Category Archives: postaday

Some Things Are Just Different in Canada?

English: Map of Canada

Map of Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


No matter where you travel  to, you will find the differences between home and where you visit. Canada has its own style.  Because we are neighbours, we are sometimes put in the same “box” as the United States.  But even though we are all in North America, we certainly differ in a few ways.  What am I rambling on about?


Well, there’s the grammar.  We are more like the British, finishing “or” words as “our”.  For example, “neighbour” and “colour”.  There’s the check / cheque, and centre / center.


There’s also different pronunciation.  For instance, we pronounce “roof” as in “oof”, the Americans pronounce it as “rough”.


There’s food and drink differences too.  I’ve yet to taste New York’s pretzels with mustard; and I would guess not too many Americans are familiar with Poutines or Beaver Tails.  Lay’s potato chips join in the difference: Flavours only available in Canada are Ketchup, Baked creamy dill, Dill pickle, Smokey bacon, Sea salt and pepper, Old-fashioned ketchup.  They also only sell  Roasted Chicken and Fries ‘n gravy (only in western Canada), and Old-fashioned barbecue (only in western Canada).


I remember that on my last trip to the United States, I asked for vinegar for my fries (a given here in Canada) and not only did I get a funny look, but the best they could offer was cider — not the same.  Other treats that are hard to find elsewhere?  Crispy Crunch, Coffee Crisp, Mr. Big, Wunderbar, and Bounty chocolate bars.


Then there’s a difference in Pop /Soda drinks:  We use sugar, where the Americans use corn syrup.  Believe me, that makes a big difference!


I’m sure you can find other differences as well … Let me know what you think.  And if you also know of differences with other countries, let us know.




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Their clocks could be heard

Bell on the telephone in New York (calling Chi...

Bell on the telephone in New York (calling Chicago) in 1892 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1905, when Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces, thousands of people were flocking to the Prairies. In the first ten years of the century, Winnipeg‘s population grew from 42,000 to 136,000. Regina‘s from 2,250 to 30,000. Edmonton grew from 2,600 to 25,000. Calgary‘s from 4,400 to 44,000. Saskatchewan from 113 to 12,000!

Because of this rapid growth, the provincial governments and municipalities were under pressure to offer public services. On November 1, 1908, the government of Saskatchewan established a Department of Municipal Affairs. Saskatchewan and Manitoba were the first provinces to do so.

The majority of newcomers were taking up holdings on the land, and their huge wheat-growing areas meant that their homes were widely spread apart. Alexander Graham Bell‘s new-fangled telephone had been fully accepted after a long struggle, and was a blessing to the Western farmers. In fact it was so essential to their welfare that a Rural Telephone Act was passed, making it possible for groups of five people to build, maintain, and use a rural telephone system.

In his book Saskatchewan: The History of a Province, J.F.C. Wright has an amusing story of how the rural telephone systems provided entertainment before radio. One prolonged ring on the line was a signal for all subscribers to lift the receivers and listen. There might be an announcement of an auction sale, dance, or public meeting, or perhaps serious news about a fire or other tragedy. Telephone conversations were seldom private, and were made with the knowledge that probably most of the other subscribers were listening. Their clocks could be heard ticking, or perhaps the shout of a child at play, or a sudden snore from grandfather asleep in his chair However, no one ever “let on” that he or she was listening If someone heard that a neighbor was going to town, he or she would allow an interval to elapse, then phone the neighbor and say, “Do you happen to be going to town today? If so, I wonder if you would mind bringing back some groceries for us?”

I remember “listening in” on what was called a “party line” when visiting a relative who lived in the country.  I must have witnessed the more boring conversations.  However, I do remember the parties talking finally knew someone was listening, and I soon heard, “Get off the line!”  I did.


Telephone (Photo credit: HowardLake)

Radio was a blessing in later years but it never provided the intimate entertainment of the country telephone system!

If you would like to read more about today’s post, I suggest going to Archives Canada, and there is a rather extensive article at the Canadian Journal of Communication. There’s an interesting article, also, at the Grey Roots Museum and Archives.


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“Remove that blawsted Fence!”

English: Charles Tupper.

English: Charles Tupper. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1869, the Métis stopped the surveyors who had been sent from Canada to mark out the land that was being taken over from the Hudson’s Bay Company (see my October 11 post:  You Go No Further!).  The next act of the drama followed on October 31.

William McDougall, Minister of Public Works in the Macdonald government, had been appointed the first lieutenant-governor of the territory.  Although Canada was not entitled to take over the territory until December 1, McDougall left Ottawa by train early in October.  On the day that Riel stopped the survey party, McDougall was at St. Cloud, in Minnesota, preparing to complete the journey to Fort Garry by Red River cart.  He was traveling like a king with his family, four assistants, and enough goods and chattels to fill sixty carts.

McDougall’s progress towards the border was being reported to Riel by agents along the way.  He reached Pembina on October 30 and was in the United States’ Customs house when a Métis handed him a note.  it was written in French and said that the National committee of Métis of Red River ordered him not to enter the Northwest Territories without special permission of the committee.

McDougall was furious!  Who were these upstarts ordering him not to enter the territory of which he had been appointed governor!  The next day he sent his secretary, J. A. N. Provencher, into the territory to investigate.  Provencher was traveling just ahead of Captain D. R. Cameron, who had recently married a daughter of Sir Charles Tupper.   He found that the Métis had erected a barrier at the Rivière Sale.  However, he made an effort to be friendly and attended mass.  Then Captain Cameron came long with his bride and two servants.  On reaching the barrier, he put a monocle in one eye, gazed coldly at the Métis, and roared, “remove that blawsted fence!”

Provencher and Cameron were escorted back to Pembina, and Sir Charles Tupper himself had to intervene to regain his son-in-law’s baggage.  McDougall had to stay at Pembina until December 1, when he crossed the border and read a proclamation that he had forged, announcing that Canada had taken over the territory.

For more about today’s post, I suggest the Manitoba Historical Society.

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Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Longer Entries, October, On This Day, postaday


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Repost: Please Invade Us … NOT

The American Revolutionary War began in April 1775, and by July a large force had been sent to Lake Champlain with orders to attack Fort St. Jean on the Richelieu River, and then to capture Montreal.

General Philip Schuyler, commander of the American Army from New York, had instructions permitting him to capture any other part of the country provided that it would not be disagreeable to the Canadians!

Many of the Americans allegedly believed that Canadians would welcome an invasion to relieve them from “British tyranny.”  Indeed, some Canadian businessmen did support the American cause.  They even managed to send a Canadian battalion to help General Montgomery!

Before trying to capture Montreal, the Americans had to defeat a British force stationed at Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu. Its commander, Charles Preston, had 600 troops. Although Brigadier General Richard Montgomery surrounded the fort with a larger force, and urged Preston to surrender, the British commander held out through September and October.

English: Engraved portrait of Richard Montgome...

English: Engraved portrait of Richard Montgomery, the Continental Army general killed at the 1775 Battle of Quebec. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brigadier General Richard Montgomery had to take complete command from General Philip Schuyler because he became too ill to continue.

Meanwhile, Governor Guy Carleton had arrived in Montreal from Quebec and was trying to raise a force so he could rescue Preston at St. Jean. He had 200 regulars, and some of the seigniors had persuaded about 1,200 habitants to join up. These habitants didn’t really like the war, or being taken from their farms when they should be doing their plowing. So some of them deserted every night.

Carleton tried to take his force across the St. Lawrence on the night of October 30, but he was unable to land because of American gunfire. Major Preston had to surrender on November 3, and the way was now open for the Americans to march to Montreal.

Carleton’s only hope was to try to save Quebec. To get there, he made a spectacular trip down the river in disguise, right under the noses of the American patrols. He arrived just as General Benedict Arnold was beginning his attack on the city, and he maintained Quebec’s defence until the following May, when the siege was lifted by the arrival of units from the Royal Navy.

If you would like to read more about the Siege at Fort St. Jean, I would suggest visiting British Battles, and Historic Lakes, and Parks Canada.  For even more, visit Wikipedia’s page about the siege at Fort St. Jean.


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Countless families forced to live almost at starvation level

English: (The Depression) The Single Men's Une...

English: (The Depression) The Single Men’s Unemployed Association parading to Bathurst Street United Church. Toronto, Canada Français : (La Dépression) Membres de la Single Men’s Unemployed Association se dirigeant vers l’Église unie de la rue Bathurst. Toronto, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On October 29, 1929, Canada experienced one of its most depressing days in history: the great market crash! Black Tuesday.

Prices suddenly crashed on the world’s stock markets, and Canada was plunged into ten years of poverty. One year after the crash, a whopping 400,000 were unemployed, and many people who did have jobs were earning less than subsistence pay. Thousands looking for work travelled through the country by hiding in freight cars. Countless families forced to live almost at starvation level for several years, were held together only by courage, character, and much self-sacrifice of parents and children.

Many families who could not find work went “on relief.” Across the country this varied from place to place. For instance, in Toronto, Ontario, a family of seven received food vouchers worth $7 a week; in Saskatchewan, a family of five was given $10 a month, along with a 98-pound sack of flour. Scarce money was usually spent on potatoes and dried beans instead of fruits.

On the morning of October 29, people who were rich in terms of stocks and shares, suddenly found that they were broke and worthless by evening.

Conditions were so bad that hotel clerks would (jokingly) ask a man registering for a room, “Sleeping or jumping, sir?”

The economic conditions did not really begin to improve until 1937. And that was mostly due to the war in 1939, when factories and farms went into full productions, providing employment at better wages.

If you want to read more about the market crash, I can certainly suggest a few sites, such as Canada History, the Investigating Answers website, and the Torontoist, and the Financial Post, and finally the Visa Journey Forum.


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Sincere thanks!


I would like to express my thanks to all my readers, “likers” and followers of this past year.  I have grown as a writer, and dare I say, become a better person, through this blog.  (Rufus and) I have great plans for the future, and have great subjects that have been on the back burner for too long now.

So bear with me as I go through growing pains of a new (weekly) format.  Keep letting me know what you are thinking, and together, we will learn, and have fun doing it!

Sincerely, Teri


Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Animals, On This Day, postaday, Uncategorized


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… There Was a Great Deal of Eating and Drinking

Timbre-poste du Canada 3 cents 1917

Timbre-poste du Canada 3 cents 1917 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By October 28, 1864, the Quebec Conference had drawn up a blueprint for Confederation.  Seventy-two resolutions had been discussed.  When the delegates and their wives left for Montreal by special train, all but three resolutions had been approved, and these were dealt with at Montreal.

There was great jubilation because the delegates did not realize how difficult the days ahead would be – Confederation still had to be approved by the five provinces, then submitted to the British Parliament, and this was to take another two and a half years.

After their meeting at Montreal the delegates toured the chief cities of Upper and Lower Canada.  They went first to Ottawa, the new capital chosen by Queen Victoria, and had lunch in the new Parliament Buildings, although they were only half-finished.  Then they went on to Toronto, making stops at Kingston, Belleville, and Cobourg, where they were greeted by cheering crowds and brass bands.  There was a torchlight procession in Toronto as they went from the station to the Queen’s Hotel and four brass bands played along the route.  Then the tour went on to Hamilton and St. Catharines.  Everywhere, there was sight-seeing, speech-making, and a great deal of eating and drinking.  The men did the eating and drinking, while their women, in true Victorian style, sat in the galleries and watched!

The most difficult problems solved by the seventy-two resolutions included that of striking a balance between federal and provincial powers — the American Civil War had shown how important it was to have a strong federal government.  It was agreed that all powers not expressly assigned to the provinces should be reserved for the Federal Government, which could also disallow provincial legislation.

The provinces would lose a great deal of revenue by not being able to impose customs duties; so it was decided that the Federal Government would pay each province 80 cents for every member of its population.  It was agreed to build the Inter-colonial Railway between Canada and the Maritimes.  The seventy-two resolutions also made provision for the Northwest, British Columbia, and Vancouver Island, should they decide to join the Confederation later.


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