History
In the News
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When I was ten years old I saved up my allowance in order to buy a hamster I then named Stanley. It was 1993, springtime in Toronto, and I wanted the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Cup. As many Leaf fans will remember, they lost in game seven of the third round and the […]

In the News

I spent the summer and fall of 2008 in Ottawa, but the most memorable parts of my stay took place on the other side of the river. To improve my French, I joined a rugby team in Gatineau and learned that many of my new teammates were in similar situations. Some were anglophones from across the […]

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Music

Franco-Ontarienne née à Sudbury et ayant grandi à Toronto, je n’ai pris connaissance de la St-Jean qu’une fois jeune adulte. Faut dire que mes parents n’étaient pas très fêtards… Mais une fois partie, j’ai appris à associer la célébration aux bons temps qui roulent. Mon éveil culturel a commencé vers l’âge de 15 ans. J’ai découvert Harmonium, […]

In the News

National Aboriginal Day is an excellent occasion, though none is really needed, to reflect upon the profound contribution Aboriginal artists have made to the visual arts in Canada.  While many Canadians might naturally associate Aboriginal art with traditional ritual objects like the majestic totem poles that have been fashioned by northwest coast tribes for thousands […]

In the News

Rejoice! Today is the summer solstice, the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, and it’s a Friday, too. There’s plenty to do on a day like today, but here’s something you may not have known: it’s  National Aboriginal Day! Thanks to the work of Elijah Harper and his Sacred Assembly of […]

In the News

June 20th is the United Nations’ (UN) World Refugee Day. This event honours the courage, strength, and determination of women, men, and children forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution and violence. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) designated this day to bring attention to the plight of the 14 million refugees […]

History
In the News
april-fools
april-fools

This postcard suggests that you can be cordial and sweet with someone, but hide your own rotten feelings towards them.

Although we can’t be certain, we believe that April Fool’s Day dates back to 1534 when King Charles IX of France changed the calendar so the year would begin on January 1st rather than the traditional April 1st.

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History
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Toronto World, February 23, 1913

[Editor’s note: Excitement overtook Toronto on Monday as two giant pandas, on loan from China, arrived by FedEx, beginning their ten-year stay in Canada (five years in Toronto followed by another five years in Calgary). Toronto is no stranger to bears. In the 1800s bears were known to wander the city’s streets, and Bay Street was popularly referred to as “Bear Street.” Revisit these early bear-filled  days in this original post from Heritage Toronto]

Though bears no longer wander Toronto’s streets, they once did. In his 1873 book Toronto of Old, Toronto historian Henry Scadding claims that Bay Street was popularly referred to as “Bear Street” in the early 1800s “from a noted chase given to a bear out of the adjoining wood on the north, which, to escape from its pursuers, made for the water along this route.” Scadding also describes a wandering bear being attacked by G. D’Arcy Boulton‘s horses at The Grange, as well as an incident in 1809 on George Street in which a bear was killed by “Lieut. Fawcett, of the 100th regiment, who cleft the creature’s head open with his sword.”

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Canada Soup
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Molson The Canadians

This week, de Havilland’s Mosquito buzzes once more, Molson makes us question our national identity, and we consider whether Leonard Cohen looks good as Al Pacino.

History
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Politics
Delta Force of Task Force 20 alongside troops of 3rd Battalion (image by Futuretrillionaire)

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, when US-led troops entered the city of Baghdad with the goal of  toppling Saddam Hussein’s regime and destroying the country’s weapons of mass destruction. The invasion was relatively brief: Baghdad fell weeks later, and on May 1 then-U.S. president George W. Bush declared that the mission was accomplished. The weapons of mass destruction were not found, but the goal of the invasion shifted to stabilizing Iraq and solidifying it as a Western ally. The invasion and occupation claimed the lives of 4,487 U.S. combat troops, 179 UK servicemen and women, between 97,461 and 106,348 Iraqi civilians and displaced an estimated 1.6 million Iraqis. The invasion cost the U.S. between from $802 billion to $3 trillion (figures from the BBC).

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Canada Soup
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The American lobster is the only species in Canadian waters and is one of Canada's most valuable crustacean resources (artwork by Kendall Morris).

This week, discover the pint-sized piano prodigy from B.C., the underground railroad on the Pacific frontier and some rare photos of Louis Riel.

Canada Soup
In the News
Stompin' Tom Connors (public domain).

Canada’s folk hero Stompin’ Tom Connors has died at age 77. His songs of Canadian life, from Sudbury nickel miners to P.E.I. potato farmers and the joys of a good snowmobile, paint a picture of his great love for Canada. In his last letter to fans, Stompin’ Tom credits Canada’s beauty and inspiration as the source “driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about its people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world.” Rest in Peace, Tom. [StompinTom]

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