TORONTO, April 10, 2012 /CNW/ - The Doors Open Ontario 2012 season kicks off in Guelph on April 28. Fifty-seven events across the province comprise this year's program. From April until October, heritage buildings, cultural sites and other interesting venues will be open - free of charge - for public viewing.
The theme for Doors Open Ontario 2012, "Defending a nation," commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the locations, events and persons connected to the defence of our province and country. Doors Open participants will uncover the stories of early inhabitants who faced invasion during the War of 1812 and learn about other heroic war efforts from the past 200 years. A diverse range of defence-related sites will be open to visitors, such as battlefields, military fortifications, armouries, armament manufacturing facilities, legion halls, commemorative monuments and peace gardens.
"For 11 years, Doors Open Ontario has allowed people to uncover the stories of the province's heritage," said Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "This year, the event commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812, encouraging communities to unveil their stories behind the war and the defence of our fledgling nation. It provides an opportunity for Ontarians to learn more about the strength and determination of those in our past. Doors Open Ontario highlights the importance of keeping Ontario's stories alive by protecting our heritage sites into the future."
"The McGuinty government is proud to celebrate our shared history through Doors Open Ontario, a program that draws visitors and residents alike to explore communities across the province while helping to stimulate local economies," said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "As we commemorate the War of 1812 this summer, I encourage Ontarians to engage in our rich heritage and educate themselves on this historic event that has shaped who we are as Ontarians and as Canadians."
Every year, Doors Open Ontario opens the doors to hundreds of historic buildings, places of worship, private homes, industrial areas and heritage gardens, some of which are rarely accessible to the public. Many of the participating sites offer special activities, such as tours, exhibitions and demonstrations.
Five new communities have joined Doors Open Ontario this year: Georgian Bay, Quinte West, Algonquin Highlands, Halton Hills and Lambton County.
Trails Open Ontario, part of the Doors Open Ontario program, encourages visitors to explore Ontario's beautiful, natural heritage.
The free Doors Open Ontario 2012 Guide lists each participating community and highlights many of the participating sites and trails. The Guide will be distributed in the April 12 Ontario edition of The Globe and Mail; it is also available by calling 1-800-ONTARIO (1-800-668-2746).
Doors Open Ontario offers a variety of sites across the province to suit all interests. Some of the sites to explore this year include: the British Methodist Episcopalian Church, built in the 1880s as the Underground Railroad Church of Guelph and one of the few surviving terminals for slaves in southern Ontario (Guelph); Coniaurum-Goldcorp Reclamation Site, a reclamation project that has converted a gold mine into pristine meadows (Timmins); Research Casting International, a 45,000-square-foot facility dedicated to preserving the world's rarest and most valuable paleontological specimens (Quinte West); Ontario's last remaining log chute, originally built in 1861 and restored in 2005 (Algonquin Highlands); Hungry Hollow Trail, which winds through a provincially significant wetland providing habitat for 454 plant and 134 fauna species (Halton Hills); and, Nemo Hall, an 1870s mansion complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, five fireplaces and gargoyles (Lambton County). Several events, including those in Brant and Middlesex, will offer War of 1812 battle re-enactments to commemorate the war's bicentennial.
Attached is the Doors Open Ontario 2012 calendar of events. For more information on Doors Open Ontario and Trails Open Ontario and for a complete list of participating sites, visit www.doorsopenontario.on.ca.
Doors Open Ontario 2012 sponsors include: The Globe and Mail, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund and the participating communities.
Doors Open Ontario is a program of the Ontario Heritage Trust, an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage for present and future generations.
- Doors Open Ontario 2012 features hundreds of communities participating in a record 57 events across the province.
- 90 per cent of Ontarians live in a community that has hosted a Doors Open Ontario event.
- By the end of the 2012 season, more than 4.5 million visits will have been made to Doors Open Ontario sites since the program's launch in 2002.
- Spending by out-of-town visitors to Doors Open Ontario events will reach almost $23 million by the end of 2012.
Doors Open Ontario 2012 Calendar of Events
|Richmond Hill||May 12|
|Brockville-Thousand Islands||May 26-27|
|Owen Sound||June 2-3|
|Smiths Falls||June 3|
|Niagara (Ontario and New York)||June 15-17|
|Georgian Bay New!||June 16|
|Fergus and Elora||June 23|
|Mississippi Mills-Carleton Place||September 8|
|Thunder Bay||September 8|
|Cornwall-Seaway Valley||September 8-9|
|Kawartha Lakes||September 9|
|Haldimand County||September 15|
|King Township||September 15|
|Quinte West New!||September 15|
|Waterloo Region||September 15|
|Algonquin Highlands New!||September 15-16|
|South Bruce Peninsula||September 15-16|
|East Elgin||September 22|
|Walkerton and Area||September 22|
|Parry Sound||September 29|
|Port Stanley-Sparta||September 29|
|Halton Hills New!||September 29-30|
|Lambton County New!||September 29-30|
|St. Thomas||September 29-30|
|Huron County||October 13-14|
For further information:
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Ontario Heritage Trust
Email: [email protected]
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