Award-winning walking tour company, Context Tours, has brought its small-group, scholar-led “walking seminars” to Canada.
Led by local historians, architects, urbanists, art historians, artists, chefs, sommeliers and writers, Context Tours’ programs are now available in Montreal and Vancouver.
Walks are available both privately on request and as regularly scheduled shared group walks. Private walks start at $375 for the party, and group walks from $85 per person.
Context’s Canadian experiences start with six to seven different walks, each attempting to highlight subjects key to understanding each city. The program in Montreal ranges from Montreal, From Trading in Fur to Culture, tracing how the city bounced between the French and the English due to its early strategic location for the fur trade, to its rise as the country’s top commercial city and now 20th century city of arts and culture. Quebec Identity and Traditions walk is a visit to the very French Canadian area of East Montreal to discover the roots of Quebec heritage, nationalism and cultural uniqueness.
The city’s renown diversity will be explored on Multicultural Montreal while its culinary traditions discovered on Made in Quebec, A Savoury Stroll through the Jean Talon Market, in the company of a food writer or chef. Art lovers can also have an insider look at the city’s immensely strong culture scene on Montreal, City of the Arts.
Vancouver’s walks will highlight its past on Vancouver, an Introduction to the Mountain Metropolis and then its current urbanism on the 21st Century City, accompanied by an architect or urban planner. West Coast art is the focus on the City vs Nature, an Artistic Struggle, a two-hour visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery illustrating how local artists have sought out or turned their back to Vancouver’s amazing natural surroundings.
On the gastronomic front Wines of BC, a Tasting Journey of the Province introduces one of the continent’s top wine producing regions in the company of a sommelier whereas Made in BC, A Canadian Cornucopia, samples the incredible range of the province’s local food specialties with an acclaimed chef or food writer. Several other walks including one on environmentalism and another on West Coast First Nations culture are in the works.
“Both cities have a lot to offer on the cultural spectrum, more than merely colonial history and maple syrup,” says Lily Heise, Context’s expansion manager, herself a Canadian. “We’re thrilled to be able to connect intellectually curious travellers with our special team of local specialists to really understand how these cities are forging their own unique path through history and into the 21st century.”