Category Archives: Canadian history

Covid-19: An Unprecedented Militarization of the Canada-US Border or a Return to the Old?

By Benjamin Hoy On March 26, 2020, news reports circulated across Canada and the United States that President Donald Trump was considering deploying more than a thousand military personnel near the Canada-US border. The decision seemed baffling to many. Who President Trump hoped to protect Americans from was not altogether clear. Within a few days of the proposal going public,… Read more »

Listening During a Pandemic, and beyond

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Laura Madokoro In 2005, historical geographer Julie Cruikshank published her widely-acclaimed work, Do Glaciers Listen? : Local Knowledge, Colonial Encounters, and Social Imagination (UBC Press) in which she explored the history of environmental change in the Pacific Northwest. She looked specifically at Athapaskan and Tlingit oral traditions to understand glaciers as actors, as sentient beings that “take action and respond… Read more »

The Toronto Church Memorials to Soldiers of the Great War Project

Ross Fair Each Remembrance Day, Torontonians assemble for services of remembrance at public cenotaphs such as the civic cenotaph at the front steps of Old City Hall, the University of Toronto’s Soldiers’ Tower and at the Cross of Sacrifice in Prospect Cemetery, where hundreds of Great War soldiers are buried. Yet, these public sites of remembrance represent but a small… Read more »

Tombs with a View: Memorial Stones and Transatlantic Family Histories

Krista Barclay  As I entered Edinburgh’s New Calton Burial Ground in the fall of 2018, I was struck by the placard on the front gate advertising ‘tombs with a view’ – the view from the cemetery’s perch on Calton Hill really was spectacular. I was visiting the site as part of my dissertation research on the families formed by Indigenous… Read more »

Materiality and Theatre History at the Stratford Festival Archives

Stephanie Johns and Stephanie Vaillant The Stratford Festival, located in Stratford, Ontario, is North America’s largest repertory theatre that focuses on performances of Shakespeare, the classics, musicals and new works. The Stratford Festival Archives, housed at 350 Douro Street, is responsible for collecting and caring for the Stratford Festival’s history in its many and varied forms. As a way of… Read more »

Memory and Objects: Family History, Local Economy, and Hook Rugs

Stephanie Pettigrew I would like to thank all of my family members who participated in helping me put this together, particularly my sister Debbie, my great-aunts Cecile, Stella, and Sophie, and my cousins Yvonne, Lisa, and Laura, who helped immensely with photos, by sharing memories, and spending hours chatting with me about what were sometimes difficult topics. Thank you. I… Read more »

Talking History Podcasts, Vol. 2; or, The Podcast Lover’s Quarantine Survival Kit

Edward Dunsworth For my post this month, I’ve decided to revisit a piece I wrote last year in which I shared some of my favourite history podcasts. As many of us hunker down for extended periods of “social distancing” with the spread of COVID-19, we will be looking for ways to pass the time while at home. And what better… Read more »

Bringing the Flu into the Classroom

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By Thomas Peace Who would have thought that almost exactly one hundred years after the Spanish Flu closed schools, churches, and other public gatherings around the world, that we would once again find ourselves in similar circumstances? The Spanish Flu hit Canada in the fall of 1918 and, after an initial scare, persisted for nearly two years. Unlike the current… Read more »

The Distance Between Us: The Implications of Pandemic Influenza in 1918-1919

By Esyllt W. Jones For a historian of pandemic influenza these are uncanny days. The past is colliding with the present. As if a thread has emerged, now, connecting us with those who faced, in their own ways, a globally shared experience in 1918-1919. A group of nurses in High River, Alberta, wear face masks in an attempt to ward… Read more »

What’s in a name? Thomas Scott and the curious case of the forgotten memorial

An image of a large grey stone building, built in a classical style.

Matthew McRae The City of Winnipeg recently tore down the Thomas Scott Memorial Orange Hall, located in the city’s historic Exchange District. News coverage about the demolition has focused a lot on the loss of architectural heritage. This is important, but it’s only one part of the story. There’s also the story of who the building is named after: Thomas… Read more »