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Canada's Changing Families

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on November 4, 2002. Partner content is not updated.

FOR MANY PEOPLE, where and how they live is code for so much more. Say, for example, you live alone - or in the precise language of the statistician, you comprise a "single-person household.


Donald MacDonald

Donald MacDonald, trade unionist (b at Halifax 12 Sept 1909; d at Ottawa 25 Sept 1986). At age 17 MacDonald became a coal heaver on the Sydney docks. He joined the United Mine Workers and at age 21 became president of Local 4560.


Patrick Morris

Patrick Morris, merchant, shipowner, politician and officeholder (b at Waterford, Ire 1789; d at St John's 22 Aug 1849).


Ethel Davis Wilson

Ethel Davis Wilson, née Bryant, novelist, storywriter, essayist (b at Port Elizabeth, S Africa 20 Jan 1888; d at Vancouver 22 Dec 1980). Wilson's small but impressive literary output has earned her an important place in Canadian literature.


Four the Moment

Four the Moment, was an a cappella quartet formed in 1981 in Halifax by Delvina and Kim Bernard, Jackie Barkley, and Deanna Sparks.


Paul Perry

Paul Perry (b Guloien). Tenor saxophonist, bandleader, b Wadena, north-east of Regina, of Norwegian parents, 3 Oct 1916. The second eldest of eight children, he taught himself and his brothers Edward, Howard, and Jim Guloien to play saxophone.


Willard Garfield Weston

Willard Garfield Weston, food merchant, manufacturer (b at Toronto 26 Jan 1893; d there 22 Oct 1978). The son of biscuit manufacturer George Weston, he developed the family business into one of the largest food conglomerates in


Roberta Geddes-Harvey

(Anne Catherine) Roberta Geddes-Harvey (b Geddes). Composer, organist, choirmaster, b Hamilton, Ont, 25 Dec 1849, d Guelph, Ont, 22 Apr 1930. B MUS (Trinity College, Toronto) 1899. She studied music theory with Arthur E. Fisher and was coached for her degree by Edward Fisher and Humfrey Anger.


Anisia Campos

Anisia Campos. Pianist, teacher, b Rio de Janeiro 1940, naturalized Canadian 1971. Anisia Campos graduated from l'École normale de musique in Paris (where she studied with Alfred Cortot and Reine Gianoli) and from the Salzbourg Mozarteum, where she worked with the well-known pedagogue Karl Leimer.


Paul Pratt

Paul Pratt. Clarinetist, pianist, conductor, teacher, composer, public administrator, b Longueuil, near Montreal, 25 Nov 1894, d there 8 May 1967; lauréat clarinet (Cons national) 1912. He studied piano in Longueuil and later with Orpha-F. Deveaux and Arthur Letondal in Montreal.


Black Lives Matter-Canada

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized movement to end anti-Black racism. It was founded as an online community in the United States in 2013 in response to the acquittal of the man who killed Black teenager Trayvon Martin. Its stated mission is to end white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence and to liberate Black people and communities. The Black Lives Matter hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) has been used to bring attention to discrimination and violence faced by Black people. BLM has chapters in the United States and around the world. There are five chapters in Canada: Toronto (BLM-TO), Vancouver (BLM-VAN), Waterloo Region, Edmonton, and New Brunswick.


Jean Augustine

Jean Augustine (née Simon), PC, CM, first Black female MP and Cabinet minister, social justice advocate, teacher, principal (born 9 September 1937 in Happy Hill, Grenada).


Bianca Andreescu

Bianca Vanessa Andreescu, tennis player (born 16 June 2000 in Mississauga, Ontario). Romanian Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu won 19 junior singles titles and 13 junior doubles tournaments between 2012 and 2017, when she turned professional. In August 2019, she became the first Canadian since Faye Urban in 1969 to win the Rogers Cup. Andreescu then won the US Open in September 2019, making her the first Canadian singles tennis player to win a grand slam title. In 2019, she received the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada’s female athlete of the year and became the first tennis player to win the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year.



Alternative rock band 54-40 rose from the Vancouver punk scene of the late 1970s to achieve mainstream success in Canada in the late 1980s and the 1990s. They have had four platinum albums and one gold album and have been nominated for eight Juno Awards. They are perhaps best known for the hit singles “I Go Blind,” “Baby Ran,” “One Day in Your Life,” “Nice to Luv You,” “She La,” “Ocean Pearl” and “Since When,” among others. The band has been inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. “I Go Blind” was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2021.


George Brown

George Brown, journalist, politician, senator, cattle breeder (born 29 November 1818 in Alloa, Scotland; died 9 May 1880 in Toronto, ON). George Brown played an instrumental role in Confederation. A Reformer who helped bring responsible government to Upper Canada, he orchestrated the great coalition of 1864, which pushed British North America toward Confederation. He participated in the Charlottetown Conference and the Quebec Conference in 1864 and is considered a Father of Confederation. Brown’s journalistic legacy is also significant. His Globe newspaper ushered in the beginning of Canada’s big newspaper business. The widely read Globe was a vigorous force in Upper Canada politics in the 1850s. Today, it is Canada’s major daily newspaper, the Globe and Mail.