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Region’s historical tour maps get a new look

A popular map of the region’s historic sites and vistas got an overhaul in time for Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Heritage Showcase today (Saturday).

The revised maps introduce a new package of four historic countryside tours.

“I think we’re very fortunate to live in a region that has both urban and rural bases. These tours give people within the whole region some background information when they visit the countryside – we have such beautiful countryside and such interesting history,” said heritage planning advisory committee spokesperson Kate Hagerman.

The initial tour map created in 2006 had an aged look to complement the historical element of the tours, which explore the region’s rural roots. The new version sports a simpler design and brighter colours.

“It was basically just an update to do some revisions and corrections and also we re-did the look: fresh and new. We updated the online version as well,” she said.

Staff added more information on the villages and hamlets covered by the tours and included new historic and scenic attractions along routes in the townships of North Dumfries, Woolwich, Wilmot and Wellesley.

“There are so many smaller communities in our countryside that are very interesting and there are also very interesting landscapes: rolling hills, interesting bridges especially along the Nith River. There are a lot of locations that you might not know about, but to see them collected on a tour makes it very appealing to go out and search them out,” said Hagerman.

The old versions of the map went out of print despite a rising demand for the tour packages from both local day-trippers and tourists to the region, she said. The trips take about two to three hours by car, but there are also options for cyclists and hikers, and showcase heritage buildings, bridges, landmarks, parks, scenic roads and trails.

Heritage groups from across the region have booths set up for the event. The free showcase takes place at Fairview Mall in Kitchener. The theme for 2014 is Having Fun with Heritage: Historic Places Made for Play, aiming to teach visitors about the region’s history from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with presentations at 11 a.m.

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