Monday, June 15, 2015

Canadian Week in Review - 15 June 2015

I have come across the following Canadian genealogy, history and heritage websites, social media, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.
This Week in Canadian History
In 1866, the first meeting of the Canadian Parliament was held in Ottawa, in the Parliament buildings, which were still unfinished. Construction on the building had begun in 1857, but was not finished until 1877.

In 1846, a fire ravaged St. John's, Newfoundland, leaving nearly 12,000 people homeless.
(Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library)
Social Media

(Photos) Canada Science and Technology museum asks for public feedback on redesign
The Canada Museum of Science and Technology wants to hear from Canadians on its proposed redesign to bring the museum back to life.
You can take an online survey at


Nova Scotia

Canada’s history told through immigrants’ voices
If you came from another country to live in Canada, do you remember what happened on your first day here? How did you feel? What surprised you?As the days went by, turning into weeks and then years, how did you adjust to your new life?

William Davis, Lost Miners Honoured With Route Name
The road leading from Dominion to New Waterford, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Trunk 28, has been ceremonially renamed William Davis Memorial Trail, in honour of the Cape Breton miner, and all those lost in Nova Scotia's coal mines.

Spirits not dampened by rain at Black Loyalist Heritage Centre celebration
The rain caused some problems but didn’t dampen the celebration in Birchtown as hundreds of people arrived in the small community for the grand opening of the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre on June 6.

At the Historeum – By Jordan LeBlanc: Valuable piece of history recently donated to Colchester Historeum
A great piece of history was donated to us recently - an 1827 land grant and seal, Earltown, Colchester County. It came by way of Mary MacCara Reid of Halifax, who is the niece of Michelle Roads of California, who was the keeper of the grant.

Prince Edward Island

Province House restoration set to begin next year
The restoration work on Province House is not expected to begin until next year.

Acadian heritage signs to be showcased in Evangeline
Bilingual road signs saying 'Village musicaux/Musical Villages' are being posted at the entrance of each of the 14 small villages and municipalities in the Evangeline region.
New Brunswick

Traditional birch bark canoe built by arts students
College students have spent weeks scouring the woods for bark, roots, and special wood in order to build a traditional birch bark canoe.

Waterloo Row subdivision gets Fredericton council approval
The controversial subdivision of a property on historic Waterloo Row was approved by Fredericton council at its Monday meeting.
   City council voted 4-2 to allow homeowners Ayten and Marc Kranat to subdivide their lot at 58 Waterloo Row, choosing to take eight per cent of the value of the land in cash in lieu of public land.

Congratulations to the 2015 AAO Award Recipients!
Two of the 2015 recipients of Archives Association of Ontario Awards were the Institutional Award Winner – City of Thunder Bay Archives, and the Corporate Award Winner – County of Perth and City of Stratford.

Dickinson Days kick off Manotick's summer
The Village of Manotick had its summer fair this weekend. Dickinson Days. First weekend in June.

Morris Saxe and the Canadian Jewish Farm School
Georgetown and Acton, two former towns in the picturesque Halton Hills region west of Toronto, were once home to the Canadian Jewish Farm School, an ambitious plan by an entrepreneurial farmer-humanitarian named Morris Saxe to give young Jewish orphans from Poland a better life in Canada.


Trail linking Saskatoon to Wanuskewin Heritage Park opens
Trans-Canada Trail stretch 24,000 kilometres, linking 16,000 communities and 82 percent of Canadians.

Heritage rebates unlikely for Spadina Crescent home
Richard Maj, who owns a house on Spadina Crescent East that was once home to author Farley Mowat and other prominent Saskatoon residents, requested heritage designation for his house late last year before embarking on renovations approved by the city.

British Columbia

Walking tours in B.C.'s urban crush best way to see the sights
For shutterbugs, Vancouver Photowalks offers outdoor pursuits that expertly blend walking tours with tutored photography classes. These two-hour, small-group excursions are guaranteed to take in well-tread scenic spots, with cameras or phones in hand: enthusiasts can choose their skill level (Basic, Technical or Creative) or fine-tune their genre (Stanley Park walks mix natural and urban settings, while Night Photowalks document either Granville Island or Gastown’s expansive waterfronts).

Stories in the News
What’s in a name?

For years, genealogists have been concerned about name changes – usually in spelling. But what do you think about changing the names of places and streets in Canada because the original name were no longer in favor – no matter what the city or street was originally named?

We do have a history of doing this in the past. Perhaps the most famous one is the name of the city of Berlin that was changed to Kitchener in 1916 because the name was too closely aligned to Germany in the First World War.

The name-change did not come without controversy, for the majority of people wanted it to stay the same, but anti-German sentiment ruled the day, and the name was changed.

By the way, the name Kitchener was chosen because it was the name of Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, who died that year while serving as the Secretary of State for War of the United Kingdom!

Now, in Alberta, there is a argument that some people want the name of a Langevin Bridge and school names changed because Hector-Louis Langevin, a father of Confederation, was one of the architects of the residential schools.

But the writer asks what about Father Lacombe High School, Father Lacombe Care Centre, and the town of Lacombe, along with Calgary’s Bishop Pinkham Junior High, and Regina’s Dewdney Avenue – they are just a few that would have to be changed.

Some people are saying that is change the names would delete Canadian history. Agree or disagree?

If you agree with this position, there is a petition that has just come online at  
But Quebec beat every one to the punch, when last week, it changed the name of two streets in Gatineau, Quebec (across the Ottawa River from Ottawa) because the former names had had links to the Nazis of the Second World War. It should be said that these two streets are in an area where the streets were named after Nobel Prize winners.

The streets have been changed from Alexis-Carrel and Philipp Lenard to Marie Curie and Albert Einstein Streets.

The reasoning for the change was that Quebec’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs began a campaign to get the city to change the street names. They argued that Carrel was a supporter of eugenics and that he had an active role with the Vichy France government. They also argued that Lenard was a supporter of Nazi thought who had apparently served as an advisor to Adolph Hitler in the early years.

Of course, it was done over the disinterest of the people who live on the streets involved, and Gilles Carpentier, the councillor for the district, took up the cause anyway and put a motion before the city council to rename the streets. The city council passed the motion by a vote of 14 to 5.

So does this all sound familiar? And what do you think? Will the genealogists of the future realized what has happened here?

Place name and street name changes in Canada are relatively common in Canadian history, which means that we should always check the name of the village, town, or city, and the streets within those villages, towns and cities because they not be the name they were once know as – they might have changed!

And that was the Canadian genealogy, history, and heritage news in Canada this past week!

Check the Canadian Week in Review every Monday morning for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada.

If you missed this week’s edition, it is at

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