Author Archives: Jay Young

Holiday Repost – Gin and Tonic: A Short History of a Stiff Drink

ActiveHistory.ca is on a hiatus for the winter break, and will return to daily posts in early January.  During the hiatus, we’re featuring some of our favourite holiday and winter themed posts. Thank you to all our contributors, guest editors, and readers for making 2018 a very successful year. Happy holidays to all and we look forward to continuing our work… Read more »

Urban Transformations: An Avenue For Academic Work in the Community

By Jay Young and Daniel Ross Toronto’s St. Clair Avenue West is an important transit and economic artery as well as the hub for several of the city’s most diverse and dynamic neighbourhoods. Historically it was a key east-west axis for development in Toronto northof Bloor Street, and today the street continues to grow and change in step with the… Read more »

I Dig the Past

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By Jay Young  With optimistic thoughts of warm summer days soon approaching, I recently decided to tackle the backyard. We moved into a home in Toronto last year and we had anticipated some outdoor projects ahead.  This included the widening of a backyard walkway and the erection of a few vegetable planter beds there too. Much of the hard work… Read more »

Toronto’s Rob Ford Phenomenon and Diversity within Canada’s Evolving Suburbs

By Jay Young An earlier version of this post originally appeared on the History News Network in late January.  Toronto Mayor Rob Ford sure is in the news a lot these days. In late December, the US liberal-leaning Talking Points Memo website announced it had awarded him their annual scandal-of-the-year trophy, marking the first time this infamous recognition went to a… Read more »

Christmas Traditions of Past and Present

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By Jay Young I put up my family’s Christmas tree yesterday. Although some have described me as a bit of a scrooge, the truth is, I really do enjoy many holiday traditions, especially as I get older. And as a historian, I realize that these traditions have a past, both within wider society and within my own life. Take that… Read more »

Stepping into the Past with Historical Walking Tours

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By Jay Young As the cold weather sets in southern Ontario, I’m reminded of the fun activities I enjoyed during warmer days of months past. This year I had the opportunity to design and lead a handful of historical walking tours of downtown Toronto. These tours were based on particular themes within or approaches to the city’s history, and they… Read more »

The Toronto Flood of 2013: Actions from the Past, a Warning for the New Normal?

By Jay Young This rain will never stop, I thought, as water cascaded from my apartment window and fell from the sky at record pace.  On July 8th, Toronto experienced the greatest amount of rainfall in a single day ever recorded in that city. A torrent of 126 millimetres of rain hit the ground, more than a whole month’s average… Read more »

4 Years of ActiveHistory.ca

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We’re proud to announce that ActiveHistory.ca has been blogging about why history matters for more than four years! Ever since our first anniversary back in 2010, we have celebrated the achievements of the past year, and this year is no exception. Our body of contributors and guest writers has grown larger and more diverse, while the number of posts featured on… Read more »

A Web of History: How Digital and Social Media is Changing Heritage Awareness in Toronto

By Jay Young A common cliché of our time is to observe that the internet has made us more connected than ever.  Although historians might question the accuracy of this statement, the web, social media, and smart phone apps have allowed new opportunities for engagement with historical artifacts, stories, and landmarks. One only has to look at Canada’s largest city. … Read more »

A Short Historical Primer on Canada’s Old Age Security Debate

By Jay Young Change to Old Age Security emerged as a controversial element of the Harper Conservatives’ last federal budget.  Much speculation had been brewing in the months leading up to the budget’s introduction in March of this year, when federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced its details in the House of Commons as part of C-38, his government’s omnibus… Read more »