“St. Catharines has a lot of stories to tell. I encourage everyone to explore a building they’ve never been to and learn more about our vibrant history.” – St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik
A News Release from the City of St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 on Niagara At Large
Buildings all over the city will be opening up to showcase their historical significance on Saturday, Aug. 20 with Doors Open St. Catharines.
“Doors Open is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to explore historic and architecturally significant buildings in our city, not all of which are normally accessible to the public,” said Mayor Walter Sendzik. “St. Catharines has a lot of stories to tell. I encourage everyone to explore a building they’ve never been to and learn more about our vibrant history.”
A total of 15 different organizations are taking part including the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre and the Meridian Centre – which is also home to the City’s Sports Hall of Fame. Significant heritage sites including the Lake Street Armoury, Morningstar Mill, and The Brown Homestead will all be open for the day.
Three of St. Catharines cultural centres, the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, and the Niagara Artists’ Centre will be participating with tours and exhibits to join and explore.
Many places of worship will be open to visitors including Knox Presbyterian Church, Salem Chapel – British Methodist Episcopal Church NHS, St. George’s Anglican Church, St. Ignatius of Antioch Antiochian Orthodox Church, St. Thomas’ Anglican Church, and Sts. Cyril and Methodius Ukrainian Catholic Church. Many will be holding special events such as performances by organists, special tour talks, and hymns in Byzantine chant.
St. Catharines Heritage Advisory Committee Walking Tours will be running throughout the day. Three historical districts will be featured. Join in the Downtown East Tour, the Yates Street Tour, or the Queen Street Tour. Participate in one tour or all three to discover many of the city’s hidden historical gems.
Whether you are visiting the Fallen Workers Monument on a tour with St. Catharines Museum or joining in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Morningstar Mill, you’ll be sure to walk away with plenty of new memories of the City’s most historical and culturally distinct landmarks.
All locations and tours are free with most locations open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please check individual tour details as some have limited space.
More information can be found at stcatharines.ca/DoorsOpen
A Note from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – The City of St. Catharines circulated the following news release about this wonderful volunteer group this spring and we meant to put it on, then time just kept slipping by as we got caught up in other issues.
I am posting it now in front of St. Catharines Doors Open event this coming Saturday out of respect for all volunteer groups across Niagara that dedicate their time and passion to preserving our region’s heritage.
Friends of Morningstar Mill Celebrate 30 Years
The City of St. Catharines has formally recognized a dedicated group of volunteers who have spent three decades preserving and celebrating local history.
With the Friends of Morningstar Mill celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2022, representatives from the City met with the group on May 7 at the historic site to formally thank the group for their efforts.
“We can’t thank the Friends of Morningstar Mill enough, they work tirelessly to preserve our local history and share it with the community, providing us with a unique glimpse of our community’s past that otherwise might go unnoticed,” said supervisor of historical services Kathleen Powell.
The Friends were organized in 1992 after approaching City Council with a plan to restore and operate the historic Morningstar Mill at Decew Falls. The grist mill was first constructed by Wilson Morningstar in 1872.
“We’re all passionate about history and I can’t say enough about how great the Friends are as a group of people. We couldn’t do what we do without the support received from the community, local businesses and the City,” said Hank Braun, a Friends of Morningstar Mill member who has been working with the group for 19 years.
Since restoring the mill, and several other buildings on the site, the Friends have consistently worked to keep it operational, and open for free tours and demonstrations of the flour-making process from May to October. The group also assists with collections management and are on site twice a week for maintenance and restoration work during the off season.
In 2019 alone the group volunteered over 3,900 hours and toured 15,000 people through the site. The site officially opens to the public on Saturday, May 21.
For more information on the group, including how to get involved, visit stcatharines.ca/FriendsOfMorningstarMill .
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“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders