Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Doors Open Ontario :: Windsor

Adrienne and I spent Sunday visiting several locations in the city of Windsor that were participating in the Doors Open Ontario event. Throughout Ontario, some private homes, businesses, schools, churches and others open their doors so that the community can learn about its history, culture and architecture.

We had a wonderful time and visited nine different places. I am sharing with you a few of our favourites.

Our first stop was at the Windsor Airport. There is one remaining World War II hangar there. It was the home of the #7 Elementary Flying Training School from 1941-1945. This hangar is now the location of the Canadian Historical Aircraft Association.

Our next stop is a very square two storey building built in 1914. It served as Walkerville no. 1 Hydro Sub Station until 2003 and now is home to an architectural firm. The highlight of that building was the iron staircase!

I couldn't manage a full photo of the front of the building, but it looks very similar to the back shown in the photo above.

We went to Willistead Manor next. Adrienne and I were really looking forward to seeing the inside of this Edwardian mansion (you can see the outside here). We were not disappointed! There were guides in most rooms sharing interesting details about the history of the manor. We were told about Yuletide Festivities at Willistead and we'll make sure to come back for them!

We thought maybe this opening was a secret passage to another room, it was actually a safe!

 There were many wood carving details all throughout the house.

All the furnishings from Willistead were moved out when Edward Walker's widow moved to the USA,
but the restoration of the manor included acquiring pieces that would reflect that time period, along with the choices of wallpaper.
Below is the master bedroom:

More wood carving details can be found outside too:

On our way to the next site, we noticed the house in the photo below. Adrienne took the photo. We were both amazed at the roof and how it curves on the ends, where the eaves normally are.

We went to a few other places after that, but we didn't take many photos. We visited a school built in 1927 that is still open. They kept a few areas with original flooring and chalkboars. We also visited a Tudor style home that, after being a private residence, was once a convent and is now a private school and retreat centre.  

We also went to a private home (that happened to be for sale). It was built in 1915 and has an Arts and Crafts design. We both really liked the entrance.

Our next stop was the Francois Baby House which is now the Windsor Community Museum. This Georgian-style home was built in 1812. The house is surrounded by tall modern buildings, it looks out of place, but I am glad it has been preserved.  There was a small exhibition inside called Windsor Weddings.

We also visited a church. This church started as a mission to the Hurons in 1728, the current building in the Gothic Revival style was built in 1842-45, the tower and sanctuary in 1870-74. We couldn't take photos inside, but it was gorgeous. The stained glass was amazing. It is nice to see these style of churches, they reminded me of the churches in France. I took a photo from the front entrance.

Adrienne and I really enjoyed our day learning about the local history
and looking at the architectural details of some of the buildings.
If you live in Ontario and are interested in this event, you can read more on the main site Doors Open Ontario for locations and dates. This yearly event starts in April and continues until October.

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