Doors Open Waterloo Region

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Doors Open has been a staple event in our Region since 2003. On the third Saturday in September, Waterloo Region opens its doors to curious residents and visitors alike – attendees can tour noteworthy buildings, interesting places and heritage sites in Waterloo Region, many of which are not regularly open to the public.

Doors Open Waterloo Region creates meaningful qualitative experiences, delivered through storytelling, in celebration of our diverse community culture, heritage and architecture.

Questions? Email us! 

Doors Open Waterloo Region 2023

Doors Open Waterloo Region returns as an in-person event in 2023 on Saturday, September 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A day of discovery: tour 20 local destinations including noteworthy buildings, interesting places & heritage sites. Admission to all Doors Open sites is always free. 

Receive updates
Join our mailing list to receive updates and notifications about this year’s event. Mailing list members are eligible to win great, exclusive prizes throughout August and September. 
Doors Open Ontario
For complete details about this year’s 20 participating sites, visit Doors Open Ontario
Site Announcement
Doors Open Waterloo Region 2023 – Site Announcement
Interactive Map
 Ready for DOWR 2023? We are! Visit our DOWR 2023 Interactive Map for images, site listings and more. 
Plot your path
Plot your path for Doors Open Waterloo Region on September 16. All 20 sites are located throughout our cities and townships. Make a day of it!  
2023 Brochure/Passport
The Doors Open Waterloo Region Brochure also doubles as a Passport to highlight the 20 participating sites in the 2023 event.
Kids’ Activity Guide

Our Kids' Activity Guide is designed to engage and educate youngsters, with charming illustrations of each Doors Open site created by local artist Della vanDokkumburg that are perfect for colouring. Fun puzzles and activities challenge kids to apply what they've learned.


Explore these 20 sites for free from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on September 16, 2023
Waterloo Pioneer Memorial Tower Kitchener
 Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) Waterloo
 Waterloo Central Railway Restoration & Maintenance Facility Woolwich
 Kitchener Public Utilities Commission Building (John MacDonald Architect offices) Kitchener
 Old Post Office location of Idea Exchange Cambridge
 Hespeler Location of Idea Exchange Cambridge
 Globe Studios (in the former Bonnie Stuart Shoe factory) Kitchener
 St. Andrews Hespeler Presbyterian Church Cambridge
 Waterloo County Gaol Garden Kitchener
 St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church


 Detweiler Meetinghouse & Roseville Cemetery North Dumfries
 Schnurr's Store and Town Hall Wellesley
 Reep House for Sustainable Living Kitchener
 Central Presbyterian Church Cambridge
 Rogers TV Channel 20 Studio Kitchener
 Hacksmith Industries Cambridge
Waterloo Public Library - Eastside Branch Waterloo
Township of Wellesley Council Chambers Wellesley
Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI Campus) Waterloo
 Seagram Cultural Heritage Landscape Tour Waterloo
New Hamburg Waterwheel Wilmot


Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region 2020 - 2022

Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region 2020 - 2022 was an entirely virtual experience. Our 2020 and 2021 programs delivered fascinating stories via video episodes; the entire collection of episodes can be viewed at our YouTube Playlist. 

Home Edition - Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region

The Home Edition of Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region is a series of short vignettes taking viewers through the front doors of unique and interesting homes in Waterloo Region. These private residences may be compelling for many reasons, including:

• grandiosity
• architecture
• historical/cultural significance
• unique design

These are the homes which residents of Waterloo Region pass by every day and wonder ‘what’s it like inside?’

Interested in participating in the Home Edition of Digital Doors Open Waterloo Region?

Complete this form.

Connect with us

Follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook for sneak peeks leading up to the launch of each episode.

Join our 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.

 Get involved



Volunteer opportunities are available for individuals to:

  • lead tours of the featured buildings
  • greet visitors.
  • count the total number of visitors
  • photograph the event
  • animate a site with music, theatre or children's activities

Free training and orientation, including information on the history of your assigned building, is provided. We require a four-hour commitment on the day of the event.

And if you are a member of a local arts, heritage or service organization, consider volunteering as a group. We will do our best to place your group at one location, or at locations close to each other.

Contact Doors Open coordinators for information on volunteering.

Be a photographer, blogger, social media or podcast journalist for Doors Open Waterloo Region!

Introduce people to your favourite Doors Open site, on or before Doors Open. Scope out any sites you would like to photograph/capture in a podcast/write about in your blog/tweet about. Pick which sites you would like to cover, and let us know. If you are free on the third Saturday of September, we would love it if you could also capture images/footage of visitors enjoying Doors Open sites!

Why blog/podcast/tweet/photograph for Doors Open?

  • advance access to normally-closed-to-the-public, 'secret' Doors Open sites
  • exclusive interviews with our Doors Open site owners/operators
  • link to Doors Open Ontario's province-wide website
  • meet other bloggers/podcast journalists/photographers in real time at our Doors Open networking event
  • connect with journalists working in traditional media in Waterloo Region
  • tell the world about the stories that make our 'secret' Doors Open sites interesting!
  • Your podcasts/photos/blog entries would be featured prominently on our Doors Open blog (with links from our Facebook page).
  • Following the event, some of your photos/podcast entries/blog entries would be featured on the Region of Waterloo's Doors Open blog and Facebook page.
  • Your photos/podcasts could be forwarded to the Ontario Heritage Trust, to be used in their province-wide publication (distributed in the Globe & Mail), or used on the Doors Open Ontario website.

If you are interested in being a volunteer photographer/blogger/podcast journalist with Doors Open Waterloo Region, email us.  

Thank you for your interest in Doors Open Waterloo Region!

 Call for arts and heritage organizations! Get involved with Doors Open Waterloo Region!

Doors Open Waterloo Region, a free heritage and architecture tour, is looking for arts and heritage organizations to provide programming at various sites across Waterloo Region for Doors Open.

We are looking for music, drama performances, crafts for children, workshops/lectures, information displays, etc. that will enrich our visitors' experience during Doors Open.

Doors Open sites are located all across Waterloo Region (but a few of the sites are better suited to host live performances). Our event takes place on the third Saturday of September (most of our sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

As Doors Open is a free event, the performance must be presented gratis; however, you are free to sell tickets to upcoming shows, memberships, etc. before or after your performance.

If you are interested, please email by July 15, and we will match your organization with a Doors Open site.

 Dig deeper - Learn more


Useful links



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 Street, 8/F
Kitchener, ON N2G 4J3

T. 519-747-5139
TTY. 519-575-4608
email to Doors Open Coordinators
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