On 17 May 1642, a group of French settlers led by Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance established the missionary colony of Ville-Marie on the Island of Montréal. Today, this modest settlement founded in the middle of the St. Lawrence River is Canada’s second largest city and home to nearly half of the province of Québec’s population. A centre of francophone culture in North America, Montréal also enjoys international renown. Through exhibits, images and articles — as well as several Heritage Minutes about influential Montrealers — this collection celebrates the 375-year heritage and history of this important cultural and economic centre.
Calgary, Alberta, incorporated as a city in 1894, population 1,239,220 (2016 c) 1,096,833 (2011 c). The city of Calgary is situated on the Bow River in southern Alberta, about 220 km north of the American border at the meeting point of the Western prairies and mountain foothills. It is the financial centre of western Canada, based on its key role in the development of the region’s oil and gas industry. With its panoramic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains and its historic association with cattle ranching and oil exploration, Calgary is one of Canada’s most identifiable cities.
Edmonton, Alberta, incorporated as a city in 1904, population 932,546 (2016 c) 812,201 (2011 c). Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, and is located on the North Saskatchewan River, near the geographical centre of the province. Commonly known as the "Gateway to the North," it is strategically situated on an economic divide between the highly-productive farmlands of central Alberta and a vast, resource-rich northern hinterland.
As the schooners arrived home from the Grand Banks in 1920, word spread among the fishermen that the Americas Cup race off Sandy Hook, NY, had been postponed because of a mere "breeze." The fishermen had contempt for those effete "yachts," which huddled by the docks when the seas ran high.
“Meet me at the Birks clock” was the standard Vancouver rendezvous plan in the pre-cell phone era of 1913 to 1974. But the Birks clock itself has been a wandering timepiece. It started at Granville & Hastings, moved to Granville & Georgia, and returned to its original intersection — but across the street!
In 1673, in order to develop the young colony of New France, Governor Louis de Buade de Frontenac gave large concessions of land to administrators, priests and high-ranking soldiers who became seigneurs. The seigneurie des Mille-Îles was created north of the river that bears the same name.
Port Alberni, BC, incorporated as a city in 1967, population 17,678 (2016 c), 17,743 (2011 c). The present-day City of Port Alberni is the result of the 1967 amalgamation of two cities, Port Alberni (incorporated in 1912) and Alberni (incorporated in 1913). Port Alberni is located on central Vancouver Island, 195 km north of Victoria, at the head of Alberni Inlet, a deep fjord-like inlet that almost divides the island in two. The inlet was named after Don Pedro de Alberni, the Spanish officer in command of the Nootka garrison in 1791 during the Spanish occupation. In 1964, a tsunami caused by the Good Friday earthquake in Alaska moved up the inlet and hit the twin cities. About 375 houses were damaged, 55 of which were washed away, but there were no casualties.
Resource towns, or "new towns," are the small, isolated communities built around resource-based industries and transportation, such as mining towns, mill towns, railway towns and fishing villages. Examples include: Fort McMurray, Alberta (oil); Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland (pulp and paper); Glace Bay, Nova Scotia (coal); Black's Harbour, New Brunswick (fish packing); Murdochville, Québec (copper); Elliot Lake, Ontario (uranium); Snow Lake, Manitoba (copper, zinc); and Kitimat, British Columbia (aluminum). Resource development has long been recognized as a significant factor in shaping patterns of Canadian development. It has been argued that all Canadian urban growth ultimately depends on the production of staple products. Resource towns have been important agencies in this process of staple exploitation. Because of their dependence on single industries, the economies of resource towns are often unstable and precarious.