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Arts Council announces Doors Open Guelph 2017 sites

Doors Open Guelph has been the kick-off event for Doors Open Ontario, opening the province-wide initiative for several years
File photo



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 2017 event will take place on Saturday, Apr. 22, from 10 am to 4 pm. Site details are posted here, and listed below.

On average, Doors Open Guelph attracts 6,000 people to its sites each year, 25-50 per cent of whom are visitors to the city.

Since its inception, Doors Open Guelph has been part of Doors Open Ontario, an Ontario Heritage Foundation province-wide initiative that was also launched in 2002 to celebrate community heritage.

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.

Doors Open Guelph’s success is due to the enthusiasm and hard work of volunteers who serve as tour guides, sweeps, greeters, counters, researchers, sign crew, 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 contact Sarah Goldrup at or 519-836-3280.

2017 Site Listing

St. George's Anglican Church, 99 Woolwich Street

This church opened in 1873, replacing two earlier versions located in St. George’s Square. It was designed by Henry Langley, architect of many Ontario churches, including three in Guelph. A revival of the English Gothic medieval parish church, different roof lines indicate the different areas of the nave, choir, and sanctuary. A special feature is the 23-bell carillon donated by Arthur Cutten.

Canadian Pacific Caboose 436994, 99 Woolwich Street

(Located on siding close to St. Georges Church)

Built in 1941, this wooden-body caboose served the Canadian Pacific Railway for more than 40 years. For the past 23 years, it has been beautifully restored by members of the Guelph Historical Railway Association who most recently completed the exterior renovation. Inside is now a railway museum on wheels, reflecting the glory days of railroading in the mid-20th century.

Brothers Brewing Company, 15 Wyndham Street North

(Ground floor of the New Petrie Building)

The ground floor, once A. B. Petrie’s Pharmacy, Tamblyn Drugs, and the Apollo Restaurant, is now the new brew pub created by the Proveau Brothers. The brew tanks at the back pipe the beer to storage in a huge basement cooler, when it is pumped directly to the bar taps. The decor features heritage elements like tin ceiling tiles, Petrie formaldehyde bottles, and the Apollo furniture.

The New Petrie Building, 15 Wyndham Street North

This Second Empire-style building was designed by John Day in 1882 for pharmacist A.B. Petrie. Constructed of limestone and timber, the New Petrie Building is one of only three remaining buildings in Canada with a stamped galvanized iron facade. The upper floors were intact when purchased by Tyrcathlen Partners, retaining the elements of the Oddfellows, the adjoining door to the Cutten Kelly building, and Mr. Petrie’s office and safe.

Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, 28 Norfolk Street

In 1827, John Galt gave the highest hill for the building of a Catholic Church. Opened in 1888, with the towers added in 1926, the church was designed by Joseph Connelly in French Gothic tradition. It has many elements of traditional European cathedrals with beautiful stained glass windows, locally-quarried limestone walls, and unique carvings. From 2006 - 2015, a $12 million renovation restored the interior and exterior features.

The Albion Hotel, 49 Norfolk Street

The present building was made of locally-quarried limestone in the late 1850s and its structure is supported from the basement by 18-inch timbers. In the early years, the beer was made from water piped from a spring on Catholic Hill. The entrance to the water tunnel can still be seen in the basement. Many spirited stories from the Prohibition era emanate from the Albion.

Silence, 46 Essex Street

Built as a car repair garage in 1950, the space has housed several businesses. In 2015, new owners did extensive repairs and upgrades to create a unique arts space consisting of a main room with an intimate space for performances and the smaller “Sound Sanctuary” used for music therapy and a collection of international instruments. Guelph artist Janet Morton created the unique chimney made of cassettes.

The Armoury, 7 Wyndham Street South

Constructed in 1909 of red brick highlighted with limestone trim, the Armoury was designed by federal architects David Ewart and T.W. Fuller. Its castellated towers, battlements, and heavy wooden gate give

the impression of a medieval fortress. The Officer’s Mess contains a collection of art and memorabilia of the 11th Field Regiment. A basement gun park and impressive parade area showcase the Regiment’s 160 years of service.

Ker Cavan, 22 Stuart Street

“Tyrcathleen” was built in 1855 for Reverend Arthur Palmer according to plans attributed to Sir Charles Barry, architect of Britain’s Houses of Parliament. In 1926, H.B. Higginbotham enlarged the original house with enclosed galleries, remodeled the northern half, and renamed it, Ker Cavan. The present owner has renovated and modernized the house and added his unique collection of sheep and soap artifacts.

Ker Cavan Coach House, 26 Stuart Street

Henry Higginbotham added the Coach House to the Ker Cavan property in 1928. It was built to house cars with living quarters for the chauffeur and gardener above the garage. A potting room and greenhouse were attached along Palmer Street. The garage doors are now replaced with windows, and the building has been renovated as a residence.

London House, 80 London Road West

This unique house was built in 1893 for John Sully, a local businessman and politician. Many fine features remain intact, including the decorative slate roof, the leaded glass windows, and the original burled oak woodwork inside. The present owners have restored many of the original exterior and interior features.

Macdonald Hall: School of Business and Economics, University of Guelph, 74 Macdonald Street

Macdonald Hall was built in 1903 as the women’s dormitory for students at the Macdonald Institute. Designed by George M. Miller, it was the oldest residence at the University of Guelph. Now renovated to LEED silver certification, it contains flexible gathering spaces, classrooms, and offices. The 1903 gymnasium and dining room have been transformed into modern learning areas while keeping some original features.

The Frank Hasenfratz Centre of Excellence in Manufacturing, 700 Woodlawn Road West

Linamar is a $5 billion company with 55 manufacturing facilities located across the world. The Centre, named after Linamar’s founder, provides innovative product and process technology where workers are trained in leadership and information. It features eco-friendly design elements like an open concept atrium foyer, retractable skylights, extensive use of recycled materials, a reflective pond and dual living walls.

RWDI, 600 Southgate Drive

RWDI is a Canadian-based firm of consulting engineers and scientists who tackle complex problems in the built environment with innovative thinking, collaborative problem solving and a passion for expanding the boundaries of the possible. Climate engineering, building performance and environmental engineering work together to create buildings and infrastructure that are resilient to extreme weather, hospitable, and sustainable. The Guelph headquarters feature state-of-the-art wind tunnels and a water tunnel.

Trails Open – The Toronto Suburban Railway (100th anniversary), The End of James Street East

The most advanced interurban electric railway in North America arrived in Guelph on Apr. 14, 1917, and served for 15 years until 1931. See the railbed of the TSR (now a popular trail), one of its powerhouses, and where the TSR brought a wetland to ruin. 25-minute guided hikes led by members of the Guelph Hiking Trail Club set out from the end of James Street East, at 10:30, 11:30, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.