By Pamela Cain

Join the City of Thunder Bay Heritage Advisory Committee and visit some of the city’s interesting public and private sites during Doors Open on September 10 from 10 am to 4 pm. Doors Open is an opportunity to showcase the buildings and cultural places that shape and define our communities. While the Ontario Heritage Trust is promoting the theme of medical science and innovation across the province this year, Thunder Bay will also open the doors to neighbourhood landmarks, churches, and sites of industry and adaptive reuse, and go behind the scenes at a local cultural institutionthe Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

Lakehead's Paleo DNA Laboratory

Lakehead’s Paleo DNA Laboratory

The centres of medical science and innovation, Lakehead University and Confederation College, will be opening laboratories, simulation classrooms, and research facilities. Featured are the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, the Paleo DNA Laboratory and the Cyclotron as well as the College’s REACH Centre training simulation labs. The former location of a doctor’s office at the present CommuniTea and Coffee building on Frederica Street will offer an opportunity for a personal tour in local residences. The innovative health services at George Jeffrey Children’s Centre and the adaptive reuse of the Wiley Mansion for the Adult Day Program of St. Joseph’s Care Group are also featured.

Neighbourhood landmarks are also opening their doors with local churches offering an insight into the community. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and St. Volodymyr’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Urban Abbey (Baptist Church) will be offering tours of their sites.

Sites reflecting the growth and change of industry and institutions open for tours include a step into the past at Western Grain Elevator, a working site that still contains many historical elements. At Plymouth Landing on Montreal Street, visitors will view the opportunities offered in reuse of industrial buildings. Hillcrest High School will also offer a transformative tour of classrooms being converted into condominiums.

While most sites are open for you to drop by, some do require pre-registration. For more information check out