Heritage Events

Downtown Peterborough

Doors Open Peterborough 2024 - Saturday, September 14, 2024

Every year in September, buildings and sites not normally open to the public welcome visitors as part of Doors Open Peterborough. Peterborough’s event is part of Doors Open Ontario in partnership with the Ontario Heritage Trust, and is a great opportunity for community engagement and education about our built and cultural heritage.

The Doors Open program originated in France in 1984 and since 2002, this annual celebration of heritage and culture has allowed us to see inside everything from the Peterborough Lift Lock, City hydro generating stations, Victorian mansions and modern architectural gems such as Trent University.

We also offer guided tours highlighting the city’s historical, architectural, and social history.

Peterborough is a small city, but its heritage is rich, its community is vibrant, and its neighbourhoods are diverse. Doors Open Peterborough is always looking for new places that tell Peterborough’s stories through the sites and voices of the community.

If you would like your building, walking tour or site to be showcased on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., please contact us at heritage@peterborough.ca or fill out and submit the application below.

Deadline for submission is May 5, 2024.

Submit Your Site for Consideration for Doors Open Peterborough 2024

Some criteria to consider when submitting a site for Doors Open Peterborough

We are interested in buildings, sites and tours that: 

  • have some outstanding architectural features and/or historical, social or cultural significance. They can be buildings not usually open to the public or often open to the public, such as churches, banquet halls, theatres.
  • are celebrating significant anniversaries
  • have won heritage, urban design and/or architectural awards
  • have original interior features
  • have been adapted for reuse
  • feature innovative green or sustainable building elements or design
  • represent Peterborough’s diversity (cultural, social, etc.)
  • tell a story about a certain neighbourhood in Peterborough

Heritage Hunt 2024

The contest involves identifying architectural details on buildings in a defined area of the city, challenging residents to test their knowledge of Peterborough’s architectural heritage for the chance to win great local prizes.

All details are visible from the sidewalk and both sides of the street are in play. Planning is underway for the 2024 Heritage Hunt.

Get answers to the 2023 Heritage Hunt

House History Workshop

The House History Workshop features an overview of helpful tools, resources, and strategies for researching the history of your house – whether it is a rental, your family home, or even just a house you’ve always walked past and wanted to learn more about. At the workshop, you’ll learn about what heritage is and how it relates to the world around us. You’ll also learn how to use local resources to find the information you’re looking for. Friendly experts from local and county libraries, archives, and museums will be on hand to discuss what’s in their collections and how to access them.

The skills and resources you’ll learn about at the House History Workshop will be incredibly useful to anyone interested in history, architecture, archaeology, arts and culture, environment and nature, Indigenous Studies, and urban planning and development. Whether you’re starting your first year at Trent or enjoying retirement, now is the time to start exploring your community’s history! 

This workshop is free. Stay tuned for information about upcoming workshops.

Read more about this event

Friendly experts from Trent University, The Peterborough Public Library, Peterborough Museum & Archives, Trent Valley Archives, and the City’s Heritage Preservation Office were present to discuss what’s in their collections and how to access them.

The House History Workshop aims to inspire attendees to start their own research projects using the knowledge gained in the workshop.

You do not need to live in or own a heritage home to participate. Prior research experience is not necessary. Get ready to start exploring!