Category Archives: Canadian history

Remember/Resist/Redraw #32: Police Surveillance and Democratic Socialism in Cold War Canada

The Graphic History Collective recently released RRR #32, by historian and illustrator Frances Reilly, that looks at police surveillance and democratic socialism in Cold War Canada. In particular, the poster examines RCMP spying and the thirty-five year long covert program, Operation Profunc (PROminent FUNCtionaries of the Communist or Labor Progressive Party) that began in 1948. This program planned to arrest Canadians… Read more »

“We’re bringing picnic baskets, not water beds”: The 40th Anniversary of the Gay Picnic in Moncton, New Brunswick

by Meredith J. Batt On Wednesday, July 1st, 1981, Dominion Day, a group of 250 gays and lesbians met in Centennial Park, in Moncton, New Brunswick. All attending as individuals, some hanging out near the fringes of the park in case any trouble kicked-off, while police officers looked on, surveying the crowd. This gay picnic was the cause of huge… Read more »

Saving Chinatown, 1971 to 2021

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Daniel Ross 2021 has been a difficult year for Chinatowns across Canada. In mid-April, a coalition of community leaders from six cities released a statement calling on the federal government to make it a “national priority” to support Chinatowns struggling with the fallout of the COVID-19 lockdown and a new spike in anti-Asian racism. In both Montreal and Toronto, local… Read more »

Indigenous and Colonial Trackways: A New Historia Nostra Series

By Erin Isaac Roads, hiking trails, rivers, train tracks, or any manner of routes we use to travel often feel like historically benign spaces (at least to me). For myself, driving along the 401 between Kingston and Toronto has inspired more frustration about traffic and “Ontario Drivers” than curiosity about the road’s history. It feels like a space that exists… Read more »

Organizing for Abolition in Toronto: A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Bain

Khaleel Grant’s interview with Dr. Beverly Bain was conducted in March 2021. Bain is a professor of women and gender studies in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. As a Black queer anti-capitalist feminist, Bain has organized in Toronto since the mid-1970s around issues of racist police violence, violence against women, and Black and… Read more »

Unions, Care Home Cartels and the Covid-19 Pandemic in Ontario

This post by Justin Panos is part of the “(In)Security in the Time of COVID-19” series. Read the rest of the series here. From their office on Bay Street, the 2021 LTC Commission has released the latest report that condemns corporate nursing home operations and elected officials for their inaction and lack of leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. At its… Read more »

Want to Understand Egerton Ryerson? Two School Histories Provide the Context

By Thomas Peace In 1842, at the Dawn settlement near Dresden, Ontario, Josiah Henson built the British American Institute (BAI), a school for peoples who had escaped their enslavement. Five years later, about 75 kilometers from the BAI, on the banks of the Deshkan Ziibiing near London, Methodist missionary Kahkewaquonaby (Peter Jones) – a Mississauga leader from Credit River (western… Read more »

Food First, Then Archives: Precarity and Community Memory

This post by Lilian Radovac and Simon Vickers is part of the “(In)Security in the Time of COVID-19” series. Read the rest of the series here. Alternative Toronto is a DIY digital archive and exhibition space that documents the history of alternative communities in the Greater Toronto Area from 1980 to 1999. As archive director and volunteer coordinator for Alternative… Read more »

The Real Estate State and Housing Insecurity in the Time of Covid-19

This post by Max Mishler is part of the “(In)Security in the Time of COVID-19” series. Read the rest of the series here. Toronto, ON, is the beating heart of Canadian finance capitalism. Global investment banks, mining companies, and consultancy firms dominate the downtown corridor and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The city is also home to several professional sports… Read more »

Thinking of Ourselves as Canadians

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Tyler Wentzell Writing shortly after Canadian troops went ashore in Sicily alongside their American and British allies, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and William Lyon Mackenzie King met in Quebec City to discuss Allied strategy, an editorialist in Toronto’s Saturday Night called on Canadians to pursue an agenda of national unity. The writer reasoned that Canada deserved a leading… Read more »