Templin Gardens recognized by Doors Open Ontario

Fergus’ celebrated landmark Templin Gardens was voted “Favourite Civic Space, Garden or Monument” in the Doors Open Ontario online survey.

Open to members of the public, the online voters were asked to choose from twelve provincial sites.

Templin Gardens came in first place, over other locations in regions such as Oshawa, Niagara and Huron County.

“It’s wonderful for Templin Gardens to be recognized by the public in this way,” said Deb Dalziel of Elora Fergus Tourism.

“A lot of community volunteers work tirelessly to make Doors Open such a success.”

Templin Gardens is a picturesque centrepiece, located in the heart of downtown Fergus, offering visitors close-up views of the river. The greenspace is maintained by the Fergus Horticultural Society.

Built in the late 1920s, Templin Gardens is named after the legendary family that owned and operated the Fergus News Record Newspaper for years. Hugh Templin, in particular, was one of the most respected Newspaper editors in Canada.

The picturesque riverfront property had been in private hands for a number of years, but in July of 2010 Centre Wellington Township purchased the property and undertook extensive renovations.

Overall there were 16 voting categories on the Doors Open Ontario site ranging from favourite Government or Public Building (Don Jail, Doors Open Toronto) to Favourite Industrial Site (Old Stone Mill, Doors Open Rideau Lakes-Westport).

“The timing of the award announcement couldn’t be better, as we look forward to the Light the Falls program being put in place by the Fergus BIA,” said Dalziel. “Going forward, not only will Templin Gardens be stunning during the day but will be beautifully lit in the evening too.”

For the past four years various sites throughout Fergus and Elora have participated in Doors Open Ontario. It is an opportunity for the general public to explore the many “doors opened” in community buildings, outdoor areas and heritage sites during this annual celebration of heritage, architecture, parks and culture. The event is free of charge.

A joint undertaking of Heritage Centre Wellington, the Wellington County Museum and Archives and Elora Fergus Tourism, Doors Open Fergus-Elora is also part of Doors Open Ontario, and Ontario Heritage Foundation, a province-wide initiative to celebrate community heritage.

Robyn Mulder is coordinator of the 2012 Doors Open  Fergus-Elora schedule and she is hoping this award will encourage other sites to open their doors.

“We are excited about the sites that wish to participate again and as always are looking for new sites to add to our event,” Mulder said.

This years line-up of Doors Open Fergus-Elora venues includes Mermaid Antiques on Metcalf Street in Elora and the Knox Presbyterian Church of Elora, celebrating its’ 175th anniversary.

“New sites are always needed to keep visitors returning and interest high,” Mulder said.

Anyone with a heritage building, be it a business or family abode, or a unique concept they think visitors may find interesting, Doors Open would like to feature the site in this event.  Contact Robyn at rmulder@centrewellington.ca for more information.

Doors Open takes place on June 23. For information contact Elora Fergus Tourism or visit doorsopenontario.on.ca.