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Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster
In the early morning of 6 July 2013, a runaway train hauling 72 tankers filled with crude oil derailed as it approached the centre of the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. The tanker cars exploded and the oil caught fire, killing 47 people and destroying many buildings and other infrastructure in the town centre. The fourth deadliest railway disaster in Canadian history, the derailment led to changes in rail transport safety rules as well as legal action against the company and employees involved in the incident. Years after the derailment, re-building was still ongoing and many of the town’s residents continued to suffer from post-traumatic stress.
Invention of Standard Time
Knowing the time in different places is not an issue today, but long ago it was a complicated matter. Communities used their own solar time, which differed by one minute per 18 km of east-west separation between communities, the later time to the east.
Far Out on the Left Coast: British Columbia's Sense of Isolation and Belonging
On September 3, 1962, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker arrived at Rogers Pass to preside at the official opening of the Trans-Canada Highway. This section of pavement through British Columbia's Selkirk Mountains was the final stretch of the highway to be built.
The First Telegraph in Canada
We are accustomed today to sending and receiving messages with little delay. Electronic mail and instant messaging provide almost instantaneous ways to send information over great distances.
Dorothea Ferguson (née Palmer), birth control advocate, social worker (born 1908 in England; died 5 November 1992 in Ottawa, ON). Dorothea Palmer was arrested in 1936 for advertising birth control to women in a working-class neighbourhood in Ottawa. She was cleared of charges after a lengthy trial proved her work had been for the public good. Her acquittal was a major victory for the birth control movement in Canada.
The Avro Arrow is Cancelled
The story of the Arrow had its origins in the Cold War and the growing spectre of Soviet bombers invading our northern skies.
Colonel By and the Construction of the Rideau Canal
On September 29th of 1826 the governor of Canada, the Earl of Dalhousie, turned the first sod for construction of the lowest lock of the Rideau Canal. Later that day the participants gathered at Philemon Wright's tavern in Hull, where they indulged in a lavish dinner and the drinking of numerous toasts. One of the great engineering feats of its time was underway.
The Silver Dart and the Dawn of Flight in Canada
McCurdy had dubbed the machine Silver for the coating on its wings and Dart just because it seemed obvious. Someone cracked the propeller and McCurdy signaled to the crowd to get out of the way.
Opened on 7 February 1990, the Montréal Insectarium is part of the “Space for Life” network, which includes Montréal’s Biodome, Planetarium and Botanical Garden.
Dawson Archaeological Site
The Dawson site is an ancient Iroquoian village located on the Island of Montréal, next to Mount Royal. The site, which was initially located on a sand dune, covers about two acres.
The SkyTrain is the rapid transit rail system serving Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. It uses mostly Advanced Light Rapid Transit (ALRT) technology, an automated rail system that operates mainly on a raised guideway, although some sections run underground or at street level. Regular service began 3 January 1986. The SkyTrain’s opening coincided with Expo 86, the world’s fair hosted by Vancouver as part of its 100th anniversary celebrations. The system is run by TransLink, the provincial transit agency for the South Coast of British Columbia. It was the world’s first driverless urban rail system. Now, it is one of the longest fully automated rapid transit systems in the world. The SkyTrain has three lines connecting 53 stations in seven municipalities. In 2018, it had more than 495,000 boardings per weekday, on average.
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.
Computers and Canadian Society
Canadians use computers in many aspects of their daily lives. Eighty-four per cent of Canadian families have a computer in the home, and many people rely on these devices for work and education. Nearly everyone under the age of 45 uses a computer every day, including mobile phones that are as capable as a laptop or tablet computer. With the widespread use of networked computers facilitated by the Internet, Canadians can purchase products, do their banking, make reservations, share and consume media, communicate and perform many other tasks online. Advancements in computer technologies such as cloud computing, social media, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are having a significant impact on Canadian society. While these and other uses of computers offer many benefits, they also present societal challenges related to Internet connectivity, the digital divide, privacy and crime.
Toronto Feature: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
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Aluminum in Canada
Aluminum is a lightweight, strong and flexible metal that resists corrosion and is 100 per cent recyclable. It is a common material in vehicles, buildings, consumer goods, packaging, power transmission and electronics. Canada’s aluminum industry began at the turn of the 20th century and grew quickly during both World Wars. Today, Canada is the world’s fourth largest producer and second largest exporter of aluminum. The country nevertheless accounts for less than 5 per cent of global production. Aside from one smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia, all Canadian plants are in the province of Quebec.
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