By Robert Mackenzie
Published Sept. 7 2017
The doors to some historic Minden buildings will open to the public Sept. 16 as the town holds its third Doors Open since 2009.
Doors Open is an event that started in France in 1984. The idea made its way to Ontario in 2000 when Toronto hosted the first Doors Open day in North America. The event sees historical and cultural sites in a community that may be unknown or that people may be unable to visit open their doors for the public to visit and learn about their history.
Doors Open first came to Minden in 2009. Because of the size of the community the event cycles through one of the county’s four municipalities every year. This year’s festivities will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 16 and 17.
Elisha Weiss Minden Hills community development co-ordinator says Doors Open is a chance “for visitors and locals alike to basically get to see behind doors they passed by all the time and never give a second thought to.”
This year’s event showcases 18 locations in Minden. The Art Deco-style Minden Generating Station owned and operated by Orillia Power Generation Corporation and generating electricity since 1935 is one of the places normally not open to the public participating in the event. Don Crowe’s 57-year-old dairy memorabilia collection featuring a foot operated milk machine and a 1931 milk truck will also be open for a chance to see decades worth of collectibles. The Booth Street Projects sculpture studio owned and operated by Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg will host a group exhibition with local artists.
“It allows people to appreciate not only the building but the people themselves who make it their life mission to do that kind of work” Weiss said.
Information on the event and the participating locations can be found online at www.doorsopenontario.on.ca/Events/Minden-Hills.aspx. There will also be brochures that provide the listings with descriptions days they’re open and a map which will be available at the township offices along with the participating locations.