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Doors Open Ottawa

Explore Ottawa's culture, history, and architecture for FREE June 4 and 5, 2022!

Doors Open Ottawa

The City of Ottawa is proud to present the Doors Open Ottawa, a free annual architectural event that celebrates our community’s built heritage. 

Ottawa is built on un-ceded Algonquin Anishinabe territory. The City of Ottawa honours the peoples and land of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation.

The City of Ottawa honours all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.

During the first full weekend in June, Doors Open Ottawa will be celebrating its 20th anniversary, and we cordially invite residents and visitors alike to join us as we re-open the doors to some of the city's most beautiful buildings. That’s right…we’re thrilled to announce that we are returning to a live, in-person event but with the added bonus of enhanced virtual content!

Twenty years ago, the Doors Open concept became a reality when the very first Ottawa event welcomed nearly 80 building participants and 35,000 visitors. Since then, the event continues to expand and evolve with the everchanging times, and this year is no different. Buildings will have the option to participate virtually, in-person, or a hybrid of the two. As a visitor, you will simply have to plan your ‘visits’ accordingly and follow the most current public health policies in place.

Whether you choose a virtual or live experience, you will discover the secrets and stories that lie within some of Ottawa’s most interesting buildings by way of still photography, in-depth descriptions, 3D and/or virtual tours, YouTube videos, in-person guided and self-guided tours, and more…so stay tuned!

On June 4 and 5, join us for the 20th anniversary celebration of Doors Open Ottawa, and pay homage to our city’s history, culture, and stunning architecture! 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…you can follow and share your #DoorsOpenOttawa experience on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

The full 2022 Doors Open Ottawa Building list will be available on May 30. However, pre-registration for select buildings is currently as follows:

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

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

Doors Open Ottawa 2022 Scavenger Hunt Contest - Presented by the Ottawa Regional Society of Architects (ORSA)

In celebration of our 20th anniversary, the Ottawa Regional Society of Architects (ORSA) and Doors Open Ottawa have joined forces to create a ‘Scavenger Hunt’ for information. Whether you’re participating in person or from the comforts of home, we invite you to join in on the fun!

Submit a digital Doors Open Ottawa Scavenger Hunt entry during this year’s event and you could win 1 of 50 gift cards from local Ottawa area businesses! The form will be available to the public on June 3.

Put your research skills and architectural knowledge to the test to see if you can correctly answer at least 8 of 16 questions that feature a Doors Open Ottawa 2022 hybrid building participant!

As a condition of participating in the Doors Open Ottawa 2022 Scavenger Hunt Contest (the “Contest”), entrants agree to be bound by these Official Contest Rules (the “Contest Rules”).

Doors Open Ottawa 2022 Scavenger Hunt Contest Official Rules

1. ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible to participate in this Contest, you must be a resident of a province or territory in Canada, have reached the age of at least sixteen (16) at the time of entry, and not be a current employee or contract worker of the City of Ottawa or Sponsor. Entrants who are under the age of majority in their province or territory of residence must obtain parental consent prior to entry. Should an entrant who is a minor be selected for a prize, a parent or guardian will be required to accept the prize on the entrant.

2. HOW TO ENTER – NO PURCHASE NECESSARY

To enter the Contest, you must meet the eligibility requirements above.

Each entrant may only submit one [1] digital scavenger hunt form. If an entrant is found to have submitted more than one form, they will be disqualified, and all their entries will be excluded from the prize draw.

The contest begins at 5 pm on Friday, June 3, 2022, and all digital scavenger hunt forms must be received no later than 5 pm on Sunday, June 5, 2022.

The scavenger hunt form can be accessed by visiting ottawa.ca/doorsopen and must be submitted digitally to be eligible.

3. PRIZES AND PRIZE SELECTION PROCESS

To have your name entered into the draw, entrants must achieve a score of 50 per cent or higher on the digital scavenger hunt form (answer at least eight of the sixteen questions correctly). Scores are calculated electronically within the software, and a list of eligible names and email addresses will be collected for the draw.

Fifty [50] winning names will be drawn at random using an online application no later than Wednesday, June 8, 2022. All winners will be notified via email no later than Friday, June 10, 2022.

Upon receiving notification that a prize has been won, entrants must schedule a time to pick up their prize between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, starting Wednesday, June 15 until Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Prizes will be distributed from Ben Franklin Place, located at 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, ON, K2G 5K7. Each selected winner will receive one [1] of a total fifty [50] gift cards for local Ottawa businesses, each gift card valued at fifty dollars [$50]. Winners’ choice of gift card shall be on a first come first serve basis at the pickup location. Please note that failure to respond within three (3) business days of the date at which the City sends a prize notification email will result in disqualification and the City reserves the right to select another winner. Selected winners will also be required to execute a legal release that confirms the winner’s (i) eligibility for the Contest and compliance with these Contest Rules; (ii) acceptance of the prize as offered; and (iii) release of the City of Ottawa and Sponsor from liability as outlined in section 6 of these Contest Rules.

4. PRIZE CONDITIONS

The following conditions apply to the prize in this Contest: (i) the prize must be accepted as awarded and is not transferable or convertible to cash; (ii) there are no substitutions permitted, except at the City of Ottawa’s option; and (iii) the City of Ottawa reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to substitute any prize or a component thereof with a prize of equal or greater value.

5. LIMITATION OF LIABLIITY

By participating in this Contest, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the City of Ottawa, its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees and agents from any and all liability or any injuries, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Contest or prize won, including any travel related thereto.

6.TERMS OF USE AND PRIVACY

Personal information collected by the City of Ottawa including the Contest entrant names is collected by for the purposes of administering the Contest. Entrants consent to their name being disclosed publicly by the City, including without limitation through the Contest Website and other media accessible to the general public. If you have any questions about the collection and use of personal information by the City of Ottawa, you may email doorsopen@ottawa.ca, telephone the Event Coordinator at 613-857-5883, or mail Doors Open Ottawa at 101 Centrepointe Drive, 1st Floor West, Ottawa, Ontario, K2G 5K7.

7. CANCELLATION, MODIFICATION, SUSPENSION OF CONTEST

The City of Ottawa reserves the right to cancel, modify or suspend the Contest at anytime subject to applicable law, if the City of Ottawa determines that the Contest cannot be run as originally planned or if fraud or any other occurrence compromises the fairness or integrity of the Contest.

Building Representatives

The application period for Doors Open Ottawa 2022: Hybrid Edition is now closed.

For information and frequently asked question about the event, including building participation and criteria, please visit the Building owners and managers - FAQ section.

For all other enquiries, you may contact the event coordinator at doorsopen@ottawa.ca.

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 for nearly 20 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 2022, 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!

2021 Partner

Ontario Heritage Trust logo

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.

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

Suggest a building for 2023

Which building would you like to see participate in Doors Open Ottawa 2023?

To recommend a building, please e-mail doorsopen@ottawa.ca. Provide as much information as possible to assist us in our research.