History
Battle of Queenston Heights
George Prevost

Portrait of Sir George Prevost, attributed to Robert Field, circa 1808-11.  (courtesy McCord Museum/McGill University).

On September 13, 1811, Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost arrived at Quebec to take up the duties of Captain General and Governor-in-Chief of British North America. Prevost, an officer with considerable military and colonial experience, was appointed the task of readying British North America for a war with the United States.

The Prince Regent and the government gave Prevost specific guidance that limited his military and diplomatic authority. He could not undertake offensive action into the United States or declare war on his own. Most importantly, as Britain was pre-occupied with the war against Bonaparte, he could not expect any large-scale reinforcements.

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In the News
Dudley Do Right
Dudley Do Right

Dudley Do-Right (image: Jay Ward Productions)

A new poll by the social media site Badoo.com just voted America the coolest country in the world. 30,000 people across 15 countries voted and unsurprisingly, Uncle Sam came up on top, followed by Brazil, Spain, Italy, and France.

How did Canada fare? Not so well. We’re not the most uncool (that unfortunate honour goes to Belgium). We’re the fourth least cool, straddled between Germany and Turkey. What does this mean? Picture this: at the international high school prom, Canada is the friendly, ruddy-faced kid tapping people on the shoulder to announce, “Hi, I’m here!” We’re so well-meaning but we have no rhythm and we dance with our fingers pointing. We laugh too loudly and blush in the presence of the hunky quarterback, America, all the while resenting his charm and dreaming up revenge fantasies. We’re Michael Cera with a guitar. That’s us.

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Literature
Reading In Canadian
Maureen Jennings

Except the Dying, Maureen Jenning's first book in the Detective Murdoch series.

Summer reading: the words conjure warm wind and sun and hours of leisure time. In most parts of the country these have been in short supply this season. What to read when the precious conjunction of time and weather appears? I tend, perversely, to turn to reading material that features chill, darkness and murder. I know I’m far from alone in this.

One of my favourites is Maureen Jennings, whose mysteries set in Victorian Toronto, featuring the charming Murdoch, have been turned into one of Canada’s favourite television series. Our Prime Minister has even made an appearance onscreen within it. The books are, of course, even better, making Toronto’s earlier existence breathe with camaraderie and excitement, sadness and menace.

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Politics
layton2

On August 22, 2011, Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democrats, died after a brief and aggressive battle with an unnamed cancer. He was 61. Just months before, he led his party to unprecedented electoral success, becoming the Official Opposition in this year’s federal election in his last amazing race.

Jack Layton

The Honourable Jack Layton, who was the leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (courtesy NDP).

Everything about Jack Layton’s rally at Montreal’s Olympia Theatre, the biggest campaign event ever staged by the NDP in Quebec, had a sort of retro flair. There was the 1925 theatre itself, with its rococo red-and-gold plaster details. There was the lead-on band, the aptly named Quebec group Tracteur Jack, which played hopped-up swing. When Layton made his grand entrance, wading through a roaring crowd of more than 1,200, jauntily wielding the wooden cane he carries after hip surgery, he leapt to the podium like a barnstorming politician of old. Now that he’s 60, that signature moustache, which once recalled the disco era, looks more like a tribute to his social-democratic forebears. Some of his applause lines have a time-honoured left-wing ring, too. “A prime minister’s job,” he declares to cheers, “is to make sure the government works for those who have elected him, and not for big corporations.”

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English
People//Personnes
Sculpture by Brian Jungen

Every Indian in B.C. who could and would work was employed, yet Aboriginal people were defined as lazy and irresponsible

On March 15, 1843, the fur trader James Douglas arrived at the south end of Vancouver Island on board the steam ves­sel Beaver to estab­lish Fort Victoria for the Hudson’s Bay Company. The arrival of Douglas and his men occurred on the exact day that a bright comet with an extremely long tail appeared in the sky. Known to pos­ter­ity as the Great Comet of 1843, it was so bril­liant that it could be seen in day­light and it was vis­i­ble for more than a week. It is not known whether the Lekwungen (Songhees) peo­ple who inhab­ited south­ern Vancouver Island asso­ci­ated the arrival of strangers with the sud­den bright light in the sky. They had been hav­ing inter­mit­tent con­tact with Europeans for some time and must have known the new­com­ers were not mys­te­ri­ous gods. On the other hand, as John Lutz points out in his book Makúk: A New History of Aboriginal-White Relations (UBC Press), Lekwungen cos­mol­ogy did pro­pose that the first human had fallen from the sky in the form of a meteor. The local inhab­i­tants might well have given spe­cial mean­ing to the coin­ci­den­tal arrivals of comet and pale-skinned intruders. Read More

English
In the News
Things//Choses
featurealomar

Yesterday Toronto Blue Jay’s second baseman Roberto Alomar and general manager Pat Gillick were inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame, making it a first for Canadians in baseball history.  This marks the first time Canada’s only major league team will have a place to call its own in baseballs Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY.  While there are already four other Blue Jays in the hall, but neither Phil Niekro, Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor nor Rickey Henderson were inducted as Jays.  Plenty of Canadians made the trek south of the border to watch Alomar and Gillick be inducted.

“Canadian people especially like to be proud of their athletes and proud of their accomplishments,” said Gillick. “The opportunity for Robbie and I to go into the Hall of Fame, I think it’s a feel-good story for the fans in Toronto, a feel-good story for the people across Canada.”

In honour of this very special day for Canadians and baseball fans, Editor in Chief of TCE James Marsh looks back at his memories of baseball in Toronto.

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History
Charles De Gaulle

On July 24, 1967, during a state visit to Expo ’67, General Charles De Gaulle, President of France, and a hero of the twentieth century, proclaimed from the balcony of Montreal’s City Hall, a sentence that would change the history of Canada – “Vive le Quebec Libre.” By repeating the slogan of a Québec separatist party, De Gaulle provoked a diplomatic incident that resulted in the cancellation of his visit, initiated an incredible campaign of French interference in the domestic affairs of Canada and, above all, lent his worldwide prestige to the Québec independence movement. A year after De Gaulle’s visit, René Lévesque founded the Parti Québécois and Canada would never be the same again.

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History
In the News
extreme

Would you swap a windy rainy Vancouver day for a 30+ humid Toronto afternoon?  All across the country Canadians have been experiencing extreme weather, which has many of us asking where has summer gone or when will this heat end?
Exteme weather has a long history in Canada.  Weather you survived the 1987 Black Friday tornado in Edmonton, Torrential rain floods or one of the many grueling heat waves let us know your extreme weather story!

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