Sunday, 3 June 2012

Doors Open Smiths Falls

Today (Sunday) as part of Doors Open Ontario we decided to take advantage and see parts of our own town.

Our first stop was the Station Theatre.

This is the front of the theatre

The stage and seating from one (of 2) of the boxes

This really neat bridge is on the upper level and goes to the intermission refreshment area

This is looking toward the desk at the entrance from the old railway station (now part of the theatre).

The bridge from ground level

The Station Theatre was built over many years whenever they had the money to complete a part so it is completely paid for. It's a very interesting building. One more thing on our list is to get to a play.

Next up was the Rideau Canal Gate Shop. The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO Heritage site. We've lived here for 2 years and had no idea that the gates to all the locks on the Rideau Canal are built right here in town.

This line is where the gates are built
They had hoped to have the wood there to show us how they're made. They are made from Douglas fir and comes from British Columbia so it's somewhere in transit.
These gates destined for Jones Falls locks were moved outside in preparation for the setup however Murphy's Law prevailed.

Another interesting thing for me was the host was Al Smollett, a guy that was part of our group when I worked at Nortel, Corkstown.

We definitely want to go back when they're in production and you can make arrangements to do that.

The third stop was the Gallipeau Centre, formerly the Rideau Regional Hospital. The hospital closed in 2009 after some 58 years in operation as a hospital for severely disabled young people both physically and mentally. The Gallipeau Centre is planning to turn this into an apartment complex complete with doctor's offices, shopping and much more. The first apartment models are scheduled to be opened this year.

This is the entrance to the Gallipeau Centre. Very pretty.

The auditorium

The pool

While this is within the town limits, it is quite a ways out. I sure hope it goes over well!

Part of the Gallipeau Centre is Hart Laundry Services. The laundry was part of the Rideau Regional Centre and also had outside contracts. Larry Hart ran the laundry at that time but retired when the hospital closed and was brought back out of retirement to run the laundry again. It's a very interesting place. The machines they have are run by computer. 

Larry Hart showing us how laundry is dropped by computer from every 1.5 min. to 2.8 min. then goes through the 'continuous' laundry machine. They can dry 220 towels in 18 min.

After lunch we headed over to our local radio station Jack 93.2.

This is John, our morning guy showing us that everything is computerized. They don't even need someone there for it to run. If a problem occurs, the computer calls one of the engineers to come in.
I was really happy to find out when we moved here that the local radio station is an oldies station.

Next stop, three churches.

1. St John the Evangelist Anglican Church

2. Westminster Presbyterian Church

3. Trinity United Church

Neither of us were aware that there is a Mausoleum just outside of town. This 19th-century stone vault containing the remains of Alexander Wood, one of the founders of the famous Frost & Wood agricultural implement company.

Although there were a few more places to visit we were both running out of steam so our last stop was the Heritage House Museum.
Baking biscuits in the wood fired oven

Note the front and back of the house are identical.

 Some interior photos depicting life in upper middle class 1861.

This house boasts a two storey privy

This is the upper level

That's quite a rolling pin!

The unique mirror image facades are a distinctive feature of this home’s design
We really enjoyed our tour today. Everything is free at Doors Open and it was nice to see that a lot of people were taking advantage of it but thankfully nothing was overly crowded.

When I got home it was nap time for me!


  1. what a great day you both had...thanks for sharing...its nice to see the places right in our won back yard isn't that they are turning the hospital into apartments...I hate to see those good old buildings destroyed....great pictures

  2. This is the first time I've heard of a Doors Open Day. What a great idea!

  3. Thanks for the tour of Smith Falls, Sandra. Great pictures, as usual. Thanks for sharing.

    I see the quilting loom up in the ceiling, and the hand made quilts.

    You have mentioned the two storey privy before. I wondered how they kept it odor-free?
    Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  4. That's great to be able to see what's in town. Great blog. Thanks for sharing.


Thank you for leaving a comment.