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Steamboats and Paddle Wheelers

Demonstrated in France on the Saône River in 1783, the paddle-wheel steamboat first appeared in North America for use on the Delaware River in 1787. After inauguration at New Orleans in 1811 by Robert Fulton, hundreds of boats worked the Mississippi River system between 1830 and 1870.

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Tonquin

The Tonquin was a ship of 269 tons built in New York in 1807 and purchased 23 August 1810 by New York fur merchant and entrepreneur John Jacob Astor.

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Roads and Highways

Canada's first highways were the rivers and lakes used by Indigenous peoples, travelling by canoe in summer and following the frozen waterways in winter. (See also Birchbark Canoe; Dugout Canoe.) The water network was so practical that explorers, settlers and soldiers followed the example of the Indigenous peoples. (See also Coureurs des bois; Voyageurs.) To a greater extent than most other countries, Canada depends for its social, economic and political life on efficient communication and transportation. (See also Economy; Politics.)

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Trans-Canada Airlines

 Trans-Canada Airlines was created 10 April 1937 by Act of Parliament as a subsidiary of CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS to provide air service to all regions of Canada. TCA began with 2 passenger aircraft and a small bi-plane, which was used to survey new routes.

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Samson

Samson, first locomotive in North America to burn coal and the first to run over all-iron rails. Built in New Shildon, England, it was shipped to Pictou, NS, to haul coal from the Albion Mines 9.6 km over a tramway to Dunbar Point on Pictou Harbour.

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Mary Celeste

Mary Celeste was a brigantine built in 1861 at Spencer's Island, Nova Scotia, and originally named Amazon. She was wrecked off Cape Breton in 1867, salvaged, sold and in 1868 registered at New York and renamed Mary Celeste. In 1872 she was found adrift off the Azores, with no sign of her crew.

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Helicopter

Control was the problem, and the men who showed the way to the practical helicopter were Juan de la Cierva of Spain, with his autogyros, Heinrich Rocke of Germany and Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky of Russia and the US.

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Aviation

   Aviation, the art and science of flying, has been a practical reality since the early 20th century. Canadians have participated in its development almost from its inception.

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Humboldt Broncos Bus Crash

One of Canada’s most high-profile highway tragedies occurred on 6 April 2018, when a bus carrying 28 members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a transport truck at a highway intersection near Tisdale, Saskatchewan. The crash killed 16 team members: 10 players and 6 staff. It also led to new truck-driver training and licensing regulations and increased awareness about the availability and use of seat belts among bus passengers.

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Avro Arrow

The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow (the Arrow) was a supersonic interceptor jet aircraft designed and built in the 1950s by A.V. Roe Canada (Avro). The Arrow was one of the most advanced aircraft of its era, helping to establish Canada as a world leader in scientific research and development.

Though the Arrow was widely praised for its power and beauty, the program was cancelled in February 1959 by the government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. This resulted in the loss of at least 25,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Many believe that the Arrow’s cancellation was a betrayal of Canada’s aerospace industry. Others assert that the jet was extravagant and had little chance of competing with impending innovations. At best, Avro and the Arrow were historic examples of Canadian ingenuity and intriguing case studies of unrealized potential.

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Montreal Metro

The Montreal metro opened on 14 October 1966. The second Canadian subway system after Toronto’s, which opened in 1954, the Montreal metro was the first subway in North America to run on rubber tires instead of metal wheels. Extensions to the Montreal metro were built on Montreal Island over the two decades after it opened, and then to the city of Laval, on the island of Île Jésus, during the 2000s. The system runs entirely underground, and each station has a distinct architecture and design. The Montreal metro consists of four lines running a total of 71 km and serving 68 stations. In 2018, its passengers made more than 383 million trips.

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TC Energy (formerly TransCanada)

TC Energy Corporation (formerly TransCanada Corporation) is a natural gas, oil and power-generation company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. TC Energy owns more than 92,600 km of natural gas pipeline in North America and transports more than 25 per cent of the gas consumed on the continent. It also operates power plants and gas storage facilities. A public company, it trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TRP. In 2018, TC Energy registered $13.7 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in profit and held $98.9 billion in assets. The company employs about 7,300 people, more than half of them in Canada.

Macleans

Electric Cars to be Marketed

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on July 29, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

O'Callaghan was one of the first people in Canada to drive the Impact, a compact electric vehicle (known as an EV) that will soon be the subject of a joint research project by General Motors Corp., B.C. Hydro and the British Columbia government.

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CTrain

CTrain is a light rail transit system in Calgary, Alberta. It is operated by Calgary Transit, a public transit service owned by the City of Calgary and operated through its Transportation Department. Service began on the initial downtown transit corridor and south line in 1981. It expanded to northeast Calgary in 1985, to the University of Calgary in the city’s northwest in 1987 and to the city’s west side in 2012. Most of its route and stations are at surface level. Calgary Transit operates the CTrain in conjunction with an extensive network of bus routes. Through equivalency purchases of wind-generated electricity, it has been entirely wind-powered since 2001. Its two separate lines comprise 45 stations, 118.1 km of track, and an average daily ridership of 312,300 (2018).

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Canals and Inland Waterways

These 2 great journeys were first made just before the end of the 18th century, and by the same man. Alexander Mackenzie reached the mouth of the river which now bears his name in 1789, and was the first European to cross the North American continent (to Bella Coola) in 1793.

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SkyTrain

The SkyTrain is the rapid transit rail system serving Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. It uses mostly Advanced Light Rapid Transit (ALRT) technology, an automated rail system that operates mainly on a raised guideway, although some sections run underground or at street level. Regular service began 3 January 1986. The SkyTrain’s opening coincided with Expo 86, the world’s fair hosted by Vancouver as part of its 100th anniversary celebrations. The system is run by TransLink, the provincial transit agency for the South Coast of British Columbia. It was the world’s first driverless urban rail system. Now, it is one of the longest fully automated rapid transit systems in the world. The SkyTrain has three lines connecting 53 stations in seven municipalities. In 2018, it had more than 495,000 boardings per weekday, on average.