums’ Doors Open After Dark will celebrate Guelph’s 192nd birthday, and commemorate the 240th birthday of Guelph founder John Galt, with history and art activations at and around the Civic Museum from 9 pm April 26 to 1 am April 27. Artists and historians can respond to a Call to Artists for Doors Open Guelph and Doors Open After Dark by visiting guelphmuseums.ca.

On average, Doors Open Guelph attracts 6,000 people to its sites each year, 25-50% of whom are visitors to the city. Since its inception, Doors Open Guelph has been part of Doors Open Ontario, an Ontario Heritage Trust initiative that was also launched in 2002 to celebrate community heritage. Guelph’s event has the distinction of being the kick-off event for Doors Open Ontario’s season.

Doors Open Guelph’s success is due to the enthusiasm and hard work of volunteers who serve as site captains, tour guides, sweeps, greeters, counters, researchers, and more. Join us as a volunteer and help make Doors Open Guelph a true community celebration. If you’re interested in lending a hand please express interest online or contact Katie Wilde at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 519-836-3280.

Guelph Arts Council thanks its event partners, including City of Guelph, Guelph Museums, Ontario Heritage Trust and Downtown Guelph Business Association, Doors Open media sponsor Guelph Mercury Tribune, all participating sites, and its Steering Committee and event volunteers. Sponsorship opportunities are still available by contacting Patti Broughton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 519-836-3280.

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2019 Site Listing:

The Victory School
135 Exhibition Street
Built due to a population spike, the school was named after the Allied victory that ended the First World War. It opened in 1919, with an addition in 1953. Its original brass rails and wooden floors enhance the gracious image presented by its red brick exterior and park setting.

Greenbriar House
92 Speedvale Avenue
Built circa 1865-67, this Neo-Classical Vernacular house set on its lot of heritage trees is a treasure trove of antiques and art. The house features original woodwork and glass. Art by local artists as well as many unique collections are displayed through the house.

Lornewood Mansion
125 Norfolk Street
Lornewood was built by Charles Raymond in 1867 and enlarged later with the Tuscan bays and tower. It was named after an 1879 visit from the Marquis of Lorne and his wife Princess Louise. The house has been restored with its original ornate black walnut trim, ceilings, lead-glass windows, carpets and elaborate furniture.

Marcolongo Heritage Farm
2162 Gordon Street
Settled in 1833, this was one of the first farms in Puslinch. In 1878, James Blair built the granite fieldstone house. The original timber-framed small barn and the large bank barn built in the 1880s or 90s have been restored. The farm property has been designated as a Cultural Heritage Landscape.

Trails Open: The Guelph Hiking Club will run 15-20 minute hikes throughout the day at Marcolongo Heritage Farm.

St. Mary’s Ukrainian Church
115 York Road
The church was built between 1953 and 1962 with three onion domes added in 1963 and a parish centre in 1983.  Beautiful painted liturgical icons are featured throughout the church. The active church community hosts several bazaars, a popular borscht festival, and a weekly mass.

Gow’s Bridge Stories
McCrae Blvd. at the Speed River (near Water St and McCrae)
Built in 1897, this stone bridge is one of only 10 stone bridges remaining in Ontario.  Peter Gow built the first bridge to bypass the toll gate at Gordon Street. Guelph theatre artist Jay Wilson will tell stories of the bridge, the Brooklyn area, and of some of the scandalous events that took place nearby.  Check schedule for performance times.

Heritage Hall
83 Essex Street
Built in 1880, this building served as the British Methodist Episcopal Church. Constructed in Gothic Revival Style with local limestone, it offered a place of safety and community for the black community, including descendants of runaway slaves. In 2012, the building was purchased by the Guelph Black Heritage Society to create a cultural, historical and social centre.

Provincial Offenses Court
59 Carden Street
Built in 1856, this building served as Guelph City Hall until 2009. Designed by William Thomas in the Victorian Renaissance Revival style, it features elaborately-carved stone features. In 2009, it was beautifully restored as a courthouse, featuring original windows, crown mouldings, arched jail cells, and a grand performance hall.

Diyode Community Workshop
183 Dufferin Street
Diyode is a Guelph-based collective dedicated to re-invigorating the do-it-yourself movement. Situated in the former Carson Reid Homes office, the 2500 sq. ft. workshop contains tools and supplies for wood and metal working, electronics, prototyping and crafting. Diyode members will demonstrate uses of the tools and workshop areas.

Spring Mill Distillery
43 Arthur Street
The limestone building was built in 1835 as Allan’s Distillery, an addition to their grist mill. The Distillery grew with the addition of several buildings. In 1876, the complex became the A.R. Wyatt Company which made lawn mowers and hardware. Over the years, several large manufacturers have used the buildings, now extensively restored to become a restaurant and distillery.

KidsAbility Centre for Child Development
503 Imperial Road North
KidsAbility has provided services to Guelph children and youth with special needs since 2000. The present new hub has 20,000 sq. ft. of space customized to reflect best-care practices. The stunning Canadiana-themed rooms and hall decor create a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere where children can work to reach their full potential.

The Sovereign
66 Macdonell Street
Built in Second Empire style and designed by John Day, The Sovereign stands as an interesting neighbour to the Petrie Building. The mansard roof, ornate dormers, and corner turret create an impressive presence. The original ballroom was once used by the Oddfellows, whose symbols survive in the restored offices. It is now the offices of Williams and McDaniels Property Management.

17 Aberdeen Street
Built c. 1880, new owners hired Evolve Builders in 2016 to reconstruct this Ontario Cottage while leaving intact its external heritage appearance.  It is now among the most energy efficient homes in the city with an air-tight envelope, heat pump, and many water-saving devices to make this a Blue Built Home. Presented in partnership with eMERGE Guelph.

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