GAC Historical Walking Tours begin May 9

GUELPH – The 2021 Historical Walking Tours season has been delayed by the province-wide stay-at-home order but the Guelph Arts Council (GAC) plans on launching the weekly tours on May 9.

An annual Guelph tradition, the Historical Walking Tours highlight Guelph’s rich cultural, architectural, and social history through six featured tours.

Hosted by GAC and led by a team of volunteer tour guides, the tours provide an opportunity to learn the stories and history behind Guelph landmarks and popular walking routes.

The cost is $8 per person, online through the event calendar. Spots are limited, and all participants must wear masks.

For over thirty years, Guelph Arts Council has celebrated the city’s cultural history through walking tours extending over a period of several months.

The 2021 tours will run from May 9 to Oct. 3 except in July, and will range from exploring the slopes of the Speed River, various areas of Downtown Guelph, Catholic Hill and Exhibition Park, and what was formerly known as Brooklyn, one of Guelph’s early industrial sections.

Specific tour dates and registration limits may be affected by COVID-19 public health regulations. Registered participants will be notified of tour changes, and refunds will apply to any cancellations, organizers note.

This season’s walking tours will kick off with Where Guelph Began on May 9 at 10am. This tour encircles the original Market Square area, an area for both current and historic social and business life, where many of Guelph’s first buildings were built.

Tours include Where Guelph Began, Slopes of the Speed, Altar and Hearth, Brooklyn and the College Hill, and Ward One Guelph.

Participants will engage in an enriching in-person tour that aligns with public health recommendations, while hearing Guelph’s stories and viewing some of the city’s best examples of masonry, stone carving, and historic architecture.

A free Public Art Walk on Sept. 25 will be included in these historic walks as part of Culture Days Guelph.

Events calendar

All tour details can be found at tickets can be purchased through the events calendar.

The tours are operating with COVID-19 precautions organizers note.

All participants must wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth and maintain physical distancing throughout the tour.

The tours have been condensed to 60 to 90 minutes.

Participants who arrive without a face covering will be asked not to participate and will receive a refund through the GAC office.

Guides will not handle cash.

Tour booklets will be available at the GAC office only. Tours are restricted to a maximum of six prepaid and pre-registered participants.

Tours with less than two registrations by the previous Friday at 4pm will be cancelled.