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Doors Open Ottawa

Explore Ottawa’s culture, history, and architecture for FREE June 5 and 6, 2021!

Doors Open Ottawa

During the first full weekend in June, the City of Ottawa is proud to present Doors Open Ottawa (DOO), a free annual architectural event that celebrates our community’s built heritage. However, for the first time in nearly 20 years, the 2020 event was cancelled due to recommendations by public health officials to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Now, nearly one year later, the Ottawa community continues to work together to stay safe during these difficult times.

It’s with that in mind, that we’re excited to announce that this year’s celebration is going virtual! That’s right…Doors Open Ottawa is back, and you’re invited to enjoy Ottawa’s beautiful architectural landscape from the comfort of your own home.

Discover the secrets and stories that lie within some of Ottawa’s most interesting buildings through still photography, in-depth descriptions, 3D and/or virtual tours, YouTube videos, and more.

Join us June 5 and 6, 2021 to pay homage to Ottawa’s history, culture, and stunning architecture during Doors Open Ottawa 2021! It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s the perfect way to discover how Canada’s Capital has become the beautiful city it is today. And don't forget... Share your #DoorsOpenOttawa experience on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For disability-related accommodations required to participate fully in this event, please contact us at doorsopen@ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1.

Follow us on Facebook!

For media inquiries, please contact medias@ottawa.ca.

Building Application Form: Doors Open Ottawa 2021 – Virtual Edition

Join us for Doors Open Ottawa (DOO) on June 5 and 6, 2021. It’s a special year in more ways than one. Not only are we celebrating nearly 20 years of paying homage to Ottawa’s built heritage, but it’s also our very first all-virtual event!

Due to the continuing presence of COVID-19 in our community, we understand that the health of our building participants, visitors, and volunteers is the number one priority. We hope that by enhancing the online experience, your virtual doors can open to thousands of people who will look forward to joining us in celebration of Ottawa’s scenic architectural landscape.

To participate in a virtual format, each building must provide an enhanced building description and present a series of photographs that highlight both the interior and exterior space and features of the building. More information about photo requirements can be found in the Photos section of the application. However, if you have been considering expanding your online presence, DOO is the perfect reason to create that virtual tour you’ve been thinking about! 

The deadline is April 16. To apply, please click on the link Learn More...

Learn More

FAQ - Building owners and managers

Why should I participate in Doors Open Ottawa? What's in it for me and my organization?

  • Doors Open Ottawa participants will be associated with a well-publicized, high profile event that celebrates Ottawa's unique urban and rural architectural heritage.
  • Doors Open Ottawa is the largest architectural and heritage event in the city.
  • Doors Open Ottawa creates community pride. The event allows residents and tourists to discover our city by exploring a wide range of buildings.
  • Participation in Doors Open Ottawa is an excellent way to reach out to the public and raise awareness of your unique building.
  • Displaying our heritage helps the community cherish Ottawa's neighbourhoods, communities and history.

What criteria must be met in order for a building applicant to be considered a suitable candidate by the Doors Open Ottawa Advisory Council?

The Doors Open Ottawa Advisory Council is the committee responsible for determining whether a building is eligible to participate in the event based on specific criteria designed to value its historical, cultural, functional, and/or architectural significance.

If you think your building would be a suitable candidate for Doors Open Ottawa, please review the criteria outlined. Please note that while it’s not necessary to meet every criterion, buildings that largely meet the criteria listed below will have a stronger chance of being selected.

Preference will be given to buildings that meet the following criteria:

  • Buildings that are not normally open to the public, or have areas that are not usually open to the public.
  • Buildings that are open to the public but have some significant historical, functional, cultural, and/or architectural features that will be showcased during the event.
  • Buildings that are celebrating significant milestones and/or anniversaries.
  • Buildings that have been recognized with an award for their heritage, urban design, and/or architecture.
  • Buildings that have significant interior features.
  • Buildings that are an example of a successful adaptive reuse.
  • Buildings that feature excellence in contemporary design and/or innovative green/sustainable/LEED elements.
  • Buildings that represent cultural diversity.

How will my building be identified to the public as one of the Doors Open Ottawa sites?

To identify your building as a Doors Open Ottawa site, information that you provide including a building description, photos, 3D tours, virtual tours, and/or more will be included in Doors Open Ottawa promotional materials, social media sites, press materials and the Doors Open Ottawa Web site. You site may also appear on the Doors Open Ontario website operated by the Ontario Heritage Trust.

Who is responsible for any costs associated with new or existing content that is provided to the City of Ottawa?

Doors Open Ottawa is not responsible for any costs incurred by those who wish to create new virtual content for the event. If your building chooses to create new content, such as a 3D or virtual tour, the costs associated with doing so will be paid for solely by the building participant. However, we think it’s important to note, that if you’re thinking about creating something new, it can always be used for your own promotional purposes after the event is over. It’s a win-win!

**Disclaimer: Please note that all virtual content will be reviewed by the City of Ottawa. If the City deems any content unfit for publication (i.e. foul language, nudity, promotion of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, etc.), we have the sole right to exclude the content from the event.

Does my building have to offer bilingual content?

We understand that not all buildings are created equally. While we strongly encourage all of our buildings to provide bilingual content on their websites, 3D tours, and virtual tours, we know that it’s not always possible. However, if you plan on creating new virtual content for this year’s event, perhaps it’s the perfect time to include both official languages in your new promotional material.

Can I charge admission to visit my building online?

No. Virtual admission must be free during the event. The focus of Doors Open Ottawa is to celebrate heritage and architecture, by making participating buildings open to all.

Some buildings are already open to the public. Can they still participate?

Buildings that fit the Doors Open Ottawa profile and that are normally open to the public (e.g., historic and/or architecturally important embassies, government buildings, theatres, churches, museums, etc.) will be included if admission is free. We encourage buildings that are normally open to the public to offer special activities or events, such as exhibits, talks, musical recitals, or behind-the-scenes tours as a way to showcase the building further.

Who is funding Doors Open Ottawa?

Doors Open Ottawa is funded by partnerships between the City of Ottawa, corporate sponsors, and individual donations. If you own a business or are part of an organization that would like to sponsor Doors Open Ottawa, please contact:

Amy Kudrinko, Coordinator
Doors Open Ottawa, City of Ottawa
Tel: 613-580-9674, Email: doorsopen@ottawa.ca

Sponsors, partners, and donations

Since its inception, Doors Open Ottawa has welcomed both sponsorships and partnerships with local and national corporations, businesses, and organizations. By generously donating time, money, and resources to Doors Open Ottawa over the past 18 years, we have been able to continue operating as a free event, and we look forward to doing so for many more years to come.

If you are a business or organization that wishes to sponsor or collaborate with Doors Open Ottawa, we invite you to contact us today to discuss a wide range of opportunities.

As a trusted sponsor and partner, we will work with you to ensure that your brand is presented in a way that is beneficial to your business!

Doors Open Ottawa 2019

With the help of our loyal sponsors and partners within the Ottawa community and beyond, the City of Ottawa is able to present a free architectural  event that brings together residents and visitors alike in honour of our city's built heritage. We would like to extend a very warm and heartfelt thank you to all those who support our goal in creating an experience that is inclusive to all.  

Sponsors

Rogers tv logo in red font

VIA Rail logo that includes a canadian maple leaf and flag

leDroit logo in red and black font.

Bridgehead Coffeehouse logo

OC Transpo logo

Diffusart logo

Cartier Place Suite Hotel logo

Partners

Ontario Heritage Trust logo

Intergenerational Day logo

Donors

Suggest a building for 2021

Which building would you like to see participate in Doors Open Ottawa 2021? To recommend a building, please e-mail doorsopen@ottawa.ca. Provide as much information as possible to assist us in our research. 

Advisory Council

The Doors Open Ottawa Advisory Council works with the City of Ottawa to maintain the vision of this two-day celebration of Ottawa's architectural excellence and built heritage.

Mayor Jim Watson
Honourary Chair, Doors Open Ottawa

Iona Green
Co-Chair, Doors Open Ottawa and
Co-Owner/Operator, La Vida Local Food & Wine Tours

Laura Peters
Co-Chair, Doors Open Ottawa
City of Ottawa, Portfolio Mgr, Museums and Heritage Programs

Carolyn Quinn
Heritage Ottawa, Vice-President of Communications

David Jeanes
Heritage Ottawa, Member of Board of Directors

Miriam Fry
Media Consultant

Linda Russell
Founding member, Doors Open Ottawa

Jonas Langille
Heritage Specialist, Canadian Heritage

Laura Paquet
Freelance Journalist and Web Author of Ottawa Road Trips

Amy Kudrinko 
Event Coordinator, Doors Open Ottawa

Volunteers

Due to COVID-19 modified operations, Doors Open Ottawa is not currently accepting volunteers. If you have any questions about the volunteer program or would like to be notified when volunteering resumes, please contact doorsopen@ottawa.ca.