Students at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture in Cambridge Ontario can get inspiration not only from the building the school is in (the former Riverside Silk Mill) but also by looking out of the library window for a view of the Old Post Office / Idea Exchange which has been renovated and expanded incorporating an innovative blend of old and new.
These two sites were on the list of 34 sites open to the public during Doors Open Waterloo Region 2018
The Old Hespeler Town Hall was one of the Doors Open Waterloo Region sites this year. The great thing about Doors Open is you find out about the hidden gems we have here in the Region that you may not aware of. The old town hall is home to the Hespeler Heritage Centre and they have a large collection of items relating to the history of Hespeler. It was very interesting to explore and the knowledgeable volunteers were eager to share their stories.
Here is the description from the Doors Open site:
This handsome building is home to the archives and historical displays of The Company of Neighbours, volunteers dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Hespeler history and community. Sports photos, memorabilia and equipment (including the work of local manufacturers), well-known and home-town players of hockey, lacrosse, rugby, baseball, soccer and boxing will all be brought to life by knowledgeable hosts.
Another Church we visited during the Doors Open Waterloo Region tour was St. John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox Church on Bleams Rd. The paintings were wonderful!
Serving the several thousand people of the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge and Guelph Romanian Orthodox community, the church was designed in the form of an ark, and in 2011 nearly every inch of the walls and ceiling were decorated with magnificent, traditional, hand-painted frescoes and icons, telling the story of Christ in images. The iconostasis wall is adorned with icons and vigil lamps.
The Young Chapel is in the Mount View Cemetery in Cambridge. It was a real treat to get to explore the inside of this rarely opened jewel.
Unchanged and rarely opened, this chapel boasts beautiful original exposed-timber roof, stained-glass windows, chandeliers and woodwork. See the original basement vault and two-floor casket hoist system. The exterior features superb stonemasonry, original lighting and a slate roof. The chapel was built by the family of James Young, local businessman, journalist and MP in Canada’s first parliament (1867).
Another Doors Open Waterloo Region has come and gone and this year had no lack of interesting sites to visit.
One of our first stops was Trinity Anglican on Blair Rd. in Cambridge. Here is the description from the Doors Open Web site.
Trinity Anglican is the oldest church building in Galt (Cambridge), set in a traditional churchyard surrounded by a cobblestone fence with a 1909 lych gate. Trinity’s striking, exposed-timber nave roof has ornately decorated trusses. Other highlights include beautiful stained-glass windows, an 1845 bell, an abundance of carved woodwork by Waterloo’s Globe Furniture Company, and other vintage wood trim.
Each summer my wife and I visit various locations made open to the public by Doors Open Ontario. As stated on their web site, “Every year, Doors Open Ontario attracts large crowds across Ontario. From April to October, residents and visitors are invited to discover first-hand Ontario’s hidden heritage treasures, some of which have never been open to the public.” It is a great opportunity to take pictures of places you may not otherwise get access to.
Every year they have a photo contest you can enter by simply uploading your photos to their Flickr account. This year I am honoured to have received honourable mention in the objects category for two photos I took at the Schnurr General Store in Linwood. The bike and the skates are two of the numerous objects the general store has on display representing it’s rich history in the town of Linwood.
I have been quite busy these past few weeks so here is a quick post of a shot I took in Cambridge City Hall during Doors Open Waterloo Region. It was a very cool set of stairs.
The Waterloo County Gaol (jail) and Governor’s House are a real treasure for Waterloo County. Beautiful architecture preserved for everyone to enjoy!
Both of these buildings – the oldest Waterloo County structures in existence – were saved from an uncertain fate by community action. The exteriors are designated and the interiors are excellent examples of adaptive reuse. The stone gaol houses provincial courtrooms. The brick Victorian Governor’s House is used for court offices and public meetings. (from the Doors Open Ontario Waterloo Region Website.)
Schnurr General Store in Linwood was the first site we visited on the Doors Open Waterloo Region event last weekend. I has a fascinating collection of memorabilia.
Schnurr’s Hall hosted community events, meetings, musical shows and a circuit court from 1910 to the 1950s. Remarkably, it has been preserved intact as it was over 75 years ago, with original stage, theatrical sets, walls, floor, ceiling and more – a rare heritage interior. Downstairs, Schnurr’s Grocery is Canada’s oldest independent, family-owned and -operated grocery store.
Click on the pictures below to see larger. Note: four of these pictures were taken by my wife Elizabeth.
The 10th and final site we visited this year was Greenfield Village. This was a walking tour through the historic Greenfield 19th century mill village near Ayr Ontario. Founded by the Gouldie family the tour included the Goldie Milling company buildings (exterior’s only) along with the mill race and pond, original sluice gates, earthworks, dam and the Nith River. It truly is a rare gem and is being considered for the first Heritage Conservation District designation in North Dumfries.
The Former Canadian Bank of Commerce in Ayr was the 9th stop on this years Doors Open Waterloo Region tour. Built in 1904 it served as a bank till 1963 and is now the home of a legal services firm.
These pictures were taken by both Elizabeth and myself.
Stop number eight on the Doors Open Waterloo Region was the Gore Mutual Insurance Company in Cambridge. The original building of the Neoclassical Revival style with lots of marble in the interior was spectacular. It was originally built in 1935 with additions in 1955 and 1974.
The 7th location we visited on the Doors Open tour was the Galt Arena in Cambridge. Built in 1922 it is said to be the oldest continually operating indoor hockey arena in existence. The limestone and brick exterior along with the original BC red fir ceiling were a treat to see.
Click on a gallery picture to see larger
The Col. J.A. McIntosh , DSO, ED Armoury in Cambridge was our 6th stop in this years Doors Open Waterloo Region. Built in 1914 it is the home of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada and is a Federal Heritage Building. The interior has lots of beautiful wood finishings and the Regimental history displays were very interesting.
Click on an image below to see larger
Now that I have posted all the photowalk pictures it is time to get back to the Doors Open Waterloo Region sets. The 5th site we visited was Dickson Public School in Cambridge.
Built in 1876 it is one of the Regions oldest schools. The school will be closing next year. This heritage landmark has eight classrooms each with 6 large windows providing lots of natural light.
Click on a gallery picture to see them full size.
Our fourth stop on our Doors Open Waterloo Region adventure was the McDougall Cottage in Cambridge. Built c.1858 this grey granite and limestone cottage is an interpretive centre for the Scottish culture. Unique to this cottage is the hand painted friezes and trompe l’oeil ceilings.
Photos by Neil and Elizabeth de Boer. Post processing by Neil
Our second stop on this year’s Doors Open Waterloo Region brought us to the Former Berlin Fire Station No.2 / Station 2 Studios. This 100 year old former fire station has been converted to a dance studio, art studio in addition to several apartments. An interesting feature is the 75 ft. hose drying tower which provided a good view of the city.
Note: Dancer, Artifacts and Spot Photographed by Elizabeth de Boer – Post processing by Neil de Boer.
Doors Open Waterloo Region is an annual event providing visitors an opportunity to tour many noteworthy buildings, interesting places and heritage sites. This year there were 42 sites open to the public! Although the theme this year was Waterloo Region Modern with sites like the Quantum-Nano Centre at the University of Waterloo I was drawn to the older and repurposed architecture. So with a one day limit we narrowed the list to a few must see locations and set out on an adventure on which the steady rain could not dampen our spirits.
The 1st of 10 location we made it to this year was the Former Rumpel Felt Factory. The original building is 100 years old with several additions added over the years. Today the building awaits its fate as it is being considered to be listed as a property of cultural heritage value. The land it sits on has been acquired by the Region for the new transit centre and hopefully can be repurposed as have other unique building in downtown Kitchener.
Click on one of the pictures below to see them larger.
We arrived at our 9th and final Doors Open Waterloo Region site shortly before 4:oo pm giving us just enough time to grab a few photo’s and talk with the hosts. As stated on their web site “The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. CIGI’s research programs focus on four themes: the global economy; global security; the environment and energy; and global development.”
Again from their site: “A public art installation in the CIGI Campus courtyard, designed by Rhode Island artist Richard Fleischner, features copper markers signifying 19 moments of progress in international governance. The markers have been placed by geographical location onto an unseen map of the world. These events have significantly shaped how individuals and nation-states interact with one another. They were chosen based on their impact on international governance, not just at the moment in time, but in the grander sweep of history.”
The picture above I took in September of 2011 and the rest in the Gallery below I took the day of the tour.
Click on an image below to see larger
So this wraps up the our Doors Open Waterloo Region Tour. I hoped you enjoyed the ride and for those of you in the region – why not join the fun next year!. I hope you will continue to follow my posts as I photograph this wonderful Global Village we live in.
The Waterloo Hotel was stop number 8 of our Doors Open Waterloo Region Tour. The front part of this building was completed in 1890 so it has been a prominent feature in Waterloo for some time. The building was purchased by the Webers in January of 1997 after it sat vacant for 7 years. It has been painstakingly restored to its Victorian past with modern comforts. The wonderful thing about this tour is finding these treasures that we were unaware of before.
Click on the images to see larger
Next will be the final stop on the tour which took us right to closing time. Stay Tuned!
Our 6th stop on the Doors Open Waterloo Region Tour was Hillcrest House. Built in 1882 by Theodore Bellinger this 130 year old house is lovingly cared for by the Schusters and operates as a unique Bed and Breakfast in the heart of Uptown Waterloo. Find out more about this B&B at their website http://www.hillcresthouse.ca
Next stop is another old building in Waterloo with an interesting manufacturing history. Stay tuned!
Click on a picture to see larger
Our 5th stop on the Doors Open Waterloo Region tour was St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on Willow Street in Waterloo. This church was build in 1962 after a devastating fire destroyed an earlier one. The congregation is well established in Waterloo, celebrating it’s 175th anniversary this year.
The church features a magnificent vaulted ceiling, many stain glass windows made from imported glass, and pipe organ.
The modern interior is a interesting contrast to the mid 20th century Gothic exterior.
This beautiful church is well worth a visit if you get a chance.
Last time I said the next post was going to be a 130 year old house but I got ahead of myself on the tour as this church was our 5th stop. So now that we are back on track the next post will be the 130 year old house. Stay Tuned!