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Canadian Cuisine Timeline 1816 to 1890

Before I go on to the Canadian food inventions and innovations, I think it’s important to list in broad stroke of our timeline. Because of the length, I am breaking up the timeline into three posts.  This is post two.  You can find the introduction post at https://tkmorin.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/canadian-cuisine-intro/, and post one at https://tkmorin.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/canadian-cuisine-timeline-1497-1793/.

Canadian Food Graphic1816: The infamous “year without summer” caused by an 1815 volcanic eruption in Sumatra forced many settlers to abandon farms in eastern Canada and move westward into the central regions.

1832: The opening of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa enabled shipping from Halifax to Welland and beyond via the Welland Canal. For residents of Canada West, life improved considerably; more general stores opened, and goods became more diverse and less expensive.

1841: Cheap cornstarch had replaced expensive arrowroot and tapioca starch in every Canadian kitchen.

1843: English chemist Alfred Bird produced a workable baking powder by combining sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with cream of tartar and cornstarch.

1844: The potato blight that struck Ireland and Scotland caused a famine and pushed a massive migration to Canada as far west as Manitoba.

1847: A stamping machine to mass produce tin cans is patented by American inventor Henry Evens, and tin cans became available countrywide. A taste of summer could be enjoyed in the dead of winter, which considerably improved the lives of settlers, prompting the creation of new and distinctly Canadian recipes.

In 1855, Red Fife wheat caused a home-baking craze, especially when baking powder, cheap sugar, flour and quick-rising yeast became more available in Canada. This created a huge demand for cooking stoves.

1853: New railways made it possible to ship goods from Halifax to Windsor.

1854: Construction contractor for the Rideau Canal, John Redpath, opened a sugar refinery in Montreal.

1855: Eben Norton Horsford of Providence, Rhode Island, discovered that calcium acid phosphate and baking soda worked well to raise bread and began to market Rumford Baking Powder in bulk.

1859: The government created Thanksgiving Day, a Canadian original; the United States instituted the holiday at the end of the Civil War in 1865.

1860: Mason jars became available in eastern Canada when inventor John L. Mason created the screw-top containers. With the completion of the railway in 1885, canning jarsMason Jar Photo became widely available in western Canada.

1861: William Davies opened a meat-packing plant in Toronto, eventually becoming the Canada Packers Limited.

1866: Samuel Platt discovered salt while drilling for oil in Goderich, Ontario. Salt was no longer an expensive import and became widely available.

1867: The Dominion of Canada is created. Also, two New Englanders, John Dwight and James Church, launch their Cow Brand, a baking powder that becomes greatly popular in Canada.

1869: The Hudson’s Bay Company signed over ownership to the Canadian government. The company’s focus changed from furs to goods, with trading posts stocking up with a more varied merchandise.
Also, a new catalogue was issued by the Toronto-based T. Eaton Company. The most popular items were John Lands Mason’s patented glass canning jars.

1870: The first salmon cannery is established at Annieville, British Columbia. The cans contained one pound of fish, and in its first year’s production was about 300 cases. Ten years later, production climbed to 100,000 cases, and by 1900, they shipped out over two million cases.

1881: La Compagnie de Sucre de Betterave de Quebec began refining sugar from beets in Farnham, Quebec.

1882: Thomas Ahearn, an Ottawa engineer and businessman, invented the electric cooking range for Ottawa’s Windsor Hotel.

1890: Emile Paturel opened a lobster-canning factory at Shediac, New Brunswick. He went broke three times, but eventually he managed to turn them into a culinary treat that he now ships around the globe.

Tomorrow’s post will cover the years 1907-1980, the last of the timeline.

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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Canada, Food, Notable Canadians, Trivia

 

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World’s Longest Skating Rink!

English: Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada, Janua...

English: Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada, January 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Rideau Canal between the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario is now used only by pleasure boats.  The lift from the Ottawa River to the canal is through a series of picturesque locks between the Parliament Buildings and the Château Laurier Hotel.  The first stone of one of the locks was laid by Sir John Franklin, the famous explorer.

The project that eventually led to the building of the Rideau Canal began on September 29, 1783, immediately after the end of the American Revolutionary War.  British military leaders wanted a route from the St. Lawrence to Lake Ontario that would not be exposed to the American border.  Lieutenants Jones and French were assigned to survey what was ten wild territory and reported that a canal was possible by using the Rideau River and a chain of lakes.

Nothing was done until after the War of 1812, when the building of the canal again became an issue.  In 1824, Upper Canada became impatient with the delay and had another survey made by Samuel Clewes.  The British Government offered to lend upper Canada £70,000 to build the canal, but Upper Canada would not go through with it.  In 1826, the British Government sent Colonel John By to build the canal.  he built the eight locks up the steep cliff from the Ottawa River and reserved the land on either side for military purposes.

By coincidence, the opening ceremonies for the building of the canal in 1827 were on the same date that Jones and French began their survey, September 29.  People came from near and far, on foot, in canoes and by ox-teams.  It was an Indian summer: the forests were rich in colour, with scarlet maples and golden birches.  During the opening ceremony, where Governor Dalhousie turned the first sod, frogs in nearby marshes provided their “musical” accompaniment.  The first steamer, Rideau, made the journey from Kingston to Bytown in 1832.  The route was busy until nearly 1900 when railways made it unnecessary.

However, it becomes the “World’s Longest Skating Rink” in the winter!

The Rideau Canal is amazing, as is its beginning.  To learn more about it, I suggest going to the Rideau Canal World Heritage site, the Bytown Museum, the Canadian Encyclopedia, the Parks Canada. If you would like to take a holiday in Ottawa, then I would suggest clicking your way to Ottawa Tourism!

 

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Lachine Massacre in 1689

Engraving of Governor General of New France th...

Engraving of Governor General of New France the Marquis de Denonville (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Warning: today’s post is graphic and is not for kids or if your stomach is just weak today!

Some stories of Indian massacres have been related, but the worst one of all happened at Lachine, a suburb of Montreal, on August 5, 1689.

There are two sides to every story, and sometimes more.  It was the Iroquois who had been provocation two years before.  Governor Denonville had been asked by Louis XIV to capture some Iroquois and send them to France as gallery slaves.  The Récollet priests had a mission for the Iroquois at the Bay of Quinte, west of Fort Frontenac on Lake Ontario.  The Iroquois at the mission were invited to visit Fort Frontenac with their wives and children, but when they arrived they were seized by Denonville’s Intendant, horrified to see fifty members of his mission tied to posts, but could do nothing about it.

They were flogged, and insects were put on their skins, while Hurons forced their fingers into hot pipes of tobacco.  They were then sent to be galley slaves in France, where most of them died.

On the night of August 4, 1689, a violent summer hailstorm swept across Lake St. Louis.  As the householders got up to make sure windows were closed, they heard the screeching war cry of the Iroquois rising over the noise of thunder and hail.  Within minutes, swarms of naked Iroquois, armed to the teeth, came running down the lane, their faces smeared with war-paint.  There were 1,500 of them, taking advantage of the storm to cross the lake unseen.

It is said that those who died in the first few minutes of the onslaught were fortunate.  Men and women were cut down by tomahawks, and the brains of little children were dashed out against door frames and bedposts.  One hundred prisoners were taken to the Iroquois villages in the Finger Lakes area, tied to stakes and burned or tortured.

The prisoners might have been saved if soldiers 3 miles away had been allowed to take action.  Unfortunately, their commanding officer, Subercase, was in Montreal attending a reception for Denonville.   Returning to the camp, Subercase cursed his men for not having  gone to Lachine without him.  When they arrived the horror of the scene was beyond description, but the surgeon, who had managed to hide, told Subercase that the Indians to hide, told Subercase that the Indians had taken a large quantity of brandy.  Subercase knew this was the time to attack, but just as he was about to follow the Iroquois, word came from Governor Denonville that he must hold his troops to guard Montreal.  The Indians stayed on the rampage, capturing new communities and taking more prisoners, none of whom could be rescued by the French.

To learn more about the Lachine Massacre, you can go to CBC Learning, and Rideau Canal and All That, and then Faith in Action. Lastly, I suggest Wikipedia.

 

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