This weekend’s Doors Open event is Ottawa’s annual opportunity to explore a side of the city that is rarely available to the public. Doors Open Ottawa 2018 runs for two days and the list of buildings this year is as appealing as ever.
This Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3, residents and visitors will have free access to more than 140 buildings around the capital region. Growing in popularity every year, the 2018 list includes 18 new buildings that were not part of last year’s event. Organizers are expecting upwards of 100,000 visitors to explore at least one of the city’s most interesting spaces.
There will be a free and accessible OC Transpo shuttle bus running this weekend. Nearly 50 participating buildings can be accessed from one of the eight stops on the shuttle loop.
Some highlights of this year:
10 Lady Grey Drive: The Ottawa Rowing Club is Canada’s oldest and second largest rowing club. This hidden gem is tucked away on the Ottawa River, just behind the Royal Canadian Mint, and is one of the best spots in the city to catch a sunset. On Saturday June 2, you can visit the historic original boat house, check out rowing shells in the new boathouse, and even get out on the water to try rowing. –Hannah Manning
♿ 925 Belfast Road: I enjoy visiting buildings where interesting work is being done. So I’m keen to visit the OC Transpo Bus and Train Simulator Training Facility. A few years ago, I got to sit in a train engineer’s seat at the O-Train’s maintenance shop. Quite a thrill for someone whose childhood Saturdays were sometimes spent with my father visiting the locomotives at the Winnipeg CPR station. –Barb Popel
♿ 11 Aviation Parkway: The Reserve Hangar is home to over 60 aircraft and unique artefacts. This visit is self-guided with staff and volunteers stationed throughout the hangar to offer insights and interpretation. –Greggory Clark
♿ 5-26 Concourse Gate: The City of Ottawa Spay/Neuter Clinic has been open for almost 40 years. Many may not know, but having cats and dogs undergo the procedure can help prevent uterine infections and breast cancers, which is fatal to almost half of all dogs and 9 out of 10 cats. This process can be expensive and the clinic has been providing affordable services for our residents without the need to sacrifice quality of care. –Asim Baluch
♿ 440 Coventry Road: See first hand how Canada’s democracy works by visiting the Elections Canada Distribution Centre. Today, the Coventry Road warehouse is home to the Elections Canada Distribution Centre, where virtually all materials used across the nation for a federal election or by-election are packed, shipped, received, and stored. –Asim Baluch
♿ 37 Flora Street: The space was originally built as an electrical garage in the 1920s, however sat empty for over 10 years when it was rescued and renovated by Flora Hall Brewing in 2016. Local trades and craftspeople spent a year refurbishing the hall to complement the building’s heritage as an engineering warehouse and office, along with an authentic full-size garage door that opens to welcome in the warm weather. –Shannon Ing
I’m also eager to visit Floral Hall Brewing. I’ve never visited a brewery before. Besides which, Floral Hall is in a gorgeous old 1920s building which has been lovingly renovated into a craft brewery and pub. I wonder if there will be free samples? –Barb Popel
♿ 921 St. Laurent Boulevard: Home to over 17,000 contemporary Canadian paintings, works on paper, sculpture and fibre works. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour with expert consultants and art handlers. –Greggory Clark
Visit ottawa.ca for visiting hours and to see the full list of buildings participating in Doors Open Ottawa.