Interested in taking a peek behind the proverbial closed doors of Waterloo Region?
Saturday (Sept. 19) Doors Open Waterloo Region returns with a new slate of historic buildings, manufacturing plants and prominent businesses that will welcome guests inside for a closer look.
“Every doors open event has a lineup of interesting places,” organizer Karl Kessler explained. “Either they are architecturally interesting, or they have a heritage interest, or they are interesting for what’s going on inside and it’s not the building itself that’s unique, rather it’s about the people and what they are doing that is fascinating.”
There are 40 locations taking part this year, across Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, North Dumfries and Wilmot. The theme is “Play On! Sports Past, Present and Future.”
“It’s tying in to Doors Open Ontario, because a lot of Doors Open Ontario affiliated events are running with the sports theme this year as sort of a link to Sport Canada’s year of sport and also the Pan and Parapan Am Games,” Kessler said. “So we have 10 different theme sites, everything from community clubs to arenas.”
Highlights include the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex, the home of the Kitchener Rangers, the Rockway Golf Course, Clearpath Robotics, the Detweiler Meetinghouse – built in 1868 – and old Hespeler Town Hall.
There are 40 venues in total, with some popular spots from past years back on the docket, along with a variety of new places for visitors to check out.
“It’s a great community building event, and it also gives people a chance to see some of the places they might drive by everyday and are curious about, but wouldn’t otherwise be able to get into,” Kessler said. “We see these buildings everyday and we might take them for granted, but there is good reason to be interested in them, especially when they look like they might have a story. Whether it’s a factory that’s being reused, or maybe it’s still a factory, or it’s a grand piece of civic architechture, or a one-room schoolhouse. You walk and bike past these places and you wonder what goes on inside.”
He added, “the buildings are interesting because the stories are about people. You are greeted and hosted by the people who live and work in these places and they tell the stories and it really becomes a thing that’s really about the people who use these places.”
The 13th annual Doors Open Waterloo Region runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit www.doorsopenontario.on.ca/Events/Waterloo-Region.