Heritage Minutes and their Historic Places
Heritage Minutes, a production of Historica Canada has been sharing the histories of people, events, and stories since 1991. This visit list takes a closer look at 9 Heritage Minutes produced over the past five years, connecting each minute to a historic place where these significant histories took place.
The town of Paldi was founded in 1917 by lumber entrepreneur Mayo Singh, a Sikh man who had immigrated from Paldi, Punjab, from which the mill town gets its name. Paldi is considered to be one of Canada’s first inclusive multi-ethnic communities.
Although Paldi is no longer an active community, the Gurdwara, first built by Singh in 1919, is still in use both as a place of worship and as a museum, where visitors can learn more about the history and legacy of the town. The historic Gurdwara is a designated heritage site by both the Cowichan Valley Regional District and by the government of British Columbia.
Bains, Satwinder. “Paldi.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published March 31, 2023; Last Edited March 31, 2023.
In 1958, the Confederation Life Building became the home of the Saphire Tavern, a popular Jazz club in Downtown Toronto, first established in 1947. Of the many artists to perform at the Saphire included Jackie Shane, a prolific R&B singer and performer in the 1960s Toronto music scene. Today Jackie Shane is not only regarded as a musical pioneer, but also as a Queer icon for her outspoken pride in her identity as a black transgender woman.
McIntosh, Andrew. “Jackie Shane.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, last modified November 2, 2022, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/jackie-shane.
Heritage Toronto. “The Heart of Music City: Town Tavern and the Saphire.” Heritage Toronto, https://www.heritagetoronto.org/explore-learn/music-city/town-tavern-saphire/.
YZO. “The Saphire Tavern.” Queerstory, https://www.queerstory.ca/project/saphire-tavern/.
Oscar Peterson, internationally renowned as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, grew up in the 1930s in the neighbourhood of Little Burgundy, Montreal.
Oscar Peterson and his family had strong ties to the Union United Church, the oldest Black church in Montreal. Oscar’s sister, Daisy Peterson Sweeney co-founded the Montreal Black Community Choir with Trevor W. Payne at Union United Church. Later, members of the Youth choir would join the Montreal Jubilation Gospel choir to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Church in 1984. Sweeney is a celebrated figure in the history of jazz as the teacher of many notable musicians including Oliver Jones, Joe Sealy, Reg Wilson and of course her brother Oscar.
King, Betty Nygaard. “Oscar Peterson.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published September 03, 2013; Last Edited August 17, 2022.
Burnett, Richard. “The Montréal of Oscar Peterson.” Montréal. www.Mtl.org. Published June 05, 2023. https://www.mtl.org/en/experience/montreal-oscar-peterson
The discovery of insulin was made in 1921 by a team of researches at the University of Toronto, including Sir. Charles Banting, Charles Best, J.B. Collip and the team’s supervisor J.J.R Macleod.
The Banting House, the former residence of Sir. Charles Banting, is a National Historic Site under the stewardship of Diabetes Canada. Known as the birthplace of insulin, visitors to this house museum can learn about this important figure’s contribution to one of the most important medical discoveries in modern history.
Bliss, Michael. “The Discovery of Insulin.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published August 19, 2015; Last Edited December 17, 2021.
Bliss, Michael. “Sir Frederick Banting.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published September 19, 2012; Last Edited December 17, 2021.
The Man with Two Hats, found in Ottawa’s Commissioners Park, is a replica of de Man met twee hoeden located in the city of Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. The original statue was created by Dutch artist Henk Visch and unveiled in 2000 as a monument to the role of Canadian soldiers in the liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War. According to Veterans Affairs Canada, “The twin statues exemplify the strong ties between the Netherlands and Canada.”
“Liberation of the Netherlands.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published December 20, 2006; Last Edited June 21, 2022.
Hope, British Columbia
The Asahi, the esteemed Japanese Canadian Baseball team, played from 1914 until 1942 when they were removed from their homes alongside over 22,000 other Japanese Canadians and forced into into Internment camps by the Canadian Government. As Ryan Ellan of the Tashme Historical Society notes, the forcible removal of Japanese Canadians was carried out as a “national security measure,” despite reports from both the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP that there was no perceived threat from the Japanese Canadian community.
The largest of the Interment camps was called Tashme, which held 2644 people and operated between September 1942 until it’s closure in October 1946. Located about 20 km’s east of Hope, BC, the Sunshine Valley Tashme Museum was established in 2016 to honour and share the story of Tashme.
Yarhi, Eli , and Christopher Pellerin. “Vancouver Asahi.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published August 26, 2015; Last Edited April 08, 2022.
Robinson, Greg. “Internment of Japanese Canadians.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published February 14, 2017; Last Edited September 17, 2020.
Meteghan, Nova Scotia
Dating to 1796, la Vieille Maison is, based on the findings of William C. Wonders, published in 1979, the best-preserved example of a post-exile Acadian dwelling in Canada. In 1958, Adolphe Robicheau turned it into a museum of early Acadian re-settlers.
“Acadia.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published March 13, 2006; Last Edited July 21, 2015.
Landry, Nicolas , and Père Anselme Chiasson. “History of Acadia.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published August 19, 2013; Last Edited November 23, 2020.
Marsh, James H.. “Acadian Expulsion (the Great Upheaval).” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published September 04, 2013; Last Edited July 15, 2015.
Green Gables, Prince Edward Island
The Green Gables Heritage Place was the once the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s cousins, but is better known as the fictional setting for Montgomery’s famous work Anne of Green Gables.
McIntosh, Andrew , and Cecily Devereux. “Lucy Maud Montgomery.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published January 01, 2013; Last Edited January 31, 2022.
McIntosh, Andrew , and Chantal Gagnon, , and Neil Besner. “Anne of Green Gables.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published March 26, 2009; Last Edited November 27, 2019.
Jim Egan fought his entire life for the rights of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and is remembered as one of Canada’s most prominent activists. In 1995, as a result of the Egan V. Canada case, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that discrimination against sexual orientation was prohibited under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Today the ArQuives, the largest independent LGBTQ2+ Archives in the world, are the stewards of the Jim Egan collection. The ArQuives are located in downtown Toronto, the same city where Egan grew up and met his life partner Jack Nesbitt.
McLeod, Donald W.. “Jim Egan.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published March 26, 2018; Last Edited April 10, 2018.
British Columbia to Toronto, Ontario
50 Great Saves: The Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act
Duncan, British Columbia to McAdam, New Brunswick 10 places
In 1990, the Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act came into effect after years of lobbying with the help of the National Trust for Canada. The act has granted over 150 railway stations federal legal protection across the country including the Duncan train station in Duncan, BC and the McAdam Railway Station in McAdam, New Brunswick.
Atlantic Canada’s Hidden Histories
Shelburne, Nova Scotia to Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia 35 places
geocaches that demonstrate the rich, diverse histories of Atlantic Canada.
Halifax, Nova Scotia to Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia 9 places
The geography of Black urban Halifax and Windsor encompassing the waves of Black migration
The Hidden Black Cityscape
Saint Marys Parish to New Brunswick 15 places
Explore Fredericton’s early Black history. Often missing from the modern cityscape.