Category Archives: Canada

Happy Canada’s 150th Birthday! Here’s a Brand-New Release!

Posted in Canada, Canadian Art, Canadian Celebrities, Canadiana, Pop Culture, Postcards, Toronto | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Brief History of Toronto

Carte des lacs du Canada – Early Map of the Great Lakes, 1744.

The City of Toronto had been called the Town of York prior to 1834 when it incorporated. But before that the first settlers were probably the Iroquoian-speaking Wendat people, who the Europeans called the Huron. These people settled on the north shore of Lake Ontario where they lived in longhouses. Wendat means peninsula-island dwellers this is because of the shape of the land on the north shore. They believed that the world was on an island resting on the back of a turtle.

Map from the attack of York 1813.

The natives used variations of the name Toronto for different areas in the vicinity, as well as for fishing tools that they used. The French then used it again when they named Fort Toronto at the foot of the Humber River. So, when the Town of York incorporated in 1834 it changed its name to Toronto. The legislative council changed York to Toronto because it was a more unique name and because of its native roots.

Drawing of Fort Toronto (uncredited)

Three weeks after Toronto incorporated, William Lyon Mackenzie was elected its first mayor. William Lyon Mackenzie was born in Scotland on March 12, 1795 and came to Canada in 1820. He was a reformer and the editor of the Colonial Advocate newspaper. He was only mayor for one year.

William Lyon Mackenzie (1834).

In 1837, Mackenzie led a rebellion in Upper Canada. The one and only battle took place at Montgomery’s Tavern. Although the battle ultimately lasted only a half an hour, and they lost, because of the rebellion the British Government realized the problems in Canada and made changes.

Drawing from the Upper Canada Rebellion showing the battle at Montgomery’s Tavern

Remaining from the old Town of York, the oldest building in Toronto is John Scadding’s cabin, which was built in 1794. It was located near the Don Valley but was later relocated, as a historical landmark to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in 1879 by the York Pioneers Historical Society.

John Scadding’s Cabin, past and present

In 1834, the population of the City of Toronto was only 9,254. The boundaries of the city were between Lake Ontario on the South, Parliament street on the East , Bathurst street on the West, and 365 metres North of Lot street (now known as Queen street). The city was only 3.6 square kilometres. Today the population is a whopping 2.6 million people and the city covers 630 square kilometres.

City of Toronto today

by Kate Gendron (age 10)
Givin’s-Shaw Public School
Ms. Stockton’s Grade 4 Class Project
2017

Posted in Aboriginal, Architecture, Canada, Canadian Art, Canadian National Exhibition, CCT Now and Then, Historical, Ontario, Politics, Toronto | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Trudeau was prepared to shake the Trump.

Donald Trump learned the meaning of the word Strong in True, North, Strong and Free at the hands of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when they met in Washington yesterday. Donald Trump’s handshake technique, meant to show his dominance by pulling his co-shakee off balance, failed to achieve its goal with our masterful Mr. Trudeau. Trudeau was prepared for this tactic and met the Donald as the master in each of his attempts.

This was good but I think it would have been funnier if the taller Justin had offered a high-five. Donald Trump would have been there, red-faced and jumping with his little hand flailing in the air trying to make contact. Oh, good times.

I hope they don’t declare war on us now.

Posted in Business, Canada, Current Events, Entertainment, Ottawa, Politics, Television | Tagged , | 1 Comment

A Million Dollars for your thoughts.

This amazing 1 Million Dollar coin, one of 5, is on display at the Royal Ontario Museum. The Royal Canadian Mint produced this 100kg bad boy in Ottawa in 2007, made of 99999 pure gold bullion, to show off a little. After some big-shots came forward wanting one for their vaults, the Mint made 4 more.

In October 2007, the Guinness World Records recognized the Canadian Million Dollar Coin as the largest gold coin.

Artist and senior engraver Stan Witten design the Tail side of the coin featuring some polished maple leafs, of course. The Head side by Canadian portrait artist Susanna Blunt oddly shows an effigy of Stephen Colbert (not Canadian) in drag, I mean Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (also not Canadian).

 

Not shown is the giant change-purse with a native beaded depiction of the Littlest Hobo in the next room.

Posted in Business, Canada, Canadian Art, Canadiana, Pop Culture | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Golly, Maybe them Oilsands is Too Hot.

I’m not exactly sure what the Oilsands look like and for some reason I think of the quicksand episode of Gilligan’s Island. Perhaps its more like Lawrence of Arabia and the Oilsands are just too friggin’ hot to think straight. Regardless, it is a shame when a group is so oblivious that it doesn’t seem to understand how offensive it is. Kind of like when your racist grandparent talks out loud about the nice negro doctor. The Canada Oilsands Community, one of many Canadian oil advocates, ran this ad last month to the chagrin and confoundedness of Canadians everywhere.

Canada Oilsands Community Ad July 25, 2016
Canada Oilsands Community Ad July 25, 2016

Canada Oilsands Community founder Robbie Picard, an  openly gay (strange-but-true) Oilsands activist was shocked at the backlash. It seems that no matter how many times it’s pointed out to him, he defends his mistake with an explanation of how he thinks everyone is hot. Picard explained, “When I say lesbians are hot, I don’t think there is anything wrong about saying that. I think all lesbians are hot and I’m not opposed to putting a picture of two guys up there. It was just to strike up a conversation. I find anybody is hot. I think two women kissing is hot. I think that something that is part of the fabric of our city — that we can do whatever we want in our country — that is hot.”

While I can agree that Mr. Picard is not all wrong about our freedom to make asses of ourselves, he has managed to once again offend without seeming to realise how. He included people in his hot designation, but he failed to give a nod or shout-out to hotdogs, Red Hot candies and has slighted the chili-pepper growers, flat-out offending India, Mexico and Trinidad. In a press release, The Red Hot Chili Peppers have agreed to headline at the upcoming Hotchilipalooza raising money for Robbie Picard’s sensitivity training (This might not be true).

Once the smoke cleared from his absurdity-bomb, he went on about the Oilsands and buying Canadian oil. Unfortunately, now we can’t help thinking about hot lesbians and can’t focus enough on the details of why we should buy Canadian Oil.

I expect the next ad should run with a picture of Mr. Picard holding up his ad beside the caption that reads, “In Saudi Arabia you would get your head chopped off for running an ad like this. In Canada, it probably won’t even affect your career.”

And remember, hot lesbians buy Canadian Oil, and so should you.

 

Posted in Alberta, Business, Canada, Canadian Money, Current Events, LGTBQ | Tagged , , | 1 Comment