5 locations to explore during Doors Open Vancouver

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City Hall _MG_8390

Doors Open Vancouver is a fun interactive event that provides a fascinating look into the intricacies of city planning by providing behind-the-scenes access to popular cultural sites. Important architectural landmarks, greenscapes, and heritage spots will be open for free to the public, and information on the history of these attractions and how they are run day-to-day will be available for your learning pleasure.

With 18 sites all around town and the day of the event, October 3, quickly approaching, it’s time to start planning which open doors you’ll be poking your head into. Below we have highlighted some of the sites we’re most excited about seeing, so get out your city map and start marking territories because this year’s DOV is going to be a good one!

VPD Mounted Unit

Image: Doors Open Vancouver

Image: Doors Open Vancouver

One of the best parts of going to large-scale events in the Lower Mainland is having the chance at a run-in with a horse and rider of the Vancouver Police Department’s Mounted Unit. Specializing in large-scale crowd control, these equestrian professionals have gone through rigorous training to help keep us safe. The mounted unit will be opening the doors of their stables, a facility that’s been serving us since 1953, to talk more about the history of horses in the police force and how the program runs in the modern day.

Carnegie Community Centre

Image: Doors Open Vancouver

Image: Doors Open Vancouver

The Carnegie Community Centre is a gorgeous heritage building originally built in 1913 as Vancouver’s first public library. Though its use since inception has changed many times over the years, its architectural integrity has been kept in pristine condition. Currently the building is used as a community centre for the Downtown Eastside with a shared kitchen, outreach programs, and as a nod to its original roots, a small public library.

False Creek Energy Centre

The False Creek Energy Centre is an enemy of global warming and a friend of sewage. A state-of-the-art energy production centre, this little building in False Creek can turn wastewater into heat for local residences. Designed by Francl Architecture, it’s the first centre of its kind in North America and an exciting green edition to our city. The building’s designers will be on site to explain their creative process and supplementary material on the positive effects of wastewater energy will be readily available.

Vancouver Animal Services Shelter

Image: Doors Open Vancouver

Image: Doors Open Vancouver

We can all agree that when it comes to pet ownership, adoption is the only way. There are thousands of unplaced pets all over the Lower Mainland, and the Animal Services Shelter looks to find a safe home for them all. This centre is a hub for animal ownership education, care, and adoption. Inside there is a 48 kennel strong shelter for those furry friends who haven’t found a permanent home yet. During DOV you can explore the space and say hi to the pets in their care. If you want more information on animal adoption and proper treatment, then this is the spot for you!

The Orpheum

In 1927 the Orpheum opened as a vaudeville theatre, the largest of its kind in Canada. This stunning heritage site is done up in an ornate vintage style that’s hard to find in Vancouver. Rich with the history of many years and many performances, during DOV staff from the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame will be walking visitors through the many dramas and celebrations which have taken place in the theatre. To satisfy the design interests of visitors Proscenium Architecture + Interiors will be leading tours specifically pertaining to the building’s bones.


If you want to check out more of the awesome establishments opening to the public this year, you can further plan your day by viewing the full program guide at Doors Open Vancouver.

Written for Vancity Buzz by @mayaroisin.

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