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    Poor must be taught virtues of thrift

    October 31st, 2013

    The lack of thrift and “right habits” by those who live on the edge of poverty is bemoaned by a nineteenth century editor. Read the rest of this entry »

    Expectorating on the streets of Toronto

    October 30th, 2013

    An editor takes a dim view of those who expectorated on both the snowy and summer streets of Toronto. Read the rest of this entry »

    A spinster deplores social ban on female marriage proposals

    October 29th, 2013

    In a letter to the editor an anonymous lady deplores the social prohibition against female marriage proposals and suggests that every year be leap year. Read the rest of this entry »

    Logging life was work, whisky and danger in 1906

    October 27th, 2013

    Work and whisky comprised the cycle of life for many loggers on the coast of British Columbia in the first decade of the twentieth century. Read the rest of this entry »

    Floating to freedom on an old wooden gate

    October 26th, 2013

    The story of an American slave, who sought  freedom in Canada by attempting to cross the Niagara River on a wooden gate, is told in this item from the Toronto Leader, August 1853. Read the rest of this entry »

    Stock market crash October 1929: Why gentlemen prefer bonds

    October 24th, 2013

    “Gentlemen prefer bonds,” said Andrew Mellon (1855-1937), wealthy American financier, banker, and U.S. Treasury Secretary. Commons shares, or stock, were considered too speculative for gentlemen; best left to disreputable speculators. Had more investors heeded Mellon’s advice, the horrendous stock market crash of October, 1929, which ushered in the Great Depression of the 1930s, would likely have been much less severe. Read the rest of this entry »

    An Irish catholic bishop blesses the victory of a protestant Scottish politician

    October 22nd, 2013

    Catholic and protestant friction was often raw in nineteenth century Canada, and perhaps no more so than in St. John’s, Newfoundland. So it was a rare incident of political ecumenism when the city’s predominantly Irish Catholics elected a Scottish Presbyterian to the colony’s Legislative Council. Read the rest of this entry »

    Hanged thieves are stark warnings

    October 20th, 2013

     The public hanging of a horse thief and two burglars was seen as a warning to others

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Dancing deemed immoral by 19th century preachers

    October 19th, 2013

    Nineteenth century preachers were divided on the morality of dancing. Many called it immoral, and sought to stop it. British Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said it would be acceptable as long as men and women danced in separate rooms. Read the rest of this entry »

    Paralympian Rick Hansen wheelchairs around the world. An excerpt from About Canada

    October 17th, 2013

    Thousands of cheering supporters greeted 30-year-old Rick Hansen at Vancouver’s B.C. Place Stadium, May 22, 1987, as he pushed his wheelchair the final yards of a 26-month, 40,073-kilometre journey, crossing four continents, 34 countries, and five mountain ranges. Read the rest of this entry »

    Drinkers suffer alcoholic poison because it’s the social custom

    October 16th, 2013

    People don’t drink because they like the stuff, but simply because it’s the accepted thing to do, argued the Winnipeg Times on April 15, 1879. Read the rest of this entry »

    A warm welcome for exilerating Canadian winter

    October 15th, 2013

    Canadians have many good reasons to love wonderful winter, Read the rest of this entry »

    Remittance man: a wart off the lap of luxury

    October 13th, 2013

    The remittance man, who received modest remittances from his family in England, was the butt of constant Canadian jokes and ridicule in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Read the rest of this entry »

    How you going to keep ‘em down on the farm?

    October 12th, 2013

    Schools were accused of contributing to the exodus of young men from the farm to the cities a century ago, Read the rest of this entry »

    Cockfight draws big crowd but police chief too busy curling

    October 11th, 2013

    Illegal cock-fighting reportedly flourished in Lindsay, Ontario in 1899 under the blind eye of the chief of police. Read the rest of this entry »

    Gun-toting gold rush miners of Vancouver Island

    October 10th, 2013

    Vancouver Island was the scene of a gold rush in the 1860s, although the colony’s mountain streams never panned out as well as the richer and more spectacular diggings on the Fraser River and in the Caribou country. Many of the prospectors who swarmed north were Americans. Although carrying revolvers was illegal, such gun toting was apparently common, Read the rest of this entry »

    Intoxicating ethanol in old-time painkiller now fuels cars and drunks

    October 9th, 2013

    “Every trader and storekeeper in the prairie provinces (then the North West Territories) is affected by a court ruling that bans the sale of a popular painkiller,” the Battleford Saskatchewan Herald reported December 2, 1878. Read the rest of this entry »

    Is perpendicular writing more legible and healthier than slanted?

    October 8th, 2013

    Before computers, and even before typewriters were widely used, legibility of handwriting was an important matter for business. John K. McInnis, a former school teacher and editor of the Regina Standard agrees with an article by Joseph Witherbee in Popular Science that “perpendicular writing” is not only much easier to read but also healthier than the “slanted writing” taught in schools. Read the rest of this entry »

    Big 12-step task to prepare your car for winter storage

    October 6th, 2013

    Detailed instructions for the daunting task of preparing the family auto for customary winter storage Read the rest of this entry »

    Afro-American slaves not always welcomed in Canada

    October 3rd, 2013

    Canada was the North Star, the haven, the sanctuary for American black slaves who ran north to freedom on the celebrated underground railroad. But not everyone in Upper Canada held out the welcome mat, Read the rest of this entry »