Sunday, May 4, 2008

Doors Open Hamilton

We finished off our holidays yesterday by participating in Doors Open Hamilton again this year. Last year was the first time we enjoyed this wonderful freebie day, and we made sure we didn't miss out on it this year. For those of you who are not aware of this day, it is a day when the City of Hamilton has most 0f it's museums open for free admission, as well there are many other places (firestation, churches that participate. Doors Open is done throughout cities in Ontario with each of them on a different day, so you can also participate in surrounding communities if your are energetic.

Our first stop yesterday was the Auchmar Manor originally built in 1855 by a politician named Issac Buchanan. We chose to go here because everytime we wait at the intersection by it the girls will ask me "What is that place called mom?"," Did only one person/family live there?" So we thought it would be nice for them to take a closer look. This property is in great need of funding and restoration, as it has no furniture and needs a lot of work ... enough that they will only allow you on the main floor, even some of the volunteers stated that they had never been upstairs. It would appear that part of the reason they have it on the Doors Open list is to advocate for people to petition to their local politicians to have it restore. Seeing as we ran into friends when we arrived ... the girls spent more time playing then actually paying attention to the information that was being told. Ah well, you can't win them all ... and at least now they have no excuse to ask me the same questions each time we stop by there.

Our second stop was Dundurn Castle and the Military Museum. Last year we had planned to go to Dundurn Castle, but those plans didn't happen and so the girls we excited that we finally got to make it there this year. This was as bit more interesting as the people were actually dressed up and the home was completely furnished and filled with old artifacts, allowing them to better visualize everything. They also had fun at the Military Museum as it had some hands on "toys" for them to play with.

We arrived home mid-afternoon just before Matthew also arrived home. And then ended our day by attending our Ward Social at church ... an enjoyable time of communion and fellowship. And now our holidaying is done for some time as Rob heads back to the grindstone tomorrow ... this time work with school two nights a week - Monday and Wednesday. And with another full-schedule this week it's back to work for me too! :)

Auchmar Manor - The Dovecote (home for the pigeons and doves - which were held in much higher esteem in those days - used for gaming and eating).

Rebecca and Evan taking at peek at the "grounds" (right)

Since you are not allowed to use a flash in Dundurn Castle it was a bit harder to get any good pictures as my camera does not do well under low light.

The main staircase and the masterbedroom

Wow heavy ... sure makes one appreciated todays irons.
Playing at the military museum (right)


Kevin & Amy said...

I noticed a few of those signs in my travels on Saturday and wondered what it was all about - thanks for letting me know! I think we'll definitely have to keep that in mind in a few years:) Glad you had a great time. Dundurn would definitely be on my list, too.

HH said...

What a great idea. I wished we had a few doors open around here. I love looking at old churches etc. The closest we get to castles around here are bouncy castles for Looks like you had a great time.

Anonymous said...

How do you find out about these things? That is really COOL! That would have been neat to see. Do they do this every year on the same week-end? What a great way to spend a day (and cheep too :-) )
It looks like you had fun!
Henrietta VdLaan

Michelle said...

Looks liek a few families over there enjoyed their days out!

Anonymous said...

Hey we did this with our family too! It was a lot of fun huh! Glad to see you all enjoyed it too!
Tracey Stam

Steph said...


I have no idea how I found out about this one. We've know for a few years. We didn't participate the first year we knew of it and last year we just went to Puddicome (not worth the trip).

Yes they do this every year and I believe the Hamilton one is always on the first weekend of May, but I could be wrong ... somewhere in May that's for sure. Most of them are on different weekends, so if there is anything in another area that you're interested in checking out you might want to check the list to see if it's open on their Doors Open day.

You can keep an eye on it at They have also launched a new program called Trails Open Ontario which kicks off June 7 this year. You can read about it at So far there is nothing listed under the Events list, so I have no idea if there is anything happening in our area.

Katie Schouten said...

Marietta is looking so big and a lot older!!