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    Lucky Toronto immigrants find shelter in police station

    September 28th, 2013

    Scottish immigrants evicted from their crofts to make way for sheep during the highland clearances of the nineteenth century, flooded into Canada. In Toronto, their first accommodation was sometimes a police station, and sometimes on the streets, Read the rest of this entry »


    American “literary abominations”

    September 26th, 2013

    Emily Murphy, magistrate, writer, and social, political and legal reformer, pens a tirade against a gusher of filthy, literary abominations imported from the United States. Read the rest of this entry »


    Foreign titles laughed to death in Parliament

    September 25th, 2013

    “A proposal for a return to titles for Canadians appeared laughed to a permanent death” during two days of heated debate in the House of Commons, according to the Toronto Globe, February 15, 1929. Read the rest of this entry »


    In Toronto harbour, rowboat romance

    September 24th, 2013

    A romantic row around Toronto’s harbour on a hot summer day might “make a young couple happy for the remainder of their days,” Read the rest of this entry »


    Hoop skirts hobble 19th century ladies

    September 22nd, 2013

    Hoop skirts, worn by high society women at formal events, were the height of fashion in the mid-nineteenth century. With crinoline attached to a bell-shaped frame of whalebone, metal or other stiff material, the hoop skirt was an inner petticoat followed by a second petticoat and then my lady’s dress, which was thereby formed into what was deemed to be a fashionable shape. Read the rest of this entry »


    Canada’s father of human rights. An excerpt from About Canada

    September 21st, 2013

    Three-and-a-half years after the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco, the nations of the world met in General Assembly in Paris to lay a foundation stone, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It is “the international Magna Carta of all mankind,” in the words of U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Read the rest of this entry »


    At Newfoundland, Vikings make first European settlement in North America. Excerpt from About Canada.

    September 20th, 2013

    Christopher Columbus was a century or so late in “discovering America,” when he arrived in 1492. Read the rest of this entry »


    Farmers’ “never do” list; success hints for anyone

    September 19th, 2013

    Secrets of the successful farmer, as revealed by the Brockville Recorder, November 11, 1836, might offer some hints for success in today’s world.

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Nova Scotia’s illiterate, lazy vagabond teachers

    September 18th, 2013

    Nova Scotia needs “a general system of education,” financed by direct taxation, with teachers who are better than half-educated “lazy vagabonds,” Read the rest of this entry »


    Winnipeg doctors cashed in on booze prescriptions

    September 17th, 2013

    At least some doctors made a good thing of prohibition. You could quench your thirst if you could get a doctor’s prescription for liquor for medicinal purposes. In Manitoba, some doctors were selling liquor prescriptions by the caseload, Read the rest of this entry »


    When newspapers lied for political masters

    September 15th, 2013

    From before Confederation until nearly the end of the century, almost every significant nineteenth century newspaper in Canada was owned or controlled by either the Liberal or Conservative parties. If at times it did not tell barefaced lies, the party press was “often compelled to keep the vital truth below its breath,” Read the rest of this entry »


    Knocked flat In street brawl with prairie blizzard

    September 14th, 2013

    Prairie blizzards were so fierce and blinding that a lifeline was necessary between the farm house and the outhouse to avoid getting lost in a storm. Things were sometimes not much better in town. Read the rest of this entry »


    Race for first trans-continental railway

    September 12th, 2013

    North West Transportation, Navigation, and Railway Company has a plan to beat the United States with the first railway across the continent to the Pacific coast, Read the rest of this entry »


    Queen Victoria insulted, Canada agitated

    September 11th, 2013

    An America magazine has called Queen Victoria and her family “dull, coarse and illiterate.” Read the rest of this entry »


    Unjustice for abused Quebec servant girl

    September 10th, 2013

    In the case of a poor, abused servant girl, justice in the Quebec village of Sorel was not only blind but most unjust, Read the rest of this entry »


    Spread gospel, teach illiterate highland Scots to read the Bible

    September 8th, 2013

    Instead of sending missionaries to spread the Christian gospel throughout the endless forests of Canada, a better and cheaper way would be to teach illiterate highlanders who are leaving Scotland in the tens of thousands to read the Bible,

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Ship-wrecked cannibals survive Atlantic storm

    September 7th, 2013

     Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,

    And the mate of the Nancy brig,

    And a bo’sun tight, and a midshipmite

    And the crew of the captain’s gig.

    The elderly naval man in W.S. Gilbert’s Yarn of the Nancy Bell, who survived by dining on his mates, was fictional, but survivors of another brig, the George, were not, Read the rest of this entry »


    When chivalry masked male chauvinism

    September 6th, 2013

    Chivalry in the nineteenth century was often no more than blatant male chauvinism.  Women do not need the vote, nor power, nor the right to join any of the professions, the military or the church, Read the rest of this entry »


    When newspapers where black, white and read all over

    September 5th, 2013

    Almost 430,000 copies of newspapers were circulated in Upper Canada in 1836 among a population of 370,000, of whom it was claimed perhaps one in 50 could read, Read the rest of this entry »


    How to cook your fish by the river

    September 4th, 2013

    A simple way of cooking a whiting, or good salmon trout, by the river. Read the rest of this entry »