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May The Arts Be With You

On Saturday, May 4, no force is needed to push open the doors of Oshawa; they will be open already. The annual Doors Open event includes tours of private and public buildings throughout the city. A free hop-on-hop-off shuttle bus will be on two routes, North and South.

Doors Open Oshawa
Get an inside look at many of the cool places in Oshawa.

Buildings open to the public include several music venues in the downtown core. For those who normally attend shows, it's an opportunity to see behind the scenes, and for those curious about the city’s vibrant music scene, it's an opportunity to see what all the fuss is about. The Biltmore Theatre, Regent Theatre, and the recently opened Bond|St Event Centre in the historic Canadian Auto Workers Union Hall are included. Bond|St is the core’s newest venue, containing a lounge, cafe, main stage, basement venue, and planned patio.

Also new to Doors Open in 2024 is the Windfields Farm on Britannia Street, an innovative open-air lab pioneering biodiversity and renewable energies. Another new feature is the Oshawa Fire Station 6, built on the former Windfields Farm lands and designed with the farm’s historical legacy in mind.

Doors Open in Oshawa doesn’t always mean indoors; the city also has amazing outdoor spaces to check out. Union Cemetery is the location of a walking tour by the Oshawa Museum, and the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) building on Whiting, built in 1920, is also open. New to the tour are Oshawa's Friends of Second Marsh and McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve, some of the City’s best-kept secrets.

The Second Marsh is an integral part of Oshawa's ecosystem.

Secrets were the name of the game at the WWII spy camp, Camp X, located in Intrepid Park on Boundary Road. James Bond author Ian Fleming spent time at the Camp and the former Genosha Hotel, now 70 King, both of which are on the list of buildings for Doors Open. This presents a great opportunity to walk the halls that were home to not just Fleming but also another Brit Lit icon, Roald Dahl.

New this year, the City’s military history is on display with access to 420 Wing at the airport and the nearby Ontario Regiment Museum. In Downtown Oshawa, the Colonel R.S. McLaughlin Armoury is also open.

Charles Hall Oshawa
The beautiful Charles Hall will open its doors to all on May 6.

Also this month, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery will present RMG Fridays on May 3 with the opening of Emerging Visions, a thesis project exhibition by third-year Durham College Fine Arts students. The event will also feature screenings hosted by the Durham Region International Film Festival and musical performances by BoluSings and Simmone Mariah.

The annual Oshawa Arts Association Juried Exhibition will take place at the RMG in the first two weeks of May. Work from artists of all levels of development will be on display, and this exhibit presents a fantastic look into the hearts and minds of artists from the Oshawa area.

The RMG will host a Mother’s Day Tea on Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12, with Farm + Wild, owned and operated by chef Daniel Bresca, providing the fare. There will be six price fixe seatings over the two days.

Parkwood Estates is hosting its own Mother's Day Afternoon Tea on the morning of May 11, followed by a vendor pop-up market and plant sale.

Parkwood Estates Fountain
Take a stroll through Parkwood Estates after one of their many upcoming events!

Those seeking to share something stronger with Mom, or Dad even, can attend the Durham Craft Beer Festival on May 11, located at the Children’s Arena. Vendors from Kitchener to Collingwood to Prince Edward County will be on hand at the taps, alongside a brewers’ dozen from Durham.

So, raise a cheer to a city that opens its doors and its heart this merry month of May.

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