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: Canadian history

Category: Canadian history

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Rt. Hon. Arthur Meighen, address to the Senate, September 10, 1939. In September 1939, Canadians prepared for another war with memories of the Great War still fresh in their minds. It was determined that Canada’s war effort would be concentrated in financial and industrial support, and the first priority would be to secure the nation’s borders. By the spring of 1940, the progress of the war in Europe had changed dramatically. With the German invasion of Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Holland, and the fall of France, Canadians reassessed their own vulnerability. The spectre of a German victory became real.

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Toronto is celebrating its 175 th anniversary by engaging the community to a number of events. The city’s celebrations include museum tours, literary reading and book launches, music, art, festivals and a song competition. In celebration of this anniversary, Toronto Public Library invites you to explore Toronto's past with material from the Special Collections at the Toronto Reference Library. Click on each image below to explore. To learn more about the history of Toronto, explore these past exhibits: Also, check out the following two books from our Curator's Showcase : To search for more historical images of Toronto from our collections:

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On July 1st, Canadians from coast to coast will proudly wave the red and white Maple Leaf flag. But how many are aware that the tradition started here, in Toronto? At the time of Confederation in 1867, the maple leaf as a symbol of Canadian patriotism was relatively new. At a public meeting in August, 1860, a group of Toronto citizens, planning for the upcoming Royal Visit of the Prince of Wales, decided to identify themselves as native-born Canadians by wearing a maple leaf. This leather badge was worn at the reception for the Prince of Wales held in Toronto on September 7, 1860. Although the maple leaf had previously been used as a symbol for Canada, this was the first occasion on which it was worn as a national emblem.

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Gone Fishin’ Torontonians have a long and happy tradition of heading north to cottage country during the long, hot days of summer. In the 1860s the Muskoka Club was established by a group of Toronto adventurers who led annual expeditions to the Muskoka wilderness. By the 1870s several of the members had purchased land on Lake Joseph, and the tradition of summer cottaging was born. In 1898 a group of professors and alumni from the University of Toronto joined together to purchase recreational property in Go Home Bay, on Georgian Bay, held as shares in the Madawaska Club. Many of the cottagers in Go Home are descendants of those first Madawaska Club members.

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The National Game Long before hockey was played in Canada, the First Peoples of Canada played lacrosse. For them, lacrosse was both a religious ritual and a significant community activity. It prepared young men for war and, in some cases, a game of lacrosse between two tribes could resolve disputes or strengthen alliances. September 6, 1879, page 153 In the 19th century, lacrosse was adopted by the Europeans in Canada. It became an organized sport, where rules were established and clubs formed to embrace the game. Its popularity extended to communities in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario.   >> Click on the numbers below to view 6 pages describing the rules of lacrosse.

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The Mayors and Sheriffs of London 1190–1558 The database will gradually be expanded to include the years from 1559 to the present. Still later additions may include short biographies of the better-known mayors and sheriffs, and/or references or links to existing biographical sources. Periodic updatings of the database will take place, to incorporate new information. Users are invited to provide additional information and corrections; these will be checked and, if adopted, credited to their contributors. For contact information, see below. Mayor and two aldermen: from Walter Besant, London in the Time of the Tudors (1904). Original MS source not yet identified.

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This site provides information on the 250-year relationship between Moravian missionaries and the Inuit of Labrador. This interaction led to the establishment of settlements for a formerly nomadic people, their conversion to Christianity and exposure to aspects of North American culture. The information has been gathered from a variety of sources that shed light upon this unique adventure. Read more

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