Doors Open Oshawa 2013

Celebrate Oshawa's History - Visit our Cultural Treasures

Saturday September 28, 2013
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m (unless otherwise noted)

Doors Open is a province-wide celebration of community heritage designed to create access, awareness and excitement about our heritage.  Doors Open provides residents and visitors with a unique opportunity to explore and enjoy sometimes hidden and always interesting places and spaces in our cities, towns and villages - all free of charge!  Call 905.436.3311 or 1-800-667-4292 x 2945 or email us for more info.

Volunteer for Doors Open Oshawa 2013
(will open email window).

Doors Open Oshawa would like to thank the following sponsors:

Doors Open Sponsors

2013 Sites

Robert Mclaughlin Gallery doors open


The Robert McLaughlin Gallery

72 Queen Street

Year Built: 1969
Expansion 1987

Architect: Arthur Erickson (1987)

 *12 -4 p.m.


The RMG was built in 1969. Originally a square, stone, modernist structure, it was expanded in 1987 by architect Arthur Erickson. He built around the existing structure, incorporating the original stone façade into the dramatic lobby design which is flooded with natural light, skylights, and soaring 35 foot ceilings.



Portraits by GoGuen

191 Centre Street South

Year Built: 1905


An excellent example of adaptive reuse, this delightful Second Empire was built as a residence and is now used as a commercial art gallery.  Note the Mansard roof, ornate porch, dormer and cupola.  One of only two Second Empire houses in Oshawa. Guided tours, artist working on site.





Oshawa Community Church

71 Simcoe Street South

Year built: 1899
Architect:      John Wilson Siddall


 Built as the Presbyterian Church in 1899, the building was known as St. Andrews United until 1999.  Now the Oshawa Community Church, this low slung Romanesque Revival gem is an asymmetrical delight.  The interior space is impressive.  The childrens’ room is designed by Bruce Barry from Wacky World Studios and designer of the Rainforest Café.







Oshawa Masonic Temple

91 Centre Street South

Year Built: 1928

Architect: C.C.Stenhouse


Constructed in the Art Deco style and shrouded in symbolism, the building is now home to four lodges and three concordant bodies. This is a unique chance to view the Lodge Room and Library.


 Oshawa Community Museum


Oshawa Community Museum

1450 Simcoe Street South

Year Built: 1846

 *12 -4 p.m. Guy House and Henry House only


Visit Henry House for audio tours and costumed guides. Guy House, Henry House and Robinson House are designated historic houses that comprise the museum.  Located in beautiful Lakeview Park, these buildings stand on their original foundations and represent different architectural styles.  The museum and archives provide visitors with a good understanding of the lives of Oshawa's early inhabitants. Museum Shop is in Guy House.


Simcoe Street United Church


Simcoe Street United Church

66 Simcoe Street South

Year Built: 1867-68

Architect: Gundy & Langley



Built in the year of Confederation for a Methodist congregation, this church is a fine example of the Gothic Revival style.  Lancet-arched openings and a polygonal spire with pinnacles and dormers embellish the exterior.  A Casavant organ, 36' ornamental timber arches and a pressed-tin ceiling dominate the interior.


st Georges Church


St. George's Memorial Church

51 Centre Street South

Year Built: 1924

Architect: Eden Smith



St. George's opened in the same year Oshawa became a city.  Constructed of Credit Valley sandstone in the old English Gothic-revival style, this Eden Smith .designed church was considered by him to be his finest work.  The buttresses and Gothic tracery are noteworthy.  The tower supports a 15-bell carillon.  The Parish Hall was an addition designed by Architects Forsey Page & Steele.

* organ concert at 2:30 pm


camp x tour


Camp X Tours

Intrepid Park, Boundary Road
Year Built: 1941

Tours 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.


Join renowned author Lynn Phillip Hodgson for a tour of Camp X.  Meet at the monument and explore the former top secret WWII spy training school on the shores of Lake Ontario.


cowan house


Cowan House

39 Athol Street West

Year Built: 1858



Cowan House is a Georgian style dwelling with Italianate properties seen in the bracketed eaves and portico elements.  It was home to businessman and Mayor W. F. Cowan and his family.  Today, it serves as offices and meeting rooms for St. George's Memorial Church.




 Church of Saint Peter (Anglican)

1175 Cedar Street
Year Built: 1961


 Although built in 1961, this church is a repository of artifacts from previous churches dating back to the 1850's.  View an exhibit of vestments and sacred vessels.





Saint George the Great Martyr Ukrainian Catholic Church

597 Albert Street South
Year Built: 1955


  The faded green copper domes of the church rise above the skyline, creating a landmark for all travelers on the 401.  Built in 1955, in the heart of Old Oshawa, this impressive place of worship is the spiritual home for Ukrainian Catholics in the area.  In 2012, they celebrated the 100th anniversary of the church parish in Oshawa. The original 1916 church stood across the road.


Union Cemetery


Union Cemetery

760 King Street West
Year Built: Established 1837

Guided or self-guided Tours.


Many famous people from Oshawa's and Canada's past are interred in 'Thornton's Burying Ground'.  Today, the site covers 29 acres and includes private mausoleums and a Gothic Revival chapel.  The Mausoleum was built in 1924 and features an ornate marble interior and hand-painted stained-glass windows.





St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church

31 Bloor Street East
Year Built: 1950

* 10 a.m. to 5  p.m.


  St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox parish was founded in 1935. The Parishioners purchased the building which is now the parish hall, which was used for both worship and social functions. The present church was built in 1950 in Ukrainian Byzantine Style. St. John’s is known for the beautiful carved wood icon screen and its iconography.

Tours on the hour.





Oshawa City Hall

50 Centre Street South

Year Built: 1952
Expansions 1967, 1969, 2010

Architects: Hanks & Irwin/Pentland 1952, Baker & Polson 1967, Barry Bryant & Associates 2010

 *10 a.m. - 1 p.m.


 Oshawa City Hall has evolved to meet the changing needs of the city. In 1877 the original building stood at the corner of Simcoe and Richmond. It was rebuilt in 1952 at its current location as a five-storey glass and metal structure. An Arts and Culture corridor leading to the Council Chamber, and a major sculpture installation by Clement Meadmore are projects shared with the neighbouring art gallery. With several other Doors Open sites nearby, City Hall is a great place to start  touring.





420 Wing (City of Oshawa) RCAFA

1000 Stevenson Road North
Year built: 1944(?)




The 420 Wing was founded to unite former and serving members of Her Majesty’s Air Forces residing in the Oshawa area.  The purpose of the membership is to promote goodwill, support and encourage with moral and financial help those community organizations, which serve the principles of citizenship, Love of Country and the serving of others.




Canadian Victory Garden Project

200 Winchester Road



The Canadian Victory Garden Project is an initiative of, to highlight sustainability and self sufficiency in local communities.

The Project is comprised of a community greenhouse and demonstration gardens to educate and engage community members to grow their own food.

Based on the experience of recreating authentic WW1 & WW2 Victory Gardens, inspired to promote the benefits of Victory Gardens as a sustainable local food strategy.

-Display of vegetables, re-purposed items, old farm equipment and vintage kitchen utensils.  Demonstration:  Three Sisters Native gardening, War of 1812 plants,

-Trivia of kitchen utensils and various vegetables

Corn roast




 61 Charles

61 Charles Street

Year built: 1903



 Built by the T. Eaton Co. as a white goods factory, 61 Charles was expanded by the Oriental Textile Co. in the 1920s to manufacture fabric for the automotive industry and for nearly fifty years was home to Alger Press Ltd. After restoration, 61 Charles now provides two floors of classrooms, student services, a library and much more at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).






 The Regent Theatre was constructed in 1921 for the Famous Players theatre chain. The King St. facade was modeled on Georgian architectural lines. The building is one of the few remaining examples in Oshawa of this classically inspired style.  Reopened in September 2010, the Regent is used as a large lecture theatre for UOIT students, and for community and cultural events during the evenings and on weekends. Designated in 2001.





Canadian Automotive Museum

99 Simcoe Street South
Year Built: c. 1920


Established in 1961 and housed in a 1920's car dealership, the museum showcases the development of the automobile with approximately 65 vehicles dating from 1898 to 1981.  The building has an original freight elevator and other historical items relating to the periods of the cars. 





Ontario Regiment Museum


1000 Stevenson Road North
Airport South Field



 The museum is an historical summary of the military heritage of the Ontario Regiment, one of Canada's oldest continuing armoured regiments. The display
includes uniforms, medals, arms, photos and a historical vehicles collection of over 80 operational military jeeps, carriers, trucks and tanks. Some restrictions apply.






Thornton Dundee Community Centre

210 Thornton Road North

Year Built: 1879
Architect: Hiram Robert Barber



 Oshawa's oldest remaining schoolhouse, Union School No. 5, operated here until 1954.  Second Empire in style, it is richly decorated with dichromatic brick, large wooden brackets and capped by double chimneys with an oculus design. H. R. Barber was an Oshawa architect who designed and built many buildings in and around Oshawa from 1865 to 1884. He was the staff architect for the Toronto School Board from 1904 to 1913.




Harmony Road Public School

149 Harmony Rd S
Year built: 1924




Harmony Public School was built with many of the elements thought to be important to scholastic architecture during the 1920s.  Designed in the Classic Revival style, the school features a Greek Doric portico supported by Doric columns. It remains a landmark in a community that was once known as the Village of Harmony.

Artists Anne Labelle-Johnson and Tony Johnson will be exhibiting their work on site.



Columbus Community Centre

3265 Simcoe St N
Year built: 1859



  Neighbour to the Columbus United Church, this building was the East-Whitby Town Hall. The Town Hall was the centre of the community from 1859. Historical displays of Columbus and surrounding area. Designated in 2011