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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.

Article

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.

Article

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.

Article

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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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.

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Health of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Prior to colonization, Indigenous peoples possessed rich and diverse healing systems. Settlers’ introduction of new and contagious diseases placed these healing systems under considerable strain. Europeans also brought profound social, economic and political changes to the well-being of Indigenous communities. These changes continue to affect the health of Indigenous peoples in Canada today. (See also Social Conditions of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and Economic Conditions of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

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Shaking Tent

Shaking Tent rite was widespread among the Ojibwa, Innu (Montagnais-Naskapi), Cree, Penobscot and Abenaki and involved the shamanistic use of a special cylindrical lodge or tent.

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Hospital Architecture

The financial sources and social mandates of hospitals have varied widely over the past 400 years. The earliest hospitals included military and marine hospitals, as well as Roman Catholic and then Protestant benevolent institutions.

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De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver

The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, successor to the Noorduyn Norseman, was the all-purpose bush plane of the Canadian North. (See also Bush Flying in Canada.) The Beaver was sturdy, reliable and able to take off and land on short lengths of land, water and snow. It has been called the best bush plane ever built. While de Havilland Canada produced it for only 20 years — from 1947 to 1967 — many Beaver planes still fly today. The Beaver helped connect communities in remote areas of Canada, in addition to serving across the globe.

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Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal (or Waterway), 202 km long, links the Ottawa River at Ottawa with Lake Ontario at Kingston.

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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.

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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.