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Published on Thursday, July 20, 2017

New technology brings history to life in Oakville

Grant via Oakville MP John Oliver enables new service

New technology brings history to life in Oakville
Bronte walking smart phone 'app'
Bronte BIA celebrating the official launch of this unique new Bronte Village experience. From left are: Wendy Rinella, Ken Pollock, Guy Smith, Sean O'Meara, John Oliver, Ralph Robinson, Linda Leatherdale, Rob Burton and Sherril Wright. - Riziero Vertolli, Metroland The history of Bronte Village comes to life with local content and new technology, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage Celebration and Commemoration Program — Canada 150 Fund
By Marta Marychuk, Oakville Beaver

The Bronte Business Improvement Area (BIA) was one of two Oakville organizations to receive grants from the Canada 150 Fund in 2016, with Waterlution being the other.

Although the new technology was available for use on Canada Day, the BIA officially launched the Bronte Heritage Trail Tuesday (July 18) morning.

“This trail brings Bronte’s history to life,” said Oakville MP John Oliver, by connecting the new and old Bronte.

The new trail is equipped with e-beacons that are Bluetooth transmitters and have the capability of sending messages to a mobile device, either iPhone or Android, through the Bronte BIA app.

The Bronte Historical Society produced the local content for the heritage trail that was reflective of this area, said John Rishworth, vice president of business development at infinitycomm, which worked on the heritage trail project.

He said there are 19 e-beacons located throughout Bronte Village, with each e-beacon containing information about the historical fishing village of 1834, with the assistance of two voice actors.

Some of the notable locations on the Bronte Heritage Trail include: the lighthouse, the Fishermen’s Memorial, the Outer Harbour Marina, Sovereign House, Bronte Bluffs, and Bronte Beach.

The Bronte Heritage Trail is about two kilometres in length and takes about an hour and 30 minutes to complete at a leisurely pace.

In addition to the historical information, the Bronte BIA app also has a directory of all 200 Bronte BIA businesses and event listings.

App developer Anh Truong, of Hyllo-io, says the technology enables visitors to take a tour of the area without a tour interpreter because the technology downloads all of the information that’s online directly to the visitor’s mobile device.

Rishworth added the Bronte Heritage Trail would be connected to the Moccasin Trail, which is being developed by the Oakville Community Foundation, when the trail opens this fall.

“The Heritage Trail and beacon project brings history to life,” said longtime Ward 1 Oakville Town Councillor Ralph Robinson, who pointed to other cultural and historical landmarks in Bronte — such as the Peace Pole, Butterfly Project, and Fishermen’s Memorial. “Bronte is a constant learning experience.”

For more information about the app, visit: https://parkbench.com/news/bronte-bia-on-the-app-store.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

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