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Doors Open History

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Doors Open originated in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1990 as Doors Open Days and quickly expanded nationwide under the overall coordination of the Scottish Civic Trust. It evolved into Scotland's contribution to European Heritage Days, launched in 1991 as a Council of Europe initiative, and spread across Europe. By 1998, 19 million people had visited some 28,000 sites in 44 countries.

Doors Open first arrived in Canada in 2000 when the city of Toronto's Culture Division, under the auspices of Heritage Toronto, launched Doors Open Toronto. By 2002, the event had exploded with over one hundred buildings and 130,000 visitors joining in. That same year, seventeen Ontario cities and towns (including Thunder Bay) organized their own Doors Open events, with the encouragement and support of the Ontario Heritage Foundation under the Doors Open Ontario banner, with similarly encouraging results.