Pandemic! Kitchener in ‘The Grip’ of the 1918 Spanish Flu

Stroll through Kitchener’s pandemic experience over 100 years ago: a deadly pandemic, citizens gripped with fear, mass closures, and a mounting human toll!

Board of Health notice in Kitchener Daily Telegraph on October 7 1918 ordering all schools, churches and theatres to close due tot he influenza epidemic

Visit locations of those who suffered and died during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Learn about local leaders and medical workers who fought the illness and helped hundreds of patients.

This walk mixes heartbreak and heroism, while exploring a diverse range of experiences during the city’s worst public health crisis.

Led by: Todd Bowman

Accessibility: Route follows paved surfaces on main and neighbourhood streets, crossing at marked intersections. Accessible for scooters & wheelchairs.

Pandemic Walking Tour Details

Of course, we have the obligatory Liability Waiver and Release form that must be signed by each person in advance of joining the walk.  Why a waiver for a walking tour, you ask? Couldn’t get insurance without it. Stroll pays insurance… you sign the waiver. 

A sense of curiosity, a few questions and a willingness to learn something you didn’t know before.

Of course, dress for the weather; bring a hat, water bottle, umbrella, solid walking shoes (no flip flops!) and anything else you need to be comfortable on the walk. 

We walk rain or shine or snow! 

However, we do heed storm watches and warnings and would never put you in danger. Stroll may cancel and reschedule a walk due to an issued weather advisory. 

We don’t make scheduled bathroom breaks along the walking route. Please attend to personal needs before or after the walking tour. 

Twice a year Stroll hosts a series of public walking tours in the spring and fall. Make sure you are on the Stroll newsletter list so you know when they are available! 

Absolutely! The walking tour guides have chosen routes with the best possible accessibility in order to accommodate as many people as possible. However, construction happens and we do our best to re-route safely.

If you have any questions about the accessibility of a specific walk, please contact us in advance of booking. 

We’ll say it again… Always arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of time! If you arrive exactly at departure time, you’re already late! If you arrive really late, your walking tour will likely be shorter than you planned for. 

Public Tours: We start on time so you might miss the introduction. If you’re really late, you might miss the tour if we’ve already moved on. 

We know you’re a curious bunch so we’ve been preparing blog posts with additional resources from many of the walking tours. Happy reading!

A fabulous way to learn about my neighbourhood, my community, and my city. The ‘pandemic walking tour’ connected me to areas that I used to pass every day without thought. The tour has enriched my daily experience to reflect on the history connected to the families, buildings, and businesses of the past that have shaped our future. Thank you!
Tanya M.