Category Archives: Local History

Tap Dancing and Murder – in a Grade Seven Classroom

By Merle Massie “My tap dancing just isn’t good enough,” she wrote. She: my daughter’s high school English teacher. Tap dancing: teaching (to pubescent, smartmouth, intelligent, tired kids at the end of June in rural Saskatchewan). “I remember a staff meeting conversation from some point where you were willing to come in and talk with students.” What’s the topic, Mrs…. Read more »

Sudbury: The Journey from Moonscape to Sustainably Green

The image of Sudbury, Ontario has long been associated with mining, smelting, and a barren landscape.  Perhaps most famously, the landscape of Sudbury has been said to be comparable to the landscape present on the moon.  Similarly, the image of the towering Sudbury Superstack is one which holds sway in the minds of many Canadians.  However, since the 1970s Sudbury… Read more »

Not All Resource Towns Are Created Alike

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By Kayla Jonas Galvin  Company Towns: Corporate Order and Community Neil White University of Toronto Press, 2012 Cloth $55.00, ebook $54.95 I chose to review Neil White’s Company Towns: Corporate Order and Community because of my recent involvement in an interesting project within a company town, Kapuskasing, Ontario. For those unfamiliar with the term, a company town is one that… Read more »

“The Portuguese in Toronto” Photo Exhibit: An Organizer’s Reflection

From May 13-19, Toronto’s City Hall will feature “The Portuguese in Toronto,” a free photo exhibit. What follows are some reflections on how historians can engage with the public by one of the exhibit’s organizers. Raphael Costa On May 13, 2013, the Portuguese Canadian History Project’s (PCHP) photographic exhibit celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of mass Portuguese migration to Canada will… Read more »

“American Commune”: two views of a documentary about the 1970s counterculture

By Colin Coates and Daniel Ross “The rise and fall of America’s largest socialist utopian experiment” -Program blurb from the 2013 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival This post, inspired by the documentary film American Commune (2013) by Rena Mundo Croshere and Nadine Mundo, takes two different looks at the history of a 1970s countercultural commune located in the southern… Read more »

Heritage Toronto’s Call for Award Nominations and 2013 Tours Program

ActiveHistory.ca is pleased to announce two exciting initiatives at Heritage Toronto, a charitable arms-length agency of the City of Toronto that promotes the city’s rich architectural, cultural, archaeological and natural heritage. Heritage Toronto Awards – Call for Nominations The Heritage Toronto Awards celebrate outstanding contributions in the promotion and conservation of Toronto’s history and heritage landmarks by professionals and volunteers…. Read more »

Echoes of Westray: Canada’s National Day of Mourning and the West Fertilizer Company Explosion

By Lachlan MacKinnon This Sunday, cities across Canada will hold ceremonies in honour of the National Day of Mourning. This day is intended for Canadians to remember and reflect upon workers who have been killed on the job. Members of the Canadian Labour Congress started the Day of Mourning in the 1980s, and the federal government adopted it in 1991…. Read more »

Podcast and Reflection – Black Power with a Northern Touch: Black Radicalism in Toronto, 1950s-1970s

By  Funké Aladejebi On March 27th Funké Aladejebi, a PhD candidate at York University, told the compelling story of how black organizations in Toronto used education to combat racism by making connections to “Africa” and adapting the language of Black Power to a Canadian experience. Her talk was part of the 2013 History Matters series. You can click here to… Read more »

Discover Montreal’s Lost Neighborhood of Griffintown

By Mireille Mayrand-Fiset The evening of June 26th, 2012. A group is standing solemnly at the corner of William and Murray Streets, in what remains of Griffintown, one of Montreal’s most notorious working class neighborhoods. Some are chatting and laughing, others, more serious, are eagerly pointing their cameras, seemingly waiting for something to happen on this warm summer night. This… Read more »

Lount and Matthews Commemoration Salon

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by Ashok Charles and Randall White This coming Friday, April 12, 2013 will mark the 175th anniversary of the hanging of Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews in what is now downtown Toronto, for their roles in the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837. The rebellion was a reaction to the unresponsiveness of the colonial oligarchy of the day to demands for… Read more »