O Canada

O Canada

Bridging Confederation

It has torn at the psyche of Islanders for more than a decade. On the one side there have been those afraid of environmental risk who also fear a loss of the Island way of life. On the other, those looking for convenience, cheaper transportation and the potential benefits that both will bring. Now, as the mammoth Confederation Bridge–the so-called fixed link that connects Prince Edward Island to mainland Canada–gears up to open June 1, debate has been replaced by rising excitement, although apprehension and uncertainty remain. At 12.9 kilometres, it’s one of the longest continuous multispan bridges in the world. Multispan means it’s a repetition of the same structure over and over, from shore to shore. It’s been a feat, if not of technology, of sheer size. It has been an immense ...
O Canada

The Arid Years

For Saskatchewan the beginning of the 20th century was a time of optimism. The land was free and there was money to be made by anyone willing to work. Hundreds of thousands of settlers poured into the province and there seemed no bounds to the growth. Even the Palliser Triangle, the west’s most arid region, filled up with farmers. The elaborate celebrations in Regina on Sept. 4, 1905, inaugurating Saskatchewan as a province and attended by Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, reflected the confidence of the era. However, people quickly were confronted by reality. The pioneer experience on the prairies was incredibly difficult. There were success stories, but also many failures. Later, after WW I, the prairie economy experienced a serious recession. Drought in s...
O Canada

The New National Dream

Pierre Camu, 73, of Ottawa, had no problem deciding what to buy his two youngest grandchildren last Christmas. The gifts were personal and affordable; for each he donated $36 towards building a new national dream known as the Trans Canada Trail. In return, both grandchildren will have their names permanently inscribed in a pavilion located somewhere along the trail because each $36 donation builds one metre of trail. Earlier, Camu donated a total of $252 for his other seven grandchildren. And so together, Camu’s nine grandchildren, who live in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, will have their names attached to nine metres of a 15,000-kilometre trail that will wind its way through every province and territory in Canada. By the time the Trans Canada Trail is officially opened on July 1,...
O Canada

The Deep Roots Of Bonavista

Standing atop White Rock, overlooking the town of Bonavista, Nfld., on a blustery, bone-chilling, January morning, it is hard to imagine why fishing people settled here. It is the most easterly town in North America, sitting at the narrow tip of the Bonavista Peninsula where Bonavista and Trinity bays converge. With the North Atlantic crashing upon a coastline of steep, jagged cliffs, rugged outcrops of semi-immersed rock, wind-swept beaches and no semblance of a natural shelter for boats, it gives the impression that only the most daring, or foolhardy, could have chosen the place. The absence of a natural harbor was a major handica...
O Canada

Banff: A Rocky Mountain Treasure

This article kicks off a new series we’ve titled Celebrating Canada. The concept spun from the notion that we often take too much for granted. Thus, in words and photos, we will explore the nature of this grand land–its people and places, its business and industry. We don’t mean to be pretentious, but our ambition is to help make Canada better known to Canadians.–The Editor. From the Pacific Ocean, Canada’s western mountain ranges rise and roll inland like a tidal wave of petrified rock. At their eastern brink, these stone monoliths plunge thousands of metres to meet sparse prairie grassland. This last crest, a spectacular 1,450-kilometre chain of jagged, snow-capped peaks, forms the Canadian Rockies, a mountain range that has fascinated, inspired and beckoned people for hundreds of...
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