Literature

I don’t know whether you know Mariposa. There is a silence that cannot speak. Out of the gravel there are peonies growing. This is a story a young girl gathers in a car during the early hours of the morning. “Oh God. I feel like a refugee from a Douglas Coupland novel.” These are the […]

In the News

The Historica-Dominion Institute’s national office, which houses The Canadian Encyclopedia, is at the corner of Yonge and Carlton streets in Toronto, in the Church and Wellesley Village. The village is Toronto’s largest LGBT neighbourhood and is the epicentre of Toronto’s Pride celebrations. The area has a long history of LGBT struggle, activism, and celebration. The […]

In the News

Celebrating Pride 2013 Reproduced from the Toronto In Time App At 11 p.m. on February 5, 1981, patrons of four bathhouses in downtown Toronto were surprised by a series of coordinated police raids that law enforcement officials claimed were a result of six months of undercover work into alleged prostitution and other “indecent acts.” Those […]

In the News

Growing up in Toronto’s east end, a landing-strip for many emigrant families, my parents’ included, playing the global game was a matter of course. In my teens, I played soccer for the local club. We couldn’t have represented the neighbourhood better. Caribbean, Italian, South Asian, Slavic, Hispanic, some Greek — a group of first-generation Canadians […]

Education
History
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A topographical map of Toronto in 1818.

This 1818 topographical map of York shows that the land north of Queen Street was mostly forest and farmland (J.R. Robertson’s Landmarks of Toronto).

Maps! These visual, information-rich records show us where we are and where we’ve been. What would we do without them? Nathan Ng, a self-described “non-professional historian” certainly understands their importance. His past efforts have made the Goad’s Atlas, a detailed Victorian-era fire insurance map of Toronto, available to the internet masses at Goad’s Atlas – Online!. His most recent project, Historical Maps of Toronto, continues the work of bringing Toronto’s cartographic history to the web, with digitized maps from the 1858 Boulton Atlas of Toronto, the Alpheus Todd map of 1834 and many, many more. We picked Nathan’s brain about his love for maps, the Historical Maps of Toronto project, and his thoughts on the internet’s role in history education. Read More

History
In the News
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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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History
In the News
Toronto in Time

Who says time travel is impossible? The Canadian Encyclopedia, a program of the Historica-Dominion Institute, is pleased to take you on a trip through time in its second free app in its “Cities in Time” series, Toronto in Time. Read More

History
In the News
Marilyn-Bell
Marilyn Bell

Marilyn Bell starting her swim, September 8, 1954 (courtesy Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame).

[Editor’s Note: The Canadian Encyclopedia is proud to present its second free app, Toronto in Time, highlighting the stories of the city. “Marilyn Bell Swims Lake Ontario” is one of over 160 unique stories in the app, available for iOS and Android.]

Marilyn Bell waded into the frigid waters of Lake Ontario at Youngstown, NY, at 11:07 p.m. September 8, 1954. It wasn’t supposed to be a race, but she made it into one. The Canadian National Exhibition had offered $10,000 to American swimmer Florence Chadwick to swim the lake. Many thought it was unfair not to include Canadians in the event. Only two others took up the challenge, Winnie Roach Leuszla and 16-year old Marilyn Bell.

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History
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Toronto Maple Leafs centre Dave Keon was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1967 (courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame).

[Editor’s Note: The Canadian Encyclopedia is proud to present its second free app, Toronto in Time, highlighting the stories of the city. “The Maple Leaf’s Last Stanley Cup” is one of over 160 unique stories in the app, available for iOS and Android.]

No one expected the 1967 Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup and no one expected that it might never happen again! The Leafs themselves that year knew they were flawed. They were mostly old, erratic, tired and had a poisonous relationship with their coach and general manager “Punch” Imlach. They lost the first game of the playoffs against the highly favoured Chicago Black Hawks but then the magic began as the goaltending of 42-year old Johnny Bower and 37-year old Terry Sawchuk turned back a dispirited Hawks team.

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History
In the News
Gibralter Point Lighthouse, 2012 (photo by James Marsh).
Gibraltar Lighthouse Door

The mysterious disappearance of the first keeper, J.P. Rademuller, in 1815 has given rise to the lighthouse’s reputation as a haunted building (photo by James Marsh).

[Editor’s Note: The Canadian Encyclopedia is proud to present its second free app, Toronto in Time, highlighting the stories of the city. “Murdered Keeper Haunts Lighthouse” is one of over 160 unique stories in the app, available for iOS and Android.]

Legend has it that on the night of January 2, 1815, soldiers from Fort York went to the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse to buy beer smuggled from the US by the lighthouse keeper. But the keeper refused to sell, and the furious soldiers chopped him to pieces with an axe and buried the grisly bits to hide their crime. For two centuries, the keeper’s poor spirit has roamed the lighthouse.

There’s truth behind the tale. The lighthouse’s first keeper, J.P. Rademuller, mysteriously disappeared in 1815, and part of a human skeleton was later found nearby. But no soldiers were ever convicted, and the family that tended the lighthouse for 150 years declared as late as 1958 that they had never seen a ghost.

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Film
In the News
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TIFF-Lightbox

Entrance to the TIFF Lightbox Theatre (Image: TIFF).

“If there is anything the Festival of Festivals should avoid becoming, it is the Cannes Film Festival.” Jay Scott, film critic, The Globe and Mail, 1981

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), now in its 37th year, is one of the world’s great film festivals without question. Second only to the Cannes Film Festival in terms of audience/press attendance, prestige and number of films screened; yet, since it opened its impressive five-story digs – known by its corporate name, the Bell Lightbox – in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district in 2010, many questions remain unanswered. The big one being: how do you fill the 1,400 seats in the five state-of-the-art cinemas beyond the festival’s 11-day run during the first two weeks of September?

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Film
In the News
TIFF logo

TIFF 2011
The Toronto International Film Festival is upon us, and with it, a crop of homegrown films from both new and established directors and stars. Here, a taste of what’s to come:

Bruce McDonald returns with Hard Core Logo, his hilarious and deftly written 1996 punk rock mockumentary (named the second best Canadian film in the past 15 years by Playback) and its anticipated sequel Hard Core Logo II.

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