$20/person Including complimentary tour guide book.
Tours are approximately 1 hour in length.
Be ready to be outside in the sun (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle, etc.).
Participants may encounter uneven walking surfaces.
These events are weather dependent – if raining, the event will be rescheduled.
Space is limited so please book in advance. Low registration numbers may result in tours being rescheduled. Minimum of 6 participants required.
Step back into the past as you are guided through the tree lined boulevard of First Street SE. Once known as the Esplanade, it was home to Medicine Hat’s earliest and most affluent settlers. Marvel at the beautifully preserved architecture and explore the social history of the characters who once resided within. Each tour is subtly different as our guides delight in sharing their own stories and memories of this neighborhood, imparting a true sense of place to those eager to listen.
The Historic First Street SE Walking Tour starts OUTSIDE the Esplanade. Please note that the Esplanade does not open to the public until noon.
About your tour guide Sally (McGee) Sehn
Sally was born and raised in Medicine Hat. A frequent patron of the Esplanade Archives, she was a driving force behind this most recent rendition of historical First Street walking tours, created by the Heritage Resources Committee (now Heritage Resources Working Group).Sally was born and raised in Medicine Hat. She is a past member of the Historic Resources Committee and an impassioned researcher turned tour guide. A purveyor of historical facts, stories, and forgotten details, she pulls from both her research and memories, to weave a walking experience that will keep the stories of our neighbourhoods alive and well.
Can’t get enough of our Historic First Street? New this year the Historic First Street SW walking tour. There’s more of First Street to discover!
Steps from where the Southeast tour leaves off, you will journey into a very different piece of Medicine Hat history. Once considered outside our city limits, First Street SW was homestead land.
Venture “off the grid”, beyond Medicine Hat’s historic boundaries to follow our story to its very edge without ever leaving the tree lined boulevard of First Street.
Each tour is subtly different as our guides delight in sharing their own stories and memories of this neighborhood, imparting a true sense of place to those eager to listen.
The Historic First Street SW Walking Tour starts at 78 First Street SW.
About your tour Guide Louisa Smith
Louisa Smith is an enthusiastic advocate for the preservation of our local history and a proud member of the Heritage Resources Working Group with the City of Medicine Hat. Born and raised on the Canadian Prairies with an appreciation for her family heritage she now helps preserve the broader stories of our community. She has 20 years experience living in a historic home and has gotten her hands dirty with many restoration projects. Louisa and her husband are both retired and spend time together volunteering, gardening, and getting together with loved ones. She enjoys visiting museums and historic sites when she travels, and her favourite thing about Medicine Hat is its vibrant arts and heritage scene and of course the beautiful walking trails and natural areas!
Home to Medicine Hat’s historic Canadian Pacific Railway Station, North Railway Street was once the heart of our early settlement. The CPR created a need for hotels, restaurants and services, emerging as the central point from which development radiated. Explore the roots of our community by discovering the dreams, triumphs and tribulations of the people behind the brick and mortar structures of this vibrant and culturally diverse neighbourhood. Our guide combines storytelling, historical facts and forgotten or overlooked building details, like hidden facades and ghost signs, to connect you with the past. Join us for a tour and we promise you won’t look at North Railway Street the same again!
The Historic Railroad District Walking Tour departs from the parking lot across from 301 North Railway Street SE.