The annual Doors Open Guelph event has been taking place in the Royal City since 2002. In conjunction with Doors Open Ontario, the Guelph Arts Council presents this year’s locations for Doors Open Guelph – and does not disappoint! From a 1899 church turned house in The Ward, to one of the most historic buildings in Guelph and newly renovated Petrie Building, and don’t forget the brand new space that is 10C on Carden Street. And that’s not all; you can finish the day off with the after party Doors Open After Dark at Guelph Museums – this year there’s so much to explore from the inside out on April 21!
How you choose to Doors Open is up to you – Do one or do them all! But we thought we would give you our two cents of where to start and where to end and everything in between:
Farmers’ Market: Open at 7am every Saturday, you can start your day by perusing all that the Market Vendors have to offer! Grab a tasty breakfast sandwich, a samosa or even a vegan waffle!
The Common: Walk up Wilson Street from the Market and fill up your reusable mug with a hot cup of coffee or tea and you’re set to start exploring!
Morning Options (10am):
Built: 1882 Address: 15 Wyndham Street North
This Second Empire-style building was designed by John Day in 1882 for pharmacist A.B. Petrie. Constructed of limestone and timber, the New Petrie Building is one of only three remaining buildings in Canada with a stamped, galvanized iron façade. The New Petrie incorporates the remaining pieces of the former Western Hotel built on the site in 1847. Its back wall and portions of the former stables are preserved in the offices of Hunch Manifest, a Semantic Search Marketing company helping digital marketers to translate their content into the language of search engines. This pairing of innovation and heritage demonstrates Jane Jacobs’ words, “New ideas need old buildings.” Also located in the building is The Robbie Group offices. The company provides advice on pensions to individuals and businesses and also offers fee-for-service financial planning. Neighbours Sway was founded in 2013 with a focus on becoming the best visual advertising agency via television commercials and online video. Sway is now an industry leader in brand management, marketing strategy, and unique content creation. Lastly The Modern Bride is a carefully curated, appointment-only bridal boutique that offers a unique shopping experience for the contemporary bride. These four mentioned businesses will all have their doors open as you wander through the historic Petrie Building.
Accessibility: please note that there is an elevator to assist between floors, but steps in the entryway currently preclude wheelchair access.
10C Shared Spaces:
Built: 1860’s Address: 42 Carden Street
The Seed Warehouse was a two-storey stone structure built in the 1860s which later became Massey-Ferguson Farm Supply. Between 1924 and 1934, Ackers Furniture moved in, added the top two floors and remained until 2016. In 1955, a fire caused the huge safe to fall through the first floor to the basement where it remains today. Together with Chalmers Community Service Centre, the building is now a thriving collaborative workspace and community hub.
Full wheelchair access, washrooms
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
Built: 1856 Address: 161 Norfolk Street
The original Church was built in the market grounds in 1832, but was demolished to make room for Guelph’s City Hall. The new Gothic Revival church built in 1856 was designed by William Hay of Toronto. The open timberwork ceiling and fine stained glass windows memorialize church leaders and a plaque pays tribute to John McCrae who attended the church in his youth. The south-side addition is built of stone salvaged from Guelph’s demolished Opera House.
Full wheelchair access, washrooms
The Churches of St. Matthias & St.:
Built: 1891-92 Address: 86 Glasgow St. North
Built in 1891-92 in Gothic style, St. James is the newest of Guelph’s stone churches, the last built with local limestone. The church was downsized from its original traditional plan resulting in an unusual orientation. The nave was eliminated leaving the north transept as the nave. The roof slates came from Cornwall, England. The original fine wood ceiling and elaborate vaulting remained in the building’s final form.
Parking, full wheelchair access, washrooms
Guelph Orange Hall
Built: 1940’s Address: 385 Waterloo Avenue
The Loyal Orange Association of British America has had a continuous presence in the City of Guelph since 1837, having a total of seven different Loyal Orange Lodges and three Ladies Orange Benevolent Associations. Prince Arthur L.O.L. 1331 was first established in Guelph in 1871, but moved into its present building in the late 1940s. Displays will demonstrate various aspects of its history and community involvement.
Speedvale Trail Underpass
Often in the news last year, the City’s upcoming trail underpass will complete a safe and scenic link above the riverbank between the TransCanada Trail, Riverside Park, and the Evergreen Seniors Centre. 15-20 minute hikes will be run throughout the day by the Guelph Hiking Trail Club. Parking off Riverview Drive, behind the Speedvale Ave. E. firehall.
Miijidaa: Lunch is inspired by Canada’s diverse culinary history at Miijidaa. Enjoy a traditional First Nations dish, French inspired cuisine or standard English cooking. Miijidaa is the perfect place to celebrate Canada during your Doors Open Guelph day!
Crafty Ramen: The Crafty Ramen is known to sell out of their delicious ramen by end of day for good reason! Slurp your way through their tasty broth for a quick lunch! And don’t forget to add an egg!
The Vienna: Enjoy a delicious family-friendly meal that won’t break the bank! The Vienna is one of the oldest Guelph establishments, dating back to the early 1900s!
Afternoon Options (until 4pm):
Community Living Guelph-Wellington
Address: 8 Royal Road
CLGW facilitates social inclusion and community engagement, supporting adults with developmental disabilities to have a full life, living, working and connecting in their community. Our vision to enrich, inspire and engage ensures we all belong and contribute as valued members. Tour CLGW, meet some of the 400+ people the organization supports and learn why Guelph is a caring community.
Parking, wheelchair access, washrooms.
Built: 1983 Address: 795 Scottsdale Drive
Founded in 1980, Hospice provides care and support to families facing a life-threatening illness. The former Kortright Presbyterian Church was built in 1983. In 2010, David McCauley, architect of the original church, redesigned the building with ten palliative residences in the upper level and community support programs in the lower level. The design includes a living wall, solar panels and rainwater collection system to support the pollination garden on the grounds.
Parking, full wheelchair access, washrooms, fun for kids.
55 Delhi Street: Intrigue Media, Two Rivers Health, First Steps
Intrique Media: The Forsyth-Hepburn Home was constructed in 1910 of red brick in Georgian Revival style as a residence for nurses working at Guelph General Hospital. It served that purpose until the late 1950s. Vesterra Property Management acquired it in 2013 and renovated it retaining all original exterior wood trim, bay windows, front porch with Tuscan columns, and the interior staircase. Intrigue Media, a full-service digital marketing company, occupies the top two floors.
Parking, partial wheelchair access (alternate entrance), washrooms.
Two Rivers Health: On the main floor of the former Nurses’ Residence is Two Rivers Health, an integrative health clinic. Helping women and families to create abundant, vibrant lives, the all-female clinician team brings the original vision for this iconic building full circle. Interior design by Michele Levy-Kodarin inspires calm and connection to wellbeing, and retains many original elements of exposed brick, entranceway, and restored hardwood.
Parking, partial wheelchair access (alternate entrance) washrooms
First Steps: In the lower level of the former Nurses’ Residence is an after-school child care service that fills its four bright rooms with activity. The lower red brick walls have been beautifully restored to give the children a lesson on our city’s heritage. The rustic furnishings and bright windows create a welcoming, enriched and safe atmosphere.
Guelph Little Theatre:
Address: 176 Morris Street
In 1935, the first Little Theatre opened at Guelph City Hall, the first of many homes over the years. A fire in 1993 forced it from its 26-year home in the Salvation Army Hall on Dublin Street. In 1997, it moved into a former welding shop. The large space holds a 288-seat raked auditorium, large raised stage, gracious lobby, rehearsal hall, workshop, dressing rooms and storage areas. The tour will take visitors to the stage set for its current production.
Parking, full wheelchair access, washrooms, fun for kids.
Church House in the Ward
Built: 1909 Address: 44 Short Street
In 1899, the Knox Presbyterian Church established a Sabbath School Mission in the Ward. In 1909, the St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church was organized and constructed as a modest Edwardian building with Gothic windows and an impressive Douglas Fir ceiling. In 2002, the church was sold and extensively renovated over five years into a spectacular residence. It is also the headquarters of Sage Solutions, a strategic planning and facilitation company.
Na-Ha’s Thai take out: The day of Doors Open discovery is over and it might be time for a break! Since you’re in The Ward it only makes sense to head to Na-Ha’s Thai! Take out has never been better – authentic, delectable Thai flavours are what you will get with any order from Na-Ha’s.
Baker Street Station: Sit down for some inventive pub food in Baker Street Station located in a cozy long-standing Victorian house. Grab a pint of local Guelph craft beer and try the feature of the day!
Cadence: Vegans rejoice, Cadence offers inspired vegan and vegetarian plant based whole food that will keep you nourished after the day of exploring. Pro tip – get the nachos!
After Dinner (7pm-9pm):
Brothers Brewing: Time to unwind with a delicious Guelph brewed beverage, head back to where the day began by visiting Brothers Brewing in The Petrie Building. So many options to choose from and you can even pay-it-forward by buying a bud a pint and adding it to the ‘free drink’ board!
The Boardroom: Up for a little friendly competition or just wanna play nice? Head to the Boardroom and pick out a game to play while enjoying something sweet!
Doors Open After Dark: 9pm-1am
The time has come to finish the day off in style! Celebrate Guelph’s 191 Birthday at Doors Open After Dark at Guelph Museums. This Nuit Blanche inspired after party will feature pop-up art and history installations at and around the museum!
Western Suites: If you need a place close-by with a comfortable bed, the Western Hotel & Executive Suites is where you want to be. This European style boutique hotel is in the heart of Downtown Guelph and only a short jaunt from Guelph Museums.
London House B&B: Feel at home in this beautiful 1893 home. With a heritage designation, London House B&B might be the perfect place to cap off your Doors Open day in Guelph.
Here’s a helpful Doors Open map:
1. 10C Shared Spaces
2. St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
3. Church House in The Ward
4. The Churches of St. Matthias & St. James the Apostle
5. Community Living Guelph Wellington
6. Guelph Little Theatre
7. Guelph Orange Hall
8. Hospice Wellington
9. The Petrie Building
10. Trails Open
11. 55 Delhi