Guelph’s Flavours: Connecting through Storytelling

By: Lynn B of Taste Detours

Most cities will, of course, assert stories of their uniqueness — of their roots, their successes and what they’ve amounted to today. In this way, Guelph may not be different, but we really do have much to boast about. We’re a city of firsts since our founding days. Unlike many rural locales, Guelph was actually designed to lure people to its very idea: to build a life from scratch and subsequently impact all that we were to become.

We each have personal and sometimes collective stories to tell of Guelph. Stories lived out in neighbourhoods, in our parks, our shops and on the streets. When taken together, these stories flavour and frame an overall distinctiveness — a true sense of identity, and of place. When told to each other, our stories have the power to further shape an appreciation of Guelph and ultimately help us understand who we are.

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Storytelling has the power to connect and build community. Whether or not we’re completely aware of it, this is something we experience everyday. The smallest details, when told aloud, can truly bring a place alive. These stories have the power to draw visitors into a community and create a connection. By offering them up, we can help build an emotional attachment to this place.

Each time we take guests on a food tour, we not only speak to what Guelph is, was, and may become — we actively show them. We offer a slice of Guelph’s unmistakable flavours and then relate what they’re eating back to our deep agricultural roots. We are quite literally feeding them our stories. By sharing the backgrounds of the people, the businesses, the buildings and streetscapes on our walks, we invite visitors and locals alike to gain a bit more insight than can simply be read.

Our aim at Taste Detours is to illuminate Guelph’s population of creatives, of innovators, entrepreneurs and collaborators. We also celebrate Guelph’s collective good hearts. These traits are our key advantage. So yes, while we may be biased, we believe Guelph is out of the ordinary and that we’re all a sum of its exceptional parts. Let’s tell that to each other and to everyone we meet.

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