Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Doors Open...part one

It's Doors Open season in Ontario again and this past weekend I met up with friends who live in Cobourg (about a 2 hour drive east from where I live) and we set out to explore the area. 

The one place that I really wanted to see was Victoria Hall. 

It is an imposing structure that is now - and always was - used as a town hall, art gallery and concert hall.

and yes, there were fears that it might end up as a pile of stone rubble by the 1970s (it was built in 1860), but with the help of at least one feisty councillor named Lenah Field Fisher, it was restored to its former glory.

(you'll notice that these pictures were obviously not taken taken in the same season, and not even taken this year. there wasn't quite the profusion of flowers this year, so these are from 2012)
Inside, as well as the third floor art gallery, and the second floor concert hall is the main floor courtroom
With its panelled boxes, it's modelled after the Old Bailey in London and is the only known sunken court room in Canada.
Now, instead of being sent down for a criminal offence in this room, one can have a unique wedding setting.
this was possibly my favourite room of the day
Just down the street is the old armouries which is now the police station. 
I neglected to take a photo but, wouldn't you know it, I do have an old postcard. We toured the newly renovated facility and saw the dark old jail cells as well as the light filled new offices 
and I really wanted to add these jail cell keys to my old key collection. I wish I'd taken a picture of the whole display case to show just how enormous they were!
then we headed outdoors where we were treated to an impromptu first lesson on a segway!

for a brief millisecond, I thought about grabbing my friend's purse and taking off, just to have this poor cop try to chase me on this thing.
but, I remembered what those jail cells looked like and besides, we had more to see.....


  1. An imposing structure. Those little gizmos look like a lot of fun.

    1. I'm not sure I could take any cop seriously who rode one of these things! they use them to patrol the beach during the summer.

  2. I have some photos of Victoria Hall that took last August. At that time they were working on the the bell tower. After seeing your shot of the interior I now wish I had made the trip inside. Last year on Canada Day weekend I was on Cobourg Beach. The beach was very crowed with people. The police were riding the segways. The segway made them slightly elevated above the crowd. This gave them the advantage of seeing offenders before they saw the police coming. They were handing out tickets for drinking alcoholic drinks on the beach.. You know Ontario has laws about drinking your booze in the right location.

    1. My friends live right near the beach and I hear stories. and the noise when I visit and it isn't even crowded. I guess some people haven't heard about our laws. every year.
      but yes, go inside next time. it's breathtaking.


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