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Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Established in 1994, the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) is a national charitable organization. The mission of the CMHF is to “recognize and celebrate Canadian health leaders whose work has advanced health and inspires the pursuit of careers in the health sciences.” As of 2006, up to six individuals are inducted into the CMHF annually. Laureates are featured at the CMHF’s Exhibit Hall in London, Ontario, and online through the CMHF’s official website.

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Lizard Species in Canada

Lizards are reptiles that belong to several suborders within the order Squamata (which also includes snakes). They are the most diverse group of living reptiles and are found on all continents except Antarctica. There are six species of lizard currently found in Canada. In addition, one species, the pygmy short-horned lizard, 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 the six lizard species in Canada are native, while the sixth, the common wall lizard, is introduced from Europe.

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Henri J. Breault

Henri Joseph Breault, medical doctor, anti-poisoning advocate (born 4 March 1909 in Tecumseh, ON; died 5 September 1983 in Exeter, ON). Breault is known for spearheading a national campaign to prevent accidental childhood poisonings. He advocated for the development of the Palm-N-Turn, a safety cap that drastically reduced child deaths due to poisoning in Canada and around the world.

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Agriculture and Food

Canada's agriculture and food industries have changed greatly in the years since the Second World War. Growth in Canada’s economy, and associated social changes, have altered the way food is produced, processed, handled, sold and consumed.

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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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Misinformation in Canada

The advance of computers into all aspects of our lives and the rising role of the Internet have led many people to call this the Information Age. But with news travelling fast, and often with few checks and balances to ensure accuracy, it can also be seen as the Misinformation Age. Learning how to separate facts from misinformation or so-called fake news has become a critical modern skill as people learn to evaluate information being shared with them, as well as to scrutinize information they may share themselves.

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Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame

The Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame was a permanent exhibition at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Founded in 1991, the Hall of Fame honoured individuals whose scientific or technological achievements have had long-term implications for Canadians. Canadian scientists and innovators inducted in the Hall of Fame, include Maude Abbott, Wilder Penfield, Sir Sandford Fleming, Hugh Le Caine and Elsie MacGill. The Hall of Fame was retired in 2017.

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Polar Vortex

The polar vortex is a wind pattern surrounding the Earth’s poles. Both the North and South pole have polar vortices spinning around them. In both cases, the rotation is generally cyclonic — counter-clockwise around the North Pole and clockwise around the South Pole. While polar vortices exist year-round, they are strongest during each pole’s winter. Canadians tend to experience the effects of the North Pole’s polar vortex toward the end of winter. At this time, the vortex begins to weaken, and cold, polar air travels further south. Polar vortices are atmospheric phenomena which occur on other planets too, such as Mars, Venus and Saturn.

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Royal Victoria Hospital

Royal Victoria Hospital, Montréal, is a teaching hospital affiliated with McGill University. Its original building on the southern slopes of Mount Royal is the premier Canadian illustration of pavilion-plan hospital architecture.

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Sweat Lodge

Sweat lodges are heated, dome-shaped structures used by Indigenous peoples during certain purification rites and as a way to promote healthy living.

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Indigenous Peoples' Medicine in Canada

Since time immemorial Indigenous peoples in Canada have been using plants and other natural materials as medicine. Plant medicines are used more frequently than those derived from animals. In all, Indigenous peoples have identified over 400 different species of plants (as well as lichens, fungi and algae) with medicinal applications. Medicine traditions — the plants used, the ailments treated, protocols for harvesting and application, and modes of preparation — are similar for Indigenous peoples across the country. In many Indigenous communities, there are recognized specialists trained in traditional medicine, and their practice often reflects spiritual aspects of healing as well as physical outcomes. In many cases, the therapeutic properties of Indigenous medicines are attributable to particular compounds and their effects on the body, but in other instances, their application is little understood by western medical practitioners. Within Indigenous communities, specific methods of harvesting and preparation of medicines are considered intellectual property of particular individuals or families.

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Pump Drill

The pump drill was used by Indigenous peoples to start fire and drill holes into materials such as wood, shell, bone and stone. While modern power tools replaced the pump drill after the 19th century, some specialized craftspeople continue to use the tool.

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Firearms

For many centuries, a legend has persisted that gunpowder was invented in China. Until recently, however, there was no real proof to support the story. In 1986, a team of researchers headed by Dr. Joseph Neeham at Cambridge University published the necessary evidence.

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Pandemics in Canada

A pandemic is an outbreak of an infectious disease that affects a large proportion of the population in multiple countries or worldwide. Human populations have been affected by pandemics since ancient times. These include widespread outbreaks of plague, cholerainfluenza and, more recently, HIV/AIDS and COVID-19. In order to slow or stop the spread of disease, governments implement public health measures that include testing, isolation and quarantine. In Canada, public health agencies at the federal, provincial and municipal levels play an important role in monitoring disease, advising governments and communicating to the public.

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

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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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COVID-19 Pandemic in Canada

COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by a new type of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that emerged in 2019. The virus caused the first cases in China and then quickly spread around the world. As of 25 September 2022, the COVID-19  pandemic has caused more than 612 million confirmed cases and 6.5 million deaths globally, including over 4.2 million cases and 44,992 deaths in Canada. It is one of the deadliest pandemics in world history and among the most disruptive and transformative on many levels, especially economically and socially.

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

Article

SARS in Canada

Canada experienced an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. Most of the infections originated in Toronto hospitals. The outbreak led to the quarantine of thousands, killed 44 people and took an economic toll on Toronto. It also exposed the country’s ill-prepared health-care system. Confusion around SARS fuelled an uptick in  anti-Asian racism and anti-immigrant sentiment.

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

Article

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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Rotary Snowplough

The first rail ploughs, in the mid-1800s, were made of steel and fitted to the front of locomotives like cowcatchers. They worked against light snowfalls, but were ineffective in the face of blizzards, drifting snow and avalanches.