Heritage Now

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 [...]



A marginal junior American hick Baptist in dark times

Mar 9th, 2006 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

In a recent Globe and Mail piece Roy MacSkimming reviewed a new biography called Marginal Man: The Dark Vision of Harold Innis, by Alexander John Watson. He concluded with: “This is surely one of the important books of the year.” The prediction applies only to Canada. And even here you have to wonder if it [...]



Orange Order in the great white north : Canada’s storm troopers of the Tories revisited

Nov 14th, 2005 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

With all the current talk about old and new Canadas, it was intriguing to spend a grey November Saturday at an almost colourful history conference in the University of Toronto’s traditionally Catholic St. Michael’s College. The unlikely subject was “The Orange Order in Canada.” The Orange Order, in the apt formula of Donald MacRaild from [...]