Doors Open Waterloo Region 2021

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This project supports the Region of Waterloo's strategic focus area(s):

The Doors Open Waterloo Region official logo

Interact with us! On this Doors Open engagement page you can ask questions, complete the participant experience survey or subscribe to get updates. You can also follow Doors Open Waterloo Region on social media.

www.regionofwaterloo.ca/doorsopen , Facebook @DoorsOpenWR, Twitter @DoorsOpenWR, Instagram @DoorsOpenWR

What is Doors Open?

Doors Open Waterloo Region is part of Doors Open Ontario, a province-wide initiative of the Ontario Heritage Trust to celebrate community heritage and architecture. In 2021 Doors Open Waterloo Region's 19th annual event is launching as an entirely virtual experience to deliver fascinating stories with unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to some of the region’s most interesting sites.

Doors Open Waterloo Region goes digital

Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region will provide meaningful, quality experiences through video storytelling, celebrating the region’s diverse community culture, heritage and architecture. Each video episode is five to 10 minutes in length and will debut online on the Region of Waterloo’s YouTube Channel and on Rogers Television between September 4 and September 18, 2020.

Join the Doors Open Waterloo Region mailing list to receive updates and notifications when episodes are released. Mailing list members are eligible to win great, exclusive prizes throughout August and September 2021.

Don't forget to fill out a Participant Experience Survey. This information helps us to improve Doors Open Waterloo Region each year.

This project supports the Region of Waterloo's strategic focus area(s):

The Doors Open Waterloo Region official logo

Interact with us! On this Doors Open engagement page you can ask questions, complete the participant experience survey or subscribe to get updates. You can also follow Doors Open Waterloo Region on social media.

www.regionofwaterloo.ca/doorsopen , Facebook @DoorsOpenWR, Twitter @DoorsOpenWR, Instagram @DoorsOpenWR

What is Doors Open?

Doors Open Waterloo Region is part of Doors Open Ontario, a province-wide initiative of the Ontario Heritage Trust to celebrate community heritage and architecture. In 2021 Doors Open Waterloo Region's 19th annual event is launching as an entirely virtual experience to deliver fascinating stories with unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to some of the region’s most interesting sites.

Doors Open Waterloo Region goes digital

Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region will provide meaningful, quality experiences through video storytelling, celebrating the region’s diverse community culture, heritage and architecture. Each video episode is five to 10 minutes in length and will debut online on the Region of Waterloo’s YouTube Channel and on Rogers Television between September 4 and September 18, 2020.

Join the Doors Open Waterloo Region mailing list to receive updates and notifications when episodes are released. Mailing list members are eligible to win great, exclusive prizes throughout August and September 2021.

Don't forget to fill out a Participant Experience Survey. This information helps us to improve Doors Open Waterloo Region each year.

  • Where to watch Doors Open Waterloo Region

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    Doors Open Waterloo Region digital episodes can be watched anytime on The Region's YouTube Channel. All of the Doors Open Waterloo Region 2020 episodes are already available for your viewing (or re-viewing) pleasure and the new episodes for 2021 will debut on September 4, September 11 and September 18. The 2021 digital Doors Open Waterloo Region line up is as follows:


    Episode 1

    Premieres: Sept. 4 at 10:00 am EST
    Title: Waterloo Region Graveyard Driving Tour
    Description: This scenic driving tour highlights four heritage cemeteries while winding though the three cities and four rural townships of Waterloo Region. Each stop tells a historical tale of mischief, mystery, mayhem or murder: the Bean Puzzle tombstone, a poisoning by chocolate of Meta D. Cherry, ghostly nights with the founder of Castle Kilbride, and a bodysnatching in Kitchener.

    Episode 2

    Premieres: Sept. 4 at 10:00 am EST
    Title: Waterloo Pioneers Memorial Tower: A Commemorative Lookout
    Description: Nestled along the banks of the Grand River in Kitchener, the Waterloo Pioneers Memorial Tower is an icon of Waterloo Region. It memorializes the arrival of the first Pennsylvania Dutch settlers to the area in the early 1800s. Its conception in 1923 was prompted by the rise of German-Canadian nationalism following a period of cultural sanctions imposed on the local community during the First World War.


    Episode 3
    Premieres: Sept. 11 at 10:00 am EST
    Title: Kitchener’s Cold War Nuclear Bunker
    Description: It’s nearly impossible to notice at first glance, but an underground bunker known as MEGHQ-FREEPORT sits along the Grand River in Kitchener’s Schneider Park. Owned by the Region of Waterloo, it was conceived and crafted to serve as a Cold War fallout shelter to protect key officials following a nuclear attack. Now, 55 years after its construction, this unique and crumbling piece of local history is sparking debate about its future: Should it be demolished? Or should the space be restored, preserved and reimagined?

    Episode 4
    Premieres: Sept. 11 at 10:00 am EST
    Title: North House at rare Charitable Research Reserve
    Description: Rare Charitable Research Reserve works to discover the most inclusive practices and answers to environmental issues, stewarding the reserve’s diverse network of natural landscapes for ecological integrity and future generations. Its leadership in conservation, research, restoration and education is encompassed in North House, an aspirational 650 square foot solar-powered home and working model of green technology.


    Episode 5
    Premieres: Sept. 18 at 10:00 am EST
    Title: William Street Pumping Station

    Description: The William Street Pumping Station is an architectural landmark of Uptown Waterloo and a symbol of the Region’s innovation and industrious spirit. Built in 1899 as the site of the first groundwater wells in Waterloo, it provided access to a clean, reliable water supply and contributed greatly to the social welfare of the community.


    Episode 6
    Premieres: Sept. 18 at 10:00 am EST
    Title: Gies Family Centre - Hospice Waterloo Region
    Description: Since 1993, Hospice Waterloo Region has provided vital care for those living with advanced illness and support for their loved ones. In 2021, the organization realized a new chapter with the opening of The Gies Family Centre which includes the 10-bed Cook Family Residence providing 24-hour care. Located on 5 acres of land in north Waterloo, the state-of-the-art facility is inspired by the lands and history of the Region and the work within its walls is anchored in a holistic approach to care and honouring the life journeys of the community it serves.


    Episode 7
    Premieres: Sept. 18 at 10:00 am EST
    Title: Levi Carroll & The Log Schoolhouse
    Description: Levi Carroll is best known as the eventual long-time resident of a log schoolhouse built in 1820 which was Waterloo’s first educational institution. It provides a backdrop for exploring more about Levi – an ex-slave from Maryland who despite the odds lived into his 90s and was described in his 1897 obituary as, “a citizen whom almost everyone knows.” But that familiarity has been lost to time. Author and social historian Joanna Rickert-Hall is working to resurrect Levi Carroll’s narrative and its ties to other lost local stories and important conversations.


    Episode 8
    Premieres: Sept. 18 at 10:00 am EST
    Title: Waterloo’s Log Schoolhouse: A Historic Treasure
    Description: Waterloo’s first educational institution was a simple log schoolhouse, built in 1820. Once the Region outgrew the 16x20 structure, it served as a residence for the next 50 years. This important landmark now rests in Waterloo Park. Thanks to the efforts of many individuals and collectives over its 200-year history, it continues to serve the community. Among its many admirers is social historian Joanna Rickert-Hall who has written extensively about this historical gem and its relationship to other important local narratives.


    Episode 9

    Premieres: Sept. 18 at 10:00 am EST
    Title: The Forest Hill ‘Home Of Enchantment’
    Description: In the 1960s, the burgeoning neighbourhood of Forest Hill in Kitchener was touted by developers as ‘gracious living’ and its model custom home of distinction was known as the Home Of Enchantment. Six decades later, this mid-century modern beauty is celebrating a revival thanks to the ambitious vision of its second owners who have meticulously restored its original character and maximum potential while dressing it in unique, decadent and quirky interiors which make it truly one-of-a-kind.

Page last updated: 20 October 2021, 13:15