In this past and present photo, an interesting seaplane docks near the fishing boats at the Government Wharf as a curious crowd looks on. The Royal Canadian Air Force set up a seaplane base in Ucluelet during the Second World War. (Ucluelet and Area Historical Society & On This Spot Enterprises photo)

Stroll through Ucluelet’s history with the free ‘On This Spot’ app

Educational exercise is split into two unique tours and delivered with stunning ‘now and then’ photos

Ucluelet’s rich heritage is at your fingertips with the creation of a new digital historic walking tour anyone with a smartphone can download the free.

Developed by On This Spot app in partnership with the Ucluelet and Area Historical Society (UAHS) and Tourism Ucluelet, the educational exercise is split into two unique tours and is delivered with stunning historical photos superimposed over present day images.

The first tour, ‘People of Safe Harbour’, begins in the 1930s on Waterfront Drive and Bay Street with the first European pioneers. The second tour, ‘Ucluelet’s Seaplane Base’, showcases Ucluelet’s fascinating ties to the Second World War.

On This Spot app founder and CEO Andrew Farris told the Westerly News an exploration of the UAHS photo archives led to about 80 photos they would use as building blocks to compose the narrative thread of the walking tours.

Farris thinks now is one of the best times to engage with this kind of self-directed, educational material.

“With all the school lockdowns that are happening a major effect of what’s happening is the children are going stir crazy locked in their homes. What we want to do is provide teachers and students accessible, easy to understand, and engaging local content so they can appreciate the history that’s around them and learn a bunch in the process,” said Farris.

UAHS member Barb Gudbranson helped the project take shape.

“We had three different stations during the war: Seaplane, Spring Cove, and Long Beach,” said Gudbranson, adding that her grandfather was stationed at Spring Cove after relocating from Saskatchewan.

“Walk around and get to know your town,” she encourages.

Tourism Ucluelet’s executive director Denise Stys-Norman said she hopes the virtual experience gives Ucluetians a flavour of the history of the place they call home.

“Do it at your leisure,” she says. “It’s meant for everyone to use. I saw [the app] in Nanaimo and it intrigued me because we have such a rich history here.”

Ucluelet is a fascinating and beautiful place, notes Farris.

“There is a lot of depth to it. The Seaplane Base that existed during the Second World War has a very interesting history. It played an important role of defense of Canada from potential Japanese attacks. A lot of old-timers who are still alive today remember dramatic events, so seaplane crashes and stuff like that, occurring in Ucluelet,” he said.

Farris, who is based out of Vancouver, said he was blogging then and now photos as he went backpacking through Europe and Asia when the idea came about for On This Spot app. The app now features walking tours in about 20 Canadian cities.

“We want to allow local heritage societies to connect with their followers and people that who are interested in local history,” Farris said.



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ: Evidence of WWII’s impacts on Tofino and Ucluelet remains 75 years after D-Day

READ: B.C. artist creates special Haida emojis in new phone app

Local Historyucluelet

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Dylan Hillis preparing collagen samples from ancient dog bones at the UBC musuem of Anthropology. Photo: Eric Guiry
Ancient ‘woolly dog’ ate mostly fish, new University of Victoria study finds

Study gives researchers better understanding of human-dog relationships on Tsehaht First Nation

Ucluelet First Nation president Chuck McCarthy, right, stands with Ucluelet’s mayor and council during the Oct. 13 flag raising ceremony. (Submitted photo)
Council chambers host Ucluelet First Nation flag raising ceremony

District of Ucluelet and Yuułuʔiłʔath Government look towards moving forward collectively

The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO
School District 70 gets a new name

Name change reflects district’s West Coast roots

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read