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Take a peek in Doors Open

You may never get to go where no man has gone before, but this weekend,Ottawa residents can tour places that aren’t normally open to thepublic.

You may never get to go where no man has gone before, but this weekend, Ottawa residents can tour places that aren’t normally open to the public.

Some of the national capital’s most important and interesting buildings, landmarks and attractions — 108, to be exact — will not only be opening their doors to all residents and tourists this weekend, they’ll be doing it for free when the city hosts its seventh annual Doors Open Ottawa.

The event — expected to attract between 40,000 and 60,000 people over two days — “is the best way for a tourist to get to know and explore the city,” said Marcelle Kimberley, event co-ordinator for Doors Open Ottawa.

But it’s great for locals as well, she said.

“It gives us an appreciation for what we pass by everyday,” said Kimberley. “Under normal circumstances, they wouldn’t give a tour of the building. Once you get in, you hear the stories. They talk to the public about what goes on within the walls, and about the architecture and history. It gives you a new appreciation for your surroundings.”

Among the 108 locations are 15 new participants, said Kimberley. These include the K.W. Neatby building, the Gordon Harrison Arts Studio; the Gladstone Theatre, St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts and Humanities; and the new building for the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, which Kimberley suspects will “have a lot of visitors.”

Other attractions include the Beechwood National Memorial Centre in Vanier, which will have the architect on site Sunday; the city’s traffic operations headquarters on Loretta Street, which allows visitors to be “the eyes in the sky;” and the Canadian Conservation Institute.

 
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