Category Archives: Doing History

Film Friday: British Columbia’s Contact Zone Classrooms, 1849–1925

Film Fridays give active historians a chance to share their work in a new format. If you would like to submit a film about history, get in touch! By Sean Carleton Canada’s sordid history of colonial education has yet again become a topic of controversy and debate. While the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is coming to an… Read more »

Who built Toronto’s St Lawrence Neighbourhood?

(adapted from an earlier post on torontoplanninghistorian.com) By Richard White Earlier this month, it was Jane’s Walk time again in Toronto, and thousands were out this past touring various urban locales under the guidance of local experts. It is a remarkable success story, this concept, and a fitting legacy for someone who conceived one of the most influential books of the twentieth century… Read more »

Preserving Canada’s Sporting Past with the Jackie MacDonald Scrapbooks

By Adrienne Coffey and Danielle Manning Jackie MacDonald is an athlete who gives Canadians good reason to be proud of their sports heritage. She has competed in a multitude of sports, first attracting attention as the star player on a Toronto city league basketball team that won two Junior National Championships. She has also participated in competitive swimming and diving,… Read more »

The Home Archivist – Making Arrangements

      2 Comments on The Home Archivist – Making Arrangements

By Jess Dunkin In February, I shared two posts on the subject of conservation. The first post introduced readers of the Home Archivist to institutions and individuals working to preserve Canada’s documentary heritage, and described the safety equipment and tools that paper conservators use to process historical records. The second post saw those tools being put to use in the… Read more »

“Working on the Water, Fighting for the Land”: A New Comic Book about Colonialism, Capitalism, and Indigenous Labour History

By Sean Carleton In the fall of 2013, Active History.ca featured a blog post by the Graphic History Collective announcing the start of the Graphic History Project, an online series of short, accessible, and free historical comic books. In addition to outlining the aims and aspirations of the Graphic History Project, the post publicized the release of the first comic… Read more »

More than “Prisoners”: Discovering Welfare History in Holy Trinity Cemetery, Thornhill

By Danielle Terbenche In 2012, I began attending Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Thornhill, Ontario. After learning I was a historian, some church members invited me to join the cemetery board. During my first visit to the church’s historic cemetery, I was intrigued by five concrete crosses marking the graves of eight men, dating from 1928 to 1931. In a… Read more »

The king in a car park: Digging up Richard III

      1 Comment on The king in a car park: Digging up Richard III

By Daniel Ross “Bloody thou art; bloody will be thy end.” Duchess of York, Act IV, Scene IV, Richard III Shakespeare’s Richard III is one of fiction’s classic villains, a schemer who knocks off one family member after another on his way to the crown. Even his mother the Duchess would rather he was dead, and she gets her wish… Read more »

Let’s talk about something other than Ebola

      1 Comment on Let’s talk about something other than Ebola

Or, the perils of teaching the history of disease amid global health crises Casey Hurrell This semester, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching a senior undergrad seminar, focusing on the history of disease from the time of Hippocrates to the present. Every week, in front of twenty-two energetic and curious undergrads, I wholeheartedly attempt to steer conversations away from the ongoing… Read more »

The Home Archivist – Getting My Hands Dirty

      4 Comments on The Home Archivist – Getting My Hands Dirty

By Jessica Dunkin In the last Home Archivist post, I described how I came to be in possession of a box of nineteenth-century letters. In this post, I open the box again for the first time. When the MacKendrick letters arrived at my house in early August, they were quickly shuttled into the basement and I assumed that they would… Read more »

‘It’s history, like it or not’: the Significance of Sudbury’s Superstack

By: Mike Commito and Kaleigh Bradley Standing at a height of 1,250 feet, the Sudbury Superstack is the second tallest chimney in the world and runner-up to the CN Tower for the tallest structure in Canada. Until 1987, Sudbury Ontario had the dubious honour of having the world’s tallest smokestack. Today, the Stack is seen by some as a marker… Read more »