Monday, September 26, 2016

Canadian Week in Review 26 September 2016

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

Walter Pidgeon

23 September 1897 - Walter Pidgeon, the actor, was born in Saint John, New Brunswick.

He died in California September 25, 1984. He was in the First World War with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and you can read his Em;istment paper at Canadian Expeditionary Force

If you would like to know more, go to

Social Media

(Photos) March 12, 1857: 59 die in Desjardins Canal Bridge railway disaster

Fifty-nine passengers on board a Great Western Railway train from Toronto to Hamilton were killed when an axle broke as the train was crossing the Desjardins Canal Bridge.

(Photos) New museum exhibit looks at life of military legend Sir Arthur Currie

An exhibition featuring the life of a Canadian commander who never lost a battle during the First World War is now on display at a local museum.

(Photos) ndigenous WWII veteran immortalized with statue in Chapleau

As a man of humble nature, Charles Henry Byce never spoke of his military history or his time in the residential school system.

His story of valor -- like those of many other Indigenous soldiers who fought in the First and Second World Wars -- was scantly told in the media or history books, and for a time, was only known by those men who served alongside him in combat.

(PHOTOS): Digging into our local history

“This is great. I’m thinking of changing careers,” joked Colin Munroe, a teacher from Little Harbour as he made one more pass with his trowel through the dirt.

Munroe, like some hundred other people last weekend, took part in a public archaeological dig uncovering the former foundry building on the Museum of Industry site in Stellarton.

Newspaper Articles 

Prince Edward Island 

East Point light named Canada's Confederation Lighthouse

The East Point Lighthouse, the only surviving lighthouse in Canada built in 1867, is being rebranded as Canada's Confederation Lighthouse.

P.E.I. fishermen back home after helping discover HMS Terror

A father-son pair of Island fishermen are back on P.E.I., after being part of a discovery of a lifetime earlier this month.

Captain David McIsaac and son Daniel McIsaac, were part of the small crew that discovered Sir John Franklin's long-lost HMS Terror.

Nova Scotia 

Life in 'the big house': Former N.S. jail becomes a home

From the outside, the handsome stone building on Court Street in Antigonish, N.S. looks like a spacious property with a bit of historic charm.

Stories connect people

October is just around the corner, bringing with it Treaty Day in Nova Scotia, United Nations' International Day of Older Persons and National Seniors Day in Canada on Oct. 1.

Digital project in place to preserve Gaelic and Acadian voices

Old newspapers and magazines provide rich historical records, but when the ink fades and the paper turns to dust, the information is lost.

Those records are preserved digitally by the Nova Scotia Historical Newspapers Online Database, in collaboration with local universities and libraries. Now, the list includes Le Courrier de la Nouvelle-Écosse and two Gaelic publications — An Cuairtear Òg Gaelach and Am Bràighe.

Ed Longard's tiny, 3D models brought Nova Scotia museum exhibits to life

The former chief curator of the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History in Halifax is being remembered as an exceptionally creative man who co-ordinated the construction of miniature museum models in the days before computer-aided design.

Ed Longard died at home on Sept. 4. He was 93 years old.

Three lighthouses in Atlantic Canada granted federal heritage status

Three lighthouses in Atlantic Canada have been designated for federal protection under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act

The new additions include the St. Peters harbour lighthouse in northeastern P.E.I., the Woody Point lighthouse in western Newfoundland, and the Cape St. Mary lighthouse in western Nova Scotia.

New Brunswick

N.B. village excited over return of 146-year-old figurehead

A unique piece of Maritime history that sailed away from the region 146 years ago is now back where it belongs, thanks to the efforts of a New Brunswick community.

Last of Harkins schools closing in January

This year's students at Harkins Middle School in Miramichi are the last pupils that will be taught in a school that opened in 1924 and will close its doors in January 2017.


Heritage Ottawa: Château Laurier extension challenges the rules

The widespread public outcry against a proposed addition to Ottawa’s Château Laurier, presented last week by Larco Investments, clearly demonstrates that passions for this beloved heritage structure run high.

Finding Canada’s other shipwrecks: Group seeks to document history hiding underwater across the country

While Sir John Franklin’s doomed search for the Northwest Passage looms large in the Canadian consciousness, thousands of other shipwrecks lie in obscurity at the bottom of the country’s waterways.

The Amateur Genealogist: Maps

When researching ancestors, one of your best tools is a map from their era.

Ontario was a very different place in 1830! Even in 1900 it was quite different. People moved on the available routes so you may be surprised at what was “close” and what was “far.” For example the railway expansion in the last half of the 1800s completely changed how and where people moved.

Essex County Library strike's stalemate continues

The Essex County Library Board and striking library workers represented by CUPE local 2974 do not seem to be close to making a deal.

Bear Island is a Canadian landmark to see

Bear Island, the second largest island on sprawling Lake Temagami in Ontario, Canada, is home to a native population whose history is thousands of years old and still revered as the anchor of civilization here.

Photo exhibit examines Canadian descendants of slaves

A Toronto photographer is taking another look at Ontario's role in the Underground Railroad.

Yuri Dojc photographed descendants of slaves living in Canada for a portrait series called North is Freedom.


“Gateway to the West”: Railway museum celebrates Winnipeg’s past

The city of Winnipeg has long traded on its location, culturally and economically, on being in the middle of Canada’s geography. It’s been nicknamed the “Gateway to the West” and the Winnipeg Railway Museum is recognizing the history of railway technology with “Railway Days”.

Manitoba's oldest mosque celebrating 40th birthday

Manitoba's oldest mosque is getting a new name for its birthday and inviting neighbours for a party on Sunday.


Blanket exercise unfurls Indigenous history for Saskatoon leaders

The City of Saskatoon is using blankets to unfurl the history of colonization in Canada.

As part of the city's wider goals of advancing reconciliation, it recently hosted a "blanket exercise" to teach community leaders about colonization.


Pioneer’s memories kept alive

WANTED: Personal records of individuals and families. Alberta’s provincial archives is interested not only in the records of public figures but also in records that show what individuals and families did in their daily lives, including materials they have created, used or kept during their life.

Canadian Stories this Week  

Library and Archives Canada 

As of today, 333,687 of 640,000 files are available online in our Soldiers of the First World War” 1914-1918 database at  

Library and Archives Canada is digitizing the service files systematically, from box 1 to box 10,686, which roughly corresponds to alphabetical order.  

So far, we have digitized the following files Latest box digitized is Box 5608 and Levesque.  

Please check the database regularly for new additions and if you still have questions after checking the database, you may contact us directly at 1-866-578-7777 for more assistance. 

Celebrate the Sesquicentennial with the Archives of Ontario! 

If you click on the website, you will see two online exhibits - Family Ties: Ontario Turns 150 and Family Ties: Meet the Browns that is online in celebration of Canada's 150 birthday in 2017.  

In addition to this, there will be seven different presentations during 2017 and it will cover Dear Sadie: Love, Lives and Remembrance from Ontario’s First World War, A Century of Ontario Photographs and Doing Research from a Distance. To get more information, Tel: 416-327-1600 Toll free: 1-800-668-9933 (Ontario residents) Email: 

And of course, there will be travelling exhibits too, so stay turned for when it comes to your local archives. 

And that was the week in Canadian news! 

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