Category Archives: Local History

Saskatchewan Farmland: A Bargain?

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By Merle Massie Last week, the Saskatchewan government (led by Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party) reset a course direction that had veered off target. That course redirection affects who – along with what – is allowed to purchase Saskatchewan farmland. A Canadian citizen? Come on down. A Canadian-owned corporation engaged in the business of farming? Saskatchewan agriculture is open… 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 »

A Toast to Jay Young

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ActiveHistory.ca is on a hiatus for the winter break, with a return to daily posts in early January. We’d like to leave you with an oldie but a goodie by Jay Young, Toronto’s subway historian and one of the founding members of the site. This winter Jay left ActiveHistory.ca for a new job doing public outreach with the Archives of Ontario. Those… Read more »

MacChe? Kingston prepares for the Macdonald Bicentennial

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Karen Dubinsky I live in downtown Kingston, Ontario. Two doors away from me are two sweet old white ladies. They live in John A. Macdonald’s boyhood home where, according to one of the two plaques outside, he spent his “character forming” years. When I first moved to this street I noticed that during relevant occasions (Macdonald’s birthday and Canada Day),… Read more »

The Home Archivist – Getting My Hands Dirty

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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 »

Vacating Science and Forgetting History at the Central Experimental Farm

By Peter Anderson On November 3rd, John Baird announced that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada transferred approximately 24 hectares (60 acres) of the Central Experimental Farm, in Ottawa, to the National Capital Commission. The NCC in turn offered to lease the land to the Ottawa Hospital to build a new Civic Campus. The Hospital then mused about the using this new land… 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 »

1864 vs. 1914: A Commemorative Showdown

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By Sarah Glassford As I sat by the window of a popular coffee shop in downtown Charlottetown on a warm afternoon in September 2014, two student actors from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) appeared on the street corner opposite, heading toward nearby Province House, seat of the provincial legislature.  He wore a three-piece suit and top hat; she… Read more »

Podcast – Robert Rutherdale on the Local Responses of WWI

  ActiveHistory.ca is happy to feature the inaugural talk of the Fall 2014 History Matters lecture series: historian Robert Rutherdale’s “Hometown Horizons: Local Responses to Canada’s Great War.” Rutherdale delivered the talk at the Toronto Public Library’s North York Central Branch. He explores issues such as the demonization of enemy aliens, wartime philanthropy, and state authority and citizenship – all while asking… Read more »

World War One in Winnipeg – Conscription

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By Jim Blanchard It is well known that the adoption of conscription in Canada during the First World War was very unpopular in Quebec. Although many Quebecois volunteered to serve in the army in the first years of the war, large numbers of French Canadians disagreed with sending troops overseas when the country did not seem to be threatened. What… Read more »