Doors Open 2020 - Participating Sites

Rediscover and explore this sampler of Kingston's Cultural Heritage!

 Doors Open Kingston - Saturday September 26th 2020, 10am -4pm


Public registration for Doors Open Kingston 2020 is now open! 

Please visit our Event Page or click on the site name below!

To visit the site website, please click on the image!



The Cataraqui Boatyard Project (Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour) 

The Cataraqui Boatyard Project  is a group of Kingstonians interested in celebrating Kingston's  Inner Harbour as Canada's oldest continuous boat building location with living history projects.  September 2020 begins with the community build of a traditional Algonquin birch bark canoe led by Chuck Commanda, Algonquin Traditional Knowledge Keeper.  Location: Douglas Fluhrer Park at the north end of Wellington Street.


Frontenac Country Schools Museum

Located at the former Pittsburgh Town Hall in historic Barriefield Village, the Frontenac County Schools Museum provides an authentic 1890s schoolroom experience for visitors of all ages.  Our classroom and gallery is filled with obejcts and archival materials that were collected from one room schools in Kingston and area.


Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston - Dry Dock

Limited behind-the-scenes tours of the Marine Museum's historic property at 55 Ontario Street, including both exterior and interior features. Built in 1890, the Dry Dock and Engine House designed by Chief Engineer Henry Perley was later added to during the wars and contributed to Kingston's shipbuilding  industry for well over 60 years.  While still located at their storefront gallery at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, the Museum provides an opportunity for the public to explore the property's historical features and the Museum's vision for the future with their staff . This is an opportunity to see and learn first-hand the importance of this property to Kingston's heritage and how the museum intends to preserve it for future generations.


The Arthur B. McDonald Institute (Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute)

Get a behind the scenes tour of the McDonald Institute Visitor Centre, featuring different demonstrations in the field of Astroparticle Physics, including Art McDonalds Nobel-prize winning work.  30 minute tours will be conducted by a live guide, and streamed through Zoom.


The Secret Garden Inn

The Secret Garden Inn at Argyle Place was built in 1888 by Scotsman John McKay who was a fur and leather merchant.  This Victorian home has the tower typical of this period and noteworthy terracotta panels with interesting designs. A member of the Historic Inns of Kingston, the property was recently rennovated inside and out including the gardens.  The house contains original stained glass from 1888 which is the inspiration for the logo.  The finial is also original and is now finished in 22.5 karat gold leaf. We look forward to welcoming you to uor boutique urban retreat.


The Spire

The Spire (Sydenham Street United Church) has been part of the Kingston skyline for more than 160 years. Built in 1854 by William Coverdale, the building has seen many changes over the years, but retains its Gothic Revival character.  One popular feature is the pew where Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip sat during their  1959 visit to Kingston. The rainbow flag symbolizes the commitment of SSUC, an Affirming Congregation, to inclusivity.

Barriefield Village and Rock Garden


Barriefield is a heritage village overlooking the Cataraqui River.  Established in 1814, in its heyday, the village boasted taverns, boatbuilding yards, a sawmill, blacksmiths, carpenters, shops, a village school and church.  Barriefield was designated as the first Heritage Conservation District in Ontario and still retains its 19th century character.  As well as many restored houses, there is a neo-Gothic chruch (Brunel), a township hall (Newlands), the Barrifiefield Rock Garden, an antique shop, as well as river views and vistas.  Further information can be found at:


Kingston's Lower Burial Ground - Hidden Cemetery Tour

Kingston's Lower Burial Ground was laid in 1783 in anticipation of the arrival of Loyalists at Kingston after the American Revolution.  Many early citizens of Kingston are buried here, including prominent residents, black slaves brought by the Loyalists, and sailors of the Lakes.  A visit to the site will include an opportunity to tour the graveyard, an exterior look at the 1840s Gothic Revival chruch and a unique Doors Open opportunity to see part of the cemetary that still exists under the church hall but is largely unseen and unknown.


  • Kingston
  • The Great Waterway
  • Tourism Kingston
  • Ontario Heritage Trust