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Article

Fossmobile

The Fossmobile was invented by George Foote Foss in 1897. It is the first successful Canadian example of an automobile built with an internal combustion engine. While the Fossmobile was never mass-produced for the Canadian automotive market (see automotive industry), it is an example of ingenuity and innovation. Through Fossmobile Enterprises, the descendants of George Foote Foss have researched and built a tribute/replica of the Fossmobile prototype. The tribute/replica vehicle was donated and inducted into the Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa, Ontario in 2022.

Article

Sheila Na Geira

According to legend, Sheila Na Geira (also spelled NaGeira and Nagira) was an Irish aristocrat or princess who, 300 or 400 years ago, while travelling between France and Ireland, was captured by a Dutch warship and then rescued by British privateers. She fell in love and was married to one of the privateers, Lieutenant Gilbert Pike. They settled at western Conception Bay. By the early 20th century, the legend was being told as part of Newfoundland’s oral tradition, and has since been popularized by poems, novels, scholarly articles and several plays.

Article

Battle of Beaver Dams

The Battle of Beaver Dams took place during the War of 1812. On 24 June 1813, American troops marched from Fort George and intended to surprise the British at Beaver Dams. Laura Secord, a woman living in Queenston where the Americans had temporarily lodged, learned about this plan, and set off on a journey to warn the British. When the Americans resumed their trek to Beaver Dams, they were ambushed by Kanyen'kehà:ka (Mohawk) and other Indigenous warriors. The Americans lost the battle, surrendering to British troops led by Lieutenant James FitzGibbon (also spelled Fitzgibbon). The Battle of Beaver Dams established the importance of professional soldiering, Indigenous warfare and luck involved in British victory.

Article

Waste Disposal

Although the term SOLID WASTE refers to a wide range of discarded materials (from kitchen scraps to mine tailings), the component known as refuse has the greatest potential for environmental contamination.

timeline

The Law

This timeline includes moments related to law, crime and legal reform in Canada.

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Robert Pickton Case (Plain-Language Summary)

In 2001, Robert Pickton was charged with murdering 26 women at his pig farm in Port Coquitlam, BC. He was convicted on six charges and sentenced to life in prison. Pickton claimed to have killed 49 women. His case was the largest serial killer investigation in Canadian history. It was also a flash point in the wider issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. In 2012, a government inquiry found that “blatant failures” by police led to a “tragedy of epic proportions.”

This article contains sensitive material that may not be suitable for all audiences. This article is a plain-language summary of the Robert Pickton Case. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry: Robert Pickton Case

Article

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever is one of four remaining Canadian dog breeds (see also Dogs in Canada). Its history begins at the turn of the 16th century on the island of Newfoundland. Here, its ancestors were retrievers of fish and game. The breed was further developed in England in the 19th century to assist in hunting. With a friendly temperament, the Labrador retriever is popular not only as a working dog but also as a family dog. In Canada, the Labrador has been the most popular dog for more than 25 years.

List

Canadian Contributions to Medicine

Many important medical discoveries and advancements that have improved and saved the lives of people around the world have been made by Canadians and Canadian research teams. Treatments and technologies, some of which are still used today, are the result of their research and experimentation. This list overviews a few of the life-saving medical contributions made in Canada.

Article

Hudson's Bay Company

The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), chartered 2 May 1670, is the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. HBC was a fur trading business for most of its history, a past that is entwined with the colonization of British North America and the development of Canada. The company now owns and operates nearly 239 department stores in Canada and the United States, including Hudson’s Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks OFF 5TH. Originally headquartered in London, England, its corporate headquarters are located in Toronto and New York. HBC is a private business owned by a holding company.

This is the full-length entry about the Hudson’s Bay Company. For a plain-language summary, please see Hudson’s Bay Company (Plain-Language Summary).

Article

Dinosaurs Found in Canada

Canada is home to some of the richest deposits of dinosaur fossils in the world (see also Dinosaurs and Canada). The vast majority of the dinosaurs discovered in Canada are from Alberta, where the rising Rocky Mountains at the end of the Cretaceous period and a network of ancient rivers provided the sediment necessary for burying and preserving their remains. The names of many of the 88 dinosaurs listed below pay homage to the province, including Albertosaurus sarcophagus, Edmontosaurus regalis and Ornithomimus edmontonicus. Others honour prominent people in Canadian paleontology, for example, Lambeosaurus for Lawrence Lambe, a paleontologist active at the turn of the 20th century, Epichirostenotes curriei for Philip Currie, a paleontologist and the founder of the Royal Tyrrell Museum and Borealopelta markmitchelli for Mark Mitchell, an RTM technician who spent 7,000 hours removing rock from the fossil.

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Canada and the Movement to Ban Land Mines

In the mid-1990s, Canada became a global leader in the effort to eradicate land mines, which are explosive and deadly weapons. In December 1997, representatives from 122 countries assembled in Ottawa to sign the Mine Ban Treaty (or Ottawa Treaty), which came into force on 1 March 1999. With over 80 per cent of the countries in the world having signed the treaty, it is one of the most widely accepted. The Canadian government continues to support demining efforts globally by assisting in related United Nations operations, supporting organizations like the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and providing training, education and funding for mine clearing.

Article

Frog Species in Canada

Frogs are amphibians belonging to the order Anura. Worldwide, frogs are the most numerous group of amphibians, with more than 5,000 living species. They are found on all continents except Antarctica. There are 24 species of frog currently found in Canada. In addition, one species, the Blanchard’s cricket frog, is extirpated. This means that, while it continues to live in other parts of its range, it is no longer found in Canada. Five of Canada’s frog species are toads, which are frogs belonging to the family Bufonidae.

While most frog species in Canada are found in the southern reaches of the country, a few, for example the boreal chorus frog, have ranges extending into Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and in the case of the wood frog, Nunavut.

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Privy Council

Privy Council is a common name for the King’s Privy Council for Canada. It is also known as His Majesty’s Privy Council for Canada. It was established (as the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada) under the Constitution Act, 1867. Its purpose is to advise the Crown (the reigning monarch).

Article

The Nature of Things

The Nature of Things is television’s longest-running science series. It debuted on CBC on 6 November 1960. Originally a half-hour program that demonstrated scientific concepts, it evolved into an hour-long documentary during renowned scientist David Suzuki’s tenure as host (1979–2023). The groundbreaking program was among the first to present scientific findings on subjects such as HIV/AIDS and climate change. Over the course of more than 60 seasons and over 900 episodes, The Nature of Things has been seen in more than 80 countries. It has received 17 Gemini Awards and seven Canadian Screen Awards.

Article

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) (Plain-Language Summary)

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was an international trade agreement. It was signed by 23 nations, including Canada, in 1947. It came into effect on 1 January 1948. It also led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. The GATT was focused on trade in goods. It aimed to reduce tariffs and remove quotas among member countries. The GATT helped reduce average tariffs from 40 per cent in 1947 to less than five per cent in 1993. The GATT was an early step toward globalization. The WTO replaced the GATT on 1 January 1995.

This article is a plain-language summary of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Editorial

Celebrating Thirty Years of the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada

The following is an abridged excerpt from Unheard Of: Memoirs of a Canadian Composer by John Beckwith. (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, Ontario. February 2012)

When Helmut Kallmann's A History of Music in Canada 1534-1914 appeared in 1960, nothing half as thorough or as finely documented had ever been produced, either in English or in French, on this topic. When I asked what he planned to do for an encore, he thought his findings suggested two directions: an alphabetically organized dictionary about music and musical life in Canada; or a scholarly edition, probably in several volumes, preserving the most significant published music of the country’s past. This prediction amounted to an outline of his work on the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.

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Media Bias in Canada (Plain-Language Summary)

Bias is when you support or oppose someone or something based on your own opinion, regardless of the evidence. Media bias is when content spread by media reflects the interests of that company or its ownership. Corporations may have a clear bias for one political party or issue. A company may have its media outlets reflect that bias. Journalists or news outlets may favour one side of an issue and reflect that bias in the way they cover stories. Bias can be overcome by being aware of it and talking about it. And by listening to people from less privileged backgrounds.

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Encyclopedia of Music in Canada

The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada was the first music encyclopedia published in Canada. It comprises more than 3,100 articles and 500 illustrations. It includes biographies of Canadian musicians and histories of music organizations in Canada. Topics that are covered include Inuit music, piano building, awards, education, instrument collections, folk music, the music scenes in Canadian cities and Canada's musical relations with other national cultures. Bibliographies, discographies and lists of compositions are included. Because of its role in documenting Canada's musical history, the EMC is a standard reference work for schools, libraries and musicians.