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Celebrating the Stories Behind 91 Doors: Doors Open Winnipeg 2017!

Doors Open Winnipeg poster designed by Creative Communications student Alanna Yuen
Winnipeggers came out by the thousands this past weekend for Doors Open Winnipeg 2017, discovering the captivating stories behind the beautiful facades of many of our local buildings. Despite some dreary weather, smiling faces abounded as participants, volunteers and guests alike indulged in the fascinating history that shaped the Winnipeg we know and love today. With 91 buildings, events and tours taking place there was something to please everyone, from trolley tours to ghost stories to modernist architecture. Early attendance numbers indicate that this year's Doors Open Winnipeg is on track to be the most successful ever!

Heritage Winnipeg would like to thank everyone who participated in Doors Open Winnipeg this year, particularly the volunteers and sponsors. Over 500 selfless volunteers put in countless hours to ensure that every guest had an amazing experience while our generous sponsors ensure Doors Open continues to grow and flourish while remaining completely free. Thank you!

The Haunted History Walking Tour had countless people clamouring for the opportunity to learn about the ghosts that haunt Winnipeg. Inspired by the book written by tour guide Matthew Komus, old and young alike where "dying" to see the buildings behind the stories.

Tour guide Matthew Komus and the Haunted History Tour (Courtesy of Dalnavert Museum)

The Vaughan Street Jail is a perennial favourite of Doors Open Winnipeg crowds, drawing in more visitors than any other building, tour or event. The volunteers are the star of the show, going above and beyond to portray the colourful characters that once inhabited the jail. Even a little rain could not keep the crowds away, with many people waiting in line for their chance for an encounter with a ghost.

Friends of the Vaughan Street Jail in character (Courtesy of the Friends of the Vaughan Street Jail)

A new participant in Doors Open Winnipeg this year was the Hudson's Bay Company downtown store. Visitors were invited to explore the sixth floor of the store, home to the Paddlewheel Restaurant, which closed in 2013. Just over 1500 people came by on Sunday, many of whom were eager to share fond memories of the department store.

Heritage Winnipeg was at the Bay collecting names from Doors Open visitors interested in forming a "Friends of the Bay Downtown" group. The response to the initiative was very positive, with many people passionate about ensuring a future for the building. We hope to have a web presence sometime in the near future! Check out Christian Cassidy's blog for more photos and stories from last weekends event. 

The Paddlewheel Restaurant (Courtesy of Susan Belmonte)
So how did you spend your Doors Open weekend? Did you check out a new location or get reacquainted with an old favourite? Let us know in the comments! Your feedback will help us fine tune next years Doors Open Winnipeg event.

The Exchange District Biz Walking Tour

If you did not get a chance to take in this year's Doors Open Winnipeg, don't worry, there is still a chance to take in some of the action from the weekend! Like Heritage Winnipeg on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to check out the awesome photos from this years event!

Do not forget to vote for your favourites in the Doors Open Winnipeg People's Choice Awards at Voting closes Friday, June 2nd 2017 at 5:30pm.

Once again, thank you to everyone who took part in Doors Open Winnipeg 2017. Make sure to mark your calendars for the last weekend of May in 2018. We can't wait to have you back!

Here are some photos courtesy of our amazing participants who took part in Doors Open Winnipeg 2017! 
The Fire Fighters Museum (511 Visitors)

The Cornish Library (164 Visits)

McGregor Street Armoury (521 Visitors)

Dalnavert Museum (1668 Visitors)

Trolley 356 (Winnipeg Trolley Company)

Winnipeg Police Museum (729 Visitors)

St. Michael's and All Angels Anglican Church (61 Visitors)

Government House (682 Visitors)

The Costume Museum of Canada (1279 Visitors)

St. Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church (70 Visitors)


Hazelwood Mosque (247 Hazelwood Avenue)


Charleswood Historical Museum (31 Visitors)

The White House (230 Visitors)

Ross House Museum (360 Visitors)

Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral - Sts Vladimir and Olga, Winnipeg (193 Visitors)

Masonic Memorial Temple (420 Corydon) 

Minto Armoury (340 Visitors)