Tag Archives: Canada

Snoozin’ at the Toronto Zoo

I went to the Toronto Zoo on Saturday figuring everyone else would be at the CNE and that was a good call. Having purchased a season’s pass for the family, we decided to investigate smaller portions of the zoo and not kill ourselves trying to see all of the 287 hectares. So, on this particular trek to the zoo, we decided to go to the Canadian area and let me tell you, from the beginning it went downhill until it was an uphill hike in the scorching heat. In the middle it was a snooze-fest in more than one way.

Here’s the Canadian checklist:

  • The Lynx…asleep.
  • The Cougars…asleep.
  • The Grizzly Bears…asleep.
  • The Moose…missing.
  • The Muskox…we didn’t want to chance not making it back from that distance.
  • The Eagles…were awake.
  • The squirrels and Seagulls…quite alert.
Here, you see a beautiful Lynx, sleeping in the shadows…

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Dear Thingy, I need your raccoon wisdom…

Dear Thingy,

I don’t know if you can help me, but I bought several of your postcards (I think I purchased them at Toronto’s First Post Office), and I am using them to send to people’s names I get through Postcrossing.com (a hobby of mine).

Anyway, one of your cards is a vintage-looking, faded colour one reading “TORONTO” in large letters across the middle. Inside each letter is an image of a famous Toronto landmark. I think I have all of them figured out but one. I think, in order, they are: Old City Hall, Queen’s Park, Fairmont Royal York Hotel, the Princes’ Gates, [unknown], Canada Life Assurance Co., and University of Toronto’s Hart House. However, I have been unable to figure out what the image is in the letter “T.” Can you help me, Thingy? I’d like to be able to list all of the buildings in my message to the recipient, when I use this card for a Postcrossing person. Please let me know if you can help me, Thingy, or even where I might look online (although I’ve checked a few sites, as well as a few books already).

Thank you in advance.
Most sincerely,
Virginia C.
Toronto

Hello Virginia,

As far as Canadian Culture Thing Large Letter Toronto postcard CCT0034,  you were pretty close…

The T is Old City Hall (1899) at Bay and Queen, the O is the Ontario Legislative Building (1893) at Queen’s Park, The R is the Royal York Hotel (1929), the middle O is the Prince’s Gates (1927) at the CNE, the N is Osgoode Hall (1829) at Queen and University, the last T is the CIBC building (1931) on King street between Bay and Yonge and finally the last O is Soldier’s Tower(1927) at the University of Toronto.

In the foreground is Sir Henry Pellatt’s Casa Loma (1914).

Most of the building are government buildings or structures with the exceptions of the Royal York and the CIBC building. For the purpose of postcards like this one, directed primarily at tourists, it was important to feature significant city buildings and historical landmarks. The Royal York is used because it was an important landmark hotel and one that many of the postcard-buying tourists would be staying at or at least wishing they were.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada Building was the tallest building in the British Commonwealth having overshadowed the Royal York by by 21m (69′). It held this title until 1962 when it was surpassed by La Tour in Montreal by 35m (115′). In 1967 it ceased to be the tallest building in Toronto when it was surpassed by the TD Tower by a whopping 78m (256′) which brought the Commonwealth title back to Toronto. It’s hard to believe when looking at the Toronto skyline today, that the CIBC building, while beautiful in design, was once the tallest building in the British Empire.

In another CCT Large Letter Toronto postcard (CCT0087) we have a similar assortment of buildings with the inclusion of a seldom used landmark building in the centre O, Maple Leaf Gardens on Carleton at Church.

I hope this answers your question.

Yours Truly, Thingy the Raccoon.

Posted in Architecture, Canada, Canadian Money, Canadiana, Historical, Ontario, Postcards, Toronto | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How do you feel aboot this, eh? (who says aboot?)

Whether it’s centre, labour, coulour, theatre or metre, Canadian language is being threatened by globalism. The exchange of ideas and knowledge is an incredible commodity but is it necessary to lose our identity in that exchange? Are our “ou’s” and “re’s” as important as maple leaves, beavers and beer or should we buckle and spell these words like an American simply because it’s already built into computer dictionaries?

 

Posted in Canada, Language | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Supergirl Laura Vandervoort signed her Stamp!

Supergirl Laura Vandervoort signed her Canadian Culture Thing MapleLeafForever Stamp…ages ago! But hey, even though it predated this blog, it’s still cool.

Toronto-born actress Laura Vandervoort, actively acting from the age of 13, has appeared in many children’s shows like Goosebumps (1997-1998) and Are You Afraid of the Dark? (2000) until finally getting her biggest break in the WB’s Smallville. Laura played Kal-El’s (Superman‘s) Kryptonian cousin Kara, subtly known as Supergirl beginning in the 7th season (2007) of the series until the finale of season 10 (2011).

The Spectator's Canadian Magazine February 12, 1972
The Spectator’s Canadian Magazine February 12, 1972

Becoming Sci-Fi’s It-Girl, Laura was cast as Lisa, an alien visitor in the ABC reboot of V (2009-2011) along with fellow Sci-Fi It-Girl Morena Baccarin of Firefly (2002-2003) who worked with Canadian actress and MapleLeafForever Stamp, Jewel Staite.

Laura Vandervoort has starred in countless Television Shows like Instant Star (2004-2008) and Movies like Into the Blue 2: the Reef (2009) as well as the voice of Mary-Jane Watson in the Spider-Man: Edge of Time videogame (2011). Up, up and away!

Posted in Canada, Canadian Celebrities, Entertainment, Movies, Ontario, Pop Culture, Postcards, Television, Toronto | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Heady Days of the Laurier Era.

In the early 20th century Sir Wilfred Laurier, one of our longest serving Prime Ministers, famously announced: “The twentieth century shall be the century of Canada. . . . For the next hundred years, Canada shall be the star towards which all men who love progress and freedom shall come.” Whether you feel that Laurier was on the mark or not, at the time of this renowned speech in 1904, Canadians were very optimistic about the future.

A Raphael Tuck & Sons postcard showing the Canadian Wheat Arch, erected in Whitehall (London, England) to honour Edward VII’s coronation in 1902. Note the “Free Homes for Millions” ad.

One of the main reasons for the country’s optimism was the enormously successful campaign to lure immigrants to Western Canada and the economic prosperity that soon followed. No doubt taking advantage of the worldwide interest in the Canadian West triggered by the discovery of gold in the Yukon in 1896, Laurier’s government embarked on an ambitious advertising campaign in Europe and America to populate this vast, near empty region. Homesteaders were offered 160 acres of free western farmland provided the land was worked and permanent residences were established on it.

“Homes for Millions in Canada” are advertised in this King’s Printer (government) postcard targeting Uncle Sam in 1903. This postcard is one of a series of 12 cartoon-type cards primarily focusing on immigration from the USA.
“Thousands of Settlers are Moving to Canada” 1903 postcard.

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