Teachers on Call Celebrates Doors Open Kingston & Area

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Teachers on Call Celebrates Doors Open Kingston & Area

If you’ve been struggling to make it to Doors Open events that traditionally take place over one weekend, you’ll be in luck with Doors Open Kingston! Doors Open Kingston 2023 is taking place not just on one but three non-consecutive event dates – Saturday July 22, Saturday August 26, and Saturday September 23. Thanks to the Kingston & Area Association of Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites (KAM) in partnership with the Ontario Heritage Trust, you can choose a date that works best for you and the entire family - or attend more than one. There are many options to consider with something for everyone including heritage properties of official residences of politicians, diverse museums, art centres and libraries with rare collections. Just have a look to see what is available and when!

What is Doors Open Ontario and how does it work?

If you’ve missed out on our last Doors Open (at Loyalist Township), Doors Open festivities provide a fun weekend activity filled with adventure and learning! The Ontario Heritage Trust has invited communities across Ontario to briefly open the doors, gates and courtyards of special historical and other unusual sites when they participate. This is an exclusive chance to experience history, new cultures and beautiful architecture not normally available to the public. Whether you live in the Doors Open participating city or take a daytrip somewhere nearby, it’s also a great way to vacation in your own backyard!

During Doors Open events, the participating cities in Ontario open those sites to the public at no cost to attend. There are all sorts of Doors Open Events happening across the province between April to October, so be sure to check to see if there are others you might like to attend. Depending on the participating sites at your chosen location, you may be able to visit exclusive landmarks, old mills,  lighthouses, or even working fire stations!

At Teachers on Call, our in-person and online tutoring team are big fans of educational field trips filled with community-building and teachable moments. Doors Open events present a unique opportunity for students of all ages to explore, inquire and ask questions. In this blog, we’re featuring Doors Open Kingston & Area with a variety of exciting in-person options to discover!

How to Plan for Doors Open Kingston

Each event day, Doors Open Kingston is open 10AM to 4PM. A word to the wise: with so much to do, you won’t be able to visit it all in one day. Fortunately, you can spread it out over more than one weekend during this Doors Open event!

With very young children, you may find that two locations are the maximum your family will be able to visit in a day. Exploration can be tiring for little ones! Plan to visit sites near each other so that you can get the most in. Even for families with older children, a target of five buildings is likely to be the realistic maximum you’ll be able to reach in a single day.

So, we recommend reviewing the list of locations together as a family – in advance of the trip – to map out your weekend plans. Have the whole family participate in discussing which sites they want to visit the most. You may also want to schedule an overnight visit to be able to check out some of the outdoor exploration options in Kingston that aren’t restricted just to the Doors Open event!

A List of In-Person Sites for Doors Open Kingston

Military Communications & Electronics Museums – 95 Craftsman Boul., Kingston, ON, K7K 7B4

Open: July 22, August 26, 2023

Every history buff knows communication is often the key to victory. The Military Communications and Electronics Museum has over twenty thousand square feet of gallery space in Kingston devoted to displays of communication equipment dating from the 19th century onward. Some virtual displays are available to the public, and these might help you decide if you would like to see more!

HMCS Cataraqui - 24 Navy Way, Kingston, ON, K7K 7B4

Open: July 22, August 26, 2023

The HMCS Cataraqui is a Canadian Forces Naval Reserve Division located in Kingston, Ontario. It currently operates as a land-based naval establishment for part-time sailors as well as a local recruitment centre for the Royal Canadian Navy. The HMCS Cataraqui was also one of the few reserve naval divisions to be assigned an air squadron!

Bellevue House National Historic Site - 35 Centre St, Kingston, ON K7L 4EZ

Open: July 22, August 26, September 23, 2023

Bellevue House was the home to Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John Alexander Macdonald from 1848 to 1849. You can take tours of the heritage property and learn about its restoration, even seeing virtual tours of how the house looked prior to renovations. It’s also a great place to ask questions and have conversations about Canadian History.

Murney Tower National Historic Site - 2 King St. West, Kingston ON K7L 4V6

Open: July 22, August 26, 202Z

The Murney Tower Redoubt was part of a series of fortifications constructed in 1846 in Kingston in response to American James K. Polk and the Oregon Crisis. Due to the strategic importance of Kingston, the British government felt it prudent to shore up defenses, and the tower was used for decades as a barracks for up to six families living inside.

Museum of Health Care at Kingston - 32 George St, Kingston, ON K7L 2V7

Open: July 22, August 26, 2023

For those with an interest in the history of medicine, the Museum of Health Care covers medical history from the 18th century onward. Visitors will learn lots about how people managed disease pain and suffering before modern medicine!

Frontenac County Schools Museum -  414 Regent St, Kingston, ON K7K 5R1

Open: July 22, August 26, September 23, 2023

The Frontenac County Museum is the work of a small group of retired educators who spent many hours researching schools, photographing sites, and digitizing records. You’ll see games and teaching objects in the gallery – some you might recognize, and some which will be unfamiliar – plus you’ll get to see a taste of what school was like 100 years ago.

Macpherson House and Park - 180 Elizabeth St, Napanee, ON K7R 1B5

Open: July 22, 2023

Allan Macpherson was one of Lennox and Addington’s most civic-minded and politically active entrepreneurs. His house now stands as a museum and an archive, housing over 12000 artifacts from the late 18th century onwards.

Museum of Lennox and Addington - 97 Thomas St E, Napanee, ON K7R 4B9

Open: July 22, 2023

If you’re looking for your family tree (or that of another who lived in the area), this is the place to be! The archives here collect documentary records, papers, photographs, oral history and newspapers that highlight the history of the County and its people from the late 18th century onward. It details individuals, businesses and government organizations that contributed to social and economic growth of the region.

Smiths Falls Heritage House Museum - 11 Old Slys Rd, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 3M3

Open: July 22, 2023

The Smiths Falls Heritage House was built in the 1860s. Today, it serves as a community museum depicting the life of the upper middle class Bates family, circa 1865-1875. You can see an indoor brick bake oven and the museum’s two-storey privy!

Agnes Etherington Art Centre - 36 University Ave, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6

Open: July 22, August 26, September 23, 2023

For art lovers, Agnes Etherington Art Centre is a research-intensive art museum. Today, it’s located on the campus of Queen's University, situated on the territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek, and their main exhibition right now features a gift of Indigenous art.

Loving Spoonful - 263 Weller Ave #4, Kingston, ON, K7K 2V4

Open: July 22, 2023

Loving Spoonful is an organization that works to achieve a healthy and food-secure community. They facilitate fresh food access with urban agriculture and community farming, and teach fun, healthy and delicious cross cultural and seasonal cooking at their community kitchens. Some of these classes are drop in!

Royal Military College of Canada - 13 General Crerar Crescent, Kingston, ON K7K 7B4

Open: July 22, 2023

The Royal Military College is a military academy established in 1874. And, since 1959, they are also a degree-granting university of the Canadian Armed Forces. During Doors Open Kingston & Area, visitors have the opportunity for self-guided exploration of Currie Hall — which honours the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War — and the memorial staircase inside the Mackenzie Building.

Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston - 55 Ontario St. Kingston, ON K7L 2Y2

Open: July 22, August 26, 2023

The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes offers programs from maritime history and travel to shipbuilding and the environment. Lighthouses, shipwrecks, and the lake ecosystem are just part of what you’ll learn about!

Pumphouse - 23 Ontario Street, Kingston, ON, K7L 2Y2

Open: August 26, 2023

The Pumphouse was Kingston's first steam-powered waterworks, in operation 1851 to 1952. You can still see the original pumps where they remain in place and learn all about how they worked! The museum also features several other exhibitions you can visit.

St. Georges Cathedral - 270 King St E Kingston, ON K7L 3B2

Open: August 26, 2023

While the original St. George’s parish was a wooden building constructed in 1792, the present cathedral was constructed during the years 1825–1828. The interior was restored after being badly damaged in a fire in 1899.

WD Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections (Queen's University Libraries) - 93 University Avenue, 2nd Floor, Douglas Library, Kingston , ON K7L 5C4

Open: September 23, 2023

This amazing library preserves and provides access to a variety of materials, including rare books, maps, posters, and the Edith and Lorne Pierce Canadiana collection. The literature covers all subjects. It’s located in Douglas Library (a popular study spot for Queen’s University students on the southeast corner of University Avenue and Union Street) and a campus landmark as the oldest of the Queen’s libraries.

The Spire - 82 Sydenham St, Kingston, ON K7L 3H4

Open: September 23, 2023

Originally built by the Methodists in 1851, today The Spire serves as a heritage building and performance venue in downtown Kingston. Every week, music and programs fill the hall!

We hope your whole family enjoys learning about the unique history of Kingston with Doors Open Ontario! Be sure to add some of the outdoor excursions to your visit if you have time. For future summer and fall Doors Open events, follow along on the Teachers on Call blog. Happy travels!

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