It’s Doors Open Winnipeg this weekend! If you’ve never been before, this is one weekend a year when building all around the city, particularly the downtown and Exchange, open their doors to the general public to let you get a peek inside spaces you might otherwise walk by your whole life without getting to see.
For me one of the biggest draws is the amazing heritage buildings the city has to offer – I always wonder when I look at elaborate facades, just how much of the decor they’ve preserved inside. Now’s my chance to snoop and find out! There are dozens and dozens of buildings open on the list (you can find them all here), but I’ve made a shortlist for myself of must-sees and must-dos this year:
1) The Telpay building on Garry Street. It’s from 1909, I love the red sandstone on the outside of this building, and I’ve never even come across a picture of the inside! Apparently it’s just as spectacular, with columns, marble rotunda, and a functioning original elevator!
2) Bridgman Collaborative Architecture on Main. I remember watching this building be redone and being in awe of the transformation – not surprising, since it’s an architecture firm!
3) Via Rail Station – I’ve visited this one before, but I always love the soaring lobby, and it’s celebrating its 100th birthday this year! I’ll bring a cupcake to eat there in celebration.
4) The Variety Heritage Adventure Park! This is the brand-new park that’s just opening up at the Forks. I’ve been keeping an eye on the construction and I’m a little jealous of the kids who are going to be playing here – wish I’d had a mini-log cabin as a child, too cute!
5) The Avenue/Hample building – I think the whole city was waiting to see how the renovations of this went, and from the grand opening photos a few weeks ago, the inside looks spectacular. Can’t wait to do more exploring myself!
6) The trolley! Now this isn’t so much a building as an experience, but it’s definitely historical and a really fun idea. There’s a brand-new business in town, the Winnipeg Trolley Company. As the name suggests, they have an old-style trolley, the same kind that used to run along Winnipeg’s streets, and they’ve restored it to give tours and rent to events this summer! It’s making its big debut at Doors Open on Sunday.
If you want a full list of what’s going on this weekend, the Doors Open site is here!
(Oh and did I mention all the tours and venues are free? Happy exploring!)