Discover hidden treasures at Doors Open

Doors Open

Discover Cornwall and SDG’s hidden treasures this weekend during Doors Open.

During the two-day event, local sites in Cornwall and SDG will open their doors free of charge, giving members of the public a unique chance to see familiar landmarks in a whole new way.

This year’s Doors Open event will take place on Saturday, August 17th and Sunday, August 18th and there are a total of 19 participating sites in Cornwall and SDG.

“Doors Open is a great opportunity to celebrate our rich heritage and culture,” said Nick Seguin, Tourism Coordinator with the United Counties of SDG.

Most participating locations are open both days from 10 am to 4 pm, however some sites have specific hours & dates for the event (see below for a full listing of sites and times).

“Cornwall and SDG is one of Ontario’s oldest region’s and we have a great history to share,” said Kevin Lajoie, Tourism Officer with the City of Cornwall.

The local event is affiliated with Doors Open Ontario, a province-wide initiative to draw attention to heritage sites in communities 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. Since the program was launched in 2002, over 7.3 million visits have been made to heritage sites participating in this exciting initiative.

2019 Doors Open Cornwall and SDG Counties Map (PDF)

Participating Doors Open Sites

Cornwall Locations

Auberge Chelsey’s Inn

Saturday August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm

40 First Street West
Cornwall, Ontario
Phone: 613-936-1111

Ontario’s oldest inn, Chesley’s Inn was built circa 1814 by Alsaints Chesley, one of three brothers from New York who fought on the revolutionary side during the American War of Independence. Chesley brought his family to Cornwall in 1800 and fought for the British during the War of 1812. Current owner Robert Prowse has lovingly restored the inn.

Click here for more info.

Bank of Montreal Building

Saturday, August 17 & Sunday, August 18
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm

159 Pitt Street
Cornwall, Ontario
Phone: 613-330-3117

This downtown landmark building served as a bank for generations before closing recently. It is now slated to become Cornwall’s new Centre for the Arts Collective. Stop in to admire the architectural beauty of this facility through a building tour and learn about its future plans.

Click here for more info.

Cline House Gallery

Saturday August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm

204 Second Street East
Cornwall, Ontario
Phone: 613-360-9496

Built in the late 1850s, the Cline House is one of Cornwall’s finest neo-Palladian Georgian homes. The Cline family remained as owners until 1945. Once the home of the Cornwall Public Library, the house has since been converted into an art gallery. The Cline House Gallery is owned and operated by two well-known Cornwall artists: Tracy-Lynne Chisholm and Emily MacLeod.

Click here for more info.

Cornwall Community Museum

Saturday August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm

160 Water Street West
Cornwall, Ontario
Phone: 613-936-0280

This museum’s stone building was constructed in 1840 by the Wood family, United Empire Loyalists and one of Cornwall’s founding families. Three generations of the Wood family lived here until 1952 when Walter Wood, a bachelor, died. Several years later, it became a historical museum for Cornwall and SDG. In 2000, it was relocated to Cornwall’s beautiful, waterfront Lamoureux Park.

Click here for more info.

Cornwall Public Library

Saturday August 17
Hours: Saturday only, 10 am to 4 pm

45 Second Street East
Cornwall, Ontario
Phone: 613-932-4796

This former post office was retrofitted in 1997 and reopened as the Cornwall Public Library. The Cornwall Room – a special collection of books, archival papers and photographs of local historical interest – is operated in partnership with local history and genealogy agencies and volunteers. Stop by the first-floor information desk to grab a pamphlet and begin your tour of the library!

Click here for more info.

Former Bank of Montreal Building

Saturday August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm

159 Pitt Street
Cornwall, Ontario
Phone: 613-330-3117

This downtown landmark building served as a bank for generations before closing recently. It is now slated to become Cornwall’s new Centre for the Arts Collective. Stop in to admire the architectural beauty of this facility through a building tour and learn about its future.

Click here for more info.

Historic SDG Jail

Saturday August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm

11 Water Street West
Cornwall, Ontario
Phone: 844-814-5245

This county jail building was constructed in 1833 and remained operational until it was closed in 2002. The facility housed inmates from Cornwall and across the modern-day United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. The jail is home to many historical artifacts and displays; it is considered one of the oldest public structures in Ontario.

Click here for more info.

NAV Centre

Saturday August 17
Hours: Tours on Saturday only, 10 am & 12 pm (space is limited, email amalyon@cornwall.ca to reserve)

1950 Montreal Road
Cornwall, Ontario
Phone: 613-936-5800

The NAV Centre, eastern Ontario’s largest conference and meeting centre, sits on a 28-hectare (70-acre) parcel of land along the St. Lawrence. It features 70 state-of-the-art meeting rooms, an indoor pool and fitness centre, a spa, restaurant and pub, and over 500 guest rooms. During Doors Open, join a guided tour for a behind-the-scenes look inside. More details to follow!

Click here for more info.

The Port Theatre

Saturday August 17, 2019
Hours: Saturday only, one tour only (10 am to noon), please arrive 10 minutes early, space is limited

132 Montreal Road
Cornwall, Ontario
Telephone: 613-933-4547

The iconic Port Theatre stands in Cornwall’s Le Village district. After it opened in 1941, the Standard-Freeholder called it “one of the finest theatres in the province,” costing $75,000 at the time of construction. Boasting an impressive marquee, it still stands strong. During Doors Open, enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour and a screening of a 45-minute documentary on the theatre’s history.

Click here for more info.

Saunders Hydro Dam Visitor Centre

Saturday August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm

2500B Second Street West
Cornwall, Ontario
Phone: 613-932-4563

The 1,208-square-metre (13,000-square-foot) Ontario Power Generation (OPG) visitor centre, which opened in 2010 and was built to LEED standards, offers visitors an interactive and educational experience. Learn about the St. Lawrence Seaway, the power project and its impact on surrounding communities, electricity generation at OPG, and the American eel.

Click here for more info.

Trinity Anglican Church (Bishop Strachan Memorial)

Saturday August 17
Hours: Saturday only, 10 am to 2 pm

105 Second Street West
Cornwall, Ontario
Phone: 613-933-3991 Ext. 23

A church has been on this site since 1784, when Loyalists first settled here. The current church dates to 1876, dedicated to Bishop John Strachan. Built in the Gothic style, the building features marble floors, stained-glass windows, a Casavant organ, and plaques and memorials to early Cornwall citizens. Outside, the churchyard features graves dating back to the late 1700s.

Click here for more info.

SDG Locations

Aultsville Train Station

Saturday August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: 11 am to 4 pm

13740 County Road 2
Morrisburg, Ontario
Phone: 613-543-3704

The Aultsville Train Station is a 19th-century wooden station, originally located in the Lost Village of Aultsville. View an early locomotive, passenger coach, baggage car and refrigeration car on one of the few remaining sections of the original Grand Trunk rail bed. Also see the British Home Child exhibit about children who were sent to Canada as indentured labourers.

Click here for more info.

Bethune-Thompson House

Saturday August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: Noon to 5 pm

19730 John Street
Williamstown, Ontario

This home encompasses the original 1784 “poteaux sur sol” (vertical-log) cabin of Loyalist Peter Ferguson, as well as the 1804 house of Reverend John Bethune, Upper Canada’s first Presbyterian minister, and David Thompson, one of Canada’s earliest map-makers. The Ontario Heritage Trust acquired it in 1977, restoring it in the 1980s. It is the oldest residence owned by the Trust.

Click here for more info.

Lost Villages Museum

Saturday, August 17 & Sunday, August 18
Hours: 1 pm to 5 pm (guided tour at 1 pm both days)

16361 Fran Laflamme Drive
Long Sault, Ontario

This museum has a collection of 11 historical heritage buildings from six villages that were lost in 1958 when the area was flooded to construct the St. Lawrence Seaway. During Doors Open, step back in time and visit the church, train station, barbershop, schoolhouse, blacksmith’s shop, Forbes Memorial Building Reading Room and other structures.

Click here for more info.

Martintown Grist Mill

Saturday August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm

18544 Dundas Street
Martintown, Ontario

This mill along the banks of the Raisin River is a rare surviving example of a mid-19th century gristmill. It is also noteworthy for its early turbine-style technology that used horizontal waterwheels powered by a water course running through the building. The mill has a local history museum and hosts a farmers’ market and local artist exhibit in the summer.

Click here for more info.

Priests Mill Arts Centre

Saturday, August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm

16 Mill Square
Alexandria, Ontario
Phone: 613-703-9430

This gristmill, built in1848 as the centre of commerce in Glengarry, currently houses the Priests Mill Arts Centre (PMAC). PMAC provides exhibition space as well as support and promotion for visual, literary and performing arts by regional artists. It is also a centre of glass art excellence that offers glass learning experiences.

Click here for more info.

Sir John Johnson Manor House

Saturday August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm

19692 William Street
Williamstown, Ontario
Phone: 613-347-2356

Sir John Johnson (a prominent colonial military leader and administrator) founded Williamstown in 1784 after the American Revolution. He built this house – one of the oldest west of Quebec – as well as a gristmill and sawmill. Johnson helped settle disbanded Loyalist soldiers and their families. During Doors Open, the Glengarry Archives will also be open (call ahead with research requests).

Springfield Farm

Saturday August 17 & Sunday August 18
Hours: 11 am to 4 pm

18709 County Road 25
Apple Hill, Ontario
Phone: 416-844-0877

Springfield Farm is a privately-owned family farm. The Loyalist architecture of the residence encompasses two building periods – from the original stone back structure to the extended two-story stone home. The home has been recently restored to highlight the original walls, a traditional wood cook stove and large Victorian-style front veranda. Surrounding the historical home are three century barns.

St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church

Sunday August 18
Hours: Sunday only: 11 am to 3 pm

20788 South Service Road
Lancaster, Ontario
Phone: 613-347-3804

A small, cruciform, arts and crafts-style building complete with belfry and three bells, this church is an architectural gem. It was built on the McLennan Estate in 1898. Located on the South Service Road and surrounded by Glengarry Provincial Park and Lancaster Park, it is commonly known as “The Church in the Wildwood.”

Click here for more info.

Additional Events

Looking for other fun things to do in Cornwall? Make sure to check out our Events page for info on upcoming events in the area!

Stay with Us!

Planning to explore Cornwall at Food Fest? Extend your stay at one of our many great accommodations! For a listing of local accommodations, click here.

Additional Information

Planning a visit to Cornwall? Cornwall Tourism can help. Email us at info@cornwalltourism.com to request a copy of our Visitor Guide or contact us at (613) 936-0842. You can also stop by our seasonal Visitor Information Centre inside the Cornwall Community Museum in Lamoureux Park. The Museum is located at 160 Water Street West, just steps away from the children’s splashpad and play structure. Free parking is available immediately north of the Museum along Water Street.

The seasonal Visitor Information Centre is open seven days a week (8:30 am to 4:30 pm) through the summer months.

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Article by Amy Besner
www.CornwallTourism.com

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