Stewart & Witton at Doors Open Hamilton!

Stewart & Witton 150 self-guided walking tour for Doors Open Hamilton

May 6, 2022

Hamilton, ON — Exciting news from the Friends of St. Giles: our first Stewart & Witton walking tour is part of Doors Open Hamilton!

Fittingly, the theme for Doors Open Hamilton 2022 is Design: all four buildings on this self-guided tour were designed by the prominent and talented Hamilton architects, Walter Wilson Stewart & William Palmer Witton. Both born in 1871, Stewart & Witton created many of Hamilton’s most cherished landmarks — beautifully designed, architectural gems like St. Giles church, the Playhouse Cinema, and many others.

Dr. Sarah Sheehan, spokesperson and founding member of the Friends of St. Giles, is co-chair of the event with Janice Brown of ACO Hamilton.

Printed tour maps will be available this weekend at Doors Open Hamilton sites and tours in Ward 3, including the Playhouse Cinema, which is on the tour.

View on the Doors Open Ontario website

Design: RitaB Designs

(Download Doors Open Hamilton materials in PDF: map | brochure)

Black and white photograph of the Playhouse with old Playhouse Theatre sign and retail on both sides of the entrance.
The Playhouse Theatre (Stewart & Witton, 1914) seen in the 1940s. Photo: Playhouse Cinema on Instagram.

Thanks again to the members of the Friends of St. Giles who volunteered their time developing and later testing the tour route one evening last fall, and to Naomi Bower for designing the tour map and Stewart & Witton 150 logo.

You need to visit St. Giles to appreciate its presence. Fine details abound, intricate hinges, fine moulding, stained glass, impressive doors, hidden delights on all sides.

Kathy Renwald

From ACO Hamilton’s press release:


The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, Hamilton Region Branch, is excited and honoured to host Doors Open Hamilton 2022. After two years of a pandemic, we’ll be opening doors to places that are not usually available for public tours: fun, free, and family-friendly for everyone involved.

Doors Open Hamilton features our city’s architecture, culture, and heritage from Ancaster and Dundas, to downtown Hamilton, Stoney Creek, and everything in between.   

Tour historic buildings that are being reimagined as new adaptive reuse spaces. Visit award-winning venues that were once derelict, and learn about their transformation.

Enter museums at no charge. Admire the beauty of sacred spaces. Take historical walking tours. Learn about our history and the people who are part of it. With over 30 sites, tours, and events, there’s something for everyone at Doors Open Hamilton 2022!

Event details:

Doors Open Hamilton 2022, Sat. May 7 & Sun. May 8, 10 – 4pm

Cotton Factory Spring Up! open house event Sat. May 7, 4 – 11pm

FREE! 30+ sites, tours, & events. Pre-registration required for Hamilton Civic Museums.

Download the Doors Open Hamilton brochure at > Branches > Hamilton Region or visit the Doors Open Ontario website, 

Follow us on social media! Event hashtags: #DoorsOpenHamilton #DOH22

More on Stewart & Witton:

Download the map + more info on #StewartWitton150 celebrations:

Friends of St. Giles website: Twitter: @StGilesFriends

Based in Hamilton’s Ward 3, the Friends of St. Giles are a group of neighbours and residents leading the community-based effort to save Stewart & Witton’s masterpiece, St. Giles church. Since early 2021, the Friends have been advocating in favour of green adaptive reuse of the church building, both as a municipal tool for climate action and for preserving the precious architecture, history, and community space that St. Giles represents.

With thanks to Janice Brown and ACO Hamilton, the Playhouse Cinema; Suzanne Zandbergen and the Barton Village BIA; Kathy Renwald; Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library; Martinus Geleynse, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada; the GALA Herald; The Hamilton Spectator; Tourism Hamilton; Naomi Bower; and the Friends of St. Giles.

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