Heritage Now

There’s Pontiac .. and then there’s Pontiac .. both worth a few historical tears

Jun 5th, 2009 | By L. Frank Bunting | Category: Heritage Now

Mostly, the historian Jill Lepore wrote in a New Yorker article a few months ago, “we’re bankrupt of history.” And in the wake of General Motors’  April 27, 2009 decision to discontinue the manufacture of Pontiac automobiles (and the still more recent GM filing for US bankruptcy protection on June 1), the historian Gordon Mitchell [...]

Are we all Métis peoples of Canada now?

Oct 19th, 2008 | By L. Frank Bunting | Category: Heritage Now

Just for the record, the former Governor General’s consort, John Ralston Saul, is not one of my favourite authors. And I haven’t exactly read his new book, A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada. But I have bumped into a few of its key messages in the mass media. The other night I saw him [...]

End of Bay store downtown will end some minor magic

Jul 19th, 2008 | By Citizen X | Category: Heritage Now

I once took a girl to the Georgian Room on the ninth floor of the old Eaton’s department store in Toronto. It must have been around 1970. I was in my 20s by that point. I had been going to the Georgian Room since before I could remember, with my mother and brother and aunts [...]

Canada Day 2008 .. does the old British North America Act have a future?

Jun 26th, 2008 | By Citizen X | Category: Heritage Now

“Toronto,” the local historian Percy Robinson wrote in 1933, is “the citadel of British sentiment in America, and Ontario, the most British of all the Provinces.” An even 75 years later things have changed. Early in 2008 Angus Reid Strategies asked Canadians: “Would you support or oppose Canada ending its formal ties to the British [...]

Remembering the Lord Elgin Hotel .. and the Scotch .. Montreal riots .. V.S. Naipaul strikes back

Apr 26th, 2008 | By Dominic Berry | Category: Heritage Now

When 55% of Canadians say they support “Canada’s ending its formal ties to the British monarchy” (and only 34% oppose), the bad old colonial days of British North America are on at least the beginnings of their very last legs. Yet who can deny that the old anglophone global empire has left a few enduring [...]

It should be Louis Riel Day in Ontario too

Feb 18th, 2008 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

The real “Central Canada” in the year 2008 is arguably best defined as the two provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. Quebec nowadays, even in Montreal, is a world unto itself (and the Quebecois have recently been certified as a nation by no less an authority than the Canadian House of Commons). The real Western Canada [...]

David Thompson’s Canadian West .. and east .. and the Métis middle ground today

Dec 24th, 2007 | By C. M. W. Marcel | Category: Heritage Now

Among many other things, 2007 has been remarkable as the starting year for the “North American David Thompson Bicentennials Initiative.” But if you missed all this, don’t worry. It will ultimately stretch to 2011, to commemorate “significant events” in the life of a still too little-known new-world geographer “between 1807 and 1811.” The particular history marked [...]

National holiday nostalgia .. should Canadian history just be forgotten in new global village?

Jul 4th, 2007 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

Only in Canada would the self-confessed national newspaper take the annual national holiday as an occasion for debating whether the national history should be banished as a subject in the tax-supported public schools. It is, on the other hand, part of what many Canadians like about Canada that such things do happen – and did [...]

Harold Innis at Vimy Ridge .. and Canada in Afghanistan

Apr 10th, 2007 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

The Globe and Mail has reported that the 90th anniversary commemoration of the Canadian assault on Vimy Ridge in the First World War, under “the warm sun of northern France” on April 9, 2007, “was a thoroughly Canadian moment.” And the Queen, who lives in England, said: “Those who seek the foundations of Canada’s distinction [...]

Iroquois origins of modern Toronto

Aug 5th, 2006 | By C. M. W. Marcel | Category: Heritage Now

It used to be said that modern Toronto began in the late 18th century, when John Graves Simcoe pitched Captain Cook’s “canvas house” more or less in the middle of the present city downtown, on behalf of the British empire on which the sun never dared to set. Nowadays many who take an interest in [...]