‘Chew on This’ program offers glimpse into City’s past

City of St. Catharines press release – The City of St. Catharines is teaming up with the St. Catharines Downtown Association to give local restaurant patrons something to ‘chew on’ while they are waiting for their food.

The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre has harnessed historical photos from the museum’s collection and combined them into a series of booklets that will be available at local restaurants with the aim of creating some friendly banter during guests’ dining experience.

Dubbed, “Chew On This!”, the program offers another unique way the museum can share its photographic collection, while also aiming to inspire some dinner conversation, by offering diners the opportunity to flip through the book while waiting for their meal. The program is presented by the museum and St. Catharines Economic Development and Tourism Services, in partnership with the St. Catharines Downtown Association.

Each booklet has six photographs and there are five versions of the booklets with different themes – Water, In the News, People and Places, Changing Roles of Women, and The QEW and Skyway. The photos are not presented with historic information or captions, but instead include questions aimed at encouraging patrons to make their own observations and interpretations about each image. Afterwards, dining patrons can visit the museum’s blog, https://stcatharinesmuseumblog.com, for all of the information on each of the photographs.

Additionally, each participating restaurant is listed in the back of the booklet, so patrons can visit all five locations to see all five sets of photographs.

“The ‘Chew on This!’ booklets are just another way for the museum to engage the community outside of its walls. We’re able to connect with the public in a completely different way and will reach some new audiences,” said Kathleen Powell, museum curator and supervisor of historical services. “There are a lot of interesting photos included in the booklets, some that residents may have never seen before. We hope it will provoke some interesting dinner conversation.”

The booklets are available to view at the following participating restaurants in downtown St. Catharines until March 31: East Izakaya, Wind Japanese and Thai, Dani’s Bistro, Fiddler’s Pour House and OLiV Tasting Room & Artisan Kitchen.

“The St. Catharines Downtown Association and its downtown restaurant community are pleased to partner with the St. Catharines Museum for the Chew on This! booklet project. We hope that those coming downtown to dine will enjoy looking at the photos, intended to spark stimulating conversation about St. Catharines’ history,” said Carolyn Watson, communications coordinator for the St. Catharines Downtown Association.

The City hopes the project will engage its residents and visitors to not only explore the City’s history, but also the economic progress downtown.

“With the recent revitalization of our downtown, people have taken an increasing interest in learning about the heritage of our city, its buildings, and how our community has changed over the years,” said Samir Husika, downtown development officer with St. Catharines Economic Development. “This project is a great way for both residents and newcomers to gain an understanding of just how much our community has evolved over the years while gaining an appreciation for its rich history.”


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