Schomberg Village Introduces Historical Walking Tour in Support of Main Street Businesses
As part of the Digital Main Street Lab program, the Village of Schomberg is set to launch an interactive, digital walking tour with On This Spot this Spring. In partnership with King Township, the walking tour will highlight local businesses and other community sites. Funding for this pilot is made available through the Digital Main Street Future Proof program, with support in part from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
Each stop on the digital walking tour relates to a modern location where a historic photo was taken. App users can view a then-and-now photo comparison of each location, visit the modern business and learn about the history of the area. The technology will soon also allow users to place themselves in the historic photo.
In addition to 15 primary stops highlighting current day businesses operating out of heritage buildings, the app includes other nearby stops of interest including museums, monuments and historic sites.
“We are thrilled to launch our interactive digital walking tour in Schomberg which will profile the history of this Village while highlighting our incredible businesses along Main Street,” said Jamie Smyth, Manager of Economic Development for the Township of King.
Business communities are looking for ways to engage the public in safe and distant activities, while also driving new business. The Digital Main Street Lab seeks to pilot projects that help businesses interact with customers in innovative ways.
“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the Digital Main Street platform and see innovative technology pilot studies, like this one with On This Spot and King Township, to help ensure health and safety and build confidence in our main street businesses,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario. “We are proud to work with Digital Main Street partners including the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Regional Innovation Centres to help our innovation ecosystem grow stronger.”
“We are very appreciative of the support from FedDev Ontario and through the Digital Main Street Program to help shine a spotlight on our business community during these challenging times,” said Smyth.
About Digital Main Street
Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association on Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square and Yellow Pages. A $42.5 million investment from FedDev Ontario and an additional $7.45 million from the Government of Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa, and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses to go digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19.
About the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA)
The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) is a not-for-profit umbrella organization working with the 85 Business Improvement Areas within the City of Toronto, who in turn represent more than 90,000 business and property owners.
About FedDev Ontario
For more than 10 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects.
About King Township
The Township of King is a unique and special place that prides itself on its natural heritage and scenic beauty, agricultural lands, rich local and rural history and its rural traditions of farming, mills and a vibrant quality of life. King Township is one of nine local municipalities that make up the Regional Municipality of York and is located just 40 km north of downtown Toronto, boasting some of Ontario’s most beautiful rolling country sides and natural areas. Over 98 percent of King Township is within the Greenbelt area of which 65 percent of King’s area is contained within the Oak Ridges Moraine.
The Township is often referred to as a ‘community of communities’ where each of the villages and hamlets has its own distinctive character including notable cultural and natural landscapes, historical features and heritage properties. The Village of Schomberg’s historic Main Street is nestled in the heart of the Village and is bursting with historic character and charm. A popular destination for residents and tourists alike, as well as many cyclists, Main Street is the perfect location to enjoy specialty shops and restaurants.
The Township also has a long agricultural history and is well known for horse and produce farms. A significant portion of the Holland Marsh is located here. This specialty Crop Area, also known as ”Ontario’s Vegetable Basket,” plays an important role in Canada’s food export market and serves a substantial local market within the GTA.
About On This Spot
On This Spot is an interactive, digital walking tour app that premiered in the summer of 2016. On This Spot aims to engage its audience in history in new and innovative ways. The team works with local business associations, museums and historical societies to develop tours that best represent each area. The app then guides people through themed walking tours and explores the often hidden local history of each community. Based in Vancouver, On This Spot has rapidly expanded across Canada and is now in King!