"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Government of Canada Honours Korean War Veterans

OTTAWA, September 22, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Senator Yonah Martin today attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the National War Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with the Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs and His Excellency Sung-Hwan Kim, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, to pay tribute to Canadian Veterans of the Korean War.

"Today our Government honours the sacrifices and contributions of our Canadian Veterans, in particular those who served in the Korean War, one of Canada's most significant military engagements of the 20th century," said Minister Blaney. "We must preserve the legacy of our Veterans, especially among our younger generations."

"Although Korea is half a world away, the friendship between Canada and South Korea has been growing stronger for more than half a century," said Senator Martin. "I am very pleased to know that the contributions of Canadian Veterans are so well respected and honoured in Korea. The ultimate sacrifices Canadians and the achievements of every soldier in Korea will not be forgotten."

"The Korean War had profound regional and global ramifications that still resound today," said Minister Baird. "Our Government proudly honours the swift and strong contribution of our Veterans. We do this to ensure that this key event in our history is never forgotten and that such a conflict is never repeated."

More than 26,000 Canadian men and women served during the Korean War. Approximately 7,000 Canadians continued to serve between the signing of the Armistice in 1953 and the end of 1955, with some Canadian troops remaining until 1957. Of those Canadians, 516 gave their lives.

More information on Canada's participation in the Korean War is available on Veterans Affairs Canada's Web site at veterans.gc.ca.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Guelph Historical Society 2012 Lecture Series

GUELPH Ontario September 15, 2012 - Guelph Historical Society Release - The first lecture of the 2011 – 2012 "Evenings With History" series will take place on Tuesday October 2, 2012 in the hall of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church (Suffolk and Norfolk streets in Guelph, Ontario), starting at 7:30 p.m.

The presenter will be Bev Dietrich.

The topic: "Sitting Pretty: The History of the Toilet".

Bev Dietrich is the Curator of Guelph Museums which includes the brand new Guelph Civic Museum and McCrae house, birthplace of WWI poet John McCrae of “In Flanders Fields” fame. Bev was the curator of the travelling exhibit “Sitting Pretty: The History of the Toilet” that travelled to museums across Canada and around Ontario for over eleven years. Bev has compiled the research and photographs, and developed an interesting and somewhat humorous talk about the history of not only the toilet, but outhouses, public washrooms, chamber pots and toilet paper.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Provincial plaque commemorates Dale Estate in Brampton

BRAMPTON, Ontario, September 12, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust, the City of Brampton and Friends of the Dale Estate unveiled a provincial plaque to commemorate the Dale Estate.

"The Dale Estate began the greenhouse industry in Peel Region and encouraged the industry's growth. It created many jobs, gave Brampton status in the global market and strengthened the community's economic viability. The Dale Estate forms an important part of Brampton's heritage, and I am pleased to be able to commemorate their history in the Flower City." - Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

"The Ontario Heritage Trust is delighted to celebrate Brampton's floriculture heritage. The Dale Estate is a remarkable story, a business that started with Edward Dale's home garden and, at its peak, produced millions of flowers for admirers around the globe. The Dale Estate and its flowers were world-renowned and encouraged the growth, prosperity and fame of the City of Brampton." - Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust

The unveiling took place at the Rose Theatre Brampton in Brampton, Ontario.

The plaque reads as follows:

The Dale Estate The Dale Estate nurseries played an instrumental role in the development of Brampton, establishing its reputation as "The Flower Town of Canada." The business began in 1863 with its founder Edward Dale selling vegetables from his garden and it soon expanded to include the cultivation of greenhouse roses. By the early 20th century, the Dale Estate employed a quarter of Brampton's population and was among the largest greenhouse flower producers in the world. International success stemmed, in part, from the production of new varieties of roses and orchids, and from the famous "Autographed Rose" technique. The Dale Estate continued to prosper through the first half of the 20th century and its numerous greenhouses and great chimney became iconic features of the local community. In the 1960s, the Dale Estate was sold and merged with another local grower, becoming the Calvert-Dale Estates. Gradually, production slowed and the firm closed its doors in 1980.

"For over 100 years, the family-run Dale Estate blossomed with international recognition for Brampton. Significant to our Flowertown heritage, the Dale Estate was one of the largest growers in the world and their roses renowned. Brampton - Canada's Flower City - is proud to celebrate the Dale Estate's history of success and distinction as inspiration for our city's future." - Susan Fennell, Mayor, City of Brampton

"The Dale Estate, once the third-largest greenhouse operation in the world, sold world-renowned roses and assorted flowers for over a century. It gave rise to Brampton's reputation as "The Flower Town of Canada" and dominated the fabric of life in the small town. Today, this floral heritage continues in Brampton's annual Flower Festival, corporate logo, beautiful parks and branding as the Flower City. By this plaque, we commemorate that great floral giant, the Dale Estate, and its founder, Harry Dale, whose love of roses put the small town of Brampton on the worldwide stage." - Dale O'Hara, author of Acres of Glass and member of Friends of The Dale Estate

Quick Facts

The provincial plaque will be permanently installed in Duggan Park - near the intersection of Vodden Street East and Centre Street North - in Brampton.

The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates significant people, places and events in Ontario's history.

Since 1956, over 1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage.

Join the Royals for a Royal experience at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons

MIDLAND, Ontario, September 12, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, a nationally significant historic site near Midland, Ontario, will be pulling out all the stops to make the upcoming visit by Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex a spectacular experience that will be steeped in Canada's founding heritage and culture. The Earl and Countess, better known as Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones, are the youngest son and daughter-in-law of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. The Ontario visit is being hosted by Ontario's Lieutenant Governor The Honourable David Onley, and this is the first time British Royalty has visited Sainte-Marie among the Hurons.

Jan Gray, General Manager of Sainte-Marie, is inviting the public to attend the memorable event on Sunday, September 16. Sainte-Marie plans an extensive, fun, and highly animated experience for the Royal couple as they tour the site from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The historic site will be resplendent with seasonal décor celebrating the onset of the Fall Harvest season. Upon arrival the Royals will be greeted by an impressive Encampment display at Sainte-Marie's front entrance, with numerous examples of "survival-in-the-bush" historic skills. They'll see traditional foods such as corn meal and maple syrup in the Cookhouse, view historic blacksmithing, learn about traditional birch-bark canoe building, and enjoy a locked waterway demonstration. Re-enactment group La Compagnie Franche will showcase the heritage of this early military unit in New France. The Earl and Countess will also see the Church of Sainte-Joseph beautifully lit with candlelight, reminiscent of Sainte-Marie's annual First Light celebrations.

Highly significant for the Royals will be their experience in Sainte-Marie's Native Area. The couple will learn about moose-hair tufting, a traditional First Nations craft, and lacrosse, Canada's original sport. The pageantry and colour of First Nations singing, drumming, and dancing will fill the air as the Red Spirit Circle Drum Group, the Christian Island Drum Group, and the Kwiikikwe Métis Women's Drum Group will perform in their spectacular costumes. Greetings will also be extended by The Beausoleil First Nation Chief and the President of the Georgian Bay Métis Council.

The Royal Visit of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones to Sainte-Marie among the Hurons will be on Sunday, September 16, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend, and are encouraged to arrive early. Sainte-Marie opens at 10:00 a.m., regular site admission rates will apply.

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is operated by Huronia Historical Parks, a division of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Plaque unveiled to mark original site of The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)

Dr. Alan Meek, left, and Dr. John Reeve-Newson worked with
Heritage Toronto to commission a plaque marking
the original site of the OVC on Temperance Street in Toronto.

GUELPH Ontario - September 10, 2012 - University of Guelph News - The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) celebrated its Toronto roots on Sunday with the unveiling of a heritage plaque to mark the original site of the college on Temperance Street.

About 70 people, including 35 descendants of OVC founder Andrew Smith, attended the event organized by Dr. Alan Meek, former OVC dean, and Dr. John Reeve-Newson, an OVC ’64 graduate who has practiced in the Toronto area for more than 40 years.

Ross Fair, a Ryerson history professor and member of the Heritage Toronto board, thanked Meek and Reeve-Newson for the countless hours of volunteer effort involved in initiating and fundraising for the project.

“Without them, we would not be here today celebrating this important part of Toronto’s history,” Fair said.

Smith established the Upper Canada Veterinary School in 1862. The name changed to Ontario Veterinary College in 1869 and after years of expansion on Temperance Street, OVC moved to University Avenue in 1915. It was relocated to Guelph in 1922. OVC was affiliated with the University of Toronto from 1897 to 1964, when it became one of the founding colleges of the University of Guelph.

“For some time, I’ve thought it odd that there was nothing on Temperance Street to mark the spot where OVC was established,” Meek said. “The college’s 150th anniversary gave Dr. Reeve-Newson and I the incentive to remedy the situation with a lot of help from our friends.”

On the site of what is now an underground parking garage next to a tiny green oasis called Cloud Gardens, in the shadows of the 68-storey Scotia Plaza and 70-storey Trump International Hotel and Tower, Fair asked the crowd to imagine the sites and sounds and smells of the city 150 years ago.

Back then, Toronto’s economy relied on the health of horses that were “vital to people’s ability to work and travel in the old city,” he said.

Reeve-Newson thanked Heritage Toronto and sponsors of the project including Veterinary Purchasing Ltd., Lifelearn, Scotiabank, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association as well as many individual donors. He also acknowledged the descendants of Smith at the unveiling, including great-great-granddaughter Dr. Angela Whelan OVC ’90 and her family.

“You have an ancestor to be very proud of, and we’re proud to honour him,” Reeve-Newson said.

Other guests at the event included Stephen Samaroo of Scotiabank, University of Guelph vice-president (research) Kevin Hall, and Grant Crack, parliamentary secretary to Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. On behalf of the minister, Crack presented a special certificate to Dr. Elizabeth Stone, OVC dean, in honour of the college’s 150th anniversary.

Meek said there was much more to the project than fundraising and working with Heritage Toronto to design a plaque. The Ontario Genealogical Society helped track down additional Smith descendants, including great-great-grandson Jeff Smith, who is working with OVC’s Dr. Peter Conlon to complete the Smith family tree. The group has also combed through city and provincial archives in search of photographs and artifacts from OVC’s first 60 years. The hunt is still on for a quality photograph of the original Temperance Street building, which was demolished in 1924.

Smith and the OVC played a vital role in professionalizing veterinary medicine in North America. By the time the Ontario government took over in 1908, the college had graduated more than 3,000 veterinarians.

Smith had a lifelong love of horses and was recognized as an expert on equine diseases, according to a citation from the archives of Mount Pleasant Cemetery, where he was buried in 1910. He was a founding member of the Ontario Jockey Club, now known as the Woodbine Entertainment Group, and he established the Industrial Exhibition in Toronto, renamed the Canadian National Exhibition in 1912.