Category Archives: Local History

Celebration as History; History as Celebration

By Andrew Nurse Celebrate: to observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities ~Dictionary.com Celebrations don’t have a particularly good reputation among professional historians … and, for good reason. As a series of studies of national, regionalized, local and provincial commemorative events demonstrate, celebrations are politically fraught. Canada Day might stand — at this point in our… Read more »

Community Driven: Thirty Years of Science North

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By Krista McCracken This year marks the 30th anniversary of Science North in Sudbury, Ontario. The establishment of Science North is deeply rooted in the Sudbury community and represents a truly Northern approach to establishing a science centre.  From the mid-1950s to the 1970s prominent community members in the Sudbury area were advocating for the establishment of a mining museum…. Read more »

An Idea Whose Time Has Come: A City Museum for Toronto

By Daniel Ross and Jay Young The Toronto Civic Museum, Humanitas, the Global City Museum: over the last forty years Toronto has seen a number of bold proposals for a city museum, but up until now there has been a distinct lack of shovels in the ground (or exhibits in the halls, as the case may be). That may change… Read more »

Memory at 100: The First World War Centennial and the Question of Commemoration

By Nathan Smith In a recent post here Jonathan Weier compared official plans in the UK and Australia to commemorate the First World War centennial with the Canadian government’s disengagement with the one-hundredth anniversary of the First World War.  Given the interest the federal Conservatives have shown in warrior nationalism and war commemoration, this is surprising. From the government’s memorialization… 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 »

The Value of Thinking Big: Experimenting with Pedestrian Space in Toronto, 1970s and 2014

By Daniel Ross In cities across Canada, citizens are emerging from their winter hibernation to a spring and summer season packed with street festivals, concerts, and other special events. In Toronto alone there are hundreds each year, from Salsa on St. Clair to Pride to the literary Word on the Street, and on summer weekends it’s hard to walk more… Read more »

Memory and the Built Landscape: Edmonton’s Architectural Heritage Website

By Tim O’Grady When you think of important events in your life, chances are you associate them with physical places. Whether it is your childhood home, a former school, or a family cottage or favourite vacation spot, the connection between memory and place is intangible, though very real. People are connected to the buildings in their city. They have lived… Read more »

“Remembering the past is a useful step toward moving forward together”: Observing Civic Commemorations in Toronto

By Kaitlin Wainwright Today marks 180 years since the former Town of York was incorporated as the City of Toronto. It was given a new name, distinguished from New York and a dozen or so other places in the province. The city’s earliest neighbourhoods were the five wards named for the patron saints of the British Isles: St. George, St…. 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 »