Welcome to Doors Open Fergus Elora
Come on in! The Downtown Fergus BIA is opening the doors wide to some of the coolest, most unique sites in this historic town so you can get a true sense of why this is a great place to explore.
Let’s stamp that passport!
Your Doors Open Fergus Elora map is a passport, available at participating locations across town. Collect stamps at your viewing locations – every stop earns you a stamp. Submit your passport at your final stop and you’ll be eligible for a prize. Get stamped.
Coordinated by the Township of Centre Wellington in association with Heritage Centre Wellington, the Wellington County Museum and Archives and Ontario Heritage Trust, Doors Open is a celebration of our community’s heritage. It is part of the provincial Doors Open events that take place across Ontario from April to October each year.
Downtown Fergus is so rich with history, culture, amazing architecture – not to mention some the natural beauty of the Grand River and all that surrounds it – that the downtown core is one big open door!
Ours is a proud history dating back officially to 1833. Rooted in Scottish heritage, but shaped by the diversity of other cultures who settled in here, the old charm is not lost in the modern transformations because we honour our past every step of the way. Come explore the shops, the Riverwalk and all the unique stops along the way. We’ll be celebrating our past and our future and we’re happy to share it with you.
Step back in time.
Knock on the door of one of the earliest known surviving stone houses in Fergus. Craighead Cottage was built in the Georgian architectural style, circa 1842. The limestone farmhouse was the original homestead of one of our most influential pioneer families, Hugh and Elizabeth Black and their family. The two-story home was built on the south side of the Grand River, on what is now Union Street, on the outskirts of the downtown Fergus. The heritage home is owned by the Township of Centre Wellington. Generations of the Black family still call this community home.
We “wood” recommend this.
We really would. Check out the busy workshop of the local artisans at Almost Anything Wood and see their latest creations. For nearly 30 years this has been a flourishing family business rooted in quality craftsmanship and creative design. Using locally salvaged trees they create unique wood pieces of art, furniture and custom cabinetry for homes and businesses. Come see how their creative process makes amazing things out of Almost Anything Wood.
Prepare to be in awe.
Step into the sanctuary of Melville United Church and look all around. It’s simply awe-inspiring. The church holds the largest collection of beautiful stained-glass windows in Centre Wellington. The massive pipes of the organ are impressive on their own, and when played, it fills the space with divine music. The ornate wooden décor of the pews and balcony railings add a richness to the space, creating the character for the remainder of the interior of the grand church.
Built in 1900, this was the second church established by the early congregation that originally gathered on the opposite side of the Grand River. But the church grew with the community in its present location. In 1930, the Sunday School Hall was added designed by staff at Beatty Brothers, a locally renowned manufacturer. Today, generations of families remain a part of Melville Church, and while their door is always open, on June 16 you’ll be welcome to explore the nooks and crannies of the impressive structure with a proud past.
A cornerstone of Fergus
On the corner of St. Andrew Street West and St. David Street stands a building that is in many ways the cornerstone of downtown Fergus, then and now. The Marshall Block, Tower Section has had a year of evolution, complete with an interior renovation that has transformed this historical site with great care to become a modern community and retail space. Built in 1883 by John Black, a successful grain and cattle merchant, the building models Second Empire architecture. Today it is home to Vault Coffee, named for the large vault that adds to the atmosphere of the sophisticated setting. Upstairs, professional offices and a community meeting space ensure the future of this building will focus positively on this town.
Come through the doors and see the transformation through a photo exhibit documenting the changes, and of course, enjoy a special brew while you immerse yourself in the history of this special place.
And since you’re here already, why not? Check out more fun.
Walk this way.
Older Voices Historical Walking Tours will take you on an entertaining trip back in time with a colourful cast of costumed characters for a history lesson of Fergus you’ll never forget.
Join in the fun at 11am in front of the Fergus Library.
National Fudge Day? Say no more.
Check out the sweetest shop in town! I Love Chocolate is celebrating our sweet tooth on National Fudge Day, June 16. It’s the perfect day to walk inside the historic doors of the James Russell Building and feel like you’re in an old confectionary and gift shop. Sample a selection of their amazing fudge varieties and browse through their selection of sweet treats, made on-site. You may even see the chocolatiers in action.
Be sure to catch the events in Elora too, all of which are on the Doors Open Fergus Elora Passport.