While there are many wonderful resources out there for learning about local history, one of my personal favourites, that I highly recommend is the Canadian application “On This Spot”. The app was designed by University of Victoria graduates, Andrew Ferris and Chris Reid. The app allows you to select certain cities across Canada and Europe to learn about local history. Upon selecting Victoria, BC’s Capital, you can look through a variety of photos of the city, or engage in a walking tour. The photographs are montages of photos from the cities archives and current images of those same sites. Personally, I find it very powerful to be able to see how these historic images fit into the version of Victoria known to me today. The app also provides a short 4.18 km walking tour down Government street and along the Inner Harbour. The tour includes 10 locations with side-by-side photos of the location from city archives to the present as well as in-depth historical write-ups. There are also walking tours and photo galleries available for The Gorge Park in Esquimalt and the E&N Railways that once travelled through Victoria and up the island. If you are ever walking around Victoria’s downtown are interested in seeing the city in a new way, I highly recommend downloading this app to check out a few of the stops. If you aren’t in Victoria but are interested in the local history of another community, download the app to see if your location is on the list. Since it first launched in 2016, the app has expanded to include many locations across Canada and parts of Europe. I highly recommend trying “On This Spot” to access amazing visuals and thoughtfully sourced historical information about your community. This free resource is available on the App Store or Google Play. You can also follow “On This Spot” on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
For more information, visit their website: https://onthisspot.ca/