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History of Acadia

Acadia’s history as a French-speaking colony stretches as far back as the early 17th century. The French settlers who colonized the land and coexisted alongside Indigenous peoples became called Acadians. Acadia was also the target of numerous wars between the French and the English. Ultimately, the colony fell under British rule. Many Acadians were subsequently deported away from Acadia. Over time, as a British colony and then as part of Canada, Acadians increasingly became a linguistic minority. Nonetheless, Acadians have strived to protect their language and identity throughout time.

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Urban Transportation

Horse-drawn trams were a vast improvement, but they were far from ideal transportation. Heavy loads could not be hauled, and horses were expensive and required frequent rest periods; they also polluted the streets.

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The Last Spike

The Last Spike was the final and ceremonial railway spike driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) track by company director Donald Smith on the morning of 7 November 1885. The ceremony marked the completion of the transcontinental CPR and was a muted affair at which a group of company officials and labourers gathered at Craigellachie near Eagle Pass in the interior of British Columbia. One of about 30 million iron spikes used in the construction of the line, the Last Spike came to symbolize more than the completion of a railway. Contemporaries and historians have viewed the Last Spike — as well as the iconic photographs of the event — as a moment when national unity was realized.

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Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle is a parallel or line of latitude at approximately 66°33’ N that marks the border of the Arctic, the northernmost region of Earth. The geographic point at the centre of Arctic Circle is the North Pole. In Canada, communities located close to this cartographic boundary include Old Crow in the Yukon, Fort McPherson in the Northwest Territories, and Repulse Bay and Qikiqtarjuaq in Nunavut. The latitude of the Arctic Circle shifts slightly depending on the tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis.

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Okanagan Lake

Okanagan Lake is located in the southern interior of British Columbia and is the largest lake in the Okanagan Valley.

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Music at Place des Arts

Place des Arts (PDA). Montreal performing arts complex. One of Canada's largest multidisciplinary arts complexes, it grew from three halls in the 1960s, to four in the 1970s, and five in the 1990s.

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Acadian Expulsion (Plain-Language Summary)

The original Acadians were from France. Acadia is now part of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The French first began settling in Acadia during the first decade of the 17th century. In 1713, the British took over Acadia. They expelled the Acadians in the 1750s. The British did not trust the Acadians. The expulsion of the Acadians is also known as the Great Upheaval. The expulsion of the Acadians was tragic. In the 1760s, the British let the Acadians come back. Acadia remains alive and well today in the Maritimes. Thousands of Canadians are the descendants of the Acadians.

(This article is a plain-language summary of the Acadian Expulsion. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, Acadian Expulsion (The Great Upheaval).)

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City

In Canada "city" is a broad, generic term usually referring to an urbanized area.

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Fort McMurray

Fort McMurray, Alberta, unincorporated population centre, population 61,374 (2011c), 47,705 (2006c). Fort McMurray is the largest community in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). It is technically known as the municipality’s “Urban Service Area” and colloquially known as “Fort Mac.” The community located near the confluence of the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers in northeastern Alberta, near the centre of the vast Athabasca oil sands deposit. Originally incorporated as a city in 1980, in 1995 Fort McMurray merged with much of the surrounding area — collectively known as Improvement District No. 143 — to create the RMWB. At 63,783 km2, the municipality is the largest in North America in terms of size, accounting for nearly 10 per cent of the province’s total area. In May 2016, Fort McMurray experienced one of the worst forest fires in Canadian history. More than 80,000 residents were evacuated and approximately 2,400 structures — about 10 per cent of the city — were destroyed.

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Hudson Bay

It is virtually landlocked but is joined to the Arctic Ocean to the north by Foxe Channel and Fury and Hecla Strait, and to the Atlantic Ocean on the east by Hudson Strait. Baffin Island lies athwart the entrance to the bay, and Southampton, Coats and Mansel islands are lodged across the northern gap.

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Badlands

Badlands are dramatic landforms characterized by a network of deep, narrow and winding gullies, along with occasional hoodoo rocks. Their steep, barren slopes provide striking evidence of the force of erosion by wind and water — a source of continual change in their terrain.

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Fort Saint-Pierre

Fort Saint-Pierre is a French trading post spanning the years c. 1632 to 1669. It is situated on the southeastern shore of Cape Breton Island, in the village of St. Peters, on the Atlantic coast of a narrow isthmus separating the inland waterway of Lake Bras D'or from the open ocean.

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Château Frontenac

Built by Canadian Pacific beginning in 1892, and designed by architect Bruce Price, the Château Frontenac is an excellent example of château-style hotels developed by railway companies in Canada.

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Hebron Mission National Historic Site of Canada

For generations, Hebron, one of Nunatsiavut’s (see Labrador Inuit and Newfoundland and Labrador) most culturally important and significant sites, was an important meeting place for the Inuit, as well as a primary hunting and fishing area. In the early 1800s, Moravian missionaries chose the site to establish their fourth and northernmost mission in Labrador, officially opening the mission in 1830 (although missions were later established farther north, at Ramah in 1871 and Killinek in 1905). For more than 130 years, Hebron was a thriving community where an average of 200 to 250 Inuit lived. In 1959, without consultation with the Inuit, the community was closed, forcing all Inuit to relocate. Declared a National Historic Site in 1976 by the federal government, the Hebron Mission has been undergoing major restoration since 2004.

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Iconic Streets in Canada

Every city has a few streets that stand out above the rest. Perhaps they’re a shopping haven, like Vancouver’s Robson Street, or lined with landmarks, like Ottawa’s Sussex Drive. Other roads earned their fame as the site of a rebellion or a gold rush. Below is a list of ten of Canada’s most iconic streets, but there are many more. What street tells the story of your city?

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Great Bear Lake

Great Bear Lake is located in the Northwest Territories. With a surface area of 31,328 km2, Great Bear Lake is the largest lake located entirely inside Canadian borders. It is also the fourth largest in North America and the eighth largest in the world. Water flows out of the lake into the Great Bear River, then into the Mackenzie River. Other rivers connected to the lake include the Dease, Camsell and Johnny Hoe. Great Bear Lake is made up of five separate arms, each with their own names: Dease, McTavish, McVicar, Keith and Smith. (See also Largest Lakes in Canada.)

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Moon

The dark grey lunar surface reflects only 7% of the sunlight it receives (comparable to the reflectivity of black soil). The moon is dominated by thousands of craters, ranging from microscopic pits to gigantic Clavius, diameter 230 km.

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Street Railways

The low rolling resistance of steel wheels on steel rails, plus the simple guidance mechanism offered by flanges, has made rail-bound transport attractive for a variety of applications.

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Streetcars

Streetcars began operation in Canada during the era of horse-powered local transportation, expanded rapidly with electrification, shrank with a public policy switch in favour of rubber-tired vehicles, and recently re-emerged as light rail transit.