“Guelph’s stunning limestone architecture makes the perfect backdrop for these stories” says Jay. “That’s what makes JayWalking Guelph an experience you simply can’t get anywhere else.”
Now in its sixth year, actor, storyteller, Jay Wilson entertains visitors and residents with JayWalking Guelph – storytelling walking tours. JayWalking Guelph is a one-man theatre company featuring stories, recitations, walking tours, and small-scale theatre productions. Performing at festivals, events, schools, theatres, community centers, retirement homes, parties, or simply out on the street, Jay has performed throughout Ontario going on 50 years now!
“As an actor, Jay is always looking for great text. If he finds something well-written, he enjoys bringing those words to life. For Jay, it is not just great stories, but great stories well written, and then well told. It’s the printed word and the setting that transports the audience into the 19th century.
The Gwelf Early Days Tour is a moving theatrical journey featuring newspaper accounts, diary reports, journal entries, and local 19th-century poetry, as you visit unique historic locations in downtown Guelph. Stories such as The Felling of the Tree, The Baby Contest, The Tornado 1829, Clearing the Land, The First Four To Die, Guelph’s First Blushing Bride, Temperance, and other delightful tales of early Guelph.
The Unfortunate Man Tour is a compelling true story of a murder from 1889 told right where it happened. You’ll see where William Harvey worked (James Walter Lyon’s The World Publishing Company), Bond’s Hardware where William Harvey bought the pistol, St. George’s Church, where William was the Sunday School Superintendent, and finally the Wellington County Courthouse where William Harvey was hanged! Hear actual newspaper accounts of the day recited from memory. Hear William’s final words. Listen to detailed accounts of this shocking event exactly as written in 1889.
There are scheduled performances from May to October. Tickets are available at Eventbrite. Groups of 4 or more people can book directly with Jay at [email protected] and have their tour any day, any time! Imagine a tour at dawn or a tale of murder told right where it happened at the stroke of 12 midnight!
True to Guelph’s reputation as a generous community, proceeds from all tours during the month of May will be given to Guelph’s Food For Kids Program, supporting local families. “I have friends who volunteer with Food for Kids. It’s one of those initiatives where 100% of the funds go toward local services” says Jay.
This fall and winter JayWalking Guelph will offer indoor shows. In addition to Gwelf Early Days and The Unfortunate Man indoor multi-media performances, there is an all-new Scandalous Guelph show, featuring tales of murder, bootlegging, prostitution, and scandals of all types. These shows are perfect for your social club, community hall, service organization, or special event. Visit JayWalkingGuelph.ca for details about these shows and all JayWalking Guelph activities.
“True, JayWalking Guelph is popular with residents, but visitors also love learning about the place they are visiting, and a walking tour allows them to experience Guelph up close,” says Jay.