Doors Open Waterloo Region

Doors Open logoSaturday, September 17, 2016

48 participating sites


10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at most sites

On the third Saturday of every September you're invited to tour noteworthy buildings, interesting places and heritage sites in Waterloo Region, many of which are not regularly open to the public.

Since 2003, more than 250 sites in Waterloo Region have opened their doors to more than 100,000 visits during Doors Open.

Into Science + Tech

Get into science and tech...literally! It's our 2016 theme, represented by 19 sites.

Visit special places that have earned our region an international reputation as a hub of science and technology. Explore some of Waterloo Region's best known, and some of its best kept secrets.

Visitor Survey

Thanks to everyone who participated in Doors Open Waterloo 2016. Please fill out our online visitory survey to help us plan for future events.

take the visitor survey

2016 Sites

There are several ways to see Doors Open Waterloo Region 2016 participating site listings and maps:

Google Map

Click individual map points on this illustrated Google map to see the most detailed site information available for the event, including special tours, talks, and other activities taking place at participating sites.


Maps and Listings at Doors Open Ontario

The Doors Open Waterloo Region page on the Doors Open Ontario website contains maps, and shorter site listings than the Google map.

Doors Open Map and Guide

The official Doors Open Waterloo Region Map and Guide (PDF-7 MB) contains maps, photos and full-detail site listings. Hard copies will be available at libraries, museums and visitor centres across Waterloo Region from July to September and enclosed with the main sections of the Waterloo Region Record on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. For the best experience viewing the PDF Map and Guide, use Adobe Acrobat Reader (available free online). Other viewers may not show all elements.

Special Events & Activities

Architecture and Emotion talk banner

In this talk, Colin Ellard will describe the many ways in which the design of buildings influences what you think, how you feel, and who you are. Drawing on research from his Urban Realities Laboratory at the University of Waterloo, his personal experiences and the fascinating surroundings at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Ellard will explain how the new science of place can help us to understand the vital connections between psyche and surroundings.

St. Peter's Church
49 Queen St. N., Kitchener (in the sanctuary)
2 p.m.
Open seating - FREE

Colin Ellard's most recent book is Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday LIfe, which will be available at the Words Worth Books table. He leads a team of researchers at the University of Waterloo studying how our built environment affects us, and he writes and speaks extensively on the topic. His 2011 TED Talk on wayfinding was titled Getting Lost.

TALK: The Impact of Design and Architecture on Culture

Google Kitchener-Waterloo Office
51 Breithaupt St., Kitchener in the cafe
11 a.m.
Seating for 80; open seating

Find out how Google's culture is both shaped by, and reflected in, the design and architecture of its buildings. Andrea Janus, Facilities Manager for Google Canada, along with Anthony Orasi and Deanna Hayko, designers of Google's Kitchener-Waterloo office (previously with B+H Architects), will shed some light on the making of great workspaces. Followed by a Q&A session.

TALK: Glen Smith on the Blues in Kitchener

48 Ontario St., Kitchener
1 p.m.

Take this rare opportunity to visit the "birthplace of the blues" in Kitchener. Built in 1914, 48 Ontario housed Bell Telephone offices until 1941, was home to Royal Canadian Legion Branch 50 from 1946 to 2001, and in the mid-1980s hosted a concert series featuring well known blues musicians. At 1 p.m. the organizer of those concerts, Glenn Smith, will give a brief talk about them and answer visitors' questions.

TOUR: Built to Last - 200th anniversary tours

Joseph Schneider Haus National Historic Site
466 Queen St. S., Kitchener
11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

From cellar to attic, these guided tours will peel back the centuries to reveal how Joseph Schneider Haus has stood the test of time. See and feel the building materials, and learn about the construction techniques, manual skills and tools of the trade that raised these walls in 1816. Find out how historians, archaeologists, conservators and skilled trades workers restored the house to the 19th century, setting the stage for a museum of living, breathing history. Discover the "anatomy" of a landmark!

More event listings

For more special events, exhibits, musical performances and hands-on activities, check out the 2016 Doors Open Special Events Listing.

Links of Interest:

  • FlickrTwitterFacebookLike us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and share your photos from the Doors Open Waterloo Region 2016 event on our Flickr page.      
  • See individual Doors Open Waterloo Region site location maps and abbreviated site listing information at the Doors Open Ontario website.

  • Suggest a building for a future Doors Open event.

  • Join our email list for special notices, members-only events and announcements about the next Doors Open program. 
  • We've teamed up with Geek Week for 2016 because of our Into Science + Tech theme. Check out the Geek Week Waterloo Region Facebook page for more information.


Presenting Sponsor:

Media Sponsors: 

Program Partners:

About 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.

Depending on the community, Doors Open events take place any time from April to October. Doors Open is free, and many participating properties either normally charge an entrance fee, or are not usually open to the public. In most cases, no tickets or advance registration is required for the event.

Contact us

Doors Open Coordinators
150 Frederick St., 8th Floor
Kitchener, Ontario N2G 4J3