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Representing the Home Front: The Women of the Canadian War Memorials Fund

While they may not have had access to the battlefields, a number of Canadian women artists made their mark on the visual culture of the First World War by representing the home front. First among these were the women affiliated with the Canadian War Memorials Fund, Canada’s first official war art program. Founded in 1916, the stated goal of the Fund was to provide “suitable Memorials in the form of Tablets, Oil-Paintings, etc. […], to the Canadian Heroes and Heroines in the War.” Expatriates Florence Carlyle and Caroline Armington participated in the program while overseas. Artists Henrietta Mabel May, Dorothy StevensFrances Loringand Florence Wyle were commissioned by the Fund to visually document the war effort in Canada.

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Mary Riter Hamilton

Mary Matilda Hamilton (née Riter), artist (born 7 September c. 1867 in Teeswater, ON; died 5 April 1954 in Coquitlam, BC). Mary Riter Hamilton was a painter who exhibited her works in Europe and across Canada. Shortly after the fighting stopped, Hamilton travelled to Europe to paint First World War battlefield landscapes before they were cleared (see War Artists). She produced over 350 works in three years, which are a document of the destruction and devastation caused by the war.

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Invasive Species in Canada: Plants

Invasive species are any species that have, primarily with human help, become established in a new ecosystem. While it’s impossible to say exactly how many invasive species are living in Canada, in 2002 researchers estimated that at least 1,442 invasive species — including fish, plants, insects and invertebrates — now live in the country’s farmlands, forests and waterways. The complex environmental impacts of so many invasive species is unknown and, maybe, unknowable. Typically, non-natives are feared for their ability to reproduce much faster than native species and outcompete natives for food, habitat and other resources. Economically, invasives are estimated to cost Canadians billions of dollars each year in lost revenue from natural resources and impacts on ecosystem services.

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Sturgeon Falls

Sturgeon Falls, ON, population centre, population 6,798 (2016 census), 6,672 (2011 census). Sturgeon Falls is located 5 km up the Sturgeon River from Lake Nipissing. It was incorporated as a town in 1895. After a failed court challenge aimed at maintaining a separate identity (1997), Sturgeon Falls is now the administrative centre for the provincially-mandated town of West Nipissing (incorporated 1990).

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Uxbridge

Uxbridge, Ontario, incorporated as a township in 1974, population 21,176 (2016 census), 20,623 (2011 census). The township of Uxbridge is located 68 km northeast of Toronto on Highway 47. The town of Uxbridge was amalgamated in 1974 with the townships of Scott and Uxbridge to form a new township in the Regional Municipality of Durham.

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Grassy Narrows

Grassy Narrows, ON, is the common name for both a reserve and an Ojibwe First Nation. The reserve, legally known as English River Indian Reserve 21, is just over 41 km2 of land located about 55 km northeast of Kenora. There are 1,594 registered members of Grassy Narrows First Nation (also known as Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek), 971 of whom live on-reserve (2019). Grassy Narrows is a signatory to Treaty 3.

Approximately 90 per cent of Grassy Narrows residents suffer from mercury poisoning. The poisoning is the result of Dryden Chemicals Ltd. dumping mercury into the English-Wabigoon river system between 1962 and 1970. The effects of the pollution are ongoing, and have also affected Whitedog First Nation (also known as Wabaseemoong Independent Nations).

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Reserves in Ontario

There are 207 reserves in Ontario, held by 123 First Nations. In 2019, there were 218,451 registered Indians living in Ontario, 44 per cent of whom lived on reserves. Reserves in Ontario are held by Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Haudenosaunee, Delaware and Algonquin peoples. There are also a handful of First Nations in Ontario who, for a variety of reasons, do not have reserve land.

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Contemporary Indigenous Art in Canada

Contemporary Indigenous art is that which has been produced by Indigenous peoples between around 1945 to the present. Since that time, two major schools of Indigenous art have dominated the contemporary scene in Canada:  Northwest Coast Indigenous Art and the Woodlands school of Legend Painters. As well, a more widely scattered group of artists work independently in the context of mainstream Western artand may be described as internationalist in scope and intent.

Contemporary Inuit art has evolved in parallel with contemporary Indigenous art, producing celebrated artists like Zacharias Kunuk and Annie Pootoogook.

timeline event

Ontario Premier Doug Ford Invokes the Notwithstanding Clause

After the Ontario legislature passed Bill 5, the Better Local Government Act, on 14 August to reduce the number of Toronto city councillors from 47 to 25, Justice Edward P. Belobaba ruled on 10 September that reducing the size of council in the middle of an election was unconstitutional. On 12 September, the legislature introduced Bill 31, the Efficient Local Government Act, which invoked Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to override Belobaba’s ruling. On 19 September, the Court of Appeal for Ontario ruled that Belobaba’s decision “invalidates legislation duly passed by the legislature” and granted a stay, allowing the province to implement a 25-councillor election in Toronto on 22 October.

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Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay, ON, incorporated as a city in 1970, population 107,909 (2016 census), 108,359 (2011 census). The City of Thunder Bay was created by the amalgamation of the cities of Fort William and Port Arthur and the townships of Neebing and McIntyre. It is located in northwestern Ontario on the west shore of the Lake Superior bay of the same name. Thunder Bay is situated on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, and the land is covered by the Robinson-Superior Treaty. The Port of Thunder Bay is a western stop along the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Seaway. The region’s geography is dominated by the rocks, lakes and forests of the Canadian Shield. Surrounding communities depend on tourism or resource extraction, and look to Thunder Bay for a wide variety of services.

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Sault Ste Marie

Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, incorporated as a town in 1887 and as a city in 1912, population 73,368 (2016 census), 75,141 (2011 census). The city of Sault Ste Marie is located adjacent to the rapids of the St Marys River between lakes Superior and Huron. Across the river is the American city of the same name. Sault Ste Marie sits on the traditional territory of the Ojibwe, who called the site Bawating (“place of the rapids”) and valued it for its access to the upper Great Lakes and as a source of abundant whitefish and maple sugar. It is popularly called “the Sault,” or “Soo.”

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Whitby

Whitby, Ontario, incorporated as a town in 1855, population 128,377 (2016 census), 122,022 (2011 census). The town of Whitby is located on Lake Ontario, 56 km east of Toronto.

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Elgin Settlement

The Elgin Settlement, also known as Buxton, was one of four organized Black settlements developed in Southwestern Ontario in the mid-1800s. Established in 1849 by Reverend William King, the Elgin Settlement was one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad. Today, the settlement is a national historic site within the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. It was named in honour of Lord Elgin, governor general of Upper Canada. The name “Buxton” paid tribute to Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, a slave trade abolitionist. While the community was officially known as the Elgin Settlement, at its heart was the Buxton Mission. The Elgin Settlement was the largest of the four Black settlements and considered the most successful.

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Egerton Ryerson

Adolphus Egerton Ryerson, Methodist minister, educator (born 24 March 1803 in Charlotteville Township, Norfolk County, Upper Canada; died 18 February 1882 in Toronto, Ontario). Egerton Ryerson was a leading figure in education and politics in 19th century Ontario. He helped found and edit the Christian Guardian (1829) and served as president of the Methodist Church of Canada (1874–78). As superintendent of education in Canada West, Ryerson established a system of free, mandatory schooling at the primary and secondary level — the forerunner of Ontario’s current school system. He also founded the Provincial Normal School (1847), which eventually became the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Ryerson also served as principal of Victoria College, which he helped found in 1836 as the Upper Canada Academy. He was also, however, involved in the development of residential schools in Canada. This has led to increasing calls to rename Ryerson University and other institutions named in his honour.

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St. Lawrence Lowland

St. Lawrence Lowland is a plain along the St. Lawrence River between Québec City in the east and Brockville, Ontario, in the west, including the Ottawa River valley west to Renfrew, Ontario.

timeline event

Ontario and Saskatchewan in Court Over Carbon Tax

The province of Saskatchewan argued to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals that the federal governmentshould not be able to impose a carbon tax on unwilling provinces, which also include Ontarioand New Brunswick. Representatives for the federal government argued that it is a “regulatory charge,” not a tax, and that carbon emissions fall within federal jurisdiction because they are a matter of “national concern.”