Spring in Burlington Ontario

Spring in Burlington Ontario
Discover Burlington this Spring

Monday, May 2, 2011

Doors Open Burlington

Doors Open Burlington had a display booth on April 30 at the Health and Wellness Show at the Burlington Seniors Centre. Tourism Burlington is a member of the organizing committee, so myself and Dohn Nagy, a volunteer from the Historical Society “manned” the booth. It was a beautiful sunny day after a week of rain, so the weather may have affected attendance a little but we were pleased to talk to over 100 people about Doors Open.

The most frequently asked question at the booth was “What is Doors Open?”  As outlined in the Doors Open Ontario brochure, it is a program that provides public access to buildings not normally open for viewing or that has an admission fee. This is the second year that Burlington has been a part of Doors Open, a world-wide event that has been offered in Ontario for 10 years.  Last year there were 56 cities involved across the province that featured 1,322 sites and attracted almost a half a million visitors.  Being the 10th anniversary Doors Open Ontario has created a survey where you can vote for your favorite Doors Open site online.

In our first year, Doors Open Burlington had 17 sites and over 5,000 visits during the weekend and was seen as a resounding success.  We didn’t have the best weather to start with a rainy Saturday morning which impacted visits.  This year there are 18 sites with some old favorites and several new locations to appeal to young and old alike.  Some of the sites and activities include:
  • Both Joseph Brant and Ireland House museums are doing tours, demonstrations and children’s activities plus the RCL Branch 60 War Museum is open on the Saturday and serves a great lunch;
  • The Art Centre, which is holding it’s Fine Arts & Craft Festival that same weekend in adjacent Brock Park, has numerous demonstrations and displays in the centre (also free).
  • Historic churches include St. Luke’s, St. John’s and Nelson United and the Halton Mosque is also open to the public (note: dress code in effect- socks required and no shorts)
  • A couple of new sites are included due to their environmental features DeGroote School of Business Ron Joyce Centre and Mountain Equipment Coop. 
  • The Burlington Performing Arts Centre will not be open yet due to construction still underway but will have a display at the Doors Open headquarters at Tourism Burlington Visitor Information Centre (414 Locust St.)
  • The Historical Society is doing a talk about the former Brant Inn at Discovery Landing on Saturday and Heritage Burlington is hosting walking tours downtown from Tourism offices.
  • One of the oldest private cemeteries in Nelson Township Union Burying Grounds will be open for tours.
  • Gingerbread House, one of the prettiest homes in the historic downtown core will have it’s gardens open to the public and displays.
  • Central Park will be a busy location with the Library and the historic archives open on Saturday with displays and the Music Centre will feature music including the Burlington Teen Tour band.
  • The kids will love the Central Fire Station tours and trucks.  A information display of the historic Freeman Station will also be on site.
Doors Open Burlington 2011 is being held on Saturday June 11 and Sunday June 12, so be sure to mark it on your calendar and invite friends and family to join you.  For more information check out the website.

The Health and Wellness Show is hosted annually by the Burlington Seniors Centre and promotes health and vital living for seniors and their adult children.  This year they featured 45 vendors and I was able to spend a little bit of time browsing and picking up interesting material on nutrition, fitness and tours(of course!).  Doors Open has participated in this event for the past 2 years and we have found it was a great opportunity to promote to a very engaged audience. 


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