Library and Archives Canada (LAC) preserves a unique collection of railway materials dating from the 1880s to the 1950s. A portion of the collection showcases photographs of railway hotels, stations, trains and travel across the country.
The Klondike gold rush left an infrastructure of supply, support and governance that led to the continued development of the territory to such a great extent that Yukon became a Canadian territory on June 13, 1898. The North West Mounted Police stayed to maintain peace and order under their steady hands.
Near the end of the Second World War, Canadian forces had the responsibility of liberating the Netherlands from Nazi occupation. During the fighting, civilians behind the German lines suffered from malnutrition, starvation, and the lack of proper shelter. Over the course of many months, approximately 18,000 civilians died, and over 6,700 Canadian troops lost their lives for the liberation of the Dutch.
Nursing in Canada can be traced back to 17th century Quebec.
The William Topley collection at Library and Archives Canada is an invaluable resource for those interested in nineteenth-century Canadian photographic portraiture. Comprised of over 150,000 glass plate negatives as well as studio proofs and counter books. While Topley did photograph subject matter other than people, portraits were his chosen specialty and the collection is a wonderful example of early Canadian studio work.
Children were often the subject of these portraits, posing alone or with siblings.
As the last major Belgian city in Allied hands during the First World War, Ypres provided a defensive position from which to protect French ports on the English Channel. It had to be held at all costs. Canadian forces were instrumental in numerous exchanges and battles in both the city and the surrounding area. Images of Canada at Ypres now on Flickr
Canada is distinguished from most other countries by the diversity of its population. Our unique cultural, ethnic and linguistic mosaic is reflected in the wide assortment of holdings at Library and Archives Canada associated with the different ethno-cultural groups.
The concept of Canadian tourism emerged during the early nineteenth century. Improved modes of transportation, such as new railways stretching across the country, facilitated leisure travel and offered people the chance to witness some of the nation’s greatest marvels and modern achievements.
Photographs were the ideal medium with which to attract potential visitors, and photographers were hired by transportation companies to produce images of majestic scenery that would promote destinations. Later rivaled by amateur picture-takers, eager to create their personal holiday mementos, these photographs were a vital component of the burgeoning tourist industry. The imagery created during this period helped to characterize the country, establishing a sense of national identity by introducing viewers to iconic images of Canadian scenery.
Early Canadian settlers were in for a surprise when their first winter came upon them. Winters were severe, bleak and long.
It was either give into winter and hide away till spring, or embrace the season and find ways to offset the harsh elements. Early settlers decided to embrace the weather and we have examples of winter carnivals to this day celebrating the season. Cities like Québec, Ottawa, Montréal, Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Vancouver have outside events ranging from sports, music, food, light shows and ice sculptures to enjoy.
When war broke out in 1914 between Germany and its allies versus Britain and France, Canada’s Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden immediately offered assistance in raising a contingent of troops to defend Europe. Calls for volunteers started in August 1914.
With a small army of approximately 3,000 soldiers, a small navy, and some militia units, Canada was able to enlist about 35,000 men in a matter of a few months. They were stationed at Valcartier Camp situated northwest of Québec City for initial training and formed into battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and into a division—the 1st Canadian Division.
Comprising 31,000 men, the Division was sent overseas by convoy for further training at Salisbury Plain in England where it continued training through the winter of 1914, and was finally sent to France in February 1915. The 1st Canadian Division saw combat at a variety of locations, such as the Ypres Salient (Second Battle of Ypres), Festubert, Givenchy-en-Gohelle, Somme, Vimy Ridge up to the end of the First World War, and serving into the present. The history of the 1st Canadian Division is rich, long-lived and backed by distinction as seen in its motto, “Agile, Versatile, Ready.”