O Canada

A day off

The 19th century wasn’t a golden era for workers. In Newfoundland, six-year-olds were given the job of splitting fish, while processing was done by 10-year-old girls. Eight-year-old boys worked in Cape Breton coal mines. At Toronto’s Gooderham and Worts distillery, child workers as young as 10 worked long days and were given rations of whisky to...
  • O Canada: Moon legs

    July 16, 2019 by Don Gillmor
    What was the first thing to touch the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969? Before Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface with the words, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind,” the Canadian-made legs of the lunar landing module...
  • Appreciating “Voice of Fire”

    April 25, 2019 by Don Gillmor
    “My five-year-old could paint that.”  This was a familiar response from viewers staring at “Voice of Fire.” The huge painting—on a canvas measuring 5.4 metres by 2.4 metres—by American artist Barnett Newman occupied a central place in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The...
  • The ‘fightingest’ ship in the navy

    January 11, 2019 by Don Gillmor
    In the course of its remarkable life, HMCS Haida was attacked by German bombers, engaged with enemy battleships, participated in the Normandy invasion, escorted Russian convoys, sank U-boats, circumnavigated the globe, and shelled trains during the Korean War. One of 27 Tribal-class destroyers built between...
  • The legacy of “Mr. Veteran”

    December 31, 2018 by Don Gillmor
    Born in Fort William (today’s Thunder Bay, Ont.) in 1919, Cliff Chadderton enlisted with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles on Oct. 15, 1939, with the idea of playing hockey for them. He had been playing for the Winnipeg Rangers, farm team for the New York Rangers....
  • Valour on the road to Cambrai

    October 14, 2018 by Don Gillmor
    Samuel Lewis Honey was born in Conn, Ont., to Reverend George Honey and Metta Blaisdell. A schoolteacher, Honey enlisted at the age of 21 in January 1915. In 1917, he was awarded the Military Medal for his raids on German trenches. The citation read, “He...
  • A grand hotel

    August 10, 2018 by Don Gillmor
    The Château Frontenac opened on Dec. 11, 1893, one of the grand Canadian Pacific Railway hotels that include the Banff Springs Hotel and the Chateau Lake Louise. Designed by American architect Bruce Price, it sits on a prominent site in Quebec City, perched 54 metres...
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