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Doors Open Ottawa

Explore Ottawa’s culture, history, and architecture for FREE June 1 and 2, 2019!

Doors Open Ottawa

On June 1 and 2, 2019, the City of Ottawa is proud to present Doors Open Ottawa - a free annual architectural event that celebrates our community’s built heritage. It is the second-largest Doors Open event in Canada, and one of the largest in the world!

Since its inception in 2002, over 1,000,000 visitors have discovered some of the city’s most prestigious buildings, and you’re invited to explore them first hand! Discover the history, culture, and unique architecture of more than 130 buildings, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Embassy of France, and Beechwood Cemetery, as they open their doors to share the secrets that lie within.

Whether you're a resident or visitor to the nation's capital, we also invite you to take advantage of the free Doors Open Ottawa Shuttle Bus, operating within walking distance of over 50 participating buildings. If you prefer to walk, no problem! With so many choices within the downtown core, visitors can explore numerous buildings per day on foot.

Join us during the first full weekend in June to pay homage to Ottawa’s history, culture, and stunning architecture during Doors Open Ottawa 2019! 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!

*Pre-registration details for the following buildings can be found by visiting the 2019 Doors Open Ottawa online building information list:

  1. Congregation Machzikei Hadas, NEW 
  2. Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum 
  3. French Embassy in Canada  - Pre-registration for the French Embassy in Canada begins May 23.
  4. Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre - Home of the GCTC 
  5. Shopify
  6. Smart Apartment at Bruyère, NEW
  7. The University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre

** The following buildings are no longer participating in Doors Open Ottawa 2019:
1. HMCS Carleton
2. Nepean Sailing Club
3. New Hydro Ottawa Generating Station at Chaudière Falls
4. Ottawa Rowing Club

In addition, portions of the Aviation Parkway, Sir George Étienne Cartier Parkway, Sussex Drive, Colonel By Drive, Hog’s Back, and Riverside Drive will be closed to regular traffic in support of Ride for Dad 2019 during the morning hours of June 1. Prepare your Doors Open Ottawa route ahead of time so that you can cheer on the motorcyclists and visit DOO locations without being impeded by the closures.

Printed guides are available until supplies last at:

  • All Bridgehead Coffee House Locations. Visit www.bridgehead.ca for locations.
  • Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. West
  • Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr.
  • Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd.
  • Minto Recreation Complex-Barrhaven, 3500 Cambrian Rd.
  • Richcraft Recreation Complex, 4101 Innovation Dr. 

Please note: If you’re heading to the Official Residence of the Embassy of Denmark this weekend for Doors Open Ottawa, it’s located on Lisgar Road in Rockcliffe Park. If you plan to use Google Maps, simply input ‘Lisgar Road, Rockcliffe Park’ to find your way there. Otherwise, you could end up on Lisgar Street downtown.

Doors Open Ottawa 2019 Interactive Map – Saturday

Doors Open Ottawa 2019 Interactive Map – Sunday

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 17 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

Volunteers

Are you looking for a fun and friendly volunteer opportunity? Do you like meeting new people? On June 1 and 2, come join the Doors Open Ottawa volunteer team…because volunteers are 'key' to making Doors Open Ottawa great!

If you’re 14 years of age and older, and you enjoy working with the public, we invite you to apply today! Interested candidates are needed to welcome visitors, hand out event material, track visitor attendance, assist with parking, manage lineups, and encourage visitors to complete online visitor surveys.

To learn more about the event, the volunteer activities, and the volunteer building locations, Doors Open Ottawa will be hosting two New Volunteer Information Sessions:

May 13 at 6 pm - Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Room 1A

May 14 at 6 pm - Cartier Place Suite Hotel, 180 Cooper Street (free parking at City Hall after 6 pm)

To confirm your attendance, or if you would like more information, please contact Amy Kudrinko at heritagevolunteers@ottawa.ca.

Doors Open Ottawa 2018

On June 2 and 3, over 120 volunteers donated their time and effort towards Doors Open Ottawa 2018. As a way to say thank you to all who helped facilitate last year’s event, we were proud to host a volunteer appreciation night at the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre.

Here are just a few photos highlighting the evening festivities:

A photo collage that includes door prizes, the Doors Open Ottawa 2018 volunteers, and a publicity poster.

We would also like to thank select Doors Open Ottawa building participants that generously donated this year’s door prizes, and Bridgehead Coffee for donating refreshments. 

Doors Open Ottawa 2019 Photo Contest

Submit your photos of this year’s Doors Open Ottawa and you could win 1 of 3 VIA Rail Canada travel passes! Put your photography skills to work to see if your photo, featuring a Doors Open Ottawa 2019 building participant, will be chosen as one of three winners! As a condition of participating in the Doors Open Ottawa 2019 Photo Contest (the “Contest”), entrants agree to be bound by these Official Contest Rules (the “Contest Rules”).

Doors Open Ottawa 2019 Photo 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. 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 AND PHOTO REQUIREMENTS – NO PURCHASE NECESSARY

To enter the Contest you must meet the eligibility requirements above, follow @cityofottawa on Instagram, and post your photos of a 2019 Doors Open Ottawa venue to your Instagram account with the hashtag #DOO2019Contest. The deadline to submit photos is June 3, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Entrants may submit an unlimited number of photo entries into the contest, but only one prize can be awarded per eligible person.

All photos must be of a 2019 Doors Open Ottawa venue and taken on June 1 or 2, 2019. You must have a public (unlocked) Instagram account for your images to be eligible for the Contest.

All photographs submitted must be original works of the entrant and must be owned and/or controlled by the entrant to the full extent necessary to enable the City to use the photograph as contemplated by these Contest Rules. Photos must not contain any material that is libelous, defamatory, profane, obscene, or promotes racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual. Photos must also meet any prize category specific requirements outlined in section 4 below. All entrants are required to respect individual venues’ policies regarding photography. When in doubt, ask.

3. USE OF PHOTO ENTRIES

Entrants agree that by using the hashtag #DOO2019Contest they are giving the City of Ottawa the right to use Contest photo entries for promotional purposes without compensation, both in print and digital format, during and after the Contest closes.

4. PRIZES AND PRIZE CATEGORIES

A jury will select one winning photograph and a runner-up for two of the following three categories:

Category #1 – Best Exterior Doors Open Ottawa Building Photo

Photos must not include personally identifiable information such as an individual’s face to be considered for this category.

1st Place Prize: A round trip, for two (2) people, in VIA Rail Regular Economy Class seating between any two points served by VIA Rail Canada Inc. between Montreal, QC. and Ottawa, Ont.; and the winning photo published on the Doors Open Ottawa website.

Runner up prize: Honourable mention, a framed photo of the entry, and the photo will be published on the Doors Open Ottawa website.

Category #2 – Best ‘Intergenerational Day’ Photo

In celebration of Doors Open Ottawa and the City of Ottawa’s soon to be proclaimed Intergenerational Day on June 1, we invite you to share your most memorable moments spent with family and friends during Doors Open Ottawa 2019!

The winning photo must depict a minimum of two generations of people at a recognizable Doors Open Ottawa building. It is important that you do not include photos of people whom you have not asked permission to be in the Contest. Entrants are responsible for ensuring they have obtained, from person(s) who appear in the photograph including parent(s)/guardian(s) of minors, all permissions necessary in relation to this Contest, including the right for the City of Ottawa to broadcast the photograph for promotional purposes without compensation. The winner of this category will be asked to provide a signed photo consent form provided by the City of Ottawa from all individuals depicted in the winning photograph. If a written photo consent form is not attainable for all parties within the picture, please do not enter the photograph into the contest.

1st Place Prize: A round trip, for two (2) people, in VIA Rail Regular Economy Class seating between any two points served by VIA Rail Canada Inc. between Montreal, QC. and Ottawa, Ont.; and the winning photograph published on the Doors Open Ottawa website.

Runner up prize: Honourable mention, a framed photo of the entry, and the photo will be published on the Doors Open Ottawa website.

Category #3 – People’s Choice for Favourite Doors Open Ottawa photo

Photos must not include personally identifiable information such as an individual’s face to be considered for this category.

The People’s Choice winning photograph will be determined by the public. The photo that receives a combined total of highest number of ‘Likes’ and comments on Instagram will be deemed the winner.

1st Place Prize: A round trip, for two (2) people, in VIA Rail Regular Economy Class seating between any two points served by VIA Rail Canada Inc. between Montreal, QC. and Ottawa, Ont.; and the winning photo published on the Doors Open Ottawa website.

Runner up prize: Honourable mention and a framed photo of the entry. The photo will also be published on the Doors Open Ottawa website.

5. PRIZE SELECTION PROCESS

The City of Ottawa will contact all three winners and the runner ups directly no later than 6 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2019 via Instagram. Please note that failure to respond within three (3) days of the date at which the City sends a prize notification email or Instagram message 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 Instagram from liability as outlined in section 7 of these Contest Rules. All winners agree to provide the City of Ottawa with high resolution digital copies of the winning photographs and corresponding photo consent forms via email to doorsopen@ottawa.ca no later than June 24, 2019.

6. 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.

7. 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. Entrants further acknowledge that this Contest is administered solely by the City of Ottawa and is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram. Entrants release Instagram from any responsibility and liability in connection with this Contest.

8. INSTAGRAM TERMS OF USE AND PRIVACY

Entrants acknowledge that by entering this Contest they will be subject to the current Instagram Terms of Use and Privacy Policy that are available on the instagram.com website. 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 and photographic image being disclosed publicly via Instagram and 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 Amy Kudrinko, Event Coordinator at 613-580-9674, or mail Doors Open Ottawa at 101 Centrepointe Drive, 1st Floor West, Ottawa, Ontario, K2G 5K7.

9. 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.

Kid-friendly buildings to explore!!

Doors Open is fun for people of all ages—big or small.

A family holding a Doors Open Ottawa printed guide visits a building.

A family visits the National Research Council Canada (NRC) - Uplands Wind Tunnel Facilities, 2016

Here are just some of the family-friendly buildings you can visit during Doors Open Ottawa 2019:

  • Algonquin College DARE District
  • allsaints event space
  • Bank of Canada
  • Barber - Carving & Sculpture Inc.
  • Ben Franklin Place - Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe, NEW
  • Billings Estate Artefact Collection Storage
  • Billings Estate National Historic Site
  • Britannia Yacht Club 
  • BYTOWN MUSEUM: Commissariat Building
  • Canada Council Art Bank
  • Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI)
  • Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind National Training Centre
  • Canadian Space Services Ltd. (former NATO)
  • Canmet Bells Corners Research Complex 
  • CKCU Radio/Carleton University
  • Congregation Machzikei Hadas, NEW
  • Cumberland Heritage Museum
  • Dickinson House
  • Diefenbunker
  • Fairfields Heritage House
  • Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism Ottawa Branch Centre
  • Global Centre for Pluralism
  • Goulbourn Museum
  • Heritage Building and Ottawa City Hall
  • Heritage Building - Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame
  • HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel
  • HMCS CARLETON
  • Hydro Ottawa’s new Hydroelectric facility at Chaudière Falls
  • Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre - Home of the GCTC
  • Laurier House National Historic Site
  • Lemieux Island Water Purification Plant
  • Library and Archives Canada 
  • Maplelawn Historical Garden
  • Mulligan Building: Product Safety Laboratory, NEW
  • National Arts Centre, NEW
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • Nepean Museum
  • Nepean Sailing Club
  • Osgoode Township Museum
  • Ottawa Art Gallery
  • Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre
  • Ottawa Fire Stations 24 & 47 and four rural locations
  • Ottawa Masonic Centre/Tunis Shriners Temple
  • Ottawa Paramedic Service Headquarters
  • Ottawa Police Service Professional Development Centre
  • Ottawa Rowing Club
  • Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club
  • Parks Canada Collections Storage Facility 
  • Pinhey’s Point Historic Site
  • Rideau Hall
  • Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary 
  • Rogers tv 
  • Royal Canadian Mint
  • Scouts Canada National Museum
  • SunTech Greenhouses Ltd.
  • Supreme Court of Canada
  • The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • The University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre
  • Trinity Anglican Church, NEW
  • Vanier Museopark
  • Watson’s Mill
  • Waupoos Family Farm

Building Representatives

The application period for Doors Open Ottawa 2019 is now closed.

If you are a 2019 Doors Open Ottawa building participant that requires volunteers, please complete the Doors Open Ottawa Volunteer Request Application by May 3. 

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

Are participating buildings open for the full two-day Doors Open Ottawa event?

Ideally, your building would be open to the public both Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. This will give visitors enough time to enjoy your building(s). Please contact the Doors Open Ottawa Event Manager if you have any scheduling concerns.

I'd like to participate in Doors Open Ottawa but I don’t want the public to roam freely through my building(s).

  • You do not need to open the entire building(s). Simply choose the most unique rooms.
  • Have an orientation area near the lobby where the public can receive information about your building(s) and your organization.
  • Direct the public to a few places (like an original boardroom, a room with a special view of the city, a restored stained glass window, or a behind-the-scenes location.)
  • Have staff or volunteer guides on hand to talk about the special features of these areas.
  • Choose to run brief guided tours through your building(s).
  • Prevent theft by locking away valuable items and secure rooms that are not open to the public.

Who is responsible for opening my building(s) and supervising the public during Doors Open Ottawa?

As a building owner/manager participating in the Doors Open Ottawa weekend, you (and your staff/volunteers) are responsible for opening your building(s) and supervising visitors. We can provide a limited number of t-shirts to identify your staff/volunteers as Doors Open Ottawa volunteers.

What else is expected of us?

While the Doors Open Ottawa printed guides (English and French) will offer basic historic and architectural facts about the buildings, we encourage you to provide additional information, such as printed handouts, scheduled lectures or exhibits, or guided tours. Station your staff/volunteers throughout the buildings so that they can answer questions.

Keep track of the number of visitors to let us know the daily attendance.

What about liability and insurance issues?

The City of Ottawa maintains Municipal Liability insurance related to the Doors Open Ottawa program. Participating building owners will be added as Additional Insureds. Doors Open Ottawa is covered for public liability, but not for property damage or theft. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are suitably insured.

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

To identify your buildings we will provide a large Doors Open Ottawa banner to hang on the outside of your building. There is no charge, but it must be returned to the City of Ottawa. Information about your building will be included in Doors Open Ottawa promotional materials, including English and French guides, press materials and the Doors Open Ottawa Web site.

Can I charge admission to my building?

No. Admission to all buildings must be free. The focus of Doors Open Ottawa is to celebrate heritage and architecture, by making participating buildings open to all. You may sell refreshments, reading material, and souvenirs or provide free information about your organization (e.g., brochures, and membership forms).

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.) may be included if admission is free and special activities or events are offered, such as exhibits, talks, musical recitals, or behind-the-scenes tours.

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 can commit to opening their doors for TWO FULL days, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • 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 located in close proximity to other building participants in order to help form a cluster; and,
  • Buildings that represent cultural diversity.

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

Suggest a building for 2020

Which building would you like to see participate in Doors Open Ottawa 2020? 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

David Jeanes
Heritage Ottawa

Miriam Fry
Media Consultant

Linda Russell
Founding member, Doors Open Ottawa

Marie-Christine Blais

Jonas Langille
Heritage Specialist

Amy Kudrinko 
Event Manager, Doors Open Ottawa