Top 20 ways to experience something new with digital Doors Open Ontario - Ontario Heritage Trust

Menu

Top 20 ways to experience something new with digital Doors Open Ontario

Discover more than 200 Doors Open activities and stories online, including virtual tours, videos, online games, searchable collections and more

TORONTO – Expand your horizons and go behind the scenes: visit Ontario’s most intriguing buildings, places and spaces online through Doors Open Ontario. From exploring one of the world’s leading paleontology exhibit-makers to stargazing tips from the David Dunlap Observatory, this year’s digital Doors Open Ontario features hundreds of stories and activities for you to create new connections, experience a sense of escape, and go behind the scenes – all from the comfort of your own home. 

Whether you’d like to dig deeper into Ontario’s past and learn something new, look for online activities to do with the family, or research unique heritage sites to help plan future trips, digital Doors Open Ontario has something for everyone at DoorsOpenOntario.ca

Here are the top 20 ways you can get started:  

Staytrips  

With so many digital Doors Open Ontario sites to discover, it’s hard to know where to begin. The Trust has curated 13 staytrip itineraries, organized thematically, including: 

1. Architectural and engineering marvels

2. Ontario film sets

3. Ontario theatres

4. Going behind the scenes

5. Home sweet home 

Learn from home with these activities and games 

There are plenty of activities to help keep kids entertained and lots of great resources for adults, too! 

6. David Dunlap Observatory (Richmond Hill) offers a lesson on how to use a star finder for stargazing.

7. Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum (Ottawa) will challenge problem-solving skills with jigsaw puzzles and an online spy game.

8. Royal Botanical Gardens (Burlington) will help open your eyes to nature with downloadable activities like nature watching checklists and seasonal recipe cards.

9. Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto) offers art-making resources that will help you develop drawing, photography and painting skills.

10. Stratford Festival (Stratford) presents Shakespeare’s most famous works accompanied with video interviews with cast and creative members, free lesson plans and study guides.  

Gain new perspectives or go behind the scenes  

11. Mnjikaning Fish Weirs National Historic Site (Simcoe County) contains the largest and best-preserved wooden fish weirs known in eastern North America. Learn about the site’s history, its importance and the Indigenous communities looking after it.

12. Research Casting International (Quinte West) specializes in the fabrication of paleontology displays for some of the world’s biggest museums, including the Royal Ontario Museum, as well as feature films like Jurassic Park.

13. Sleeping Giant Provincial Park (Thunder Bay) is a massive lakeside park with over 100 km (62 miles) of incredible trails and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities – experience the thrill of the climb and aerial views of the park through their videos.

14. Devil’s Monument (Northern Bruce Peninsula) is home to the only complete flowerpot rock formation on land along the east side of the Bruce Peninsula – get a bird’s eye view of the site and take a virtual hike.

15. Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society and Black Mecca Museum (Chatham-Kent) is dedicated to the discovery, research and preservation of Chatham-Kent’s Black history and the contributions of Black Ontarians in shaping Southwestern Ontario. 

Explore collections and resources

Reconnect with museums, archives and heritage sites online by exploring their collections and available resources. It’ll feel like you’re already there.

16. McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Vaughan) collects the art of Canada, including the Group of Seven and their contemporaries as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists. Their eMuseum has more than 6,500 searchable artworks for you to discover.

17. Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site (Chatham-Kent) commemorates the life and work of Reverend Josiah Henson, one of the persons who inspired the anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin – delve deeper into Ontario’s Black heritage with their resources and recommended reads.

18. Archives of Ontario (Toronto) is the largest provincial archives in Canada with records that date back to the 16th century – browse stories from their online exhibits and search through their digital image database for snippets of Ontario’s past.

19. Canadian War Museum (Ottawa) has approximately 500,000 military-related objects and thousands of photos that tell the stories of Canada’s military in fascinating details – explore through curated exhibitions or use their research guide to get started.

20. Timmins Public Library (Timmins) houses a comprehensive local history collection, including online resources and digitized local newspapers that explore the community’s rich history of mining in Northern Ontario.

Stay tuned for more digital content drops throughout the coming weeks and months. 

About Doors Open Ontario 

Doors Open Ontario is an annual program of the Ontario Heritage Trust that takes Ontarians behind the scenes of stunning places and celebrates local heritage.

Since launching the program in 2002, the Trust has worked with local communities across the province to provide the public with free events and opportunities to discover local history and access exciting architectural, natural and cultural sites – helping to bring public attention to the spaces and places that shape our communities.

In Spring 2020, when in-person community events were suspended due to COVID-19, the Trust launched digital Doors Open Ontario so that Ontarians could take a safe and physically distanced virtual journey to Doors Open venues across the province. This year, as the province begins a safe and gradual reopening, the Trust will continue to provide new experiences through digital Doors Open Ontario.

“The digital experience of Doors Open Ontario is one of the ways the Trust is helping Ontarians stay connected and engaged with the province’s heritage and history,” says John Ecker, Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust. “It’s been a difficult time for the heritage sector and many places are preparing to welcome visitors back when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we encourage everybody to use the Doors Open Ontario website to search for and rediscover the historical buildings, architectural wonders or natural sites they miss.”

Doors Open Ontario is possible thanks to our presenting sponsor, TD Bank Group, and the generous support of Destination Ontario.

Learn more: 

  • Download the Doors Open Ontario media kit here.
  • Follow the hashtag #DoorsOpenOntario to keep up with online conversations.

Contact: 

Patricia Njovu, Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist, Ontario Heritage Trust. Patricia.Njovu@heritagetrust.on.ca, 437-248-1439

About the Ontario Heritage Trust

The Ontario Heritage Trust (the Trust) is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. The Trust conserves, interprets and shares Ontario’s heritage. The Trust conserves provincially significant cultural and natural, tangible and intangible heritage, interprets Ontario’s history, celebrate its diversity and educates Ontarians of its importance in our society. The Trust envisions an Ontario where we conserve, value and share the places and landscapes, histories, traditions and stories that embody our heritage, now and for future generations.

-30-