An app created by UVic alumni will allow more people to stroll through history in Canada this summer.
On This Spot is a walking tour app that directs users to view history from the steps of photographers. It will be launching new content in 35 communities across Canada with 40 heritage, tourism, business and government organizations.
The app has photos in 54 communities across B.C. including over 150 then-and-now photos in Victoria. Courtenay and Cumberland will be the latest towns on the island to be added this week.
On This Spot CEO Andrew Farris says the app is for tourists, and for people who have lived in Victoria and other places for years, to glimpse history.
“This experience isn’t just for tourists, but for people who have called these communities home their entire lives,” said Farris in a press release Thursday. “Our mission is to make high-quality local history accessible to the widest possible audience and to make that history engaging and exciting enough for people to get out and explore the places they live.”
The company also says the app allows users to see dark parts of Canadian history.
Chief of business development Ross Heibert, who is Metis, says the app will allow for some education of the history of residential schools across Canada.
He says young people don’t want to learn about what’s in history books today.
“Young people today don’t want to learn about the spaghetti history that’s in most local history books written 40 or 50 years ago,” said Heibert in the press release. “Museums know this and are working to update, and we want to help them so they can pass the baton of historical literacy to the next generation.”
The app will be launching in 17 other B.C. towns and cities this week.
On This Spot hopes the app will be great for families looking to get out on this coming holiday.
READ MORE: Then and Now: Go back in time with these photo comparisons of Victoria over the past century