Science & Technology | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Editorial

    Colonel By and the Construction of the Rideau Canal

    The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated. On September 29th of 1826 the governor of Canada, the Earl of Dalhousie, turned the first sod for construction of the lowest lock of the Rideau Canal. Later that day the participants gathered at Philemon Wright's tavern in Hull, where they indulged in a lavish dinner and the drinking of numerous toasts. One of the great engineering feats of its time was underway.

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  • Article


    Buoy, floating object, usually anchored but occasionally allowed to float freely or to be dragged by sea anchor. Buoys are widely used as navigation markers to indicate channels, the presence of shoals, etc.

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  • Article

    Burgess Shale

    Burgess Shale is an area of layered rock featuring fossils from the middle of the Cambrian period (505–510 million years ago). In Canada, sites featuring Burgess Shale fossils are found in Yoho and Kootenay national parks. The name “Burgess” comes from Mount Burgess, a peak in Yoho National Park near where the original Burgess Shale site was discovered (the mountain is in turn named for Alexander Burgess, an early deputy minister of the Department of the Interior). Burgess Shale sites are the clearest record of Cambrian marine life because they contain rare fossils of soft-bodied organisms. The original Burgess Shale site is one of the reasons seven parks in the area were designated the Canadian Rocky Mountains UNESCO World Heritage site (the parks are Yoho, Jasper, Banff and Kootenay national parks, and Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and Hamber provincial parks).

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  • Article

    Bus Transportation

    The word "bus," short for omnibus, refers to any self-propelled road vehicle capable of carrying more persons than a private automobile.

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  • Article

    Bush Flying in Canada

    In Canada, bush flying refers to aviation in sparsely populated northern areas. Flight in the Arctic and the “bush” of the Canadian Shield developed between the world wars. Early bush pilots faced the challenges of cold weather and vast distances between communities. Given the rarity of airstrips, their planes were often equipped with skis or floats so that they could take off and land on water or snow. This type of aviation was key to developing services and industries in the North. While the romantic image of the bush pilot is associated with the past, bush flying continues to serve remote communities in Canada.

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  • Article


    Bye-boat (by-boat), a name applied historically to any small inshore fishing craft, usually an open boat carrying 5-10 men, used in Newfoundland in the bye-boat fishery.

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  • Article


    Cadmium (Cd) is a soft, ductile, silvery white metal that melts at 320.9°C and is present in the earth's crust at 0.1-0.5 parts per million. The most common cadmium MINERAL, greenockite (CdS), is generally found in zinc-bearing ores and is recovered as a by-product during processing.

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  • Article


    Calèche, French word used in Canada for a light, 2-wheeled carriage drawn by a single horse, with a folding hood and seats for 2 passengers with another for the driver on the splashboard.

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  • Article


    In Canada the Gregorian calendar is in use under the terms of the 1750 British Act for Regulating the Commencement of the Year, and for Correcting the Calendar Now in Use, which switched the official English calendar from the Julian to the Gregorian form in 1752.

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  • Article

    Canada and the Development of the Polio Vaccine

    During the first half of the 20th century, poliomyelitis, a.k.a. polio or “The Crippler,” hit Canada harder than anywhere else. Successive polio epidemics peaked in a national crisis in 1953. By that time, however, scientists at Connaught Medical Research Laboratories of the University of Toronto had made key discoveries that enabled American medical researcher and virologist Jonas Salk to prepare the first polio vaccine. Connaught Labs also solved the problem of producing the vaccine on a large scale. Canada went on to play an important role in the development of the oral polio vaccine and international efforts to eradicate the disease.Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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  • Article

    Canada and the Manhattan Project

    Canada helped develop the world’s first nuclear reactors and nuclear arms. During the Second World War, Canada participated in British research to create an atomic weapon. In 1943, the British nuclear weapons program merged with its American equivalent, the Manhattan Project. Canada’s main contribution was the Montreal Laboratory, which later became the Chalk River Laboratory. (See Nuclear Research Establishments). This Allied war effort produced the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. It also led to the development of Canada’s nuclear energy industry. Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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  • Article

    Canada Aviation and Space Museum

    The Canada Aviation and Space Museum has the most extensive aviation collection in Canada. Located in Ottawa, the museum focuses on the history of Canadian aviation in an international context. Its collection includes more than 130 aircraft and artifacts.

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  • Collection

    Canada During COVID-19

    Countries, communities, and individuals around the world are grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. How will historians remember this time in history? Canada During COVID-19: A Living Archive is meant to capture the experiences of everyday Canadians as they live through this challenging time.

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  • Macleans

    Canada Is in the Vanguard of Stem Cell Research

    PETER SAUER FELT his life slipping away. In 1994, doctors diagnosed Sauer, then 59, with Parkinson's disease, a cruel brain disorder that progressively robs sufferers of the ability to move or function normally.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on May 30, 2005

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  • Article

    Canada Science and Technology Museum

    The Canada Science and Technology Museum collects and preserves objects and data relating to scientific and technological history and development in Canada. It also carries out research, and sponsors exhibits and public programs. The museum is located in Ottawa, Ontario.

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