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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Doors Open events invite visitors to explore power, environmental issues

   One-Tank Trip published Sept. 10/11, 2011

   (c) By Jim Fox

  Ever wondered about those wind turbines swirling along the shores of Lake Erie or what goes on inside a nuclear generating station?
The Erie Shores Wind Farm is a featured stop for Doors Open East Elgin.

  Doors Open Ontario provides an insight into power that’s blowing in the wind at the East Elgin event on Sept. 24 and the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station on Oct. 1.
   Environmentalists can check out a house renovated for “sustainable living” in Kitchener and see the operation of a hazardous waste, recyclable materials and reusable goods centre in Mississauga.
   Doors Open is the Ontario Heritage Trust program giving people to take a peek behind often-closed doors to “discover the province's hidden heritage treasures,” said publicist Liane Nowosielski.


   Blowing in the wind
   Visitors can learn about the 66 “magnificent, energy-producing wind turbines” located east and west of Port Burwell, along Lake Erie.
   It happens at the Wind Interpretive Centre Information Kiosk (5361 Brown Rd.) in Bayham on Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as part of Doors Open East Elgin.
   The Erie Shores Wind Farm, which includes information and a windmill display at the kiosk, was established in 2007 as a joint project between Bayham, Malahide Township and Elgin County.
   The turbines are spread over 25 kilometres of shoreline and produce about 278,000 megawatt-hours of renewable “clean energy” a year.

   Powering up Ontario
   Here’s a chance to get an inside look at Ontario Power Generation’s Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.
   Doors Open Pickering on Oct. 1 includes the station’s information centre (1675 Montgomery Park Rd.) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visitors can learn about the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station at Doors Open on Oct. 1.
    Located on the Lake Ontario shoreline, the station opened in 1971 and is one of the world’s largest nuclear generating facilities generating 12 per cent of the province’s electricity.
   Tours will highlight the nuclear power station’s “history and current operations.”

   Reaping energy savings
   The REEP House for Sustainable Living (20 Mill St.) in Kitchener is among the Doors Open Waterloo Region sites on Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
   The house, built in 1905, was renovated by the non-profit REEP (Residential Energy Efficiency Project) Green Solutions initiative.
The REEP House for Sustainable Living in Kitchener shows energy-conservation measures.
  This is a “super-insulated, water-wise, brick environmental education centre” with an open-concept design, in-floor heating, energy-efficient stained-glass windows, water recycling system and shingles made of old tires.

   What’s old is new again
   Find out what happens to waste items sent for recycling during Doors Open Mississauga on Oct. 1.
   Among the sites to tour is the Fewster Community Recycling Centre (1126 Fewster Drive) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
   This is the newest centre of its kind in Peel that offers “an opportunity to dispose of hazardous waste, recyclable materials and reusable goods.”
   The tours every 30 minutes will “showcase various types of household waste materials and how they are managed” by the recycling centres.

   Play ball in St. Marys
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Marys is one of the Doors Open attractions. (Jim Fox photo)
   Check out Canada’s “Cooperstown” at Doors Open St. Marys on Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
   Located in an 1860’s limestone house packed with artifacts and memorabilia, it “pays tribute to baseball’s impressive Canadian roots and the accomplishments of its inductees.”
One of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum exhibits highlights the All-American Girls Professional Baseball league that recruited players from Canada. (Jim Fox photo)
   The site overlooking the “famous” quarry swimming hole includes a major-league-style baseball diamond, two children’s fields and picturesque walking trails.

   Keeping ‘em down on the farm
   It’s appropriate that Doors Open Oxford on Sept. 24 recognizes the area’s distinction as the “Dairy Capital of Canada.”
   Danensview Farm in Tavistock will be open for tours during Doors Open Oxford.
   Danensview Farm (677140 16th Line) in Tavistock is open for tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to learn about this second-generation, family-operated dairy farm.
   See modern technologies such as automatic feed mixing and activity monitors and learn how farming has changed over the years and what the future holds.

   Middlesex swings open
   Joining the Doors Open roster is Middlesex on Sept. 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum (8348 Longwoods Rd.) in Mount Brydges.
   This Haudenosaunee village, created on the basis of archeological data and traditions passed on by First Nations people, depicts a longhouse village of 1,000 years ago.
   There are 18 outdoor exhibits, a palisade maze and artifacts excavated on the property that has groomed hiking and nature trails and a marsh boardwalk.

   If you go:
   To find out more about these and other Doors Open events, including London on Sept. 17 and 18 and St. Thomas on Oct. 1 and 2, go to www.doorsopenontario.on.ca

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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com

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