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    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 »


    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 »


    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 »


    Flour sack dresses were once farm fashion

    October 2nd, 2013

    Ask for Flour Sack to Use for Clothing For Farmer’s Family,” said the headline in the Regina Leader Post, January 5, 1925, in an appeal to help a distressed Saskatchewan farm family. “Three successive crops dried up, hailed out and burned by fire—children take turns to wear one set of clothes.” Read the rest of this entry »


    Dangerous trains speed through Toronto

    October 1st, 2013

    Trains race through Toronto at speeds up to 30 or 40 miles per hour “to the imminent peril of life and limb,” Read the rest of this entry »


    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 »


    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 »


    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 »