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    Passing of the swell saloons in a gold mining town

    November 13th, 2013

    Rossland, B.C. was  a rip-roaring gold mining town of 8,000 people in the late nineteenth century, but when the mines ran out of ore it became something of a ghost town and all the swell saloons were shut down. Read the rest of this entry »


    Modern times on Ontario farms

    November 11th, 2013

    More “store-brought” stuff—bread, other food, clothing—were all part of the revolution changes “changes that have taken place in farm life in Ontario Read the rest of this entry »


    REMEMBRANCE DAY: Forgotten tomb of the unknown soldier

    November 10th, 2013

    Prime Minister Arthur Meighen, on August 25, 1921, announced that the body of an unknown Canadian soldier is to be removed from his grave in France and buried under the Parliamentary buildings. Read the rest of this entry »


    REMEMBRANCE DAY: Remembering the enemy who saved his life

    November 9th, 2013

    Every Remembrance Day, when veterans salute their fallen comrades, Clem Pearce of Weston, Ontario, pays respect also to a fallen enemy. Read the rest of this entry »


    New Canadians arrive by the shipload

    November 7th, 2013

    “Seventeen special trains from Halifax and Saint John are due in Montreal” Saturday and Sunday, carrying 6,000 immigrants,” the Halifax Herald reported April 2, 1910. More than 12,000 arrived during the week.

    English settlers at Saskatoon, 1903, preparing for 270-km wagon trek to the Barr Colony settlement straddling the Alberta-Saskatchewan border in the Lloydminster area. LAC photo c037967

    English settlers at Saskatoon, 1903, preparing for 270-km wagon trek to the Barr Colony settlement straddling the Alberta-Saskatchewan border in the Lloydminster area. LAC photo c037967

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Loving cup banned at public drinking water sites

    November 6th, 2013

    The Peterborough Review, July 23, 1910, applauds the state of Minnesota in its efforts to curb the use of “the old tin cup, the gourd and the cracked water glass” at “free [water] drinking places.”  Read the rest of this entry »


    Teach Canadian boys to shoot, ride and swim

    November 5th, 2013

    Every Canadian boy should be taught how to shoot a rifle, just as they should know how to ride a horse and how to swim, Read the rest of this entry »


    The stench of dirty money

    November 2nd, 2013

    Dirty money was once more than a metaphor. It had a real stench, according to this letter published in the London, Ontario Advertiser, April 4, 1902. Read the rest of this entry »


    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 »