Monday, December 29, 2014

Canadian Week in Review - 29 December 2014

I have come across the following Canadian websites, social media websites, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.


Portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh was born in Turkey in 1908. He came to Canada in 1924, choosing Ottawa as his home. Who can forget his iconic portraits of Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and Ernest Hemingway? He died July 13, 2002.
   Read about his dramatic life on Wikipedia at

In 1936, a Canadian medical doctor, Norman Bethune, began administering blood transfusions to injured people in the Spanish Civil War out of a station wagon. This was the first mobile blood unit of its kind in medical history.
   Read about Dr. Bethune at

In 1966, the Royal Canadian Mint announced that dimes, quarters, and 50-cent pieces would be struck from nickel instead of silver.
   Read about the history of silver coinage in Canada at

In 1795, plans for building Toronto's Yonge Street were first proposed. The 48-kilometre road, from York (now Toronto), and north to Lake Simcoe, was one of the earliest highways in Canada, and is still one of the most important roads in Ontario. It was named for Sir George Yonge, and was completed in April, 1796.
   Is going on the full length of Yonge Street on your bucket list? Read about it at

In 1841, street lights in Toronto were lit by gas for the first time.
   Read about the history of street lighting in Toronto at

Social Media

(VIDEO) Newfoundland Railway model displayed in St. John's home
   There is a little piece of Newfoundland next to a Christmas tree in one St. John's home this year, and it's modelled after a piece of history of the province - the Newfoundland Railway.


Nova Scotia

Voyage of the Araguaya: A hospital ship sails from Halifax
   Read this stirring story of the Araguaya - one of five hospital ships used to repatriate injured soldiers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force from the First World War in Europe back to Canada.

Simply the Best: Our Arts & Life honour roll for 2014
   The Chronicle Herald's Arts & Life department offers up their picks for 2014 Honour Roll.

Parishioners celebrate Christmas, mourn loss of historic church,-mourn-loss-of-historic-church/1
   Members of St. Mary's Polish Church attend Christmas mass at nearby church after their church is closed.


Canada Science and Technology Museum asked for roof funding in 2010
   The museum is currently closed after leaks in the roof led to mould within the museum.
   On November 17th, the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation received $80.5 million to modernize and refurbish the Canada Science and Technology Museum building and upgrade the exhibit space.

WW I soldiers' files being digitized by Library and Archives Canada
   The LAC, earlier this year, began the painstaking process of getting its most-requested items online by digitizing its First World War files.
   I noted that Guy Berthiaume, the new Librarian and Archivist of Canada, says that he expects to see fifteen per cent of the total collection digitized and put online.

Canada's Peace Tower carillon bells mark 1914 Christmas truce
   Did you know that there had been a Christmas truce in 1914 during the First World War? It was perhaps fitting then that on Christmas Eve this year, the carillon was among 99 instruments in 11 countries that commemorated the 1914 Christmas truce.
   The truce was a spontaneous laying down of arms in various places along the western front by German, Belgian, and British soldiers that first year of the war, although Canadians had not yet joined them in combat.

Piece of Ontario history donated to LaSalle
   Known as the Speaker’s Chair, this piece of Canadian history has travelled from Toronto’s Queen’s Park to Windsor and now take its place in LaSalle City Council.

Canadian chef celebrates local food with his own stories
   Canadian chef Jamie Kennedy made a name for himself in Canada's culinary world through his poetically simple approach to cuisine. Now, a new cookbook finds the chef reflecting on four decades of cooking, and the re-birth of local food culture.


Strange ideas that never came to be: Five 'big ideas' never completed
   Read about the 'big ideas' that have come across the desks of Saskatoon city council.

British Columbia

BC Province: Looking forward to another successful tourism year
   British Columbia's tourism sector had a very successful year in 2014 as they prepare to welcome visitors from around the globe in 2015.

Stories of the Week
The country of Canada will celebrate it's first prime minister—Sir John Alexander Macdonald—in 2015.
   Sir John A. Macdonald came to Kingston, Ontario with his parents in 1820, and studied law with a lawyer in the city, before he himself became a lawyer.
   He seemed bound for greatness.
   As a militia private in the Rebellion of 1837, he took part in the attack on the rebels at Montgomery's Tavern in Toronto. As a lawyer, he later defended accused rebels, including Nils von Schoultz, leader of an attack on Prescott.
   Later, he took part in municipal politics in Kingston, and from 1843 to 1846, was an alderman. In 1844, at the of 29, he would be the elected to the Legislative Assembly of the province of Canada as the member from Kingston.
   His first cabinet post was as Receiver General in 1847, and he received numerous posts afterwards.
   During this time, he developed hid 'political sense' in which he preferred a country as a highly-structured one, based on a central, unitary form of government.
   Canada was formed on 01 July 1867, and Sir John A. Macdonald became its first prime minister.
   To see what is planned for his birthday, go to and download the pamphlet of events.
   There is also a Facebook page at

The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) will be presenting a full-day workshop on DNA testing in June.
   The workshop will deal with the main types of DNA testing used by genealogists as well as how the results from genetic testing are used in conducting or supporting genealogical research.
   They are also looking for speakers who would like to be take part.
   You’ll find their detailed call for presentations at
   The deadline to submit a proposal for the workshop is Saturday, 17 January 2015.

A number of new monuments will be unveiled in Canada.
   On May 12 this year, the federal government announced the design team for the new National Holocaust Monument, and on December 11, the design team for the National Memorial to Victims of Communism was announced

So both Mario and myself wish your and your family the best for 2015! We are looking forward to more developments in our genealogy world next year, and hope that you will be able to join us in the wonderful venture. Stay tuned!

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country!

The next post will be on 05 January 2015.