Canada Corner

Riot on Barrington Street
Home Front

Riot on Barrington Street

During the Second World War, Halifax quickly became overcrowded with tens of thousands of army, navy and air force personnel, as well as merchant seamen, civilian workers and their families. Newcomers competed with locals for goods, services and accommodation. All were in short supply through the war. Devious landlords overcharged for the smallest of inferior living space, which usually had shared toilet, washing and cooking facilities—if there were any at all. Sailors and civilians alike were frustrated by the poor level and range of services in the port city. “The city was just plain overcrowded,” said a Wren, one of nearly 1,000 Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service members stationed in the Halifax area. “And it made for a lot of tension.” As the end of the war approached, the sen...
The RCMP turns 100
O Canada

The RCMP turns 100

When Canada bought Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1870, it needed to police those millions of square kilometres, so in 1873, the North West Mounted Police was formed by an act of Parliament. Successful applicants had to be males between the ages of 18 and 40, of sound constitution and good character. The pay was one dollar a day and their first job was to clean up the whiskey trade on the southern Prairies. On July 8, 1874, 300 men set out from Dufferin, Man., on a two-month odyssey across the Prairies. They dealt with the whiskey traders, went on to put down the 1885 Métis resistance against the government, and policed the Klondike gold rush. Crowfoot, the inspirational leader of the Blackfoot, said, “The Mounted Police have protected us as the feathers of the bird pro...
Barry Pepper narrates Military Moments | D-DAY
Multi-media Features

Barry Pepper narrates Military Moments | D-DAY

 June 6, 2019, marked the 75th Anniversary of the greatest military operation in history: D-Day. To mark this significant milestone in the lead-up to Remembrance Day, Legion Magazine has collaborated with Emmy-award winning Canadian actor Barry Pepper to present the next video in our award-winning video series – Military Moments | D-DAY. The video takes us back to the spring of 1944. The Allies could not wait any longer. It was time to roll the dice on the greatest military operation in history. Together, the Allies—British, American, Canadian—would land on five beaches on France’s Normandy coast in the early hours of June 6—D-Day. Often overshadowed by our American and British bretheren, the video highlights Canada’s triumph and sacrifice at Juno Beach. There are few artists tod...
A day off
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 help ease the burden. Things weren’t any better for adults. Twelve-hour days were standard, along with six-day weeks. In company mining towns, most of the workers’ wages went to pay rent for the company-owned houses and to buy supplies at the company-owned store. If the workers threatened to strike, the store would close. Conditions were often unsafe, wages were low and workers could be fired on a whim. In response to these conditions, the “Ni...
They were prepared
Home Front

They were prepared

The mottos of all factions of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide movements include pledges to help others. Wartime records show that contributions of the young members more than lived up to their mottos “Lend a Hand,” “Do a Good Turn Daily” and “Be Prepared.” In September 1943, 11-year-old Donald Penrose, a Wolf Cub in the 40th Deer Lodge Pack, received a 700-hour war service badge, setting a record for Cub war work in Manitoba and possibly all of Canada. He earned his badge by volunteering to do a series of war service tasks during the Second World War—collecting magazines, knitting, sewing quilts and making doughnuts. The Boy Scouts annual report noting his badge presentation also added that in addition to his volunteering, Penrose “still finds time to do piano practice daily.” Although t...
O Canada: Moon legs
O Canada

O Canada: Moon legs

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 settled into the dust of the moon. The legs were made of lightweight honeycomb compressible aluminum, manufactured by Quebec’s Heroux-DEVTEK. The module itself was primarily designed by Sarnia-born Owen Maynard, an engineer and former Second World War RCAF pilot. He had previously been one of the engineers on the supersonic Avro Arrow. When Prime Minister John Diefenbaker cancelled the Arrow program in 1959, Robert Gilruth, who was with the American space program, flew to Toronto the next day and hired 25 men to join his team in Virgi...
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