Episode 13 - Heritage Tourism

September 17, 2018
Guest host Tom Bigelow joins Robin and Keely as they travel through the topic of Heritage Tourism. What attracts us to heritage sites? Who does heritage tourism appeal to? What is the future of this type of attraction? Join us and find out.

Notice History is the official podcast of Know History, a historical research company based in Ottawa. Visit our website at knowhistory.ca/podcast, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @NoticeHistory.

About the Episode

Have you ever visited the Byward Market in Ottawa? How about Dawson City in the Yukon? Have your ever taken a haunted walking tour? If so, you have participated in Heritage Tourism. While heritage tourism includes visiting museums and art galleries, there is indeed more to it than these traditional activities.

In this episode, Robin and Keely are joined by guest host Tom Bigelow. With his unique experience working at the Bytown Museum, the Diefenbunker, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, as well assisting with the development of a walking tour for the Workers’ Heritage Centre, Tom discusses the ins and outs of Heritage Tourism; its history, its future, and its appeal to visitors on a global scale.


  1. To learn more about the Ottawa Jail Hostel visit their website.
  2. Interested in a ghost tour? Haunted Walks holds tours in Ottawa, Toronto, and Kingston.
  3. To learn more about the Bytown Museum, click here.
  4. Learn more about the Workers’ Heritage Centre.


Boyd, Stephen. “Cultural and heritage tourism in Canada: Opportunities, principles and challenges.” Tourism and Hospitality Research 3, no. 3 (February 2002): 211-233.

Bunch, Adam. The Toronto Book of the Dead. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2017.

Canada’s Historic Places. “Heritage Tourism.” Accessed May 25, 2018. http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/pages/15_heritage_tourism-tourisme_patrimonial-.aspx.

City of Toronto. “Annual Indigenous Arts Festival at Fort York National Historic Site to celebrate Indigenous culture from June 21 to 24.” http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/it/newsrel.nsf/7017df2f20edbe2885256619004e428e/e13cde9614d10023852582950052c024?OpenDocument

City of Toronto. “Fort York National Historic Site.” Accessed 19 May 2018. https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/history-art-culture/museums/fort-york-national-historic-site/.

Creative City Network of Canada. “Cultural Tourism.” Accessed May 29, 2018. https://www.creativecity.ca/research-hub/cultural-tourism.php.

Distillery District Heritage Website. “Self Guided Tours.” Accessed 27 May 2018. http://www.distilleryheritage.com/onsite.html.

Freeman, Victoria. “‘Toronto Has No History!’ Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, and Historical Memory in Canada’s Largest City.” Urban History Review/Revue d’histoire urbaine 38, no. 2 (Spring 2010): 21-35.

Gordon, Alan. Time Travel: Tourism and the Rise of the Living History Museum in Mid-Twentieth-Century Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2016.

Hanks, Michelle. Haunted Heritage: The Cultural Politics of Ghost Tourism, Populism, and the Past. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press Inc, 2015.

Heritage Canada Foundation. “Built Heritage: Assessing a Tourism Resource Research Report.” Accessed June 3, 2018. http://archive.nationaltrustcanada.ca/sites/heritagecanada.org/files/Built%20Heritage_lr.pdf.

Historic Places. “Old Carleton County Goal.” http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=8443&pid=0. Accessed June 1, 2018.

Law, Christopher M. Urban Tourism: The Visitor Economy and the Growth of Large Cities. London: Continuum, 2002.

Lord Cultural Resources. “Ontario Cultural and Heritage Tourism Product Research Paper.” Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2009.  http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/publications/Ontario_Cultural_and_Heritage_Tourism.pdf.

Parks of the St. Lawrence. “Upper Canada Village Introduces New Breaking Down Barriers to History Weekend.” Accessed June 4, 2018.  https://www.parks.on.ca/about/media-room/upper-canada-village-introduces-new-breaking-down-barriers-to-history-weekend/.

Spacing Toronto. “50 Objects That Define Toronto: Bottle of Gooderham and Worts Rye Whiskey.” Accessed 27 May 2018. http://spacing.ca/toronto/2017/09/19/50-objects-define-toronto-bottle-gooderham-worts-rye-whisky/.

The Canadian Encyclopedia. “Upper Canada Village.” Accessed June 4, 2018. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/upper-canada-village/.

The Distillery Historic District. “A Dream Comes True.” Accessed 27 May 2018. http://www.thedistillerydistrict.com/about-us.html.

The Friends of Fort York and Garrison Common. “Indigenous Arts Festival at Fort York.” Accessed June 2, 2018.  http://www.fortyork.ca/news-a-events/news/193-indigenous-arts-festival-at-fort-york.html.

The Friends of Fort York and Garrison Common. “National Indigenous Peoples Day and Indigenous Arts Festival (2018).” Accessed 21 May 2018. https://www.fortyork.ca/news-a-events/events/455-national-indigenous-peoples-day-and-indigenous-arts-festival.html.

The Ottawa Citizen. “Jail hostel pronounces death sentence on Haunted Walk tours.” Accessed June 1, 2018. http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/jail-hostel-killing-public-tours-by-haunted-walk-of-ottawa.

The Ottawa Citizen. “Jail hostel rethinks decision to bar Haunted Walk tours.” Accessed June 5, 2018. http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/jail-hostel-will-continue-public-tours-after-haunted-walk-contract-ends-official-says.

Toronto’s Historical Plaques. “Gooderham and Worts Distillery Complex.” Accessed May 31, 2018. http://torontoplaques.com/Pages/Gooderham_and_Warts_Distillery_Complex.html.

Upper Canada Village. “About the Village.” Accessed June 4, 2018.  https://www.uppercanadavillage.com/about-the-village/.


Producers: Robin Mullins and Emily Cuggy

Hosts: Robin Mullins and Keely McCavitt

Guest Host: Tom Bigelow

Researchers: Kirsty Walker, Kierstin Stewart, Sara Wilmshurst, and Nick Bridges

Audio Editing: Emily Cuggy

Web Content: Casandra Masse

Image Credit: Chris Lund. “Tourists view the city of Montreal from the lookout on Mount Royal.” National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / Library and Archives Canada.