Following our Doors Open Ontario series? Participating cities across the province are opening normally closed doors to the public during select weekends between April to October. This is at no cost to attend (with the help of presenting sponsor TD). There are all sorts of interesting historical and cultural places to visit and learn about during the Doors Open events! In this blog, we’re featuring Canada’s capital city. Doors Open Ottawa is taking place on Saturday June 3, 2023 and Sunday June 4, 2023 with several of the city’s most beautiful buildings and sites on display. There’s also bonus virtual content for interested families who aren’t local. It’s the perfect teachable in-person or online excursion!
What is Doors Open Ontario and how does it work?
Hello Ontario! Are you looking for a fun weekend activity filled with adventure and learning. The Ontario Heritage Trust has invited communities across Ontario to open the doors, gates and courtyards of special historical and modern sites which are not normally open to the general public. Doors Open is a unique and exclusive opportunity for students (and the adults who love them) to experience history, culture and architecture in their very own city. Alternatively, it makes a great excuse to take a daytrip somewhere new.
Over the next few months, our tutoring team at Teachers on Call will be spotlighting all the festivities. Did you read our last feature on Doors Open Toronto? If not, catch up here. In this blog, we’re featuring Doors Open Ottawa. Participation is simple! All you have to do is see what Doors Open sites are available, when they are open, and plan your trip! A few select participants require advance registration: the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, Earnscliffe National Historic Site of Canada, the Embassy of Hungary to Canada/Birkett Castle, the French Embassy in Canada and the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre.
How to Plan for Doors Open Ottawa
During the first full weekend in June, Doors Open Ottawa will be celebrating its 21st anniversary. Not only will they have in-person options, people who are unable to visit can also enjoy the added bonus of enhanced virtual content!
With so much to do in Ottawa, it's unlikely you will be able to visit it all in one day. The Teachers on Call online and in-person tutoring service recommends reviewing the list together as a family to map out your weekend plans with the sites you want to visit most. You may try for a target of five buildings per day for in-person trips. You may also want to schedule an overnight visit to be able to check out some of the museums, galleries, and historical offerings that aren’t part of the official Doors Open event!
A List of In-Person Sites for Doors Open Ottawa
The list of places below is just a sampling of 10 of the sites that will be open for Doors Open Ottawa 2023. Check their website for the complete list of participating sites.
Circle of Nations Learning Centre - 1 Observatory Crescent, Building 2, Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 4T3
The Observatory House is a large and dignified 2.5-storey brick structure with a stone foundation and wood-shingle roof. The house features an expansive veranda, classical columns and a beautiful central entrance hall. Built shortly after the construction of the nearby Dominion Observatory, this building served as the official residence of the Dominion Chief Astronomer for many years.
Connaught Building - 555 Mackenzie Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6Z6
Built in modified Norman style and designed by David Ewart, Connaught opened in 1915 and was named after the Duke of Connaught, third son of Queen Victoria and Governor General of Canada 1911-16. Designated as a classified federal heritage building primarily for its architectural significance, the structure is considered to be the Crown jewel of the Canada Revenue Agency.
Earnscliffe, Official Residence of the British High Commissioner - 140 Sussex Drive Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 5A2
Earnscliffe, the home of British High Commissioners in Ottawa since 1930, is a handsome Victorian Gothic house, built of local grey limestone. lt was the home of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister. The Canadian government considered buying it as the official Prime Minister’s residence but it was turned into the British High Commissioner’s residence instead. Pre-registration required.
Heritage Building and Ottawa City Hall - 110 Laurier Avenue West (Elgin Street entrance) Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1
Originally built as the Ottawa Normal School, this site is now Ottawa City Hall. Built in the Gothic Renaissance style, it reflects the influence of the Parliament Buildings — with Italianate windows and Romanesque columns. Purchased by the municipality in 1987, the restored building opened as city hall in 2001. The Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame is now permanently housed here.
Hindu Temple of Ottawa-Carleton - 4835 Bank Street Ottawa, Ontario, K1X 1G6
The design, architecture and interior shrines of this temple follow traditional Hindu architectural styles. Deities in these shrines are made of granite, marble and bronze. The large prayer hall hosts ceremonies throughout the year. The temple also houses a reference library on Hindu religion and philosophy. When visiting, everyone is required to remove their footwear.
Library of Parliament (former Bank of Nova Scotia) - 125 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A9
Discover the interim main library inside a former bank — designed in 1924 by John MacIntosh Lyle, one of Canada’s leading beaux-arts architects. In this unique setting, where modernism rubs against a classical esthetic, you will learn about the Library of Parliament’s collections and services as well as have a look inside its reading room, upgraded in 2018.
Ottawa Art Gallery - 10 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 0C5
The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is home to the art and artists of the Ottawa-Gatineau region, now housing a collection that numbers over 1,450 works — including paintings, sculpture, graphic arts, photographs and new media. In April 2018, OAG opened this modern purpose-built space. The gallery explores and reflects on diversity and social change through a spectrum of visual arts practices.
Parliamentary Precinct Rehabilitation - 90 Wellington Street (outdoor plaza), Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5L1
Come and visit this plaza during Doors Open Ottawa. Construction is underway to restore and modernize the Centre Block and advance construction of Canada’s new Parliament Welcome Centre. Though the Centre Block is currently closed, visitors during Doors Open can view a special exhibit featuring videos, images and information about the design plans for the building and the Parliamentary Precinct.
Therapeutic Riding Association of Ottawa-Carleton (TROtt) - 6362 Bank Street, #1, Ottawa, Ontario, K4P 1J4
The capital region’s only therapeutic riding facility accredited by the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association provides therapeutic riding lessons and equine-assisted programming for children and adults with physical, developmental and learning disabilities. Situated on over 8 hectares (20 acres) of pasture and trails, this fully accessible facility includes an indoor and outdoor arena, box stalls and a classroom for additional programming.
Watson's Mill - 5525 Dickinson Street, Manotick, Ontario, K4M 1A2
Built in 1860 along the shores of the Rideau River, Watson’s Mill remains active as a water-powered flour mill. Nearby Dickinson House, built in 1867, displays the heritage home of the past mill owners. Dickinson Square is the only industrial heritage site in Ottawa. The site comes to life through tours by costumed interpreters and milling demonstrations.
We hope you enjoy learning about Doors Open Ontario and wish you a great in-person or online excursion in Canada's capital city with your family. Be sure to add some other amazing Ottawa museums to the trip too!
Related Articles View All
Pink Shirt Day provides opportunities for Teachers and Parents to promoting kindness, and ensure every kid feels seen and valued.
The Teachers on Call tutoring team has prepared tips on how maximize report card time to translate into meaningful growth and development.
Thunder Bay Bucket List Things to Do: Winter FunDays, SnowDay on the Waterfront, Ontario Winter Games & More
The city of Thunder Bay has an exciting winter line-up of activities including Sunday FunDays, Family Day Weekend SnowDay on the Waterfront, and Ontario Winter Games!