Lights in the dark.

The only thing better than a pretty door in the daytime is a pretty door at night.

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These belong to Knox’s Galt Presbyterian Church (c.1870) in Cambridge, Ontario.
For more pretty doors, visit Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors weekly feature.

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Jail time.

A few weeks ago, the munchkins were happily sent off to their grandparents’ place (thanks, Mom and Dad) so that the Mr. and I could wander around town looking at old stuff.

It was during the Doors Open Hamilton event in May that I fell in love with The Cotton Factory, a block of historic industrial buildings now transformed into a vibrant arts community, full of artsy people and their creations.

This time, Doors Open took place in Waterloo Region. We began our outing at the Pioneer Tower (c. 1926), climbing an enclosed 50-foot narrow staircase to the observation deck. Well… it was actually more ladder-ish than staircase-ish. I managed to avoid having an acrophobia-related panic attack. Barely.

In Cambridge, we toured the renovated interiors of the former Galt Carnegie Library (c. 1903). (I spied no ladders in that building, and though there were stairs, they weren’t the panic-inducing kind.)

The old Waterloo County Jail (c. 1852) had an intimate landscaped stone courtyard – a former “exercise yard” for inmates – with arched entrances. No ladders or staircases here, just benches. Good for play-it-safers like me, especially those whom have recently averted height-activated anxiety attacks.

Here, then, as an addition to the collection of interesting entryways found at Norm’s Thursday Doors weekly feature, are a few shots:

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Windows of opportunity.

“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.”

~Alan Alda

Bridges, doors, and windows. I looked through my shots over the past number of months, and a good proportion of them include these elements (also: flowers, cats, stairs, graffiti, my offspring, and a surprising number of insects). Make of that what you will.

But this week’s WordPress photo challenge is Windows, and instead of choosing just one, I decided to include a selection of pictures I’ve made over the past year. Several have been shared in previous posts, but there are a few new ones. Some are shot from the perspective of looking out, some looking in. Some aren’t real at all, but illusions. In every case, I saw an opportunity to make an image, hopefully one with some impact.

Unlike doors, those markers of separation, windows let the light in (or out). They allow observation, and reflection, and a deepening of perception: a glimpse of something beyond our sphere of experience. They can be dressed up, covered up, barred, dirtied, or cracked, but their potential to illuminate remains.

Thanks, WordPress, for the opportunity to share my growing collection of windows (should you choose “Insects” as a theme some week, I’ll be ready with another collage).

No more pencils, no more books.

While most schools are buzzing with kids this time of year, this particular educational institution sits, silent, on a hilltop in Cambridge, Ontario.

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Dickson Public School closed in 2014 due to its age and a dwindling student population. It had served the community for nearly 140 years.

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The building is beautiful, constructed of local cut limestone in a simple but pleasing design. It’s situated on the west side of the Grand River, a focal point in a neighbourhood of historic homes and architecture.

Apologies for the harsh shadows in these photos. The weather was definitely agreeable for a visit, but I wasn’t able to capture the front of the building without some interference from the sun.

I’d been hoping for some grand front doors to go along with the rest of the design. The arched front porch is lovely, but the bland, industrial entrance was a bit of a disappointment.

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The building has been empty for three years, but fortunately there are plans to redevelop the site into modern office space, along with the addition of a new 10-unit townhouse complex on the property. The developer intends to preserve both the exterior of the school and many of the unique and historic interior features.

I get a little dreamy when I wander around old buildings, wondering about times gone by. The generations of schoolkids who once roamed these empty halls, their laughter echoing over this deserted playground. Sadly, round the back, there are reminders of some of the harsh realities of today.

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Time will tell what changes are to come.

P.S.
If you’d like to look at more interesting entryways, be sure to visit Norm 2.0 for his weekly feature, Thursday Doors.

Keeping it teal.

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Today’s door comes from the beach town of Port Dover, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Erie.

I couldn’t resist the combination of a worn wooden frame, a line of odd photo collages, and a healthy dose of turquoise.

For more unique entrances, visit Norm 2.0 for his Thursday Doors weekly feature.

Lofty goals.

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Collingwood, Ontario – Post Office, 1897

Is it weird to have aspirations of photographing a series of doors? Specifically, post office doors? More specifically, old post office doors?

I’m guessing that Manja, who’s guest hosting Thursday Doors this week in Norm’s absence, won’t think it’s weird. She’s photographed more doors than I’ve actually seen in real life. At least a handful of them surely belong to old post offices?

Well, I think I only have one. Got to start somewhere.