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Montréal Biodôme

Opened in 1992 and located in the former Olympic velodrome, the Montréal Biodôme is part of the “Space for Life” network, which includes Montréal’s Insectarium, Planetarium and Botanical Garden.

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Vision Quest

Coined by 19th century anthropologists, the term “vision quest” describes a spiritual journey in various Indigenous cultures in which participants, often adolescents, are said to receive sacred knowledge and strength from the spirit world. Practised as a rite of passage among some Indigenous cultures in North America, such as the Siksika (Blackfoot), Cree, Anishinaabe (including the Ojibwe) and Inuit, vision quests reflect the role of spirituality and contemplative thinking in Indigenous cultures, and provide an important connection between the participant, the Creator and nature. Though reduced as a practice following colonization, vision quests remain part of the cultural traditions of Indigenous populations in Canada in the modern era.

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Bell Canada Enterprises Inc

HistoryIncorporated by an act of Parliament on 29 April 1880, the Bell Telephone Company of Canada (today Bell Canada) received by its charter the right to construct telephone lines alongside all public rights-of-way in Canada, a most valuable privilege.

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Seed Plants

The common feature uniting seed plants is the "seed habit," a unique method of sexual reproduction. In all vascular plants, the conspicuous plant is a spore producer (sporophyte) that alternates, in the life cycle, with a sexual phase (gametophyte).

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Bannock

Bannock [Old English bannuc, "morsel"], a form of bread that served as a staple in the diets of early settlers and fur traders. It took the form of a flat round cake or pancake. Ingredients included unleavened flour, lard, salt, water and sometimes baking powder.

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Fake News (a.k.a. Disinformation) in Canada

Fake news is falsified information created with the intent of misleading people. It aims to shape public opinion by eliciting an emotional and biased response that is divorced from facts but in alignment with a particular ideology or perspective. Fake news can effectively weaponize information. It uses disinformation, misinformation or mal-information to demonize or damage a political foe, or to sow confusion and mistrust among the public. Fake news came to the fore of public consciousness during and immediately after the 2016 US presidential election, though its origins date back much further.

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Crabbe

William Bell’s first novel, Crabbe (1986), tells the story of a disaffected teenager who escapes to the wilderness, only to learn that running away will not solve his problems. Crabbe has become a popular choice for school curricula across North America. A 2017 study found that it was among the 20 most-cited books in Ontario classrooms. It was one of only three Canadian books on the list, along with Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road and Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. The literary quarterly Canadian Literature attributed the book’s longevity to its “convincing narrative voice” and “precisely observed sense of detail.”

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The First Stone

Award-wining writer Don Aker’s The First Stone tells the story of Reef, an embittered and troubled young man who, in a mindless rage, hurls a rock from an overpass and injures Leeza, who is in mourning for an older sister. The two teenagers unexpectedly come together to begin the slow process of healing. The First Stone was first published in 2003 by HarperTrophy Canada. It won the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award and Atlantic Canada’s Ann Connor Brimer Award in 2004. It was also one of five young adult novels selected for CBC Radio’s “Young Canada Reads” series in 2006.

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Snowshoes

Snowshoes are footwear that help to distribute the weight of a person while they walk over deep snow, preventing them from sinking too far into the snow with every step. In the past, Indigenous peoples used snowshoes for winter travel in Canada, outside the Pacific and Arctic coasts. Snowshoeing has since become a popular Canadian pastime, enjoyed by hikers and sportspeople.

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Woodward and Evans Light Bulb

In 1874, Canadians Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans patented a design for an incandescent light bulb. Their invention preceded that of American Thomas Edison by several years. In fact, the second patent (issued in 1876 in the United States) was among those that Edison bought as he refined the technology to create a longer-lasting bulb. Woodward and Evans’s early work on the light bulb in Toronto has gone largely unrecognized. It was nevertheless an important development in the invention of electric lighting.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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Friendship Centres

Friendship Centres are non-governmental agencies that provide various programs and services to urban Indigenous peoples. As of 2017, the National Association of Friendship Centres represents 118 Friendship Centres nationwide.

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Egghead

Caroline Pignat’s Egghead (2008) is a young adult novel that details the effects of bullying through the eyes of three junior high school students. The novel has been lauded for its sensitive portrayal of multiple perspectives of the causes and effects of bullying. Egghead was shortlisted for numerous prizes, including the Ontario Library Association’s Red Maple award, the Saskatchewan Young Reader’s Association Snow Willow Award and the Canadian Library Association’s Young Adult Book of the Year award. 

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Alias Grace

Margaret Atwood’s ninth novel, Alias Grace (1996), is a work of historical fiction that centres on the mysterious figure of Grace Marks. She was convicted in 1843 at the age of 16 for the murder of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, a wealthy Scottish Canadian, who was killed along with his housekeeper and mistress, Nancy Montgomery. Alias Grace won the Giller Prize for fiction in 1996. It was also shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award and England’s Booker Prize. In 2017, Sarah Polley adapted Atwood’s novel into a six-part CBC/Netflix miniseries, starring Sarah Gadon as Marks.

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Fifth Business

Robertson Davies’s landmark novel Fifth Business (1970) explores the life and psyche of a seemingly ordinary history teacher, Dunstan Ramsey, who has unwittingly played a key role in some remarkable events. It was the first book of Davies’s Deptford Trilogy, which also includes The Manticore (1972) and World of Wonders (1975). Fifth Business became arguably Davies’s most recognized novel and catapulted him to international recognition.

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Alberta Clipper

An Alberta Clipper is a type of low-pressure weather system that forms in Alberta or nearby, on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. It is a fast-moving storm, hence the name “clipper,” which refers to 19th-century ships known for their speed. Depending on the province where the system approaches the Canada-United States border, sometimes it is called a Saskatchewan Screamer, Manitoba Mauler or Ontario Scary-o. It may also be called a Canadian Clipper or simply a Clipper. Such storms mostly occur in December and January but are common in the fall and spring, too. They form about 5–20 times per season.