The First Photo Taken In Canada Was A Tourist Selfie

Popular tourist attraction, Niagara Falls, was the subject of the oldest surviving photograph taken of Canada. It could be the image of a postcard. The 1840 daguerreotype taken by British industrial chemist Hugh Lee Pattinson on a trip to Niagara Falls is the oldest known photograph of Canada. However, in 1840, Canada did not yet…

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The World Feels Better After Being With The Birds

Finding hawk parallax at Ontario’s Falconry Centre. Every week or so during the summer months, I drive my nine-year-old son Joseph to a woodlot an hour away, near a conservation trail in Newcastle, Ontario. There, Sam Trentadue, his falconry mentor and the force behind the Ontario Falconry Centre (OFC), shows him how to offer a…

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The First Sunglasses Were Not Made For Beaches

Inuit, Yup’ik and other Arctic-living Indigenous peoples have been handcrafting sunglasses for at least 2,000 years. /// Cover art by: Megan Hunt, Nunavut artist currently based in Iqaluit. Follow her on Instagram: @mutecutes /// They go by many names. “Ilgaak” in the Nunavut Kivalliq dialect, “iggaak” in the North Baffin dialect, “nikaugek” to Central Yup’ik…

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Where Do Poutines Come From?

A brief compendium of potatoes, gravy and cheese curds. These days you can find poutine at some of the finest restaurants all over the world. Even though it has been a significant francophone and Quebecois cultural dish since the late 1950s, finding the simple fast food dish outside of Canada or even the province of…

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You Can Thank The Metric System For The Milk Bag

They look like plastic pillows or squishy rectangular balloons. Lined up in grocery store refrigerator rows, they can sometimes seem like a sci-fi space product to tourists (or even to Canadians from more westerly provinces). But to many folks in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, the squishy white sacs are a symbol of comfort and…

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The Ontario Small Town That Feasted On A Circus Giant

PT Barnum’s traveling circus shows were a well-known attraction in North America in the 1800s. Once you joined, fame, fortune or at least notoriety was sure to follow. However, in the case of Jumbo, the most famous elephant of all time, he didn’t need Barnum to be a star. He was born a star. Jumbo…

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Chicken Bones: The 135-Year-Old East Coast Candy (And Now You Can Drink It)

If you know – or have – a Maritimer grandma, you have probably seen chicken bones in her candy bowl. No, I don’t mean the actual skeletons of poultry. Ganong brand “Chicken Bones” are hot-pink hard candy sticks filled with bittersweet chocolate in little inch-long nubs. The cinnamon-flavoured confection sticks have been a New Brunswick…

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The Little Saplings That Could

Far, far above the tree line, two black spruces peek out from beneath a pile of snow on the steep and narrow Iqaluit, Nunavut street aptly called “One Way Road.” One tree is a bit taller than the other, while the other is a bit wider. They are tucked side-by-side against the wall of an…

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Petal Bursts, Pigeon Breasts Or Cookies: An Uplifting History Of The WonderBra

One urban myth has it that Wonderbra ads have contributed to car accidents. There is an old archived BBC article that references the notion. While push-up bra billboards may or may not have distracted drivers into fender benders throughout the years, they have certainly turned heads. In fact, according to a CBC poll in 2007,…

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Shading In Maud Lewis

In 2017, one of her paintings was found in a New Hamburg, Ontario thrift store bin. It was then appraised, exhibited and auctioned off for $45,000. Much like that painting, Maud Lewis – now one of Canada’s treasured outsider folk artists – lived a long life of being undervalued and abandoned before she was prized…

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