Nanaimo’s culture and heritage department is offering residents and visitors a new guide to view some of the oldest residential buildings in the Old City Quarter.
The new brochure, A Walk Through Time: Your Guide to Nanaimo’s Old City Heritage Walk, is one of eight heritage tours created by the city to shed light on the Harbour City’s diverse cultural heritage.
Of the eight tours, one is a biking tour and another is a driving tour, but the rest are for walkers.
“It covers all the core areas downtown and the outlying areas. It’s been about 15 years to put these all in place. It all started with the downtown one,” said Chris Sholberg, City of Nanaimo’s culture and heritage planner.
The tour features 36 locations, mostly historical residences and is 6.1 kilometres long. Scholberg said it can take up to three hours, depending on people’s walking speed.
The first spot identified on the walk is the Manson residence on Selby Street. The original home was a modest worker’s cottage built between 1885 and 1887. According to the brochure, renovations to the home include a front verandah and gable and late-Victorian posts. Modern doors and windows have also been added, but the original cottage is still visible from the side of the house.
Although workers made their home in the area, it also attracted wealthier citizens.
“It tended to be one of the exclusive areas … for people who had wealth,” said Sholberg. “The purpose of all of the heritage walks is to provide awareness about Nanaimo’s heritage and history, through its built heritage,” said Sholberg. “Each neighbourhood has its own story to tell.”
The brochures are available in city buildings, the Nanaimo Museum, Tourism Nanaimo and the Nanaimo Community Archives.
Copies can also be downloaded from the city’s website, www.nanaimo.ca.