Comprising the only group of islands in the western part of lake Ontario, the Toronto Islands, formerly known as Island of Hiawatha and as Menecing Islands are a chain of small islands in face of the city of Toronto, located just offshore from the city centre.
These islands provide shelter for Toronto Harbour and they are a popular recreational destination. The chain is also home to a small residential community and to the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The Toronto islands comprise the largest urban car-free community in North America, though some service vehicles are permitted. Recreational bicyclists are accommodated on the ferries. Bicycles, quadracycles, and canoes can be rented on the islands as well. (more…)
The Duke of Kent’s Secret Affair
Rumours have persisted that the Queen Victoria, worried her rule would be weakened by the knowledge of an older half-brother in Canada, regularly shipped money to her colonial sibling to ensure his upkeep and silence.
He supposedly was raised by a Quebec City middle-class family. Prince Edward, later father to Queen Victoria had a romance with a gorgeous French baroness Alphonsine Therese Bernadine Julie de Montgenet, Baroness de Fortisson, Madame de Saint-Laurent. However some say she was a flirtatious middle-class girl from France. (more…)
Roundhouse Park is a 17 acre or 6.9 ha city owned park in Downtown Toronto in the former Railway Lands.
This National Historic Site of Canada features the John Street locomotive Roundhouse, built in 1929-1931, which is now home to the Toronto Railway Museum, Steam Whistle Brewing and Leon’s Furniture. In Toronto Roundhouse Park the turntable has been restored, made operational, and additional tracks have been built to display historic railway equipment and a collection of trains, the former Canadian Pacific Railway Don Station, and the Roundhouse Park Miniature Railway. The park is bounded by Bremner Boulevard, Lower Simcoe Street, Lake Shore Boulevard West/Gardiner Expressway and Rees Street. (more…)
Facing Ile d’Orleans, the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre Basilica near Mont Sainte-Anne has welcomed pilgrims since the mid 17th century. It is set along the Saint Lawrence River 30 kilometres (19 mi) east of Quebec City.
The basilica has been credited by the Catholic Church with many miracles of curing the sick and disabled. It is an important Catholic sanctuary visited by about a half a million pilgrims each year.
The basilica was initially a shrine to honour Saint Anne. It was built to provide a place of worship for the new settlers in the area and to house a marvellous statue of the saint. (more…)
Non-Conventional Forms of Energy
In the world, biomass is the only form of non-conventional energy that is widely used. The biomass encompasses organic matter produced by plant growth or animal or human activity. Wood and forest residues make up forest biomass waste resulting from human activity in the cities makes up urban biomass.
The Canadian government has committed itself to energy efficiency, and in Quebec, through its policy L’énergie au service du Québec (Energy for Québec’s needs), the ministry of Natural resources, fauna and parks (Ministère des Ressources naturelles, de la Faune et des Parcs) engages in a wide array of initiatives at all the levels to assure more efficient use of energy and its sources. (more…)
Huron Creation Story
In the beginning there was only one water and the water animals that lived in it.
Then a woman fell from a torn place in the sky. She was a divine woman, full of power. Two loons flying over the water saw her falling. They flew under her, close together, making a pillow for her to sit on. The loons held her up and cried for help. They could be heard for a long way as they called for other animals to come. The snapping turtle called all the other animals to aid in saving the woman’s life.
The animals decided the woman needed earth to live on. Thus Turtle said, “Dive down in the water and bring up some earth.” So they did that, those animals. A Beaver went down. A Muskrat went down. Others stayed down too long, and they died. Each time, Turtle looked inside their mouths when they came up, but there was no earth to be found. Toad went under the water. He stayed too long, and he nearly died. But when Turtle looked inside Toad’s mouth, he found a little earth. The woman took it and put it all around on Turtle’s shell. That was the start of the earth. (more…)
The 19th century brewing produced an extensive list of different beers and brews. The difference in the beverages were created essentially by variations in the production process, the ingredients and the recipes used.
There were strong beers, table beers and small beers which generally referred to the strength of the wort that made the brew. There were ales and lagers which resulted from the application of different types of yeast. There were also herbal and medicinal brews.
Some brews had traditional origins whilst others developed styles reflecting the new land and life of 19th century Canada. (more…)
Food in New France
A Swedish botanist Peter Kalm gave us a very good account of the way in which people lived in Old Quebec, and as we read it we can imagine how we should have fared as guests in a house in New France in the 18th century:
“They eat three meals a day, namely, breakfast, dinner, and supper. The breakfast is usually between seven and eight. Even the Governor is an early riser and may be visited at seven o’clock. Some of the men dip a piece of bread in brandy and eat it; others take a little brandy eat a piece of bread afterwards. Chocolate is also often drunk at breakfast, and many ladies drink coffee. (more…)
In recent decades there has been a resurgence of interest in craft brewed beer. Micro-breweries or craft breweries are modern breweries that produce a limited amount of hand crafted beer. Today, a number of these small breweries are established across Ontario. In many ways they mirror the early brewing industry of the 19th century. This new generation of small breweries is focused mainly on producing traditional cask ales. Interesting beers of high quality and diversity are created for more discerning customers desiring t expand their palate beyond the rather uniform commercial beers of today. (more…)
The brewing process
Whether in a small or large set-up the brewing process remained principally the same. Beer, “fit to drink”, was produced within a day, a week or some months depending on its intended type and the brewer’s circumstances. The brewing process basically followed a number of set stages:
Malting: the barley’s starches are converted to sugar; (more…)