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Tag Archives: B.C.

Dump truck like no other in the world!

Very Large Dump Truck In Sparwood, B.C., they call it simply “The Truck.” The truck in question, a 1974 Terex Titan, is the largest tandem axel dump truck in the world. The 350-tonne, 20-m-long, 3,300-hp vehicle is so big, it can fit two Greyhound buses and two pickuups in the box at the same time.

The Titan was assembled at the General Motors Diesel Division’s assembly plant in London, Ontario (click to see a map) in 1973.  Over the course of its four years of service at the Eagle Mountain mine, the “Titan” hauled about 3.5 million tons of earth.  After 13 years in service, the 33-19 was restored and is now preserved on static display as a tourist attraction in Sparwood, BC, Canada.

Are you thinking that you need to see this in person?  Well, then, I suggest visiting the Sparwood city visitors site.  Can’t wait?  Then you can also visit the Titan Cam. 

 

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Brrrr X 10

Since Canada has been keeping record of temperatures, we’ve had proof of just how cold it was in previous years. So, a little trivia for you, here are 10 coldest records in Canada’s history:

ColdestTempDays
Stay warm, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in Trivia, Weather

 

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Looney? See “Lunatic”

If you look up the Looney on Wikipedia, here’s the first sentence:

“This article is about the coin. For the Canadian dollar as a currency, see Canadian dollar. For a mentally ill person, see lunatic.

The Big Loonie in Echo Bay, Ontario.

The Big Loonie in Echo Bay, Ontario.

Here’s a bit of trivia you might not have known, or may have forgotten. The original design for the loonie was to be a sketching of a voyageur on the dies ([dahy] noun, plural dies; an engraved stamp for impressing a design upon some softer material, as in coining money.) that were created in Ottawa, and were sent to Winnipeg’s Royal Canadian Mint to be manufactured. To save a whopping $43.50, they were  instead shipped via a local courier. The Mint disagreed with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s later investigation’s contention that the dies were simply lost in transit, believing instead that they were stolen. The dies were never recovered.

Fearing the possibility of counterfeiting after the loss, the government approved a new design for the reverse, replacing the voyageur with a Robert-Ralph Carmichael design of a common loon floating in water. The coin was immediately nicknamed the “loonie” across English Canada, and became known as a “huard”, French for “loon”, in Quebec. The loonie entered circulation on June 30, 1987, as 40 million coins were introduced into major cities across the country, though an error by the banks resulted in some Calgary residents receiving the coins one week earlier.

Another story about the loonie, is how it became known as the “lucky loonie.”  For the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, Dan Craig was invited as a National Hockey League’s ice making consultant, He invited a couple of members from the ice crew in his hometown of Edmonton to assist. One of them, Trent Evans, secretly placed a loonie under the ice.  Both men and women Canadian teams went on to win gold medals. Several members of the women’s team kissed the spot where the coin was buried following their victory. After the men won their final, the coin was dug up and given to Wayne Gretzky, the team’s executive-director, who revealed the existence of the “lucky loonie” at a post-game press conference.  You can view the coin at the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Canadians have subsequently hidden loonies at several international competitions. Loonies were buried in the foundations of facilities built for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

 

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Canada’s Roswell-Like Incidents

Shag Harbor Sign Identifying the 1967 UFO Incident.

Shag Harbor Sign Identifying the 1967 UFO Incident. Source: Wikipedia.org user 3h3dsfa4

I am reading Weird Canadian Places by Dan de Figueiredo, which is really entertaining.  It is a “Humorous, Bizarre, Peculiar & Strange locations & Attractions across the Nation.”

Here’s an example of what you can find in the book.  He writes about Canada’s version of Roswell, in Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia.  It involves an apparent crash of a UFO, many witnesses, government and military investigations, surveillance and strange and odd smells, sights and sounds.

Shag is a small fishing village at the southern tip of Nova Scotia.  At about 11:20 p.m. on October 4, 1967, witnesses saw strange orange lights, then it turned at a 45-degree angle and seemed to crash towards the water with a bright flash and an explosion.   According to witnesses, the object had bright yellow lights floating on the surface of the water, about 18.3 metres in diameter and trailed yellow foam behind it.  It also smelled of sulphur.

Many people contacted the RCMP to report the incident.  If you look at the official papers about it, you ‘d read that it was a large aircraft that crashed in the harbour — no mention of a UFO.

That’s because one witness in particular, Laurie Wickens, told the authorities that he had seen a large airplane or small airliner crash into the Gulf of Maine.  This prompted an immediate response.  Ten RCMP officers arrived at the scene within fifteen minutes, concerned that the downed passengers would drown.  Within a half hour of the crash, local fishermen arrived at the site.  Within an hour after the crash, the Canadian Coast Guard arrived.

The next day, the Canadian military sent the HMCS Granby to the site to investigate.  By then, however, all that was left was a bit of yellow foam.  They dived for four days trying to find “something,” but came up empty.

This incident is not the only one Canadians have reported witness to.  A few of the others are:

  • May 19, 1967, Falcon Lake, Manitoba. Stefan Michalak was burned by one of two flying saucers with which he reportedly came into contact.
  • January 1, 1969, Prince George, B.C.. Three unrelated witnesses reported a strange, round object in the late afternoon sky.
  • 1975-1976, Southern Manitoba.  Several sightings were reported of a red glowing UFO, sometimes described as “mischievous” or “playful”.
  • October 1978, Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador.  Constable Jim Blackwood of the RCMP saw a sighting of a flying saucer hovering over the harbour near the town of Clarenville and Random Island.  When he switched on the roof lights of his police cruiser the craft appeared to mimic the flashing lights.
  • November 7, 1990, Montreal, Quebec, aerial phenomenon.  Witnesses reported a round, metallic object of about 540 metres wide over the rooftop pool of the Bonaventure Hotel. Eyewitnesses saw 8 to 10 lights forming into a circle above them, emitting bright white rays. The phenomenon lasted three hours, from 7 to 10 p.m., and moved slowly northwards.
  • 2006, Ajax, Ontario.  A UFO was Photographed.
  • 2007, Chilliwack, British Columbia, UFO witnessed by Dave Francis and Kelly McDonald.
  • January 25, 2010, Harbour Mille, Newfoundland and Labrador. A photograph taken revealed one of the UFOs to resemble a missile. There was an investigation by the community’s police force and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Another minor report of this incident came from Calgary, Alberta, where boys playing hockey reported seeing similar objects, about which they stated “We thought they were transformers.”

If you are still intrigued about this, I can direct you to a few places on the ‘Net.  There is a large database at MUFON (The Mutual UFO Network), at Canadian UFO Survey, and at UFO Roundup Articles Canada.
 

 

 

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Still on the Books – can you believe it?

English: Balloon modelling.

Balloon modelling. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

British Columbia have a few laws that they never bothered to take off the books.  Some of them are wacky and ridiculous in this day and age.

People of Oak Bay, for instance,  seem to prefer cats to dogs. The law there says that you can keep as many as 5 cats “per parcel of land” but no more than 2 dogs over the age of 4 months. If the dog has puppies, you have a month to report the news to a License Inspector.

And in Victoria, it is illegal for buskers to give out balloon animals to children.

 

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Vancouver Destroyed By Fire!

Map of Great Vancouver Fire, 1886

Map of Great Vancouver Fire, 1886 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vancouver is Canada‘s third largest, and most beautiful, city, although Victoria might like to contend for the beauty title.  On June 13, 1886, Vancouver was a mass of smouldering rubble.  It was not only costly and inconvenient, but embarrassing, because the first C.P.R. transcontinental train was due to arrive at Port Moody on July 4.  Arrangements were being made to extend the railway into Vancouver, and the arrival of the first train must be a gala occasion (see my May 23 post Vancouver Citizens Celebrate).

The fire began on Sunday afternoon owing to a mistake by a young construction worker, George Keefer. His uncle was one of the contractors building the C.P.R. extension into Vancouver. Young George had been instructed to clear some land along the waterfront, to provide a camping space for a band of Stikine Indians who had been engaged to do construction work. They were due to arrive in canoes. There were big trees to be cleared away and George could think of no quicker way than to burn them. He started a number of fires at strategic places, but suddenly a brisk wind blew up. The flames were carried into the residential district and the entire area was destroyed within an hour. Only Hastings Mill and a few small buildings were saved. Some lives were lost.

As far as it is known, young George was not punished. He lived to see Vancouver become a great seaport, with landing places for ocean liners where he first cleared the space for the Stikine Indian camp.

The rebuilding of the city, which had only been incorporated a few weeks before the fire, was done in record time, even though they did not have today’s modern equipment. By three o’clock Monday morning, teams of horses were bringing in new lumber for buildings. The city fathers put up a tent at the foot of what is now Carrall Street, and directed the work from there. By June 15, twenty buildings were under way. The aldermen also obtained Vancouver’s first loan, for the purchase of a fire engine!

Strangely enough, the fire took place on the anniversary of the day that Captain George Vancouver explored the area in 1792.

So these details are just some of the story. To read more about this, I suggest the Village Chronicler, and The History of Metropolitan Vancouver. Then, there are a few blogs I recommend, such as Past Tense Blog, and Miss604 and Venture Vancouver.

 

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Vancouver Citizens Celebrate

English: Engine 374 of the first Canadian Paci...

Engine 374 of the first Canadian Pacific Railway passenger train to arrive in Vancouver – May 23, 1887. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The short route to China, which explorers from Cabot onwards had hoped to find, really came into being on May 23, 1887 when the first C.P.R. transcontinental passenger train arrived at the new west coastal terminal, the city of Vancouver.  It was drawn by engine 374, now displayed in Kitsilano Park, Vancouver, and clambered through every day by children.

Vancouver had only been incorporated as a city the previous April, and was destroyed by fire in June.  Yet, when 374 puffed in on May 23, it had been rebuilt and was a vivid sight with fir arches, garlands and slogans.  There were many rounds of “three cheers and a tiger” for the C.P.R.

Port Moody, farther up Burrard Inlet, was supposed to be the Canadian Pacific terminal and still is officially, but William Van Horne moved the end of the line to Vancouver, to allow deeper berthing water for a shipping service.  The C.P.R. had already made its plans for steamship routes across the Pacific.  The Abyssinia of 3,000 tons had sailed from Yokohama and arrived at Vancouver on June 14, with first class passengers and a cargo of tea.  She had crossed the Pacific in thirteen days.  Her passengers reached Montreal twenty-seven days after leaving Japan.  Things were speeding up in the world! The Abyssinia also carried the first transpacific mail and the pioneer cargo of silk.  For many years, the fast “silk trains” were something to behold, as they roared across the continent with their precious cargo, some to Prescott, Ontario, whence they were ferried to Ogdensburg, N.Y.

Vancouver grew quickly with the arrival of the railway.  By the end of the year its population was 5,000 with new settlers arriving every day.  Two years later it had grown to 8,000, and eventually it became the third largest city in Canada.

An important “first” for Canada, I’m sure you’ll agree. To learn more about this, there are a few places to check out; for instance, a very good place to start is at the Canadian Pacific Railway, for a great article and photos. Other places to visit are The History of Metropolitan Vancouver, and an interesting blog by the Stanley Park, and finally Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

 

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