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Clothing Industries

Mass production of clothing in Canada began in the mid-19th century in urban centres, which supplied pools of semi-skilled labour and were the major consumer markets.

timeline event

Canada Agrees to Join Trade Accord with US and Mexico

After more than a year of negotiations with the United States and Mexico, Canada reached a last-minute agreement to sign a new NAFTA deal. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will retain the Chapter 19 dispute resolution clause but will also allow greater access to Canada’s dairy market. The USMCA was set to be signed at the end of November 2018 and then sent to the three national legislative bodies for ratification.

Editorial

Vancouver Feature: Canada’s First Gas Station Opens for Business

The first gasoline-powered automobile had arrived in Vancouver in 1904, and there were not many more by 1907. But that year someone in the local Imperial Oil office determined that filling cars with a bucket and funnel was not very safe. So the first Canadian filling station — a hot-water tank and a garden hose — was set up at the company’s storage yard at Cambie and Smithe.

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Charlie Major

Charlie Major, singer, songwriter (born 31 December 1954 in Aylmer, QC). Charlie Major is a journeyman singer-songwriter who achieved breakthrough success after years of hardscrabble persistence. His roots-rock tales of working-class life are cut from an aspirational blue-collar cloth similar to that of John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen. He has had 10 singles hit No. 1 on the Canadian country chart, including six from his debut album, The Other Side (1993), which was certified double platinum in Canada. He has won three Juno Awards for Country Male Vocalist of the Year and seven Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards. He was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2019.

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Social History

Social history is a way of looking at how a society organizes itself and how this changes over time. The elements that make up Canada’s social history include climate and geography, as well as the transition to industrialization and urbanization.

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Cannabis Legalization in Canada

Cannabis, also known as marijuana (among countless other names), is a psychoactive intoxicant that was banned in Canada from 1923 until medical cannabis became legal in 2001. The consumption and sale of recreational cannabis was legalized and regulated on 17 October 2018, after Parliament passed Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act. Legalization was supported by a majority of Canadians, despite concerns about the drug’s addictiveness and health effects, especially among young people.

Editorial

Vancouver Feature: Doors Open into an Exotic Cave

To find sophisticated entertainment in old Vancouver you had to go underground, into a grotto where stalactites hung from the ceiling and pirate’s gold shimmered in darkly lit corners. The Cave Supper Club hosted the world’s most famous entertainers and beautiful showgirls for 44 years. It was the rare place in subdued Vancouver to go out on a weekend evening for some risqué entertainment and exotic drinks.

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Maestro Fresh Wes

Wesley Williams (a.k.a. Maestro Fresh Wes, Maestro), rapper, actor, author, motivational speaker (born 31 March 1968 in Toronto, ON). A pioneering hip-hop recording artist, Maestro Fresh Wes is often regarded as the “godfather of Canadian hip hop.” His debut album, Symphony in Effect (1989), was the first album by a Black Canadian artist to be certified platinum in Canada. It yielded the hit single “Let Your Backbone Slide,” one of the most successful and influential Canadian songs of all time. In 2019, it became the first rap song to be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Maestro has been nominated for 13 Juno Awards and won two, including the inaugural award for Rap Recording of the Year in 1991. He was named No. 1 on CBC Music’s 2013 list of the greatest Canadian rappers. He has become a successful actor, author and motivational speaker while remaining a prominent figure in Canadian hip hop.

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Jully Black

Jully Ann Inderia Gordon, singer, songwriter, actor, TV personality (born 8 November 1977 in Toronto, ON). Known as “Canada’s Queen of R&B,” Jully Black is an award-winning R&B and soul singer-songwriter. In 2013, CBC Music named her one of the 25 Greatest Canadian Singers Ever. Her rich and soulful alto voice has garnered comparisons to Tina Turner and Amy Winehouse. Her album Revival (2007) was certified gold in Canada and won the Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year. She has written songs for Destiny’s Child, Nas, Sean Paul and Missy Elliott, among others, and started her own recording, management and publishing company. Black has appeared on stage in productions of trey anthony’s play Da Kink in My Hair and Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s Caroline, or Change. She is also a popular television host and panel guest. 

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George Weston Limited

George Weston Limited is one of North America’s largest processors and distributors of food. The company operates three subsidiaries: Loblaw Companies Limited, a grocery, drugstore and general retailer; Weston Foods, a baking company; and Choice Properties, a real estate investment trust. George Weston Ltd. owns a variety of brands and retail banners. Weston Foods includes Wonder, D’Italiano and Country Harvest and Loblaw brands include No Name, President’s Choice, Life Brand and Joe Fresh. Loblaw stores include Loblaws, Zehrs, Your Independent Grocer, Provigo, Atlantic Superstore, Fortinos, Dominion, Independent City Market, Valu-mart, ARZ Bakery, Wholesale Club, T&T Supermarket, Real Canadian Liquorstore, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Maxi, Extra Foods and Shoppers Drug Mart. In 2018, George Weston Ltd. registered $48.6 billion in revenue and $530 million in profit and held assets valued at $43.8 billion. George Weston Ltd. is the country’s largest private-sector employer, with 203,238 full- and part-time employees as of 2018. It is a public company headquartered in Toronto and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WN.

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Natural Resources in Canada

Natural resources are aspects of the natural environment from which goods and services can be obtained and produced. They include air, sunlight, water, land, vegetation, animal life and geological resources. People can also value natural resources for their own sake or for their aesthetic qualities. Humans must manage natural resources to sustain the benefits they offer.

Canada is among the most resource-rich countries in the world. Its large and varied natural resources are essential to its economies and cultures. But there are ongoing debates about how to use, share and manage natural resources.

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

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Great Fire of Toronto (1904)

On 19 April 1904, a fire swept through 20 acres of Toronto’s industrial core. By the time firefighters contained it, the blaze had destroyed at least 98 buildings. The fire incurred around $10 million in losses and left thousands unemployed. One person died in its aftermath. The disaster is known as the Great Fire of Toronto or the Second Great Fire of Toronto (the first major fire occurred in 1849). It exposed the city’s need for safer building codes and a high-pressure water system.

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Alessia Cara

Alessia Caracciolo, singer, songwriter (born 11 July 1996 in Brampton, Ontario). Alessia Cara is a pop music singer-songwriter who has sold more than 11 million records in the United States and more than 285,000 in Canada since debuting in 2015. She is perhaps best known for her songs “Here” and “Scars to Your Beautiful.” She was named the Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the 2016 Juno Awards and the Best New Artist at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Her debut album Know-It-All (2015) won the 2017 Juno Award for Pop Album of the Year. She has also won a SOCAN Award, two MTV Video Music Awards and three Canadian Radio Music Awards.

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Capitalism in Canada

Capitalism is an economic system in which private owners control a country’s trade and business sector for their personal profit. It contrasts with communism, in which property effectively belongs to the state (see also Marxism). Canada has a “mixed” economy, positioned between these extremes. The three levels of government decide how to allocate much of the country’s wealth through taxing and spending.

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Brewing Industry in Canada

Brewing in Canada evolved from a household necessity into a commercial industry that, while short lived in New France, grew rapidly under British rule. From its regional roots to national consolidation and the rise of the craft beer movement, the brewing industry has both shaped and adapted to Canadians’ tastes. Aside from a brief period of Prohibition, it has also been a large, stable source of tax income for governments. In 2016, beer accounted for roughly $13.6 billion of Canada’s gross domestic product, or 0.7 per cent of the economy. The industry employs nearly 149,000 people, or 0.8 per cent of Canadian workers.

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Natural Gas in Canada

Natural gas ranks among the fastest-growing energy sources in Canada and is seen by many in the energy industry as a game-changer, a comparatively clean, low-cost and versatile fuel. It can directly generate power and heat and can be chemically altered to produce a wide range of useful commodity chemicals. It burns cleaner and more efficiently than other fossil fuels, releasing significantly fewer harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Natural gas is colorless, odourless, shapeless, lighter than air and contains a mixture of several hydrocarbon gases, which are organic compounds consisting of some combination of hydrogen and carbon molecules.

The primary consumers of natural gas are the industrial (54.1 per cent), residential (26.6 per cent) and commercial sectors (19.3 per cent). Canada is the fifth largest natural gas producer after the United States, Russia, Iran and Qatar. Currently, all of Canada’s natural gas exports go to the United States through a network of pipelines, making Canada the largest foreign source of US natural gas imports. At the end of 2016, Canada had 76.7 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves and had produced 152 billion cubic metres of natural gas that year. It is forecasted that global natural gas consumption will double by 2035.