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This Couple Is On An Adventure To Visit All 87 "Heritage Minutes" Locations Across Canada

"We’re both history nerds and were kids in the '90s, so we have a lot of nostalgia for the Heritage Minutes."

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This Ottawa couple is on a mission to visit all 87 Heritage Minutes locations in Canada.


Jim Ellwood and Rebecca Bartlett are huge fans of the one-minute history vignettes. One day the couple were talking about road trips when Ellwood mentioned a plan he'd had for a while: a cross-country Heritage Minutes tour. Before long, they had a list of places and a mission to see them all by the end of 2018.

"We’re both history nerds and were kids in the '90s, so we have a lot of nostalgia for the Heritage Minutes," Bartlett told BuzzFeed Canada.

Ellwood and Bartlett are sharing their progress on their website, as well as on Instagram and Twitter. Here's a statue of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, in his hometown of Almonte, Ontario.

The janitor never got that peach basket back, did he?

This is the Chinese Railway Workers Memorial commemorating the thousands who died building the railroad.

Instagram: @minutesroadtrip

"We had no idea it even existed before we were researching that minute and it’s been one of our favourite locations," Ellwood said.

And here is Vince Coleman's morse code key, which Coleman used to save a train full of people from the Halifax Explosion. The key is on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Instagram: @minutesroadtrip

Although they only started in March, they have already ticked off more than 30 Heritage Minutes in Atlantic and Central Canada.

"Finding good locations for some of the Minutes was tough, especially since for the longer trips we need to be able to get there and back to Ottawa in two to three weeks," Bartlett said.

Another complicating factor was that not all Heritage Minutes are tied to specific locations. Ellwood and Bartlett had no idea where to go for the tribute to rural Canadian midwives, for example. Luckily for them, Historica Canada, the nonprofit organization that makes the Heritage Minutes, was more than happy to help. The group suggested the filming location of the midwife Minute — a frozen lake near Mont-Tremblant in Quebec.

"Historica has been very supportive of our project, which has been lovely," Bartlett said.

The adventure has also given Ellwood and Bartlett lots of new memories unrelated to the Heritage Minutes.


Ellwood said seeing icebergs and whales in Newfoundland, trying Halifax donairs, and seeing Quebec City in the winter are all highlights of their travels so far.

"This trip is ultimately a great way to see Canada, especially places we might not otherwise go."

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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