Diffusion of technology in Canada
This article outlines the history of the diffusion or spread of technology in Canada. Technologies chosen for treatment here include, in rough order, transportation, communication, energy, materials, industry, public works, public services (health care), domestic/consumer and defence technologies. It is important to note that most technologies diffused in Canada came from other places. Only a small number actually originated in Canada. For more about those technologies with a Canadian origin see the article
Invention in Canada.
The terms chosen for the "age" described below are both literal and metaphorical. They describe the technology that dominated the period of time in question but are also representative of a large number of other technologies introduced during the same period. Also of note is the fact that the period of diffusion of a technology can begin modestly and can extend well beyond the "age" of its introduction. To maintain continuity, the treatment of its diffusion is dealt with in the context of its dominant "age". For example the "Steam Age" here is defined as the period from 1840 to 1880. However steam powered boats were introduced in 1809, the CPR was completed in 1885 and railway construction in Canada continued well into the twentieth century. To preserve continuity, the development of steam, in the early and later years, is therefore considered within the "Steam Age".
The Stone Age: fire (14,000 BC – AD 1600)
The diffusion of technology in what is now Canada began with the arrival of the first
humansabout 14,000 BC.
These people brought with them
stoneand bonetools. These took the form of arrowheads, axes, blades, scrappers, needles, harpoon heads and fishhooks used mostly to kill animals and fishfor food and skins. They also brought firewhich they used for heating their dwellings and for cooking which was done on open fires. There were no claypots or ovens.
In the Arctic the
Innuused stick frames covered with animal skins for shelter during the summer months while during the harsh winter they built houses made of snow or igloos. On the plains native peoples used the well known teepee. This consisted of a number of poles arranged to form a conical structure which was in turn covered with animal skins. In central Canada the long housewas popular. This large structure was built from interwoven branches and could house 70 to 80 people. Several of these structures would be built together to form a village which was often surrounded by a palisade of logs stuck vertically into the ground as protection from hostile tribes. On the west coast native peoples constructed dwellings made from heavy timber. These structures were built near the water's edge and were often decorated with elaborate and elegant carved images.
Transportation techniques were simple. The aboriginal peoples did not have the wheel, horses or the sail. The paddle powered
canoewas the most common means of transport and was especially practical during the summer, considering the large number of lakes and rivers that characterized the topography. The duggout was favoured in the waters off the west coast. Summer travel also saw use of the travois, a simple type of sled that was pulled over the ground by a dog and used to transport a light load. In the winter the snow shoemade walking in the deep snow practical. Winter transport in the Arctic made use of the dog teamand in warmer summer months the use of the kayakwas common.
Clothing was made of animal skins which were cut with stone and bone tools and sewn with bone needles and animal sinews. Native peoples did not have textiles.
For the most part native peoples were hunters and gatherers, chasing large animals, and fishing for a source of protein. Plants and fruits that grew naturally were also an important food source. A common, easily stored and readily transportable food was
pemmican, dried powdered meat mixed with fat, berries and "vegetables". In central Canada there was limited agriculturewhich allowed the storage of some food during times of privation. Of note was the fact that they did not have the plow or draught animals.
The first peoples had techniques for dealing with disease. Medicines included those made from high bush cranberries, oil of wintergreen and bloodroot, among others. A type of tea made from the bark of the spruce or hemlock could prevent or cure
The first peoples did not have writing or any way of communicating in symbolic form or storing information. Their extensive knowledge of the natural world and information relating to their customs and traditions was passed orally.
Weapons of war were made by hand from wood and stone. The long range weapon of these times was the
bow and arrowwith an effective range of up to 100 metres. Close in fighting was conducted with a range of simple armaments including: stone-tipped spears, stone axes ( tomahawk), stone blades used as knives and stone and wooden clubs of various types. Because there was no knowledge of metalworking with the exception of some small items of jewelry made from copper, weapons such as swords and metal knives were not part of this early arsenal. [Wright, J.W., A History of the Native Peoples of Canada: Volumes I(2001) and II(1999), Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa]
The Age of Sail: Ships, symbolic language, and the wheel (1600–1830)
The arrival of white explorers and colonists in the 1500s introduced those technologies popular in Europe at the time, such as iron making, the wheel, writing, paper,
printing, books, newspapers, long range navigation, large ship construction, stone and brick and mortar construction, surgery, firearms, new crops, livestock, the knife fork and spoon, china plates and cups, weed, cottonand linencloth, horses and livestock.
Transportation: Shipbuilding and the Wheel The use of wind and water as sources of power were major developments in the technological history of the new colonies. Ships with large masts and huge canvas sails maintained the link between the colonies and the imperial centres, Paris, France until 1769 and London, England until the arrival of
steam powerin 1850. The ships in service were built not only in Europe but also in the colonies. The construction of these vessels ( shipbuilding) was a remarkable feat in the nascent colonies of New France and British North America and represented the dominant sector of the colonial manufacturing industry for 200 years. Design and construction techniques reflected those popular in northern Europe during the period. Intendant Jean Talon established the Royal Dockyard on the St. Charles River in Quebec City and the first 120 ton vessel was launched there in 666. Three other ships, including a 450 ton, “galiotte”, were built before Talon’s departure for France in 1672. Four more ships were built in Quebec between 1704 and 1712 followed by another nine between 1714 and 1717. Work at the Royal Dockyard recommenced in 1739 and by 1744, twelve vessels had been constructed there, including the “Canada”, a 500 ton merchantman. Demand for ships was such that a second Royal Dockyard was established in 1746, on the St. Lawrence at the foot of Cap Diamante, where the largest vessel of the French Regime, a 72 gun, 800 ton war ship was built. The fall of New France to the British in 1759 put an end to these activities. [Wilson, Garth, A History of Shipbuilding and Naval Architecture in Canada, Transformation Series 4, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, 1994]
However the beginning of the nineteenth century witnessed a revival. The British loss of the American colonies with their associated shipbuilding industry, the subsequent British loss of Baltic sources of timber, as well as Canada’s abundant supply of wood along with the tradition of shipbuilding established in New France made British North America an ideal location for a renewed shipbuilding industry. Quebec City and Saint John, New Brunswick, both centres of timber export also became dominant centres for this activity not only in Canada but worldwide. The ships were intended for trade, mostly with Britain and common designs included the two masted
brigand brigantineand the popular barque, with three masts or more. Designs of between 500 and 1000 tons, which sacrificed speed in favor of a voluminous hold, that was well suited to the carriage of timber, were preferred. The Californian and Australian gold rushes of 1848 and 1851 respectively further fed the demand for Canada’s large ocean vessels. However the arrival of the iron and steel hulled steam ship associated with the Canadian inability to adapt to this new technology eventually bankrupted the industry in the latter years of the century.
Inland travel by the
coureurs de boiswas by way of an Indian invention, the canoe. The York boatand bateauwere also popular for travel on inland waters. The York boat was used by traders working for the Hudson’s Bay Company and was named after the fur trading post at York Factoryon Hudson Bay. The York boat was more stable, larger and had a greater carrying capacity than the canoe. The first was built in 1794 and numbers of these craft navigated the rivers of the northern prairie region as far west as Fort Chipewyanuntil replaced by the steamboat in the nineteenth century. The flat bottomed bateau was another craft used on Canada’s inland waters by both British and French colonists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Within settlements transport was often simply a matter of walking around town. The horse, introduced by the new arrivals also provided a new and convenient mode of transport. The wooden cart, wagon and carriage, made possible by the introduction of the
wheelin combination with the horse, dramatically improved the transport of people and goods. The first graded road in Canada was built by Samuel de Champlainin 1606 and linked the settlement at Port Royal to Digby Cape, 16 kilometers away. By 1734 Quebec City and Montreal were connected by a road, Le chemin du roi, along the north shore of the St Lawrence. The 267 km. distance could be traversed with great difficulty and discomfort by horse drawn carriage in four to five days. Most roads were of very poor quality especially in wet weather. To overcome this problem logs were often placed side by side crosswise to cover ruts, puddles and mud holes. The result was a more solid but very bumpy surface that was referred to as a corduroy road. Work on what would be called the, "longest street in the world", formally known as Yonge Street, began in York (Toronto), in 1795 under the direction of Deputy Surveyor General Augustus Jones. Initially a trail, it ran from Eglington Avenue to St. Albans (Holland Landing) and later much further north. The task of widening the path into a road fell to local farmers. [Guillet, Edwin C., The Story of Canadian Roads, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1967] . The period also saw the construction a number of important canals including: the Rideau Canal, Ottawa–Kingston, 1820, the Lachine Canal, Montreal, 1825, the Ottawa River Canals at Grenville and Carillon, Quebec, 1834 and the Chambly Canal, Chambly, Quebec, 1843.
Communication, Symbolic Language: The introduction of
written languageand mathematicsto the new world was of paramount importance. The 26 letter, Roman based alphabet that formed the basis for French and English words was arguably much more flexible that the pictographs that characterized eastern languages. The pen along with ink and paper made written communication possible and allowed private individuals, businessmen, the clergy and government officials to produce the documents essential for social, commercial, religious and political intercourse. This created a need for mail service. Messages were originally carried between settlements on the St. Lawrence by canoe. After 1734 the road between Montreal and Quebec was used by a special courier to carry official dispatches. In 1755 a post office was opened in Halifax by Benjamin Franklin, the Post Master of the British colonies, as part of a trans-Atlantic mail service that he established between Falmouth, England and New York. In 1763 Franklin opened other post offices in Quebec City, Trois-Rivières and Montreal with a link from the latter city to New York and the trans-Atlantic service. The War of American Independence seriously disrupted mail service in Canada but by 1783 peace had been restored and Hugh Finlay was appointed Post Master for the northern colonies in 1784. That same year Finlay hired Pierre Durand to survey an all-Canadian mail route to Halifax. The path chosen took 15 weeks for a round trip!
Although the written word was a vital part of communications, French colonial policy opposed the establishment of
newspapersin New France. Canada's first paper, the "Halifax Gazette", produced on a simple printing press, began publication in 1752 under the watchful eye of John Bushell. In 1764, the "Quebec Gazette" was established in Quebec City by William Brown and Thomas Gilmore. The "Montreal Gazette" was founded in that city in 1785 by Fleury Mesplet. Other newspapers followed including the "Upper Canada Gazette" at Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake)in 1793, the first newspaper in what is now Ontario, the "Quebec City Mercury", 1805, the "Montreal Herald", 1811, "Le Canadien" 1806, "La Minerve", 1826, and the "Colonial Advocate" and "Novascotian" both in 1824. These publications were simple affairs, typeset by hand, consisting of only a few pages, produced in limited quanties on simple presses and of limited distribution.
Energy: Wind power was used to some to turn the sails of the windmill, which did not come into widespread use. However
water powerwas used extensively to power grist millin both New Franceand later, Quebecand Upper Canadaand Lower Canada. Animal power in the form of the horse or ox, was used to work the fields. Fire from a wood or oil fuel source was not new but the use of stone fireplaces and ovens along with metal pots and pans dramatically changed the nature of cooking.
Industry: Between the 1530s and 1626 Basque whalers (
whaling) frequented the waters of Newfoundlandand the north shore of the Gulf of St Lawrencefrom the Strait of Bell Isle to the mouth of the Sagenuay River. They constructed stone ovens ashore for fires to melt whale fat. However as whales became scarce, the cod fishery ( fishing) off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland became hotly contested by the British and French, in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. The British used small boats close to shore from which they caught the cod with hook and line. They practiced the "dry fishery" technique which involved shore based settlements for the drying of cod on flakes or racks placed in the open air for their subsequent transport back to Europe. The French on the other hand practiced the "green fishery" which involved processing the catch with salt aboard ship. At the same time a fleet of schooners fishing for cod, halibut, haddock, and mackerel became prominent off the Atlantic coast. The use of the long line and purse seine net increased the size of the catch.
It is ironic that a phenomenon as fickle as fashion would be responsible for the economic development and exploration of half a continent but such was the case with the
fur tradein North America between 1650 and 1850. The subject of bitter rivalry between the British and French Empires and inter-corporate rivalry among a number of business organizations, notably the Hudson's Bay Companyand the North West Company, the technology of the trade was the picture of simplicity. Traders, be they French or British would set out in birch bark canoes, loaded with trade goods (knives, ax heads, cloth blankets, alcohol, firearms and other items) and travel west along Canada's numerous rivers, streams and lakes in search of Indians and exchange these items for beaver skins. The skins came from animals trapped by the native peoples and worn as clothing during the long cold Canadian winter. The skins were worn with the fur side next to the skin and by the spring the long hairs would be worn away leaving the short hairs which were used to make felt. The skins were then carried by the traders in their canoes back to trading posts in Montreal or on Hudson Bay and transported by sailing ship to England or France. There they were processed by a technique involving mercury, and the felt that resulted from the treatment was used to make beaver hats, and coincidentally gave rise to an associated phenomenon, the mad hatter. A combination of diminishing beaver stocks and a change in fashion that saw a decline in the popularity of the beaver hat put an end to the trade. Agriculturewas an essential colonial activity. The settlers who founded Port Royal in Acadiain 1605 drained coastal marshes with a system of dikesand grew vegetables, flax and wheat and raised livestock. After 1713 the British promoted the Maritimes as a source of hemp for rope for the Royal Navy, with moderate success. Mixed farming, the growing of wheat and the raising of livestock would characterize the nature of maritime agriculture well into the mid-nineteenth century. In 1617, Louis Hebert a colonist in Quebec began to raise cattle and grow peas, grain and corn on a very small plot. In the 1640s charter companies promoted agriculture and settlers cleared forested land with the use of axes, oxen, horses and asses. In 1663 Louis XIV, through his colonial administrators Colbertand Jean Talontook steps to promote the cultivation of hops and hemp and the raising of livestock. By 1721 the harvest of the farmers of New Franceconsisted predominantly of wheat and the census of horses, pigs, cattle and sheep registered 30,0000 animals. In the latter part of the century the British promoted the cultivation of potatoes. The arrival of the Loyalists (American Revolution)|Loyalists in Upper Canada (where they were given the title United Empire Loyalists) in the late eighteenth century resulted in the cultivation of hemp but agriculture was dominated by the wheat culture well into the mid-nineteenth century.
The techniques for the production of
beerwere quickly introduced to colonial life. The first commercial brewery in Canada was built in Quebec City in 1668 by Jean Talon. This was followed by the construction of other breweries including those of John Molson in Montreal, 1786, Alexander Keith, Halifax, 1820, Thomas Carling, London, 1840, John Kinder Labatt, London, 1847 and Eugene O’Keefe in Toronto in 1891. Of note is the fact that the first patent awarded by the government of Canada went to Mr. G. Riley in 1842 for “an improved method of brewing ale, beer, porter, and other maltliquors". The Europeans brought with them metaland textilesand a knowledge of the means to make them. Les Forges de St. Maurice which began producing iron in 1738 at facilities near Trois-Rivières and the Marmora Ironworks established in 1822 near Peterborough were the first iron works in Canada. Both ceased operations in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Early sixteenth century female settlers along the St Lawrence and in Acadia were almost all were familiar with the techniques of spinning yarn and weaving cloth for everyday clothes and bedding and the home production of textiles eventually became an important cottage industry. The spinning wheeland loom were features of many colonial homes and weaving techniques included the "à la planche" and "boutonné" methods. Loyalistwomen settling in Upper and Lower Canada, grew flax and raised sheep for wool to make clothing, blankets and linen. The Jacquard loom, introduced in the 1830s, featured a complex system of punch cards to control the pattern and was the first programmable machine in Canada. With the arrival of industrial textile mills in Montreal and Toronto in the late nineteenth century, the economic advantage of home weaving faded. Money, then as now was of vital interest to individuals and to the functioning of the economy. The first coinproduced for use in New France was the "Gloria Regni" a silver piece, struck in Paris in 1670. The first paper money in New France consisted of playing cards signed by the governor and issued in 1685 to help deal with the chronic shortage of coins. After 1760 the British introduced the sterling which officially stood as Canada's currency for almost a century. However the monetary system in reality was a chaotic affair and the British coins and paper circulated along with, Spanish dollars, Nova Scotia provincial money, US dollars and gold coins and British paper "army bills" used buy supplies in the War of 1812. In 1858 the government of the Province of Canada begn keeping its accounts in Canadian dollars and to circulate its own paper currency alongside the paper dollars circulated by the Bank of Montrealand other banks.
Medicine: Medical treatment at this time reflected techniques available in France and was provided by a barber-surgeon. The first in New France was Robert Giffard who arrived in Quebec City in 1627 and "practiced" at Hotel-Dieu, Canada's first hospital, a very modest four-room structure, founded by the church. The panacea was
bleeding, which involved the use of a knife to cut open a blood vessel and drain way a quantity of the patients blood. There was some surgery but it was undertaken with primitive instruments and without anestheticor any familiarity with the concept of infectionand both the procedure and results were usually quite gruesome. Another figure of repute, Michel Sarrazin, a botanist as well as doctor arrived from France in the latter half of the 17th century and served as the surgeon-major for the French troops in New France. He too practiced at Hotel-Dieu and while there treated hundreds of patients infected during a typhus epidemic. Eyeglassesfor the correction of vision became available at this time. The mercury thermometer, invented in 1714, became a useful diagnostic tool for doctors as did the stethoscopeinvented in 1816. Because doctors were few and far between people with medical problems often had to treat themselves. They used Indian medicines or home remedies based on the internal and external application of various herbal and animal products. Advances in surgery came in the early 1800s with the innovative work of Dr. Christopher Widmer who practiced at York Hospital (later known as Toronto General Hospital) and R.W. Beaumont made a name as a noted inventor of surgical instruments. The early part of the nineteenth century also witnessed the first halting steps with respect to the use of inoculation, in Nova Scotia, in this case against smallpox. However it would take another one hundred years for the practice to become widespread. General hospitals were established in Montreal in 1819 and York ( Toronto, Ontario) in 1829.
Domestic Technology: The first
housesin Canada were constructed at Port Royal on the Annapolis River in what is now Nova Scotia in 1605. The colonists built simple wooden frame homes with peaked roofs around a central courtyard. This established a house building tradition that lasts to this day, for by far the most common domestic structure in Canada for the last 400 years has been the wood frame peak roofed house. Most domestic homes both urban and rural in New France from about 1650 to 1750 were simple wooden structures. Wood was inexpensive, readily available and easily worked by most residents. Rooms were small, usually limited to a living/dining/kitchen space and perhaps a bedroom. Roofs were usually peaked to deflect the rain and very heavy snow. After fires in Quebec City in 1682 and Montreal in 1721 building codes emphasized the importance of stone construction but these requirements were mostly ignored except by the most affluent. The most popular type of domestic dwelling in Loyalist Upper Canada in the late 1700s was the log house or the wood frame house or less commonly the stone house. When homes were heated it was by a fire place burning wood or a cast iron wood stove, which was also used for cooking and they were lit by candle light or whale oil lamp. Kerosenelamps became popular in the 1840s when Gesner of Halifax developed an effective way to manufacture that product. Water for drinking and washing was carried to the home from an outside source.
The new arrivals also brought new eating habits. Meat from animals such as cows, sheep, chickens and pigs was common as were new types of fruits and vegetables. These items were eaten fresh but could be stored for later consumption if salted, pickled or frozen. Grain was ground to flour at the local grist mill and baked in the home oven with yeast to make bread. Hopps, grain and fruit were fermented to make beer, hard alcohol and wine. Meals were served on pewter or china plates and eaten with a metal knife, fork and spoon. The places were set on a simple wooden table with wooden chairs often made by the man of the house.
Musical instruments did much to enliven the colonial life. In the well known documents The Jesuit Relations, there is reference to the playing of the
fiddlein 1645 and the organ (music)in 1661. Quebec City boasted of Canada's first pianoin 1784.
Waste Disposal: Sewage and garbage disposal were simple tasks in the mostly rural parts of the colonies. Sewage was dumped into a stream or left in pits and buried. Scrap food was fed to farm animals and any other garbage or waste was burned or placed in a quiet corner of the property and left to deteriorate. However in towns such as Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal and York (Toronto), these tasks became more difficult due to lack of space and the concentrated population, and the result was very unpleasant. Streets reeked with the smell of decaying garbage as well as pig, horse and cow excrement. Markets were places of animal blood, rotting animal carcasses and fish heads and other decaying organic matter. Human excrement was stored in pails in buildings and then dumped into the streets. Not until the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century would these problems be effectively addressed through the installation of sewer systems and the organization of municiple garbage collection.
Military Technology: The Europeans introduced extremely important innovations relating to warfare,
gunpowder, the cannonand the musket. The cannon was used to arm a number of important military structures including: the Citadel of Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec, 1745, the Fortress of Louisburg, Louisburg, Nova Scotia, 1745 and Fort Henry, Kingston, Ontario, 1812. They were also the primary weapon aboard the warships of the era. French regular soldiers stationed in New France and British regulars stationed in British North America after 1763 were equipped with a musket and bayonet. Ironically in the Battle of Quebec, one of the great battles of history, the French General Montcalm ordered his troops out of the ultra-modern stone-walled Citadel, with its heavy defensive cannon and onto the adjacent Plains of Abrahamwhere they were felled by a single volley of musket fire from the British line. Both the British/Canadian/Indian troops and American troops were equipped with cannons and muskets when invading American armies attacked Canada in 1775 and again during the period from 1812 to 1814 with the intent of annexation. In both cases the invaders were defeated.
The Steam Age: trains, telegraphs, water, and oil (1830–1880)
The pace of diffusion quickened in the 1800s with the introduction of such technologies as steam power and the
telegraph. Indeed it was the introduction of steam power that allowed politicians in Ottawato entertain the idea of creating a transcontinental state. In addition to steam power, municipal water systems and sewer systems were introduced in the latter part of the century. The field of medicine saw the introduction of anestheticand antiseptics.
Transportation, steam power: It was via the paddle-powered
steam boatthat steam power was first introduced to Canada. The "Accommodation", a side-wheeler built entirely in Montreal by the Eagle Foundry and launched in 1809, was the first steamer to ply Canadian waters, making its maiden voyage from Montreal to Quebec that same year in 36 hours. Other paddle-wheel steamboats included: the "Frontenac", Lake Ontario, 1816, the "General Stacey" Smyth, Saint John River, 1816, the "Union", lower Ottawa River, 1819, the "Royal William", Quebec to Halifax, 1831 and the "Beaver", BC coast,1836. trans-Atlantic steam service was introduced by the Montreal Ocean Steamship Company founded by Sir Hugh Allanin Montreal in 1854.
steam locomotivepowered railway service in Canada was offered by the Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad, Quebec, in 1836. Other railway systems soon followed including: the Albion Mines Railway, Nova, Scotia, 1839, the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad, 1853, the Great Western Railway, Montreal to Windsor, 1854, the Grand Trunk Railway, Montreal to Sarnia, 1860, the Intercolonial Railway, 1876, the Chignecto Marine Transport Railway, Tignish, Nova Scotia, 1888, the Edmonton, Yukon & Pacific Railway, 1891 and the Newfoundland Railway, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, 1893, the White Pass and Yukon Railway, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, 1900, the Kettle Valley Railway, British Columbia, 1916 and Canadian National Railways, 1917. [McDonnell, The History of Canadian Railroads, New Burlington Books, London, 1985]
One of the great engineering works of the world, the
Canadian Pacific Railwayand its associated Canadian Pacific trans-Canada telegraph system, was completed in 1885. Between 1881 and 1961 CPR would operate 3,267 steam locomotives.
stage coachcame into its own in the mid-nineteenth century. Roads in early colonial Canada were poor and not well suited to long distance travel by horse-drawn coach. For this reason the stage coach was used mostly for short distance travel and long distance inter-city passenger service was mostly by water. With the introduction of the steam locomotive, long distance inter-city passenger service boomed. However a means of conveyance was required serve to those small towns that found themselves short distances from, “the end of the line” or beyond the reach of local public horsecar service. The stage coach was well suited to this roll. From about 1850 until 1900 in parallel with the explosive growth of the rail network all across Canada, the service grew. However, the ever expanding reach of the rail network eventually even to small towns. The small size of the markets served and arrival of cars and buses put an end to this colourful means of transport in the early twentieth century. In western Canada throughout the nineteenth century the Carlton Trailserved as an important land transportation route over its 1500 km length from Winnigeg (Fort Garry) to Edmonton, (Upper Fort des Prairies). The simple horse drawn Red River Cartwas a common sight on the road. Another overland series of roads, the Red River Trails, connected Fort Garry to the US.
Communication: Canada's initial
telegraphservice introduced in 1846, was offered by the Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Co. Others soon followed including: the telegraph system of The Montreal Telegraph Company, 1847 and the telegraph system of the Dominion Telegraph Company, 1868. In 1856, the first underwater telegraph cable in Canada was laid, linking Cape Ray, Newfoundland and Aspy, Nove Scotia. Ten years later, in 1866 the first Transatlantic telegraph cable, was laid between Hearts Content, Newfouldland and Foilhommerum, Valentia Island, in western Ireland. The first trans Canada telegraph service was established by Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. In 1902, Canadian Pacific completed a trans-Pacific cable telegraph, linking Vancouver with Australia and New Zealand.
The newspaper benefited from the introduction of the telegraph and the
rotary press. This latter device, invented in the US, was first used in Canada by George Brown in Toronto starting in 1844 to print copies of the Globe. This process permitted the printing of thousands of copies of each daily paper rather than the mere hundreds of copies possible with previous technologies.
Energy, Oil: Drilling for
oilwas first undertaken in Canada in 1851 in Enniskillen Township in Lambton County by the International Mining and Manufacturing Company of Woodstock, Ontario. There was fierce competition for oil drilling, refining and distribution in southern Ontario until 1880 when 16 oil refineries merged to form Imperial Oil. This company was in turn acquired in 1898 by John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust. Oil discovery and development in the west dates from the early twentieth century with Imperial becoming a major player by 1914, at Turner Valley, Alberta and in 1920 at Norman Wells, NWT. British based corporations such as Royal Dutch Shell and Anglo-Persian Oil (British Petroleum) also became involved in oil exploration in the west at this time. Oil refiningrequired sulfuric acid, and two entrepreneurs, T.H. Smallman and W. Bowman, established the Canadian Chemical Company in London, Ontario in 1867 to manufacture this product for the region's oil industry. This marked the beginning of the mass production of heavy industrial chemicals in Canada.
The discovery of oil and gas lead to the construction of Canada's first energy
pipelines. In 1853 an iron pipeline from the Maurice River area carried natural gas 25 kilometers to Trois-Rivières, Quebec, where it was used to provide street lighting. In 1862 an pipeline was built to carry oil from from wells in Petrolia, Ontario to Sarnia for refining and in 1895 another natural gas pipeline, 20 centimeters in diameter, linked wells in Essex County, Ontario to Windsor and passed under the Detroit River to Detroit.
Coal gas public street lighting systems were introduced in Montreal in 1838 in Toronto in 1841 and in Halifax in 1850. Coal gasification plants were built in these cities and others to provide the gas for the lighting systems. Most remained in operation until the 1950's when they were phased out due to a loss of demand, in favour of the more practical and inexpensive natural gas. The decommissioning of these sites was ofter problematic due the accumulation of toxic coal tar in the ground.
Glassmanufacturing was introduced at this time. Glass was manufactured at Mallorytown, Upper Canada beginning in 1825. Window glass was produced at the Canada Glass Works in St. Jean, Canada East (Quebec)from 1845 to 1851 and the Ottawa Glass Works at Como in Ottawa, Canada West (Ontario) from 1847 to 1857. Glass was blown to form tubes which were cut lengthwise, unrolled and flattened. Glass bottles were produced starting in 1851 by the Ottawa factory and Foster Brothers Glass Works, in St. Jean starting in 1855. Other manufacturers included: the Canada Glass Works, Hudson, Quebec, 1864–1872 and the Hamilton Glass Company, Hamilton, Ont, 1865–96, which produced "green" glass and the St. Lawrence Glass Company, Montreal, 1867–73 and Burlington Glass Company of Hamilton, Ont, 1874–98 which produced "flint" or clear glass. [Warrington, Newbold, Chemical Canada: Past and Present, The Chemical Institute of Canada, Ottawa, 1970] . Rubberfootwear was produced by the Canadian Rubber Company in Montreal starting in 1854.
textileproduction also took its first steps during these years. In 1826, Mahlon Willett established a woollen cloth manufacturing factory in L'Acadie, Lower Canada and by 1844 the Sherbrooke Cotton Factory in Sherbrooke was producing cotton cloth. This establishment also had powered knitting machines and may therefore have been Canada's first knitting mill before burning down in 1854. There were cloth manufacturing mills in operation at Ancaster, Ontario by 1859, as well as Merritton, Ontario (the Lybster Mills, 1860). In Montreal a cotton mill operated on the banks of the Lachine Canal at the St-Gabriel Lock from 1853 until at least 1871 and Belding Paul & Co., operated Canada's first silk cloth manufacturing factory in that city starting in 1876. Industrial Techniques and Processes: The lumber industrygrew to become one of Canada's most important economic engines during this period. A market for Canadian wood developed in Britain where access to traditional sources of lumber for the construction of ships for the Royal Navy, as well as industrial structures, was blocked by Napoleon in 1806. As a result Britain turned to her colonies in North America to supply masts for her ships as well as sawn lumber and square timber. Other wood products included barrel staves, shingles, box shooks and spoolwood for textile factories. Growth during this period was staggering. In 1805, 9000 loads of lumber arrived in Britain from Canada. In 1807, the total shipped rose to 27,000 loads, in 1809, 90,000 and by 1846, 750,000 loads. Waterwas necessary for the transport of lumberto saw mill and ports as well as providing the power for the saw mills themselves and as a result the forest industrydeveloped along the rivers of New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario, including the Mirimachi, St. John, Ottawa and Gatineau. The logging itself was a winter activity and began with the first snowfall when roads and camps were built in the forest. Trees were cut with steel axes until about 1870 when the two-man crosscut saw was introduced. The felled trees had their branches removed and were hauled over the snow roads by teams of oxen or horses to the nearest frozen stream or river. In the spring melt they would be carried by the rushing water downstream to the mills. Often the logs "jammed" and on the way the lumberjacks would undertake the very dangerous lob of breaking the "jam". Where there were rapids or obstacles, special timber "slides" were constructed to aid transport. Large numbers of logs were often assembled into rafts to aid their movement or into very large booms which drifted down river to mills and market. A number of large firms appeared as a result of this activity including, Cunard and Pollok, Gilmour and Co. in New Brusswick, William Price in Chicoutimi, Quebec and J.R.Booth in Ottawa. It is important to note that the introduction of the railway at mid-century served to decrease the importance of water transport for the industry.
The industry in western Canada and in particular British Columbia did not develop as quickly as in the east but with the exhaustion of the eastern forests and the opening of the
Panama Canalin 1914, it eventually overtook the scale of activity in eastern Canada. Different conditions there required different logging techniques. Because the trees were much larger and heavier, three times as many horses or oxen were required to haul them. The more moderate climate meant that the winter snow roads could not be used and instead necessitated the use of log skid roads. Trees were so tall that springboards were wedged into notches cut into the trunk to serve as work platforms for two loggers using heavy double bit steel axes. Human and animal muscle, powered the industry until 1897 when the steam-powered "donkey engine" was introduced in B.C. from the US. This stationary machine drove a winch connected to a rope or wire which was used to haul logs up to 150 metres across the forest floor. A series of such engines placed at intervals could be used to haul large numbers of logs, long distances in relatively short periods of time. The "high lead system" in which a wire or lead suspended in trees was used to haul logs, was also introduced about this time.
Other manufacturing capabilities began to develop during this period, in parallel with shipbuilding. Canada's first
paper millwas built in St. Andrews, Quebec in 1805 by two new Englanders and produced paper for sale in Montreal and Quebec City. By 1869 Alexander Burtin was operating Canada's first groundwood paper mill in Valleyfield, Quebec. It was equipped with two wood grinders imported from Germany and produced primarily newsprint. North America's first chemical wood-pulpmill was constructed in Windsor mills, Quebec in 1864 by Angus and Logan. C.B.Wright & Sons began to make " hydraulic cement" in Hull, Quebec in 1830. Leather tanninggained prominence and James Davis among others made a mark in this field in Toronto beginning in 1832. Canada became the world's largest exporter of potashin the 1830s and 1840s. In 1840 Darling & Brady began to manufacture soap in Montreal. E.B.Eddy began to produce matchesin Hull, Quebec in 1851. Explosiveswere manufactured by an increasing number of companies including the Gore Powder Works at Cumminsville, Canada West, 1852, the Canada Powder Company, 1855, the Acadia Powder Company 1862, and the Hamiltom Powder Company established that same year. In 1879 that company built Canada's first high explosives manufacturing plant in Beloeil, Quebec. The first salt well was drilled at Goderich, Canada West in 1866. Phosphate fertilizer was first made in Brockville, Ontario in 1869.
The mass production of
clothingbegan at this time. Livingstone and Johnston, later W.R. Johnston & Company, founded in Toronto in 1868, was the first in Canada to cut cloth and sew together the component pieces with the help of the newly introduced sewing machine, as part of a continuous operation.
The technology of
photographywas introduced during these years. Eleven daugerreotypists were listed in Lovell’s Canadian Directory of 1851 while the Canada Classified Directory listed 360 in 1865. Most used the wet collodion process invented by F. Scott Archer in England in 1851.
The growing agricultural activity in southern Ontario and Quebec provided the basis for farm mechanization and the manufacturing industry to meet the demand for
agricultural machinery. The area around Hamilton had become attractive for iron and steel industries based on railway construction and the source of this raw material made the same area attractive to aspiring farm implement manufacturers. By about 1850 there were factories producing plows, mowers, reapers, seed drills, cutting boxes, fanning mills threshing machines and steam engines, established by entrepreneurs including the well known Massey family, Harris, Wisner, Cockshutt, Sawyer, Patterson, Verity and Willkinson. Although the industry was located mostly around Hamilton there were other smaller manufacturers in other locations including, Frost and Wood of Smith Falls, Ontario, Herring of Napanee, Ontario Ontario, Harris and Allen of Saint John and the Connell Brothers of Woodstock, both in New Brunswick and Mathew Moody and Sons of Terrebonne and Doré et Fils of La Prairie both in Quebec. Meat processinghad been a local undertaking since the beginning of the colony with the farmer and local butcher providing nearby customers with product. Health concerns were evident from the start and regulations for the butchering and sale of meat were promulgated in New France in 1706 and in Lower Canada in 1805. Activity grew to reach an industrial scale by the middle of the nineteenth century. Laing Packing and Provisions was founded in Montreal in 1852, F.W. Fearman began processing operations in Hamilton, Ontario and in Toronto William E. Davies established Canada's first large scale hog slaughter house in Toronto in 1874.
The founding of the Canadian Manufacturers Association in 1871 was symptomatic of the growth of this sector of the economy with its related technologies.
retail industryalso experienced considerable innovation during these years at the hands of Timothy Eatonof Toronto. He offered for sale large numbers of "consumer" goods such as clothes, shoes and household items under the roof of one large store and sold then at fixed prices eliminating the concept of barter. This had become possible because of the recent stabilisation of the Canadian currency through the creation of the Canadian dollar and the simultaneous appearance of mass produced goods which allowed uniform pricing for any particular product. In 1884 he created the iconic Eaton's catalogue which formed the basis for his catalogue sales operation which allowed rural dwellers to order and receive by mail or train the products that were available to those who had access to his growing chain of giant urban department stores.
Medicine: There were dramatic developments in the field of medicine during these years. In 1834, a British surgeon with the Royal Navy suggested a link between sanitation and disease. This lead to the establishment of departments of public health across the country by the end of the century and provided an impetus to municipalities to supply clean water to their citizens as noted above. The use of the
hypodermic syringe, invented in 1853 was quickly adopted by Canadian doctors. Two other medical innovations also appeared at this time, anestheticand antiseptic. The use of etherand chloroform as anesthetics became common in England and the US after 1846. In Canada, Dr. David Parker of Halifax is credited as the first to use anesthesia during surgery. Antiseptic was being used in the operating rooms of the Montreal and Toronto General hospitals by 1869. Public Works, (Water), Civil Engineering and Architecture: Water distribution systems also became a feature of many Canadian cities during this period and their installation represented the most significant development in public healthin Canada's history. Gravity feed systems were in operation in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1837 and Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1848. Steam powered pumping stations were in service in Toronto in 1841, Kingston, Ontario in 1850 and Hamilton, Ontario in 1859. Quebec City, had a system by 1854 and Montreal by 1857. Most large cities had steam powered municipal systems by the 1870s. Sewersystems necessarily followed and with them the flush toiletin the 1880s made popular by Crapper in Great Britain at that time. Coal gas public street lightingsystems were introduced in Montreal in 1838 in Toronto in 1841 and in Halifax in 1850. Horse drawn street rail coaches for public transport were introduced in large Canadian cities about his time. In Montreal the Montreal City Passenger Railway Company, formed in 1861, offered horsecar service from 1861 to 1891 when it was replaced by electric streetcar service. Horsecar service began in Toronto in 1861 as well and was offered by the Toronto Street Railwaysuntil 1892, when it was also replaced by electric streetcar service.
The technology of incarceration was refined during these years. Prisons were built in Quebec City in 1809 and Montreal in 1836. However one of the world’s largest and most modern prisons, the fortress-like Provincial Penitentiary of the Province of Upper Canada,
Kingston Penitentiary, opened in that city in 1835. Based on a design by William Powers a deputy warden at the prison in Auburn, New York State, the facility, surrounded by high walls, could hold up to 800 prisoners in minuscule cells measuring 6 feet by 2 feet, separated from each other by stone walls two feet thick. Other prisons of similar design included those at Saint John, New Brunswick, 1839, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1854, St. John’s, Newfoundland, 1859, the Don Jail, Toronto, 1866, the Toronto Central Prison, Toronto, 1873, Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Montreal, 1873, Stony Mountain, Manitoba, 1877, New Westminister, British Columbia, 1878 and Dorchester Penitentiary, New Brunswick, 1880. Civilians convicted of capital crimes ( capital punishment in Canada) were hung by the neck. This technique included both the "short" and "long" drop. The short drop, killed by suffocation while conscious, while the “more humane”, long drop, immediately broke the neck thus rendering the person unconscious followed by death through suffocation. Those convicted of capital military offences were shot by firing squad.
Notable works of civil engineering realized during this period included: the Reversing Falls Bridges, St. John, New Brunswick, 1853 and 1885, The Halifax Citadel, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1856,
Victoria Bridge, Montreal, Quebec, 1859, Canada's first tunnel, the Brockville Railway Tunnel, Brockville, Ontario, 1869, the Kettle Creek Bridge, St. Thomas, Ontario, 1871 and the Grand Rapids Tramway, Grand Rapids, Manitoba, 1877.
grand hotelmade its first appearance during these years with the opening of the Clifton Hotel in Niagara Falls, Upper Canada in 1833. Other hotels of note included: St. Lawrence Hall, Montreal, 1851, the Queen's Hotel, Toronto, 1862 and the Tadoussac Hotel, Tadoussac, Quebec, 1865.
Defence: The Militia Act of 1855 passed by the Legislature of the Province of Canada established the basis for the Canadian military. The act established seven batteries of artillery, which grew to ten field batteries and 30 batteries of garrison artillery by 1870. Weapons used by these units included the 7-pounder smooth-bore muzzle-loading and the 9-pounder rifled muzzle-loading (RML) guns.
The Electric Age: Light, telephones, heavy manufacturing, skyscrapers and central heating (1880–1920)
No other event has had such a lasting, positive, or more direct impact on the life of the Canadian than the invention of electricity in the late nineteenth century.
Energy, Electricity: Public
electric lightingreceived its first Canadian demonstration in Manitoba at the Davis House hotel on Main Street, Winnipeg, March 12, 1873. In 1880, the Manitoba Electric and Gas Light Company was incorporated to provide public lighting and power and in 1893 the Winnipeg Electric Street Railway Company was established. A number of corporations offered power commercially to Manitobans until Manitoba Hydrowas formed in 1961. Halifax had electric lights installed by the Halifax Electric Light Company Limited in 1881. The Nova Scotia Power Commission was in turn established in 1919. After a number of corporate transactions the Nova Scotia Power Corporationwas established in 1974. The year 1883 saw the introduction of electric street lighting in Victoria, the first city in British Columbia to get public electric power. Vancouver got electricity in 1887. New companies joined the electric business in the twentieth century and after a number of corporate mergers and nationalizations, BC-Hydro, was formed 1962. In 1884, the Royal Electric Company began offering commercial power to Montreal. After a chaotic half century, the electric companies in that province were acquired by the Quebec Hydro Electric Commission ( Hydro-Québec) between 1944 and 1963. Also in 1884, Saint John, New Brunswick was the first city in that province to have commercially available power delivered by the Saint John Electric Light Company. Other companies entered the field and in 1917 merged to form the New Brunswick Power Company. In 1948 the assets of this company were purchased by the New Brunswick Electric Power Commission. The Toronto Power House and the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario began offering electricity to that city and the province respectively in 1906. The Commission became Ontario Hydroin 1974. Edmonton's first power company was established in 1891 and placed street lights along the city's main street, Jasper Avenue. The power company was purchased by the Town of Edmonton in 1902 and to this day remains a municipal government enterprise known as EPCOR. Electricity in Saskatchewan was provided by the Saskatchewan Power Commission established in 1929. It became the Saskatchewan Power Corporation in 1949 while the abbreviated name SaskPowerwas officially adopted in 1987. [Ball, Norman R. ed., Building Canada: A History of Public Works, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1988]
Transportation: With the electrification of cities, large and small, came the electric
streetcar. In Montreal the horsecar was withdrawn from service in 1894 and replaced with the electric streetcar, operated by the Montreal Street Railway Company, from that date until 1911 and the Montreal Tramways Company from 1911 to 1950. Many of the streetcars were manufactured by Canadian Car and Foundry of Montreal and the Ottawa Car Company. Between 1950 and 1959 the streetcars were gradually replaced by diesel powered buses. In Toronto, the horsecar gave way to the electric streetcar in 1892, with that service being offered by the Toronto Railway Companyfrom 1891–1921 and the Toronto Transportation Commission, starting in 1921. The service is offered to this day.
bicyclemade its appearance at this time. The "boneshaker", with pedals connected directly to the front wheel appeared in the Maritimes in 1866 followed by the penny-farthing bicycle after 1876. The machine evolved and was improved with the addition of pneumatic tires, a central crank for the pedals and a coasting back wheel with brake. The increasing popularity of bicycles lead to the formation of a national bicycle club, the Canadian Wheelsman in London, Ontario in 1879. In 1899 five important Canadian bicycle manufacturers, Gendron, Goold, Massey-Harris, H.A. Lozier and Welland Vale, combined to form what would become the very well known Canadian Cycle and Motor Company or CCM (cycle), with 1700 employees and an annual production of 40,000 bicycles.
In 1891, the newly formed Canadian Pacific Steamship Lines began offering trans-Pacific
steamshipservice from Vancouver with three large steel-hulled ships, the "Empress", liners, India, China and Japan. From 1903, additional Empress liners were used for service across the Atlantic. One of these, the Empress of Ireland, sunk after a collision in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1914 with the loss of 1000 lives. A fleet of smaller "Princess" steam ships were used for coastal service and the Great Lakes. Of note is the fact that Canadian Pacific, with its combination of steam ships and steam locomotives built a transportation empire that spanned more that half the globe. Few other companies anywhere in the world at that time could boast of such an accomplishment. Canada Steamship Lines, founded in 1913, as the result of the amalgamation of other companies, has offered cargo shipping services on the Great Lakes since that time.
airplaneflight in Canada took place on 23 February, 1909 when pilot John Alexander Douglas McCurdybecame airborn in the AEA Silver Dartand flew almost a kilometer over the frozen Bras d'Or Lake in Nova Scotia. Canada's first aerodrome (airport) was located at Long Branch Toronto and operations there began modestly in 1915. It was here that the Curtiss Aircraft company manufactured the Curtis JN-4 for the Royal Flying Corps of Canada. Air stations were also built at Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia in 1918 for anti-submarine operations.
telephonebegan to make its mark in Canada, modestly at first. The telephone system of the Bell Telephone Company of Canada ( Bell Canada) was established in 1880. Telephone penetration rates had reached 1.2% of the population by 1901, 3.9% by 1910 and 7.6% by 1915. The telephone system of Maritime Telephone and Telegraph, Halifax was established in 1910. The Trans-Canada Telephone Systemproviding Canadians with the first all-Canadian transcontinental telephone connection was established in 1932.
New printing technologies and the availability of this new material,
newsprint, had a dramatic effect on the newspaperindustry. By the 1880s the rotary press had evolved into a high speed machine and with the use of stereotyping allowed the production of large numbers daily papers. In 1876 daily newspaper circulation in Canada's nine major urban centres stood at 113,000 copies. By 1883 it had more than doubled. The introduction of typecasting machines such as the linotype in the 1890s lead to an expansion in size of the individual paper from 8 to 12 pages to 32 or 48 pages. This was also made possible by the availability of cheap newsprint manufactured in huge continuous rolls that could be fitted directly into the high speed presses.
The techniques for
book publishingwere also firmly established during these years. Publishers of note included, Beauchemin of Montreal, 1842, and Musson Book Co., 1894, G.N. Morang, 1897, McLeod & Allen, 1901, the University of Toronto Press, 1901, Oxford University Press, 1904, John C. Winston, 1904, Macmillan Co of Canada Ltd., 1905, McClelland and Goodchild, 1906,(later McClelland and Stewart), Cassell and Co Ltd., 1907, J.M. Dent and Sons, 1913 and Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., 1913, most of Toronto.
The techniques of
film makingwere introduced to Canada in 1897. In that year Manitoban James Freer made a series of films about farm life in western Canada. In 1889–1899 the Canadian Pacific Railway sponsored a successful tour by Freer to present these films in Britain to encourage immigration from that country for the development of the prairies and therefore boost the business of the railway. This inspired the railway to finance the production of additional films and hire a British firm, which created a Canadian arm, the Bioscope Company of Canada and produced 35 films about Canadian life. In 1910 the CPR engaged the Edison Company from the US to produce a further series of 10 films about the prairies. A number of Canadian firms became involved in feature film making with little success. These included: The Canadian Bioscope Company, Halifax, Nova Scotia, which produced Evangeline, Canada's first feature in 1913, the British American Film Company, Montreal, which produced Battle of the Long Sault, 1913, the Conness Till Company, Toronto, 1914–1915 and the All Red Feature Company, Windsor, Ontario, producing The War Pigeon, 1914.
In Montreal in 1900,
Emile Berliner, inventor of the gramophonesound recording technique, established the Berliner Gramaphone Company and began to manufacture the first phonograph records in Canada. First produced were seven inch single sided discs, followed by 10 inch in 1901, 12 inch in 1903 and the two sided disc in 1908. These discs were played on a gramophone, also manufactured by Berliner, which produced sound through purely mechanical means.
Heavy Manufacturing: The production of stream locomotives and railway rolling stock represented Canada’s principle heavy manufacturing activity in the first part of the twentieth century. This production was eventually rivaled and outpaced by automobile construction after World War II. Three facilities were particularly important during these years, the
Canadian Locomotive CompanyLtd. (CLC), formed Kingston, Ontario in 1901, the Montreal Locomotive Worksformed in 1904 and the CPR Angus Shops, established that same year, also in Montreal.
The first of these companies, CLC, had its origins in the formation of the “Ontario Foundry” established in 1848 but with the production of its first locomotive in 1854 it became known as the Kingston Locomotive Works. It produced 36 locomotives mostly for the new Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) before going broke in 1860. Through a series of corporate reorganizations the company manufactured locomotives for both the GRT and the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1901, further reorganization lead to the formation of the Canadian Locomotive and Engine Company Ltd. with the company producing one steam locomotive per week. The company was a significant supplier of stream locomotives until the arrival of the diesel in th fifties when it went into decline.
Montreal Locomotive Worksoriginated with the formation of the Locomotive and Machine Company of Montreal Limited in 1883 to supply the GRT, the CPR and the Intercolonial Railway with locomotives and rolling stock. In 1901 the firm was purchased by the American Locomotive Company which renamed the new subsidiary the Montreal Locomotive Works. The Canadian manufacturing operation provided an outlet for the designs of the American parent company. The company became a major supplier of locomotives to the Canadian National Railway, when that company was created in 1918.
The CPR Angus Shops were a huge facility built by that company in 1904 in the new suburb of Rosement in Montreal to supply its internal demand for equipment. These facilities built steam locomotives and rolling stock and also repaired CP equipment throughout the first half of the century. At the peak of production in the immediate post war years it employed 8000 workers and consumed 5000 tons of steel and 3000 tons of coal every week.
GE Canada, founded by Thomas Edison in Peterborough in 1892, contributed to heavy manufacturing techniques through the fabrication of large
electric generatorsand electric motorsat that facility, which were used to supply the rapidly growing Canadian market for electrical generating equipment. Similar heavy electrical products were manufactured by Westinghouse Canada established in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1897. The manufacture of streetcars by companies such as Ottawa Car Company, founded in 1891, in Ottawa, and Canadian Car and Foundryestablished in Montreal in 1909, was also of note. Dominion Bridge Companyestablished in Montreal in 1886, became a well known heavy engineering firm in the field of bridge building and the construction of steel frames for skyscrapers.
The growth of western agriculture stimulated the growth of the eastern
farm implementindustry. Companies such as Bell, Waterloo, Lobsinger, Hergott and Sawyer-Massey were soon shipping their large metal threshing machines and other types of equipment, via the CPR to western farms. Arguably the most notable of these corporations was Massey-Harris Co. Ltd. of Toronto, created in 1891 through the merger of Massey Manufacturing Co. (1847) and A. Harris, Son & Co Ltd. (1857) which became the largest manufacturer of farm machinery in the British Empire. Innovation was the key to the company's success, highlighted by best selling machines like the Toronto Light Binder at the turn of the century and the Wallis Tractor in 1927.
Industrial Processes and Techniques: Metal mining also became significant industry during this period. The invention of the electric dynamo,
electroplatingand steelin the 1870s created a strong demand for copper and nickel. Hard rock miningbecame a practical consideration because of the concurrent development of the hard rock drill and dynamite. A copper mine was established in Orford County Quebec in 1877, by the Orford Company while the Canadian Copper Company was founded in 1886 to exploit copper deposits at Sudbury made accessible by the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The ore from that mine was found to contain nickel as well as copper and a technique known as the Orford process using nitrate cake (acid sodium sulphate ) was developed to separate the metals. The International Nickel Company ( Inco) was established in 1902 through the fusion of the two companies. A refinery using the Orford process was built in Port Colborne, Ontario in 1918 and then moved to Copper Cliff, Ontario where that technique was replaced by the matte flotation process in 1948. Hard rock gold mining became practical in 1887, with the development of the potassium cyanidation process, by Scott MacArthur, which was used to separate the gold from the ore. This technique was first used in Canada at the Mikado Mine in the Lake-of-the-Woods Region again made accessible by the CPR. The CPR also provided access the B.C. interior where lead, copper, silver and gold ores had been discovered in the Rossland area in 1891. The ores were transported to Trail, B.C. where they were roasted. After CPR built the Crowsnest Pass it purchased the Trail roasting facility and in 1899 built a blast furnace to smelt lead ore. In 1902 the first electrolytic lead refining plant using the Betts Cell Process began operation in Trail. The Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Ltd. was founded as a CPR subsidiary and began to develop the Sullivan Mine with its lead, zinc and silver ores, in Kimberley in 1909. [Mouat, Jeremy, Metal Mining in Canada, 1840 -1950, Transformation Series 9, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, 2000.]
The techniques of
coal miningwere introduced to Canada in 1720 in what is now Cape Breton, on a coal seam on the north side of Cow Bay. The coal was used as fuel for the inhabitants at Louisburg. Large scale mining developed the Sydney area in particular and continued until 1876 by which time easily reached deposits had been exhausted. However mining continued with tunnels extending out under the sea. The coal was used to power steam locomotives and in latter years to make steel, provide fuel for central heating and provide the volatile gases that formed the basis for the coal gasification and related chemical industries. In 1893, a number of Nova Scotia collieries including the Bridgeport, Caledonia, Clyde, Gardiner, Glace Bay, Gowrie, Lingan, Lorway, Schooner Pond and Victoria were united to form the Dominion Coal Company which by 1912 produced 40% of Canada’s total coal output. [Muise, McIntosh, Coal Mining in Canada: A Historical and Comparative Overview, Transformation Series 5, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, 1996]
The wheat economy developed on the prairies during these years. Agriculture in that region had begun around the Red River Colony in 1812, based on French Canadian survey techniques for land division and Scottish farming practices. The "infield" consisting of long narrow strips of land rising from the Red River Valley gave way to the "outfield" of pasture lands. Confederation spurred interest in western agriculture with the government of Canada subsequently purchasing Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1870 and suppressing Metis resistance to eastern intervention with armed force that included the use of the Gatling gun in 1885. Conditions were best suited for the growing of wheat but a naturally dry climate and a short growing season as well as low grain prices made the 1890s difficult. However the difficulties were overcome. Reduced rail transportation costs which helped ease the burden of getting wheat to market and a rise in wheat prices served to encourage the development of the industry. The introduction in 1907 of the Canadian developed genetically modified Marquis
wheatwith its hardy growing characteristics helped overcome arduous climatic conditions. Immigration stimulated by the policies of Federal Minister Clifford Sifton provided labour for increased production. The introduction of steam and gas tractorsand the threshing machinealso caused a dramatic increase in crop yield. Between 1901 and 1931 land under cultivation on the prairies grew from 1.5 to 16.4 hectares. In the 1870s and 1880s ranching gained prominence as well in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta where dry and even drought like conditions were eventually overcome with irrigation after the introduction of irrigation in 1894.
dairy industrywith its associated techniques took root in Canada in the 1860s. The process for the factory production of cheesewas developed by Jesse Williams in New York in 1851. The first Canadian cheese factory was built in Oxford County, Ontario in 1864 and was followed by a factory in Dunham, Quebec in 1865. By 1873, Canada was home to about 200 cheese factories. The first creamery of note was built at Helena, Quebec in 1873 while in 1883 the first Canadian producer of condensed milkbegan operation in Truro, Nova Scotia. In 1904 a company in Bowmanville, Ontario began Canada’s first powdered milkproduction operation. The large scale home delivery of milk began in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal in 1900.
Materials: Railway and locomotive construction in the latter nineteenth century created a huge demand for
steel. The Bessemer furnace at the Algom steel mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario went into operation in 1902. The Montreal Rolling Mills Co, The Hamilton Steel and Iron Co, the Canada Screw Company, the Canada Bolt and Nut Company, and the Dominion Wire Manufacturing Company were consolidated in 1910 to form the The Steel Company of Canada headquartered in Toronto. With mills located in Hamilton and other cities it was the largest producer of steel in Canada for most of the century. Its competitor, the Dominion Steel Castings Company Limited founded in 1912, renamed the Dominion Foundries and Steel Company in 1917 and Dofascoin 1980, had its Hamilton facilities located next to those of Stelco. Portland cementwas imported from England to Canada in barrels during the nineteenth century complimenting the modest production of hydraulic cement that began in in Hull, Quebec in 1830. By 1889 there were noted increases in the output of cement in Hull and other cement factories were built in Montreal, Napanee and Shallow Lake Ontario and in Vancouver in 1893.
The modern version of
plywoodwas invented in the US in 1905 in Portland, Oregon. In 1913, the Fraser Mills in New Westminster, British Columbia produced the first Canadian plywood, primarily from Douglas-fir. This new material eventually found use in a wide variety of structures including, auto running boards, paneling, subfloors, roof sheathing, wall sheathing, shipping crates and during World War II, the manufacturing of aircraft and small ships. The pulp and paperindustry also developed during these years. The sulphite pulp process developed in the US in 1866 became the basis for the Canadian industry. The first sulphite pulp mill in Canada, the Halifax Wood Fibre Company, was established in Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia in 1885. Others followed including plants in Cornwall, Ontario, 1888, Hull, Quebec, 1889, Chatham, Quebec, 1889, the biggest, the Riordon Company in Merritton, Ontario in 1890 and in Hawkesbury, Ontario, 1898. The closely related sulphate pulp process was introduced in Canada in 1907 when the Brompton Pulp & Paper Company began operation in East Angus, Quebec. This process dominates the industry to this day. The pulp slurry was fed in a continuous stream into a paper making machine that flattened, pressed and dried it into newsprint on huge rolls many metres wide and containing thousands of meters of paper.
The distillation of products from wood characterized the transition from the use of natural chemical products (
chemical industry) to that of fully synthetic products. The Rathburn Company of Toronto began to produce distillates including, wood alcohol and calcium acetate, used to make acetic acid or acetone, in 1897. The Standard Chemical Company of Toronto established in 1897, initiated the production of acetic acid in 1899 and formaldehyde, from the oxidation of wood alcohol, in 1909. This later product was an essential element in the production of the fully synthetic, phenol-formaldehyde plastic ( Bakelite).
Light Manufacturing: The very popular and practical
tin canwas introduced during this period. In the 1880s George Dunning built Canada's first canning factory in Prince Edward County, Ontario, for the canning of fruits and vegetables. By 1900 there were eight such factories in Canada, four of which were in that same county and within a few years canning factories were found all across the country. In the forties, high-temperature canning, which sterilized the contents of the can and permitted long-term storage, was introduced.
cigarettebegan to make its mark during these years. D. Ritchie and Co. began to manufacture the Derby brand in a factory on Dalhousie Street in Montreal in the late nineteenth century. About the same time the American Cigarette Company also of Montreal began to produce cigarettes in a factory on Cote Street. In 1895 the American Tobacco Company, a US owned organization, acquired both of these operations, which were then spun off to a newly formed Canadian subsidiary, the American Tobacco Co. of Canada Ltd. which produced the popular Sweet Caporal brand. This company was in turn acquired by the Imperial Tobacco Company of Canada Limited in 1912 which manufactured cigarettes, smoking and chewing tobacco, little cigars and after 1921, big cigars and became Canada’s largest manufacturer of tobacco products.
The first practical safety razor was developed in the US by
King Camp Gillettein 1901. He formed the Gillette Safety Razor Company in 1902 and by 1908 had a manufacturing and distribution company in Montreal for the Canadian market. In 1896 Colgate & Company ( Colgate-Palmolive) began to manufacture toothpastein a collapsible tube in New York. Colgate established its first international subsidiary in Canada in 1914 and began to manufacture and market toothpaste there for the Canadian market.
Office Automation: Business and public administration was improved and simplified with the introduction of the
typewriterwhich acquired a familiar standardized form by about 1910. Features included the "qwerty" keyboard, the typebar, ribbon, cylinder and carriage return lever. Popular models in Canada were manufactured by the U.S. Remington and Underwood companies among others. The introduction of the mechanical desk top calculator complimented that of the typewriter. Most machines used in Canada we manufactured in the U.S. by companies such as Friden, Monroe, and SCM/Marchant. The Gestetner copy machine which used the stencil technique to reproduce copies of documents was invented in England in 1881 by David Gestetnerand quickly became popular in offices around the world including those in Canada.
Public Works and Civil Engineering: Notable works of civil engineering realized during these years included: the Lakehead Terminal Grain Elevators, 1882, the Naden First Graving Dock, Esquimalt, British Columbia, 1887, the St. Clair Railway Tunnel, Sarnia, Ontario, 1890 and the
Alexandra Bridge, Ottawa, Ontario – Hull, Quebec, 1900. The new century witnessed the completion of: the Lethbridge Viaduct, Lethbridge, Alberta, 1909, the Spiral Tunnels, Hector to Field BC, 1909, the St. Andrew's Lock and Dam, Lockport, Manitoba, 1910, the Brooks Aqueduct, Brooks, Albert, 1914, the Quebec Bridge, Ste-Foy, Quebec, 1916, the Connaught Tunnel, Rogers Pass, BC, 1916, the Ogden Point Breakwater and Docks, Victoria, British Columbia, 1917, the Prince Edward Viaduct, Toronto, Ontario, 1919, the Shoal Lake Aqueduct, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1919 and the Trent-Severn Waterway, Ontario, 1920. Baseballin Canada received its first permanent home with the construction in 1877 of Tecumseh Park, built in London, Ontario for the London Tecumsehs baseball team. Other fields followed including Sunlight Park, in Toronto, 1886, Atwater Park, Montreal, in 1890 and Hanlan's Point Ball Field, 1897, in Toronto home of the Maple Leafs.
Waste Disposal: Sewerage systems were built in substantial numbers but were not as common as water supply systems. By 1910 there were 419 waterworks plants in Canada compared to 155 sewerage systems in 1916. Some of the first included Vancouver, B.C., in 1886 and Charlottetown, PEI,in 1898. While the systems collected sewage and liquid waste from homes, public and commercial buildings and industrial sites, in most cases they merely displaced the problem for most emptied their contents into a nearby river or lake or in the case of coastal cities, the ocean, without treatment. In Halifax by 1907, every sewer was required by law to discharge into Halifax Harbour. One notable exception was the
Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plantopened in Toronto in 1912 for the treatment of that cities' sewage which until then flowed directly into Lake Ontario. A similar facility, the North Toronto Sewage Treatment Plant, began operations in 1929.
The disposal of solid waste became a considerable problem as towns and cities grew.By the mid-nineteenth century a number of Canadian municipalities used horse-drawn wagons for curb-side garbage collection. The refuse was usually taken to a field or dump or in some instances piled along the bank of a nearby river or lake. With the arrival of motor power, the use of the garbage truck became common although the method of disposing of the garbage remained the same.
Skyscrappers and Architecture: It was the age of the
skyscraper. The first in Canada was the eight floor New York Life Insurance Co Building in Montreal, 1887–89, although it did not have a steel frame. The first self-supporting steel framed skyscraper in Canada was the Robert Simpson Department Store at the corner of Yonge and Queen in Toronto with its six floors and electric elevators, built in 1895. The race to build the tallest structure in the British Empire set off a competition among cities across Canada. Successive record holders included: the Traders Bank of Canada, 15 floors, Yonge St, Toronto, 1905, the Dominion Building, 13 floors, Vancouver, 1910, World (Sun) Tower, 17 floors, Vancouver, 1912, the Canadian Pacific Building, 16 floors, Toronto, 1913, the Royal Bank, 20 floors, Toronto, 1915, the Royal Bank, Montreal, 1928, the Royal York Hotel, Toronto, 1929 and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Toronto, in 1931. Canada's first escalator was installed in 1904 at Eaton's Department Store on Queen St., in Toronto.
A number of grand hotels also opened during these years including: the
Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta, 1888, the Algonquin, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, 1889, the Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, City, 1893, the Queen's, Montreal, 1893, the "new" Chateau Lake Louise, Lake Louise, Alberta, 1894, the Manoir Richelieu, Point-au-Pic, Quebec, 1899, the Royal Muskoka Hotel, Muskoka, Ontario, 1901, the King Edward Hotel, Toronto, 1903, the Royal Alexandra Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1906, the Empress Hotel, Victoria, British Columbia, 1908, the Ritz-Carleton, Montreal, 1912, the Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, Ontario, 1912, the Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipg, 1913, the Palliser Hotel, Calgary, Alberta, 1914 and the Hotel MacDonald, Edmonton, 1915.
Central heating: The construction of skyscrapers, grand hotels and other large buildings lead to the development of
central heating, an essential feature in Canada's cold climate. Up to that time large buildings and homes were heated with fireplaces and iron stoves that used wood or coal as fuel. The construction of large multi-story buildings made this impractical. Fireplaces and stoves on the lower floors would have long flues and would not draw properly. On the upper floors it would be necessary to transport fuel and to remove ashes up and down many flights of stairs or with an elevator. Central heating solved these problems. In 1832 Angier March Perkinsa British inventor developed a steam heating system for domestic use. This inspired the use of closed circuit hot water systems for large buildings. A metal furnace in the basement using wood or coal was used to heat water in a tank which was in turn was circulated by an electric pump through a system of iron pipes throughout the building to radiators in rooms where it lost its heat to the ambient air. The cooler water then returned to the water heater with the help of gravity where it was reheated and recirculated. Large systems could be used to heat several buildings in a city block. In the twentieth century such systems were used to provide heat to small communities such as university campuses, northern industrial towns or military bases. Smaller systems were used in private homes. Another technique, the “convection method” was introduced to domestic dwellings at this time. A metal furnace in the basement, using wood or coal as fuel, would heat air in a plenum which would rise by convection through a series of metal ducts into the rooms of the house above. When the air cooled it would fall to the floor and return to the plenum through another series of metal return ducts. In later years an electric fan was used to “force” the hot air from the plenum through the ducts.
Domestic and Consumer Technology:
Suburbiamade its first appearance on the edge of the commercial/industrial core of most large cities. The growing popularity of the automobile and the extension of electric street railways radiating from the city centre provided transport for a newly affluent middle class. Houses were often of the bungalowtype and were sited away from the street with a front and back yard and usually a back ally which served as a service route for coal, ice, milk and bread delivery. Houses were often made of brick and built with a full basement which provided space for a coal fired furnace for central heating. Plasterwalls and hardwood floors were standard. They were equipped with all the modern conveniences including electricity, an electric or gas stove, an ice box, which was eventually replaced by an electric refrigerator, running water, a flush toiletand a sewer pipe running underground to the street. The electric vacuum cleanerwhich had a long history of development in the US and Europe including innovations by H. Cecil Booth, 1901, Walter Griffiths, 1905 and W.H. Hoover, 1908, was introduced during these years. Hoover, who formed the Hoover Suction Sweeper Co. in Ohio in 1910, established a plant in Canada in 1911 and began selling his machines in the Canadian market. Initially the vacuum cleaner was considered a luxury item but in the years following World War II it was a common item in almost every home.
Although gelatin had been familiar to cooks for centuries, a gelatin fruit flavoured desert with the name
Jell-Owas trademarked in the US in 1897. It was introduced to Canada in 1905 when a factory for Canadian production was established Bridgeburg, Ontario. The new century saw the introduction of Coca-Colaas well. The first bottles manufactured for the Canadian market came off the production line in 1906 at the bottling plant at 65 Bellwoods Avenue in Toronto. In the US, Henry John Heinz, introduced tomato ketchup in 1876. The H. J. Heinz Company, built a factory in Leamington, Ontario, the "Tomato Capital of Canada", near Windsor, Ontario and began to manufacture ketchup there for the Canadian and US markets in 1908.
The introduction of the flush toilet in the US and Canada in the 1880s created a market that inspired the invention of rolled
toilet paper. The product was first produced in the US by the Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company in 1877. The US Scott Paper Company began manufacturing toilette paper in 1902 and by 1925 Scott Paper was the largest manufacturer of toilette paper in the world. As early as 1926 the Purex brand had been established in Canada and with the arrival of Scott Paper Canada in 1927 the White Swan brand was introduced. [ Web site, About.com,inventors.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=inventors&cdn=money&tm=14&gps=94_60_978_623&f=10&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.toiletpaperworld.com/tpw/encyclopedia/navigation/funfacts.htm] . Medicine: The introduction of the medical x-rayduring this period dramatically improved medical diagnostics. Discovered by Roentgen in Germany in 1895, x-ray units were in operation at the Toronto and Montreal General Hospitals by the turn of the century. The sphygmomanometer or blood pressure meter, that familiar device employing a cuff placed around the patients arm, found its way into the office of most Canadian doctors in the early twentieth century. The spread of bovine tuberculosis a crippling childhood disease, was curbed through the introduction of pasteurized milk in Montreal and Toronto at the turn of the century. This practice was soon followed by the dairy industry across Canada. Bayer began marketing the wonder drug of the age, Aspirin, in 1899. It was an instant success and quickly became popular in Canada. Originally sold as a powder, the tablet was introduced in 1914. A very important step in the mass production of medical products was taken that same year when Dr. John Fitzgerald founded an institution that would be named the Connaught Laboratoriesin 1917, at the University of Toronto. Initially the laboratories produced vaccines and antitoxins for smallpox, tetanus, diphtheria and rabies. In 1922 after the Nobel Prize winning work on Dr. Banting and Dr. Best the facility began to manufacture insulin.
Defence: In 1885 the newly introduced
gatling gunwas first used by Canadian troops during the Riel Rebellion. The 12-pounder field gun was used by Canadian soldiers in the Boer War. The 13 and 18 pound muzzle loading gun with modern recoil and sighting systems were acquired at the turn of the century. A notable acquisition was the first breech loading gun, in Canadian use, the 13-pounder quick-firing (Q.F.) and 18-pounder Q.F. firing shrapnel and high explosive rounds, in 1905. The Royal Canadian Navyfounded in 1910, took possession of two tired steel-hulled former Royal Navy cruisers, the Rainbow, in 1910, stationed Esquimalt on the west coast and the Niobe at Halifax on the east coast.
A reflection of this intense engineering activity is seen in the founding of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering in 1887.
Killing Machines I: Artillery and machine guns (1914–1918)
Operational Technologies: In Europe the most deadly weapon of the war, by far was the
artillerypiece. The Canadian Armyacquired hundreds of guns during the war and used them with deadly effect on the German army. Guns included : the 13-pounder with the RCHA, the “turned up” anti-aircraft 13-pounder mounted on a truck, the 18-pounder ( Ordnance QF 18 pounder) and 4.5-inch howitzer in the field artillery, the 60-pounder, 6-inch, 8-inch and 9.2-inch heavy guns in garrison, 12-inch howitzers and 15-inch howitzers ( BL 15 inch Howitzer) and 6-inch Newton mortars and 9.45 inch Heavy Mortar. Of note is the fact that these weapons were moved about the battlefield with teams of horses. The infantry took the machine gun into battle for the first time and was equipped with the Colt machine gun, the Vickers machine gunand the Lewis machine gun. The infantry also used the .303 rifle, including the much despised Canadian Ross Mark III from 1913 to 1916 and the British Lee Enfield (SMLE) Mark III, from 1916. [Morton, Desmond, A Military History of Canada, Hurtig, Edmonton, 1990]
Royal Canadian Navywas a coastal defence organization during the First World War, equipped with a rag-tag collection of small ships that patrolled the east coast for German submarines. Built in shipyards in Ontario and Quebec notable classes of vessel included: the TR 1 to 60 series of large minesweeping trawlers based on the Royal Navy Castle Class, the C.D. 1 to 100 series of wooden-hulled drifters used for minesweeping and patrol duties and 12 Battle Class trawlers armed with a single small deck gun in the bow. [Macpherson, Burgess, The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910–1985, Collins, Toronto, 1981]
Canadians flew in large numbers with the
Royal Flying Corpsand the Royal Air Forceduring the war, but Canada did not provide any combat aircraft of note in that conflict. The Royal Flying Corps of Canada in 1917 established a number of bases at and around Camp Borden ( CFB Borden) in southern Ontario to train pilots for the front in Europe. To meet the need for aircraft, Curtiss Aircraft of Toronto supplied hundreds of Curtiss JN-4training planes using assembly line techniques, making it the first mass produced aircraft in Canada.
wrist watchwas introduced during the war as a tool to help the precise timing of attacks. It was used by Canadian gunners, infantry and airmen. After the war, returning soldiers, now civilians, continued to use their watches as part of their daily routine and it became popular with other civilian men and women.
Support Technologies: Canada produced vast quantities of explosives in the form of
Cordite, nitrocelluloseand trinitrotoluene(TNT) during the Great War. Cordite was manufactured at Beloeil and Nobel, Quebec, by Canadian Explosives Limited and at Nobel by British Cordite Limited. Nitrocellulose was produced by a number of companies including, Aetna Chemical Company of Drummondville, Quebec, British Chemical Company at Trenton, Ontario and O'Brien Munitions Limited of Renfrew, Ontario. TNT was produced in Desoronto starting in 1915. [Warrington, Newbold, Chemical Canada: Past and Present, The Chemical Institute of Canada, Ottawa, 1970]
The Automobile Age: Cars, planes and radios (1920–1950)
The post-WWI era saw the introduction of a plethora of technologies including: the car, air service, air navigation, paved roads, radio, the telephone, refrigeration, wonder drugs and powered farming, mining and forestry equipment.
Transportation, the Car and Airplane: The
Ford Motor Company of Canada, founded in Windsor, Ontario in 1904, was the first major company to introduce the automobile to Canada. It manufactured cars in that city and was the first company to use the assembly line manufacturing technique in Canada. In 1918 the McLaughlin Motor Company, Ltd. of Oshawa, Ontario and the Chevrolet Motor Company of Canada Ltd. merged to form General Motors of Canadaand became a subsidiary of the US-owned General Motors Corporation. The company manufactured Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Oaklands on its assembly line in Oshawa. . [Robertson, Heather, Driving Force, The McLaughlin Family and the Age of the Car, McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 1995.] Chrysler Canada, established in Windsor, began vehicle assembly in that city in 1936. Studebaker Canada Ltd.manufactured cars and trucks at a plant in Hamilton, Ontario from 1947 to 1966.
The automobile was a hit with Canadians. In 1904 there were 535 cars in Ontario, by 1913 there were 50,000 in Canada, by 1916, 123,000, by 1922, 513,000 and by 1930, 1,076,000. Of note was Thomas Wilby's Trans-Canada road trip, the first by automobile across Canada, from Halifax to Victoria, in 1912, on a series of highways that became known as the All Red Route. As the car gained in popularity local automobile clubs were founded. In 1913 nine of these clubs from across the country got together to form the
Canadian Automobile Association.
gasolineand the first service station in Canada was built in Vancouver on Smythe Street in 1907. Most early stations were informal curb-side affairs and it was not until the twenties that the filling station as we know it began to appear, with Imperial Oilbuilding architect-designed stations for its customers. By 1928 Imperial had evolved three standard filling station designs for different locations: business district, urban residential and small town/leased property. In the 1920s, gasoline itself was modified by the addition of tetra-ethyl leadto reduce premature detonation of the gas-air mixture in the cylinder, commonly described as knock, in internal combustion engines. Both health and environmental problems would later become associated with leaded gasoline.
The popularity of the car also had a dramatic impact on urban infrastructure and roads in particular. The dirt, gravel, tar and occasionally cobblestone that characterized most city roads was inadequate for the automobile and towns and cities and provinces across Canada began paving projects creating roads of asphalt and concrete that were more suitable. The
traffic lightwas also introduced to help regulate the congestion that began to arise in the twenties especially in larger cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The first in Canada was installed at the corner of Bloor St. and Yonge St. in Toronto in 1925. [Guillet, Edwin C., The Story of Canadian Roads, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1967] .
The car began to compete with the
streetcarin the thirties and forties and many cities reduced or abandoned this service. New suburbs were built without streetcar lines and urban diesel powered buses were used to provide public transport. Only a handful of cities continued to maintain streetcar service into the fifties and beyond, most notably Toronto which to this day has a very elaborate public streetcar network.
The auto-craze gave rise to a booming do-it-yourself car maintenance and repair movement with businesses specializing in car parts and tools becoming popular. One of the notable firm in this field, the familiar,
Canadian Tire, began operations in Toronto in 1922 and has become one of Canada's largest retailers.
Long distance travel by aircraft became increasingly important and practical in the post war years. Taking off in a Vickers Vimy IV bomber from Lester's Field in St. Johns, Newfoundland on 14 June 1919, John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown, (
Alcock and Brown) made the first trans-Atlantic flight, crash landing in Ireland 16 hours later. The first cross Canada flight was a ten day trip beginning in Halifax on 7 October 1920 and ending in Vancouver on ten days later.
In the twenties and thirties the Canadian north was developed with the help of hundreds of small float equipped "bush planes" used to fly men and supplies to mining, forestry, trapping and fishing camps. The first commercial air passenger flight in Canada was made in 1920, when two bush pilots flew a fur buyer from Winnipeg to The Pas, Manitoba. National passenger air service was introduced by
Trans-Canada Airlinesbeginning in 1937 and Canadian Pacific Airlinesstarting in 1942.
Of note was the attempt by Britain to establish an airship service between that country and Canada and a related test flight by the British built dirigible the
R-100was made in July 1930. After a successful crossing of the Atlantic the giant craft moored at a mast especially constructed for that purpose at St.Hubert near Montreal. The ship flew on to Toronto before finally returning to Britain. However technical problems with the craft prevented further flights and the idea of a Trans-Atlantic lighter-than-air passenger service was abandoned.
To facilitate the development of a national aviation service the Government of Canada created a kind of national highway in the sky called the Trans-Canada Airway consisting of airports, radio and weather services and lighting for night flying, at various locations across Canada. Construction started in 1929 but was slowed by the depression. The western leg from Vancouver to Winnipeg was completed in 1938. The section from Winnipeg to Toronto and Montreal was inaugurated in 1939 and the extensions to Moncton, Halifax and St. John's completed in 1940, 1941 and 1942 respectively. [Milberry, Larry, Aviation in Canada, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto, 1979]
Communications, the Radio: In 1901,
Guglielmo Marconisent radio signals across the Atlantic ocean. He established a machine to produce electromagnetic waves at Cornwall in England and a machine to detect these waves at Signal Hill in St. John’s Newfoundland. On 12 December 1901 he announced that he had received the transmission of waves sent by the transmitter in England at the station in St John’s. [Babaian, Sharon, A., Radio Communication in Canada : An Historical and Technological Survey, The Transformation Series, No. 1, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, Canada, 1992, p. 11.] In Montreal, in 1920, XWA ( CINW (AM)) became the first commercial AM radio broadcaster in the world. The following year CKAC became the first French- language AM radio broadcaster in Canada. State operated national radio broadcasting chains were established beginning in the late twenties including: the CNR National Radio Network, 1927, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission Radio Network, 1932 and the Canadian Broadcasting CorporationRadio Network, 1936. Private independent AM broadcast operations sprouted like mushrooms in cities large and small across Canada during the thirties and forties. Canadian Marconi Company ( CMC Electronics) formed in Montreal in 1903 and Northern Electric, manufactured radios for home use, the first mass produced electronic equipment in Canada.
The Canadian film industry experienced mixed success during the twenties and thirties. Film maker Ernest Shipman produced five features between 1920 and 1923 before meeting with financial failure. The successful Canadian-owned Allen Theatre chain attained an important place in the exhibition market before being taken over by Famous Players Canadian Corporation (
Cineplex Entertainment) in 1923. Associated Screen News of Canadain Montreal produced two notable newsreel series, "Kinograms" in the twenties and "Canadian Cameo" from 1932 to 1953. The thirties saw the regular production of short films by the newly created Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau. British law encouraging filmmaking in the Commonwealth lead Hollywood to circumvent the spirit of the concept by establishing film production companies to make American films in Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Victoria. These companies produced a small number of features but closed operations when the British law was changed to exclude their films. In 1941 Odeon Theatres of Canada, opened a new cinema chain to compete with Famous Players.
The making of documentary films grew tremendously during World War II with the creation of the
National Film Board of Canadain 1939. By 1945 it was one of the major film production studios in the world with a staff of nearly 800 and over 500 films to its credit including the very popular, "The World in Action" and "Canada Carries On", series of monthly propaganda films.
Aluminumalso became popular during these years. In 1902, attracted by the availability of cheap hydro power, the Aluminum Company of America established a Canadian subsidiary, the Northern Aluminum Company ( Alcan) at Shawinigan Falls, Quebec to produce that metal using the electrolysis technique. Corporate changes lead to the creation of the Aluminum Company of Canada (Alcan)in 1925 and in 1926 the company constructed a giant aluminum smelter at a place it named Arvida, Quebec. Once again the site was chosen for the availability of cheap hydro electricity and the proximity of a deep-water port at Bagotville for large ships carrying bauxite or aluminum ore. World War II acceleratd the demand for aluminum, which was the principle material in aircraft production and the Arvida facility was greatly expanded. In 1958 another huge Alcan smelter was built at Kitimat, British Columbia.
The growth in popularity of the car also created a need for rubber for automobile tires. Accelerated by the emergency of World War II a substantial
synthetic rubberproduction industry was established at Sarnia, Ontario in the early forties. The oil refineries there provided a ready source of raw materials. In particular, the Suspensiod crackers operated there by Imperial Oil produced large quantities of hydrocarbon gases. These were used by a new Crown enterprise, Polymer Corporationcreated in 1942, and associated private companies, St. Clair Processing Corporation Ltd., Dow Chemical of Canada Ltd., and Canadian Synthetic Rubber Ltd., itself a subsidiary of four Canadian rubber companies, Dominion, Firestone, Goodyear and Goodrich, to produce both GR-S and butyl type synthetic rubber. Initially production was destined for war time use on military vehicles but in post-war years output was quickly redirected to civilian automobile production. [Warrington, Newbold, Chemical Canada: Past and Present, The Chemical Institute of Canada, Ottawa, 1970] Plasticswere also introduced during these years. In Toronto, Plastics Ltd., began to produce Bakelite soon after its invention in 1909. Another firm, Canadian Electro Products of Shawinigan, Quebec, invented polyvinyl acetatewhich was used in copolymer resins and water based paints. The wartime production of nitrocellulose naturally lead to the manufacture at Shawinigan in 1932, of transparent cellulose film used for packaging. What is now called fibreglasswas invented in the US in 1938 at Owens-Corningby Russell Games Slayterand introduced to Canada shortly thereafter.. [Warrington, Newbold, Chemical Canada: Past and Present, The Chemical Institute of Canada, Ottawa, 1970]
The closely related synthetic textile industry appeared in the years just after the First War. The production of artificial silk, more properly known as viscose
rayon, made from bleached wood pulp, began in Cornwall, Ontario in 1925, in a factory built by Courtaulds(Canada). A year later CelaneseCanada began making acetate yarn in a new plant in Drummondville, Quebec. DuPontCanada was the first to manufacture nylonyarn in Canada at its factory in Kingston, Ontario in 1942. This secret material was initially used for parachutes but following the war was used to make nylon stockings.. [Warrington, Newbold, Chemical Canada: Past and Present, The Chemical Institute of Canada, Ottawa, 1970]
Industry: With the rail building era coming to an end, the rise of the
automotive industryin southern Ontario provided the Hamilton steel mills of the Steel Company of Canada and the Dominion Foundries and Steel Company with a new market. Dofasco introduced the basic oxygen steelmakingat its mills in Hamilton in 1954. In the latter part of the century, Algoma, in Sault Ste. Marie, built coke oven batteries and blast furnaces, while phasing out the open-hearth and Bessemer steel-making process in favour of the basic oxygen steel-making.
The industrial production of
breadbecame notable during these years. At the beginning of the twentieth century it is estimated that only about 8% of Canadian wives bought bread commercially. However the industrial production of bread grew impressively and by the 1960’s, 95% of homemakers purchased bread commercially. One bakery of note, The Canada Bread Company Limited, was founded in 1911 as the result of the amalgamation of five smaller companies. Industrial bakeries such as this were characterized by the use of large machines for the mixing of dough, which was placed in pans on slow moving conveyor belts that transported them through giant ovens where they were baked. Large automated packaging machines wrapped the finished loaves at great speed. Improvements in transportation and packaging technology throughout the decades allowed a shrinking number of bakeries to serve every larger markets. In 1939 there were about 3200 commercial bakeries across the country but by 1973 the figure stood at 1700, while in 1981 there were 1400. Meat packinggrew to become Canada's most important food processing industry during this period. In Calgary, Alberta, in 1890, Pat Burns established P. Burns and Company, which became the largest meat processor in western Canada. In Toronto in 1896 the innovative Harris Abbatoir was established to export chilled sides of beef to the British market. The industry grew rapidly during the war, supplying meat to Canadian and British troops overseas. However it underwent a period of consolidation in the twenties due to a loss of markets. This lead to the merger of two major players, William Davies and the Harris Abattoir, to form Canada Packersin Toronto. By 1930, "The Big Three", meat packers in Canada were Canada Packers, Swift Canadian and P.Burns and Company in Calgary, Alberta.
The increasing popularity of the electric
refrigeratorin Canadian restaurants and homes made in practical for manufacturers to make available various frozen foods. The first such offering, a frozen strawberry pack was produced in Montreal and Ottawa beginning in 1932 by Heeney Frosted Foods Ltd.
Consumer Technology: Cold
breakfast cerealbecame increasingly popular during these years. Wheat and later corn flakes were developed in the US by the Kellogg brothers in 1894 and the Kellogg Company was formed in 1906. In London, Ontario the Canadian Corn Company purchased the rights to manufacture and distribute Toasted Corn Flakes for Canadian distribution. In 1924 the American Kellogg Company purchased the London operation and formed Kellogg Canada Inc.. Since that time the company has manufactured and distributed in Canada a wide variety of breakfast cereals including Corn Flakes, 1907, Bran Flakes, 1915, All Bran, 1916 and Rice Krispies, 1928.
Although neither the tin can nor soup were remarkable in any way in the thirties, the combination of the two in the form of the well known Campbell’s soup was very popular. The
Campbell Soup Companyintroduced its soup products to Canada in 1930, making them at its factory in Toronto on the lakeshore. Instant coffeewas another tasty innovation introduced during these years. The inventor and world leader in the manufacture of instant coffee, the Swiss based NestléCompany began operations in Canada with the production of canned condensed milk at its plant, The Maple Leaf Condensed Milk Company, in Chesterville, Ontario in 1918. Head office research invented instant coffee and began selling it around the world including Canada, as Nescafe in 1938. It became hugely popular with allied troops during World War II. In 1952 the instant chocolate drink, Nestle Quik, was introduced to Canada.
sanitary napkinand Kleenexbrand facial tissue were introduced in the 1920s. Kimberly, Clark and Co. ( Kimberly Clark), formed in the US in 1872, invented cellucotton in 1914. It used this material as the basis for a sanitary napkin and marketed the product as Kotexbeginning in 1920. Kleenex, initially intended for the removal of face cream, was introduced in 1924. In 1925 the company formed what would become, Canadian Cellucotton Products Limited, for the marketing of these and other products in Canada and internationally. The first practical electric razor, the Sunbeam “Shavemaster” and the Remington “Close Shaver” made available in the US in 1937 and in Canada shortly thereafter.
Architecture, Civil Engineering and Public Works: The grand hotel continued to make a mark with new structures including: the Bigwinn Inn, Muskoka, Ontario, 1920, the
Jasper Park Lodge, Jasper, Alberta, 1922, the Hotel Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, 1926, the Hotel Saskatchewan, Regina, Saskatchewan, 1927, the Prince of Wales Hotel, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, 1927, the Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1928, The Pines, Digby, Nova Scotia, 1929, the Royal York Hotel, Toronto, 1929, the Chateau Montebello, Montebello, Quebec, 1930, the Nova Scotian Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1930, the Charlottetown Hotel, Charlottetown, P.E.I. and the Bessborough Hotel, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1935.
In 1875 in Montreal, a McGill student, J. Creighton, established the basic rules for
hockeyas we know it today. The world's first facility dedicated to hockey, the Westmount Arena was built in Montreal in 1898 while the first industrial refrigeration equipment for making artificial ice in Canada was installed in 1911 by Frank and Lester Patrick for their new arenas in Vancouver and Victoria. With the development of wide span roof structures the construction of large indoor ice rink stadiums became possible. These two technologies were used to build the Montreal Forum, home of the legendary Montreal Canadienshockey team, in Montreal in 1924 and Maple Leaf Gardenshome of the Toronto Maple Leafs, in that city in 1931. Baseball's facilities were upgraded with construction of the new Maple Leaf Stadium on Lakeshore Drive in Toronto in 1926 and the De Lormier Downs Stadium (Hector Racine Stadium), in Montreal in 1927. Civic Stadium, now Ivor Wynne Stadium, was built in Hamilton, Ontario in 1930, to host the British Empire Games held there that year.
Canada’s first major
roller coasterthe Crystal Beach Cyclonewas built at the Crystal Beach Amusement park in 1927. It quickly gained a reputation for its wild and even violent ride and one passenger, Amos Wiedrich was killed in 1938 when he stood up to take off his coat while the coaster was in motion.
Other notable engineering works of the period included: the R.C. Harris Filtration Plant, Toronto, Ontario, 1926, the Ocean Terminals, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1928, the
Ambassador Bridge, Windsor-Detroit, 1929, the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, 1930, the Broadway Bridge, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1932, the Lion's Gate Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1938, the Queen Elizabeth Way, Ontario, 1939 and the Alaska Highway, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, 1942.
Medicine: Medical treatment benefited from the introduction of the
electrocardiograph, used to diagnose heart problems, in large hospitals in the late twenties. There were also important innovations with respect to the treatment of epilepsy during this period. In Montreal, Dr. Wilder Penfield, with a grant from the US Rockefeller Foundation founded the Montreal Neurological Instituteat the Royal Victoria Hospital (Montreal), in 1934 to study and treat epilepsy and other neurological diseases.
Defence: The military suffered a huge decline in the twenties and thirties. The
Royal Canadian Air Forcefounded in 1924, was largely a bush and float plane operation. Only in the thirties did it acquire a modest combat capability with a handful of British Armstrong Whitworth Siskinfighters and a squadron of Hawker Hurricanefighters as the clouds of war grew menacing. The Royal Canadian Navy, perpetually starved for equipment acquired its first custom-built ships, the destroyers HMCS Saguenay (D79)and HMCS Skeena (D59)on May 22, 1931. In 1929 the army began to retire its horses and was issued four 6-wheeled Leyland tractors in 1929, to tow its 60-pound guns. Four 3-inch 20-cwt. anti-aircraft guns were taken on strength in 1937.
As a reflection of this intense and diverse engineering activity, the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers was established in 1936. This organization was renamed
Engineers Canadain 2007.
Killing Machines II: Bombers, tanks, corvettes and radar (1939–1945)
Operational Technologies: Under the emergency of World War II and almost from a standing start, the government of Canada acquired an impressive array of war machines and became a major combatant. [Morton, Desmond, A Military History of Canada, Hurtig, Edmonton, 1990]
Home defence came first. An integrated air-defence system, based on the one built by the RAF during the Battle of Britain was established. Radar chains were constructed on the east and west coasts to guide the squadrons of Hurricane
fighter aircraftbased there, to enemy targets. Fortunately none came! Within the context of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, dozens of airfields were built across Canada and thousands of training aircraft purchased to train aircrew for the Commonwealth nations.
Off the east coast the
Royal Canadian Navyacquired hundreds of corvettesto hunt for and kill Nazi submarines. The RCAFjoined the hunt with Lockheed Hudson, Canso ( PBY Catalina) and later long range Liberator ( B-24 Liberator) bombers. The merchant marine took possession of hundreds of cargo ships including the versatile Fleet and Fort series of vessels to deliver vital supplies to Britain.
In Britain a squadron of RCAF Hurricane fighters participated in the
Battle of Britain. RCAF squadrons equipped with Vickers Wellington, Handley Page Halifaxand later Avro Lancasterbombers rained destruction on the Nazis throughout the war.
Canadian Army, RCAF and RCN were an essential part of the invasion at Normandy on D-Day. Royal Canadian Navy landing craftcarried Canadian Army troops, Sherman tanks ( M4 Sherman) and artilleryashore while RCAF Hawker Typhoonfighter-bombers pounded the German 7th Army. RCAF Spitfires patrolled the skies for enemy fighters and RCAF heavy bombers were used for tactical bombing. Radarand explosiveswere an essential part of all this.
Support Technologies: The war created an urgent demand for medical
drugswhich were put to vital use in the treatment of wounded soldiers. Mallinckrodt Chemical Works Ltd. of Montreal began to produce sulfa drugsin 1939. The Connaught Laboratories and Ayerst, McKenna & Harrison of Toronto were innovators in the mass production of penicillin, using the surface culture method, starting in 1943. In Montreal Merck & Company as well as Ayerst, produced the drug, using the deep fementation process. Connaught also produced dried blood plasma.
The cinema and radio went to war as well. The National Film Board of Canada produced its, "Canada Carries On", series of propaganda films and the Government of Canada beamed French-language short-wave radio programmes across the Atlantic to the French in the hopes of inciting them to overthrow the Vichy regime (
On the home front, Canadian industry, using the mass production techniques pioneered by Ford Canada, General Motors of Canada, Chrysler Canada, Canadian Marconi Company, Northern Electric and others, produced thousands of aircraft, tanks, guns, vehicles, small arms, ships, radar and radio sets and huge quantities of shells, bullets and explosives.
The Television Age: TV, nuclear weapons, atomic energy, and computers (1950–1980)
The years following WWII introduced even more innovations including: television, the transistor radio, synthetic fabrics, plastic, computers, super highways, shopping centres, atomic energy, nuclear weapons, transcontinental energy pipelines, long range electric transmission, transcontinental microwave networks, fast food, chemical fertilizer, insecticides, the birth control pill, jet aircraft, cable TV, colour TV, the instant replay, the audio cartridge and audio cassette, satellite communications and continental air defense systems.
Televisionwas introduced to Canada by CBC, first in the French language by CBFT in Montreal on 6 September 1952 and two days later, in English, in Toronto by CBLT. By 1958 the CBC had established its transcontinental television network. The CTV Television Networkwent on the air in 1961 and colour TV came to Canada in the late 1960s. Canadian TV broascasters used the US developed NTSCtechnical standard for their transmissions. Cable TV, which began in the early sixties, as a way of bringing US border TV stations to Canadians living beyond the range of "rabbit ear" reception, rapidly gained popularity as the decade progressed. FM radio was phased in gradually during the 1960s and 1970s. In the early 1980s Canadian Satellite Communications (Cancom) assembled a package of Canadian and American television channels which it offered to remote communities throughout the northern regions of Canada. The signals were distributed by Anik satellite and made available to the local populace through cable. By the later part of the decade several hundred communities were using this service. [Weir, E. Austin, The Struggle for National Broadcasting in Canada, McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 1965.]
The arrival of television created a demand for programming. Initially, many shows were produced live and broadcast directly from the camera in the studio. Film was also used. There were large numbers of Hollywood films available for broadcast and the broadcasters, CBC and CTV, also produced some of their programming on film for eventual broadcast. In the mid-sixties video technology became available and programmes were produced using this medium. Video also permitted the, "
instant replay", which quickly became popular for the live broadcast of sporting events. It was first used on a regular basis in Canada for the broadcast on the very popular, "Hockey Night In Canada". The portable transistor radio also became fashionable in the early sixties, especially among teenagers who used it to listen to popular music on the local AM radio station.
The arrival of television also had an effect on eating habits. In 1953, C.A. Swanson & Sons introduced the
TV dinnerto the US market. The pre-cooked food items, including, meat, potatoes and a vegetable were placed in the segments of an aluminum tray and frozen. The consumer purchased the frozen product and heated it in the oven for about 25 minutes. It could be eaten out of the tray. In 1960, Swanson, a subsidiary of the Campbell Soup Company, built a factory in Listowel, Ontario to manufacture TV dinners and other Campbell frozen products for the Canadian Market.
In the post-war years Canada formalized its wartime
shortwave radiobroadcasting activities with the creation of Radio Canada International. In 1945, this international radio broadcasting service was established with production facilities in Montreal and a huge shortwave transmitter site at Sackville, New Brunswick.
Anik (satellite)series of communications satellites initially built by Hughes Aircraft and operated by Telesat Canadastarting in 1972 formed the basis of the world's first domestic satellite communications service.
The concept and operation of a dedicated emergency telephone number originated in Canada where the City of Winnipeg established the world's first
9-1-1service in 1959. The service eventually spread and was offered continent wide.
Defence: With the advent of the
Cold War, Canada rearmed through the fifties taking steps to defend the homeland from the Soviet bomber threat and to contribute to the NATO defence of Europe. The RCAF acquired a series of successively more capable interceptors, the Vampire, the CF-100 Canuck and the CF-101 Voodoo for the air-defence of Canada. Huge air-defence warning systems, the Pinetree Radar Network, 1954, the Mid-Canada Line, 1957, the Distant Early Warning ( DEW) Line, 1957 were constructed across Canada's north. The Neptune and Argus long range aircraft entered service with the RCAF. The Royal Canadian Navy took possession of aircraft carriers HMCS Magnificent and HMCS Bonaventure (CVL 22)for anti-submarine warfare off the east coast. Embarked aircraft included the Avenger and Tracker ASW machines and the Sea Fury and Banshee fighters. The Navy also acquired modern ASW destroyers and with the innovative Bear Trap landing system pioneered the use of the embarked ASW Sea King helicopter. Three diesel powered Oberon class attack submarines was also acquired. In Europe the RCAF was equipped with several hundred Sabre and subsequently CF-104 fighters based in France and Germany. Army Aviation received a boost at home with the acquisition of the Chinook helicopter and the CF-5 ground support fighter. Canada's Army permanently based in Germany took possession of the Centurion tank, the 155 mm self-propelled howitzer and M-113 armoured personnel carrier.
Nuclear weapons: After considerable political turmoil Canada acquired
nuclear weaponsfrom the Americans under a "dual key" arrangement on 1 January 1963. Genie air-to-air rockets armed with atomic warheads were based at RCAF Stations Comox, British Columbia, Batotville, Quebec, and Chatham, New Brunswick, as the primary weapon for the newly acquired CF-101 interceptor. The nuclear armed BOMARC(Boeing Michigan Air Research Corporation) anti-aircraft missile was based at RCAF Stations North Bay, Ontario, and Lamacaza, Quebec. In Germany, as part of Canada's NATO commitment, nuclear free-fall bombs were acquired for the RCAF CF-104 strike fighter and the Canadian Army in Germany took possession of a battery the Honest Johnsurface-to-surface battlefield rockets armed with nuclear warheads. By 1984 all these atomic weapons had been returned to the United States.
While there were no accidents involving nuclear weapons in Canadian hands there were al least two involving USAF aircraft flying in Canadian airspace. On 14 February 1950 a USAF B-36 heavy bomber, serial 44-92075, carrying one Mark 4 (Fat Man type) atomic bomb experienced multiple engine failures while flying south off the coast of British Columbia and jettisoned the bomb over Squally Channel. The crew bailed out and the plane flew on autopilot for another 330 km before crashing on a mountainside in the Kispiox Valley. In eastern Canada on 10 November 1950, a USAF B-50 heavy bomber, serial 46-038, flying from Goose Bay, Labrador, to the United States, experienced engine trouble and in accordance with standard operating procedures, jettisoned the Mark 4 atomic bomb it was carrying over the St. Lawrence River, near Rivière-du-Loup. The bomb's own 2200 kg conventional explosives blew it apart before it hit the water. The plane flew on to a base in the US. [Clearwater, John, Canadian Nuclear Weapons: The Untold Story of Canada's Cold War Arsenal, Dundurn, Press, 1998]
Atomic Energy: Beginning in the mid-1950s nuclear-generated electricity was developed under a partnership of industry and government at both the federal and provincial levels. A demonstration power reactor, the NPD was built at Rolphton, Ontario in 1962, followed by a commercial-scale
CANDUprototype at Douglas Point in 1968. In 1971 electricity became commercially available from the large (ultimately 8-unit) Pickering station near Toronto, Ontario and, starting in 1977, the Bruce station (ultimately 8-units as well), near Kinkardine, Ontario. These were followed by the Gentilly-2 Atomic Electric Plant, Trois-Rivières, Quebec and the Point Lepreau Atomic Electric Plant, Point Lepreau, New Brunswick both in 1982. The electric current supplied by commercial hydro companies to consumers was changed and organizations like Hydro Ontario converted from 25 cycles to 60 cycles during the ten year period from 1949 to 1959. [Eggleston, Wilfred, Canada's Nucleur Story, Clarke Irwin, Toronto, 1965]
Computers: Computers were introduced in a variety of areas at this time. The National Research Council of Canada experimented with fire-control computers towards the end of the war. The University of Toronto Computer Centre, established in 1947, developed Canada’s first operational computer the University of Toronto Electronic Computer (
UTEC) in 1951. This was followed by the purchase of FERUT (Ferranti University of Toronto) computer, by the Computer Centre in 1952. [Eggleston, Wilfred, National Research in Canada: The NRC 1916–1966, Clarke Irwin, Toronto, 1978, pp 412–418.]
In the fifties the Pinetree, Mid-Canada and DEW Line air-defense radar chains built aross Canada relied heavily on computers. Certainly the largest and most powerful computer in Canada at the time was the US developed AN/FSQ-7, installed in the late fifties, 700 feet underground at RCAF Station North Bay, as the "brain" of the DEW Line System. AVRO Canada in Toronto worked unsuccessfully to develop the fire-control computer for the Velvet Glove air-to-air missile for the ill-fated AVRO Arrow interceptor. Other military users included the Royal Canadian Navy with its DATARS system for the command and control of warships. Computers were also recognized as a tool for policing. The
Canadian Police Information Centrewhich was established in 1966 under the auspices of the RCMP, has operated, since that date, a national computer data base that provides information relating to criminal activity in Canada. [ Canadian Police Information Centre www.cpic-cipc.ca/English/index.cfm]
The NRC used large computers in the early fifties for the hydrographic modeling of the
Saint Lawrence Seawaythen under construction.
One of the first commercial users of computers was Air Canada which introduced a computer based reservation system in the early 1960s. The large Canadian banks, Toronto Domminion Bank,
Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerceand Bank of Nova Scotiaintroduced large head-office computers for the keeping of records relating to customer accounts in the late sixties. When they introduced the credit cardabout the same time these records were kept on large central computers as well. It was this experience with large computer systems linking hundreds of branch offices across the country that enabled the banks to introduce the ATM and the debit card, across Canada in the 1980s. Computers were also introduced to control complex industrial processes. Interprovincial Pipe Line Limited of Edmonton was one of the first Canadian companies to employ computers as a means of controlling the flow of gas in its very large pipeline system. Atomic Energy of Canada Limitedused computers to control atomic fission in its power reactors. In 1977 the Toronto Stock Exchangebecame the first stock market in the world convert to electronic trading with the introduction of the its Computer Assisted Trading System. Twenty years later, in 1997, the exchange closed its trading floor and converted to a fully automated computer driven trading system.
Transportation: The field of transportation saw the completion of a number of significant works including: the
Toronto Subway, 1954, the Trans-Canada Gas Pipeline, 1959, the St Lawrence Seaway, 1959, Trans-Canada Highway, completed in 1962, the Montreal Subway, 1966, GO Transit, Toronto area, 1967 and Highway 401, Ontario, completed in 1968. Air Canadaand Canadian Pacific Airlines introduced jet passenger service with the DC-8, DC9, B727 and B-737. The B-747 was introduced by these companies in the early seventies. In the sixties and early seventies De Havilland Aircraft of Canada in Toronto developed the DHC-7 and DHC-8 STOL aircraft. These were used to provide passenger service to small city centre airports in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. A number of international carriers also acquired these aircraft to provide similar services elsewhere in the world. The first Canadian owned helicopterbegan operation in Canada on 12 March 1947. On that date Photographic Survey Corporation took possession of a Bell Bell 47B-3, registration CF-FJA. [ Milberry, Larry, Aviation in Canada, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto, 1979, p.242.] .
Of note was the transit of the Northwest Passage in 1954 by
HMCS Labrador, Canada's first purpose built icebreaker, which was acquired that same year, in service with the Royal Canadian Navy.
Of particular significance was the conversion from steam to diesel by Canada's two great railways. Beginning in the mid fifties the CPR and Canadian National Railways began replacing their steam locomotives with diesel locomotives. By 1960 the conversion was mostly complete.
catalytic converterwas also introduced during these years. The first devices, designed to reduce air pollution from automobile exhaust, were installed in the 1975 model year for US cars manufactured in Canada. Because of environmental concerns and the fact that it was not compatible with these converters, the major gasoline companies in Canada began to eliminate the sale of leaded gasolinethat same year.
Although Armand Bombardier invented the
snowmobile, the initial production model, the B-7 dating from 1937 was a large 7 passenger vehicle. It was not until 1959 with the development of the small gas engine that the individual snowmobile or Ski-doo was produced by Bombardier ( Bombardier Recreational Products) in the company factory at Valcourt, Quebec. A number of competitors in Canada and elsewhere entered the market and sales of snowmobiles skyrocketed with 2 million being sold worldwide between 1970 and 1973. To this day, snowmobiles remain popular in Canada and other regions with snowy winters.
Pedestrial walkways have become important features of some Canadian cities. Climate controlled underground passageways and shopping malls have been features of the downtown cores of Toronto (
PATH (Toronto)) and Montreal ( Underground City, Montreal) since the mid-sixties. Arguable the most unique, is the Plus 15system in downtown Calgary. Initiated in 1970 it presently consists of 57 bridges and 16 km of enclosed climate controlled passageways suspended 15 feet above ground level which permit pedestrians to walk anywhere in the downtown core summer or winter without ever going outside.
Energy: The modern era of oil production in Canada began in 1947 when Imperial made its major discovery at Leduc, Alberta. The industry has grown tremendously since then, mainly to meet the demand for gasoline created by the popularity of the car and for home heating oil. Major
oil refinerieshave been built in Vancouver, British Columbia, Edmonton, Alberta, Sarnia, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec and Saint John, New Brunswick.
Energy projects included: the Lakeview Generating Station, Mississauga, Ontario, 1962, the W.A.C.Bennett Dam, British Columbia, 1967, the Gardiner Dam, Saskatchewan, 1968, the Churchill Falls Hydro Dam, Labrador, 1971, the
Nanticoke Generating Station(largest coal fired plant in North America), Nanticoke, Ontario, 1978 and La Grande 2 Hydro Dam, Quebec, 1979. The energy crisis of 1973 had domestic repercussions with many consumers taking steps to reduce energy costs through the installation of improved home insulation and wood burning stoves.
Industry: The forestry industry underwent a notable process of mechanization in the post-war years. The most visible change was the introduction of the
chain saw. When originally developed for modern use in the twenties, this heavy gasoline engine driven machine required two men for its operation. However improvements in engine technology eventually made the saw small and light enough to be operated easily by one person. In 1944 one of the first industrial users, Bloedel Stewart and Welch Ltd. in British Columbia had 112 chain saws in operation but their use accounted for only a small part of total forestry tree cutting. In 1950 less that one percent of pulpwood in Canada was cut with chain saws, however by 1955 this figure had grown to more that 50%. Other machines were also introduced during this period.
feller buncherwas used by the Quebec North Shore Paper Company in 1957. Hydraulic tree shears were first used in 1966 by the Abitibi Pulp and Paper Company Limited ( Abitibi-Consolidated). Snowmobiles and tracked machines replaced animals for the hauling of logs. In 1948 several Bombardier machines were employed to this end by the Ste. Anne Power Company Limited in Quebec. In 1959 Timberland Machines of Woodstock, Ontario developed the Timberbuncher a self- propelled machine which could move through the forest, cut a whole tree at its base (a process known as full tree harvesting) and using a hydraulic arm, place it into a pile for hauling. Machines that stripped the branches from felled trees a process known as delimbing were also introduced at this time.
With the help of these technologies the Canadian pulp and paper industry grew to become one of the major suppliers of newsprint in the world through the operations of companies such as
MacMillan Bloedel Limited, Repap Enterprises Inc., Kruger Inc., Great Lakes Forest Products Ltd, British Columbia Forest Products Ltd., Consolidated-Bathurst Inc., Canadian Forest Products Ltd., CIP Inc., Domtar Pulp & Paper Products Group and Abitibi Consolidated.
The use of
pesticideswas a prominent feature of post war agriculture across Canada. Insecticides based on fluorine, arsenic, rotenone, nicotine pyrethrum as well as herbicides using sulphiric acid, arsenites and salt and finally fungicides based on sulphur, mercury or copper have been very effective in controlling life forms that degrade agricultural output. At the same time these compounds have also had a negative effect beyond their intended sphere of use. DDTwas registered for use in Canada from 1946 until 1985 when its use was banned. The product was never manufactured in Canada. Food irradiation, in particular the irradiation of potatoes to prevent sprouting while in storage was approved for use in Canada in 1960.
Office Automation: Business administration underwent technological change. The
ball point penwas marketed in the US in October in 1945 and in Canada shortly thereafter. The IBM Selectric typewriter, introduced in 1961 quickly became popular with businesses in Canada as did the Xeroxphotocopier in the sixties.
Medicine: There was important progress in medical technology during this period. In 1945 Dr. Stuart Stanbury established a National Blood Transfusion Programme for the
Canadian Red Cross Society, thus making available to those in need, a dependable source of blood for medical purposes. The associated test for blood typing was introduced at the same time. Blood tests would become increasingly sophisticated in the coming years. The electroencephalograph, used for the diagnosis of neurological disorders was introduced in major Canadian medical institutions in the late forties. Antibioticssuch as penicillin were quickly made available to the general public in the post-war years, as were vaccines produced by the Connaught Laboratories. Of particular note was the role played by that company in the mass production of the polio vaccineused for the mass inoculation of young primary school children throughout Canada in the early fifties.
There was also progress with respect to the treatment of heart disease. The
pacemakerinvented with significant Canadian participation was used to treat patients with arrhythmia. For more serious problems open heart surgerybecame an option for patients and permitted the repair of faulty heart valves, the clearing of blocked coronary arteries and the resolution of other problems. Canada's first heart transplantwas performed on 31 May 1968, by Dr. Pierre Godin the Chief Surgeon at the Montreal Heart Institute, on patient Albert Murphy of Chomedy, Quebec a 59 year old retired butcher suffering from degenerative heart disease. The operation took place about six months after the world's first, by Dr. Christian Barnard. [ Web site, CBC Digital Archives, www.archives.cbc.ca/on_this_day/05/31/. ] . Neurosurgerywas introduced in a substantive way in the sixties.
Cancer patients were provided with a new option,
radiation therapy, through what was popularly known as the "Cobalt Bomb", again developed with important Canadian input. Chemotherapyalso became an option. In 1960 the use of a subcutaneous arteriovenous shunt along with the artificial kidney machine allowed hemodialysisfor patients with chronic renal failure.
During these years the Montreal Neurological Institute poineered the development of medical imaging technologies introducing Canada's first
CATscan in 1973, PETscan in 1975 and MRIin 1982.
contact lensefirst developed in 1949 gained mass appeal in Canada and elsewhere in the sixties. Made of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) they could be worn up to 16 hours a day.
orthodonticsmade the straightening of the teeth of children with "braces" commonplace. Children were also often on the receiving end of the tonsillectomy a fashionable surgical procedure during these years.
The surgical replacement of body parts also became possible and was used to treat ailing kidneys and joints such as knees and hips. The availability of cosmetic implants became popular during these years. In 1962, in the US, Dow Corning developed the silicone gel-filled
breast implantwhich was used by women for surgical breast augmentation. The procedure was common in Canada. In recent years implants containing saline solution have also become popular.
Pharmaceuticals attained a high profile. The availability of the
birth control pillin 1960 made it possible for women to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy. Stress could be treated with tranquilizers, such as valium, introduced in 1963. The consumption of vitaminsbecame widespread and supplements were added to staple foods such as milk and bread and were taken in pill form. The "recreational" use of "soft drugs" such a marijuana, LSDand hashishbecame part of the sixties counter culture. Marijuana was often produced locally using the hydroponic method.
Domestic and Consumer Technology: The car, cheap gasoline and post war affluence created boom conditions for the expansion of
suburbia. Several standard designs for the single family home on a standard lot were reproduced cookie-cutter style row-upon-row in cities across Canada as subdivision after subdivision sprang up radiating from the central core. The designs were thoroughly modern, reflecting the optimism of the era, usually with a peaked roof, asphalt shingles and a brick or wood siding exterior and included a living room, kitchen and occasionally dining room and two, three or four bedrooms and a full basement made of poured concrete or cinder block. Floors were usually made of varnished hardwood planks and the walls and ceilings of gyprock. Copper piping brought running water from the serviced street and copper wiring electricity from the rear lot line. Clay tile pipe carried the sewage from the flush, sit toilet to the main sewer line running under the street. There was usually a driveway beside the house for the family car, and less frequently a carport or garage.
Most homes were equipped with a telephone often with a "party" line but these became rare by the sixties. A television set was also common in almost all homes by the end of the fifties and the record player gave way to the hi-fi stereo. Almost all kitchens were equipped with electric refrigerators and electric or less commonly gas, stoves. Where there was gas it was usually piped to the home through a main line running under the street. There were a variety of electrical "labour saving" devices including electrical mixers can openers and carving knives. Central heating was a standard feature and coal, delivered to the home by a diesel powered truck, was the dominant fuel source in the early post-war years. However as the fifties progressed coal gave way to oil and gas heating. Home furnishings were almost all mass-produced and made from wood, fabric and various types of stuffing for cushions. In the kitchen metal chrome tube chairs and formica topped tables were popular. The small front and back yard were maintained with the help of a gasoline powered lawn mower and the hedge and bushes were trimmed with electric clippers. In the early sixties the high-rise apartment building bagan to make its appearance in large cities. The self-supporting steel structures were usually seven stories or more in height and large buildings contained hundreds of dwelling units. Initially they were especially visible along Highway 401 in Toronto, Metropolitan Boulevard in Montreal and the north shore of English Bay in Vancouver.
aerosol spraycan with the gas propellant, and "crimp on nozzle" was developed in the US in 1949. It quickly became a favored type of packaging in Canada for a number of products including bug spray, hair spray, whipped cream and deodorant. The gas propellant, usually a chlorofluorocarbon(CFC), became a target for environmental concern in the seventies when research demonstrated that it had a harmful effect on the ozone layer in the atmosphere. The international Montreal Protocolof 1989 banned the use of these substances and they were subsequently replaced with volatile hydrocarbons.The disposable diaperwas introduced to the Canadian market in 1972 by Proctor and Gamble Canada Ltd.
The format for sound recordings changed in the years just following the war. In the US,
Columbia Recordsintroduced the long playing (LP) 33 1/3 format in 1948. Columbia made an agreement with Sparton Records, of London, Ontario, established in 1930, for the manufacture and distribution of its LP records in Canada. Not to be caught short, RCA Victorin the US responded in 1949 with its own technological innovation the 45 rpm record (with the big hole in the centre) and manufactured and distributed this new format for the Canadian market through its Canadian subsidiary, RCA Victor of Canada, established in Montreal in 1929. The video home system ( VHS) released in 1976 by Victor Company of Japan, Limited(JVC), quickly became popular in Canada and was used to record TV programmes or to play VHS tapes of Hollywood movies that could be rented in neighborhood video stores that soon became a common feature of suburban strip malls. In 2003 the popularity of DVD surpassed VHS and by 2006 the technology had become obsolete.
The booming growth of the suburbs lead to the appearance of the
shopping mall, a low rise steel frame, commercial structure housing a number of retail outlets and surrounded by acres of asphalt parking lot for large numbers of cars. The first in Canada included: the Norgate Shopping Centre, Saint-Laurent, Quebec, 1949, the Dorval Shopping Centre, Dorval, Quebec, 1950, the Park Royal Shopping Centre, West Vancouver, British Columbia, 1950, the Sunnybrook Plaza, Toronto, 1951 and York Mills, Toronto, 1952.
The introduction of the
credit cardcomplimented the appearance of the shopping mall. In 1968 a number of Canadian banks including the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Toronto-Dominion Bank and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce began issuing the Chargexcredit card to cumstomers. In 1977 thes cards were reissued by the same banks under the VISAbrand name. The Mastercardcredit card became available to Canadians in 1973.
The hospitality industry was similarly effected and
fast fooddrive-in restaurants began to appear. In 1951 the first St. Hubert BBQ restaurant opened its doors on St-Hubert street in Montreal. A&W opened its first Canadian operation in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1957. In 1959 Harvey'sopened its first eatery on Yonge Street in Richmond Hill. Hamilton, Ontario saw the opening of the first Tim Horton'srestaurant in 1964. The first McDonald's restaurant outside the United States was opened in Richmond, British Columbia in 1967 and the well known Pizza Delight was founded in Shediac, New Brunswick, in 1968.
Cinema attendance boomed after the war and with it innovations in cinema design. The first double screen cinema, The Elgin, opened its doors in Ottawa in 1946 and the
drive-in cinemabecame popular after the war. However the long cold Canadian winters discouraged the widespread diffusion of this type of film exhibition. The dramatic Imaxlarge scale cinema format was invented as the result of developments in cinematic technology during Expo'67 in Montreal. The world's first permanent Imax cinema, Cinesphere was built at Ontario Placein Toronto in 1971. Others were built in Vancouver for Expo'86 and at the Canadian Museum of Civilizationin Gatineau , Quebec, in 1989. By 1995 there were 129 Imax cinemas entertaining audiences around the world. The audio cartridge and audio cassette became popular in the early seventies with the cassette eventually winning the battle of the formats. This compact medium lead to the appearance of high quality in-car sound systems.
Woodbine Racetrackfor thoroughbred horse racing opened to the public in Toronto in 1956 (simply Woodbine after 1963) replacing the original Woodbine which was built in 1874. Canada’s first purpose built auto racing track, the Westwood Motorsport Parkwas built in Coquitlam, British Columbia in 1959. The Mosport International Raceway, north of Bowmanville, Ontario opened to the public in 1961 and hosted the Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 races from 1967 to 1977. La Ronde (amusement park)became Canada’s largest amusement park when it opened in 1967 as part of Expo ’67in Montreal. It is popular to this day for a number of roller coasters including: The Boomerang, Cobra (La Ronde), Goliath (La Ronde), Le Monstreand Vampire (La Ronde).
Detergent, a replacement for soap, introduced in the post war years, was used to keep clothes and dishes clean through the action of its active ingredient, tetrapropylene, a derivative of petroleum. The popular Tide brand became available in 1948. In 1964 permanent pressfabrics were invented in the US by Ruth Rogan Benerito, a scientist at the Physical Chemistry Research Group of the Cotton Chemical Reactions Laboratory and introduced to Canada shortly thereafter. The press resulted from the treatment of the fabric with formaldehyde. Invented by DuPont scientist Dr. Roy J. Plunkett in 1938, polytetrafluoroethylenea polymer considered the world’s most slippery substance, was introduced commercially as Teflon, in 1946 in the US. It is used in a wide variety of applications including as a non-stick coating on the cooking surface of pots and pans and is manufactured in Canada by Dupont in Mississauga, Ontario. Krazy Glue ( ethyl cyanoacrylate) was introduced to Canada in 1973.
Waste Disposal, Sewage Treatment: In the post-war years Canadian municipalities began treating raw sewage, which up to that time, with a few notable exceptions, had been allowed to flow directly from their sewer systems into nearby streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. New facilities were added in Toronto including the Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in 1956 and the Humber Wastewater Treatment Plant in 1960. Vancouver built a number of sewage treatment facilities inluding the Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant in 1961, the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant in 1963 and the Lulu Island Wastewater Treatment Plant in 1973. The City of Ottawa built the Green's Creek Pollution Control Center (now Robert O. Pickard Environmental Centre) in 1961. In 1970 the City of Montreal began the construction of a large sewer network which channeled all effluent to the treatment plant at Rivière-des-Prairies on the east end of the island and became operational in 1996. By 1980, 64% of Canadians were served by sewage treatment, with the figure rising to 78% in 1997. [Web site,OECD, www.environmentalindicators.com/htdocs/indicators/7muni.htm] .
Public and industrial concern with air pollution and
acid rain, lead to measures being taken by a number of companies to cut back on harmful atmospheric emissions. In 1972, Incoundertook steps to reduce emissions of SO2 and other gases by installing scrubbers and a 1250 foot chimney at its Copper Cliff smelter in Ontario. [Web site,Vale Inco, www.inco.com/business/history/# ] . Public Works, Civil Engineering and Architecture: This was also an era of gigantism and there were both successes and failures. Northwest of Montreal thousands of acres of fertile farmland were expropriated to build the huge new Mirabel International Airport. The facility was to be linked to the heart of Montreal with a fast train. The train was never built and both passengers and air carriers stayed away in droves. The site eventually became a quiet industrial airport, home to the production facilities for Bombardier regional jets. On the other hand the James Bay Projectundertaken in Quebec at the same time was a booming success. Several large dams on the La Grande River with their associated long distance transmission lines provide Hydro-Québec with an important source of electricity. Place Ville Marie(Royal Bank), Montreal, 1962, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Tower, Montreal, 1962, the Edifice Trust Royal (C.I.L. House), Montreal, 1962, the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower, Toronto, 1967, The Simpson Tower, Toronto, 1968, the Hôtel Château Champlain, Montreal, 1967, the Royal Trust Tower, Toronto, 1969, Royal Centre, Vancouver, 1972, Inco Superstack, Sudbury, Ontario, 1972, First Canadian Place, Toronto, 1975, Harbour Centre, Vancouver, 1976, the Complexe Desjardins, la Tour du Sud, Montreal, 1976, the Scotia Tower, Calgary, 1976, the Scotia Tower, Vancouver, 1977, Royal Bank Plaza, South Tower, Toronto, 1977 and the First Bank Tower, Toronto, 1979, represented significant civil engineering and architectural achievements during this period.
Notable large sports facilities included, Empire Stadium, Vancouver, 1954,
McMahon Stadium, Calgary, Alberta, 1960, the Montreal Automobile Stadium (Autostad) 1966, the Olympic Stadium, Montreal, 1976 and Commonwealth Stadium (Edmonton), 1978.
However the stand-out architectural and civil engineering achievement of this period was certainly the construction of the
CN Tower, the world's tallest free standing structure in Toronto in 1975.
The PC Age: The Microchip and Mobile Communications (1980–2000)
Microelectronicsbecame a part of everyday life during this period. The personal computerbecame a feature of most homes and the microchip found its way into a bewildering variety of products from cars to washing machines.
The Microchip and Computing: In 1977 the first commercially produced personal computers were invented in the US, the Apple II, the PET 2001 and the TRS-80. They were quickly made available in Canada. In 1980 IBM introduced the IBM PC in response to the Apple II and in 1983 Microsoft began to sell its operating system, through IBM where it was referred to as PC-DOS and as a stand alone product known as MS-DOS. This created a rivalry for personal computer operating systems, Apple and Microsoft, which undures to this day. A large variety of special use software, “applications”, have been developed for use with these operating systems. There have also been a multiplicity of hardware manufacturers which have produced a wide variety of personal computers and the heart of these machines, the central processing unit, has increased in speed and capacity by leaps and bounds. There were 1,560,000
personal computersin Canada by 1987 of which 650,000 were in homes, 610,000 in businesses and 300,000 in educational institutions. [web site, The Canadian Encyclopedia, www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com, Computer Industry] Canadian producers of micro-computers included Sidus Systems, 3D Microcomputers, Seanix Technology and MDG Computers.
In 1987 there considerable numbers of larger computers in Canada, including 25,000 mainframe and mini-computers. But the most powerful of all were the
supercomputers. The Meteorological Service of Canadahas been a noted user of large computers and has pioneered the Canadian use of supercomputers. Machines used have included: the Bendix G20, 1962, an IBM 360-95 scientific mainframe computer, 1967, its first super computer a CDC 7600 from Control Data Corporation, 1973, a Cray 1S supercomputer, 1983, a NEC supercomputer, 1993 and an IBM supercomputer in 2003. At the time of its installation this latter machine was the most powerful computer in Canada. In 2008, Canada’s most powerful research computer an IBM supercomputer was installed in Toronto. The $20 million machine, about the size of an SUV, can make 12.5 trillion computations per second and will be used for proteomicsresearch by the Ontario Cancer Institute, the Princess Margaret Hospital (specializing in cancer) and the University Health Network. However the supercomputer used by Environment Canada for weather forecasting remains the largest in Canada.
laptop computeralso appeared during these years and achieved notable popularity in Canada beginning in the nineties. In 1981 the first commercially available portable computer the Osborne 1became available. Other models followed including the Kaypro IIin 1982, the popular Compaq Portableand Tandy Corporation TRS-80 Model 100both in 1983, the IBM PC Convertible, 1986, the Macintosh Portable, 1989 and Power Book, 1991 and the IBM Power PC in 1994. The latter models in particular were popular with both professionals and consumers.
The seventies and eighties witnessed the development of
word processing, a method for “typing” documents, using a keyboard linked to a computer and a video screen. Early machines were dedicated exclusively to this function and a notable Canadian contribution the Superplus IV, produced by AES Data in Montreal in 1981, became widely popular. However the rise of the personal computer and the invention of PC compatible word processing software such as WordPerfect, in 1982 and Word in 1983 made stand alone word processors obsolete. These new machines with their new software quickly dominated the market and became an almost universal feature of any Canadian office.
Communications: Canada's major telephone companies introduced
digital technologyand fibre opticsduring this period paving the way for more advanced business and customer telecommunications services. In the nineties, Microcell, Cantel, Bell and Rogers began to offer mobile phoneservice. They used a technical standard known as CDMA, which was compatible with mobile phone systems in the US but not elsewhere in the world.
Transportation: Smaller vehicles became popular in response to the oil crisis of 1973. The 18 wheel transport truck became the dominant vehicle on the heavily used
Highway 401 (Ontario). Containerization, which had made headway in ocean shipping with the construction of terminals in Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver also lead to the eventual elimination of the railway box car and began to make inroads in the trucking industry. Light railsystems were built in Edmonton, Alberta in 1978, Calgary, Alberta, in 1981, Toronto, Ontario, in 1985 and Vancouver, British Columbia in 1986.
Highway 407 (Ontario)Express Toll Road (ETR), opened in Toronto in 1997 to ease the burden of traffic on Highway 401 which passes through the heart of the city to the south. Special technology is used to collect tolls without the use to toll booths. Regular users can equip their cars with a transponder that sends a signal to highway sensors when the vehicle enters and leaves the road. For those vehicles without a transponder, special electro-optical sensors read the number plate and a bill for the toll is sent to the vehicle owner in the mail.
Industry: The use of computer controlled robots in manufacturing (
computer-aided manufacturing) was pioneered in Canada by the auto manufacturers who introduced these machines to improve the efficiency of their assembly lines. These were found in new auto manufacturing plants were built, by Honda Canadain Alliston, Ontario and Toyota Canadain Cambridge, Ontario (1988). Bombardier's invention of a new class of aircraft, the regional jetor RJ, allowed airlines to introduce jet passenger service to smaller centres. The design of this machine was facilitated through the use of comupter aided design ( computer-aided design) software. Factory farmingof pigs and chickens in particular became a prominent feature of agriculture during these years. Large numbers of these animals are crowded into very large barns with controlled environments in an effort to maximize their growth and hence profit for the farmer. The use of antibiotics to fight infection, as well as the use of growth hormones is common. The growth in the number of these farms has been dramatic. The Fraser Valley in British Columbia is home to the highest concentration of such farms in Canada and the number of farms there increased from 56 in 1991 to 146 in 2001. The growth of genetically modified cropsalso became common. One of the most notable in this regard is canola. Developed in Canada from rapeseed during the seventies by Keith Downey and Baldur Stefansson it is used to produce oil that is low in erucic acid and glucosinolate and has become a major cash crop in North America. A strain of canola with additional modification that made it resistant to herbicide was introduced in Canada in 1996.
Energy, Off Shore Oil and Gas: The technology for off shore oil and gas extraction was introduced to Canada during these years. The first of several projects off of Canada’s east coast was the massive
Hibernia (oil field)platform, a gravity base structure(GBS), built in Bull Arm, Newfoundland in the early nineties. The 1.2 million ton structure was towed into place, 315 km to the south east of St. Johns, Newfoundland, over the Hibernia off-shore oil reservoir where it was positioned resting on the ocean floor in 80 meters of water with its superstructure rising 50 meters above the surface of the sea. In 1997 the facility began to pump oil from the sea bottom. The oil is stored in giant on-board tanks and continuously off-loaded by a fleet of dedicated shuttle tankers which transport it to the shore-based oil refinery at Come-by-Chance, Newfoundland.
Terra Nova (oil field), 350 km off shore, began to produce oil in 2002. The platform itself rests on the ocean floor and pumps oil from the sea bottom, however unlike the Hibernia facility, the oil flows directly into a Floating Production Storage and Offloading(FPSO) vessel, the Terra Nova FPSOwhere it is processed and stored. The oil in the storage tanks is then removed by a shuttle tanker. A third oil production facility in the same area, the White Rose (oil field), operated by Husky Petroleum, which began operation in 2005 also uses a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, the SeaRose FPSO.
Undersea pipelines, the first in Canada and part of the
Sable Offshore Energy Projecthave been introduced to transport gas from undersea wells off the coast of Nova Scotia since 2000. Gas was discovered near Sable Island in 1979 with the first platform and well head installed in the Thebaud field in 1999. An on-shore gas treatment facility was built at Goldboro and connected to the wellhead with a 225 km long undersea pipeline and production began in 2000. Other fields have been connected via undersea pipeline including the North Triumph, Venture, Alma and South Venture.
Other notable energy works included, the ill-fated east coast
Ocean Rangerdrilling platform, the Nova Scotia Power Corporation tidal generating station, Annapolis, 1984 and the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, Darlington, Ontario, 1990. The construction of large scale hydo-electric plants far from electric markets lead to the introduction of techniques for long distance electric power transmission. These techniques were used at a number of sites including: the W.A.C Bennett hydro station in British Columbia in 1968, Churchill Falls, Labrador, 1971 and the Robert-Bourassa generating station, 1981, the La Grande-3 generating station, 1984, the La Grande-4 generating station, 1986 and the La Grande-2-A generating station, 1992 all in Quebec. Medicine: Medical treatment advanced during these years. The use of lasers and computers became important parts of medical treatment. Computers were essential in the development of new medical imaging devices such as the CAT scan, positron emission tomographyand the MRI. Minimally invasive surgery, also known as laparoscopic surgeryreduced surgical damage to patients. Lasers were used with catheters for clearing blocked arteries and catheters with small cameras provided images of conditions inside the body. Coronary bypass surgerybecame commonplace. Laser eye surgerybecame popular in the nineties and was used to improve visual acuity for the near-sighted. New chemical chemotherapy combinations helped prolong the lives of cancer patients. These years also saw the appearance of techniques for the long term application of medication through the use of a skin patch or implants.
A private company, IVF Canada, of Scarborough was the first to begin offering
in vitro fertilizationin Canada beginning in 1983. Since that date the company has recorded a number of Canadian "firsts' in this field including: the first IVF pregnancy, first IVF twins, the first IVF triplets and the first baby born from a frozen embryo. [web site, IVF Canada, www.ivfcanada.com ] Beginning in 1998 male erectile difficulties could be treated with the use of Viagraand other medications.
Domestic and Consumer Technology: There were innovations in home design and construction during this period. Houses generally became bigger. New materials such as
vinylsiding became common and often replaced more expensive brick for home exteriors. The car port and garage became widespread features and the latter was ofter located close to the curb creating a rather crowded streetscape. The kitchen saw the introduction of the home dishwasherand the microwave oven. Large screen televisions usually of the cathode ray or projection type were found in many homes. The Sony Walkman, introduced in 1979, quickly gained popularity as a means for listening to music on the go. There were innovations in the field of domestic cuisine which saw the introduction of microwave popcorn. In 1981, the development of the susceptor bag (a paper bag impregnated with an aluminum-coated polyester film), allowed popcorn therein to be popped in a microwave oven without scorching.
compact disc(CD) and the digital video disc(DVD) were introduced at this time. The CD which appeared in 1982, became a favourite format for musical recordings. By 1986 most music stores in Canada had phased out the LP and replaced it with the CD. It was also used for other purposes including date storage in the form of the CD-ROM. A closely related format, the DVD, with greater storage capacity than the CD was introduced in 1997. In 1986, Americ Disc of Drummondville, Quebec began to manufacture CDs and after 1997, DVDs and has become one of the largest suppliers of this product in North America. Video gameshave become a wildly popular form of entertainment especially for youth, since the eighties. The earliest video game dated from 1947 and a number of devices were produced in the fifties and sixties. However it was the development of the computer chip that lead to their popularization. The coin operated arcade game “Pong” introduced by Atariin 1972 was the first to become widely available. The next phase of development saw the introduction in the mid-seventies the home console, first with a hardwired game, but then complimented in 1977 by, “plug and play” which allowed the use of game cartridges for variety. Beginning in 1985 PC gaming became popular, exploiting the flexibility and increasing popularity of the personal computer. In 1989 Nintendoreleased its Game Boy, the first of the hand held electronic games. Game imagery became more elaborate with the introduction of the 32 bit chip that was featured in the Sony Play Stationreleased in 1994. The 128 bit, sixth generation of video games was born with the introduction of the Sega Dreamcastin 1998. These technologies found a place in the Canadian consumer market from the moment of their introduction and Canadian companies have played a role in their development, with hardware makers like ATI Technologiesdeveloping high-powered video chips for game imagery and software companies developing a number of games.
theme parkbecame popular in the eighties and the technology of thrill is the main attraction. In Toronto, Canada's Wonderland, Canada’s largest, opened its doors to the public in 1981 and is now tied for second place in North America as the theme park with the most roller coasters ( List of roller coasters at Canada's Wonderland). Galaxylandthe world's largest indoor amusement park located in the West Edmonton Mallwhich opened in 1981 has garnered continent-wide attention. The most popular thrill ride, the Mindbender (Galaxyland)is the largest indoor triple loop roller coaster in North America. The Drop of Doom was another featured attraction until closed in the early 2000s. The Mall’s World Waterpark, which opened in 1985 offers bathers a chance to cavort in the world’s largest indoor wave pool. The technology of auto racetrack design and construction has been put to good use in Montreal at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Canada’s premier auto race track and home of the Canadian Grand PrixFormula 1 motor car races since 1978. The slot machine, so dear to gamblers, was introduced during this period. Casinos have been built in Windsor, Caesars Windsor1994, Niagara Falls, Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort1996 and Orillia, Casino Rama1996, Ontario, Montreal, Montreal Casino, Gatineau, Casino du Lac Leamy1996 and Baie St. Paul, Casino de Charlevoix1994, Quebec, Halifax, Casino Nova Scotia1995, Nova Scotia and in Vancouver, the River Rock Casino Resort2006, British Columbia.
The world’s first
ATMservice was developed by the Sherwood Credit Union in Regina in 1977, at that institution’s North Albert Branch. Other Canadian financial institutions followed this lead and by the eighties the ATM was available throughout Canada. [Web Site, www.canadacool.com/COOLFACTS/SASKATCHEWAN/ReginaATM.html] .
During the eighties the
bar codebecame a familiar feature on consumer products ranging from food to clothes as did the bar code scanner at the retail checkout counter. These two technologies greatly improved the effectiveness of the check-out procedure and improved inventory management as well, through the associated computer accounting of stock. This was one of the factors leading to the technique of just-in-time inventory management for retail, commercial and industrial undertakings.
The payment of consumer purchases at the retail checkout counter through the use of an electronic debit card was introduced across Canada in 1994. Known as
Interacthe system allows the consumer to swipe his personal card and with the use of a personal identification number have the amount of the purchase electronically deducted from his/her bank account. The service has since become very popular.
Waste Disposal, Recycling: Although the concept of recycling waste materials was not new, the
Blue Box Recycling Systemfor domestic refuse collection made the idea highly visible. Initially developed by Laidlaw Waste Systems for the Kitchener, Ontario, in 1983, it was introduced to Ontario municipalities in 1986, by Ontario Multi-Material Recycling Incorporated (OMMRI), and promoted by Nyle Ludolph, who became known as the Father of the Blue Box. The concept involved the use of blue plastic boxes which were distributed to home owners who in turn filled them with recyclable refuse and placed them at curbside for weekly pickup. The refuse was taken to specially designed plants where materials were sorted and recycled. The technique became popular in municipalities across Canada in the years that followed. [ web site, Pollution Probe, www.pollutionprobe.org/Reports/we%20recycle.pdf]
During these years the municipal garbage dump evolved to become the sanitary landfill site. A number of technologies, including clay and plastic liners were used to contain the smell and leachate. The largest in Canada, the
Keele Valley Landfillwas operated by the City of Toronto from 1983 until 2002, when it was closed because it was full. Chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs), the gas propellants used in aerosol spray cans, became a target for environmental concern in the seventies and eighties when research demonstrated that they had a harmful effect on the ozone layer in the atmosphere. The international Montreal Protocolof 1989 banned the use of these substances and they were subsequently replaced with volatile hydrocarbons.
Public Works and Architecture: Large civil engineering and architectural works of note included: BC Place, Vancouver, 1983,
Petro-Canada Centre, West Tower, Calgary, 1984, the West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton, Alberta, 1986, Scotia Plaza, Toronto 1988, the Canterra Tower, Calgary, 1988, the Sky Dome, Toronto, 1989, Bankers Hall, Calgary, 1989, BCE Place–Canada Trust Tower, Toronto, 1990, the Bay Wellington Tower, Toronto, 1990, Tour du 1000 de la Gauchetière, Montreal, 1991, Tour IBM-Marathon, Montreal, 1992, GM Place, Vancouver, 1995 and the Confederation Bridge, NB-PEI, 1997. New arenas for Canada's National Hockey League teams were built, including GM Place, Vancouver, home of the Vancouver Canucksin 1995, the Corel Centrein Ottawa, home of the Ottawa Senatorsand Molson Centrein Montreal, new home of the Montreal Canadiens, both in 1996. Defence: Canada's military suffered a long period of technological decline. Atomic weapons were relinquished. New technologies were acquired, including the CF-18fighter, the CP-140 AuroraASW patrol Aircraft, the missile carrying Halifax class frigate, the four ill-fated Upholder/Victoria class submarines, the Leopard tankand Air Defense Anti-Tank System. The DEW Line was updated and renamed the North Warning System. But these developments were not enough to prevent a general loss of military capability. Other technologies were introduced during this period: the ATM, remote sensing, tailored production runs and fuel cell cars to name a few.
The Internet Age: wireless technology, mega oil and ecological stewardship (2000–present)
internethas become an essential part of daily life and is found in most Canadian homes. In December 2006 there were 22,000,000 Internet users representing 65.9% of the population and 7,675,533 internet broadband connections. In 1988 the first .ca Canadian web address upei.ca was assigned by John Demco of the University of British Columbia (UBC) to the University of Prince Edward Island. The one millionth .ca address, krauslaw.ca was assigned in 2008 by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, formed in 1998, to Brent Kraus of Calgary for the promotion of his law firm. [magazine—Backbone: Business, Technology, Lifestyle, July/August, 2008. p. 8.] By 2006 internet providers began making wireless internetconnection available to their customers with companies such as Bell Canada offering their "unplugged" service. This type of service, using the laptop computer and other portable devices has evolved to allow mobile internet connection in many places across Canada. Mobile communications have also been facilitated through the introduction of the widely popular Research In Motion, BlackBerryhandheld email and telephone machine. In 2007 Canadian wireless carriers began to convert their systems from the CDMAstandard which restricted the user to service within North America to the GSMstandard used by most carriers around the world.
web search enginebecame an integral part of use of the internet. The first such programme, the “ Archie search engine”, was developed by McGill student Alan Emtage in 1990. Since then search engines, which have been mostly developed in the US, have evolved and become more versatile and powerful. Notable engines include Lycos, 1994, Alta Vista, 1995, Magellan, 1995, Netscape, 1996, Yahoo! Search, 2004 and MSN Search2005. These internet tools are available to web users around the world including Canada. Semi Automatic Ground Environment(SAGE) component of the North American air defense system created in the fifties and sixties and which included a facility at RCAF North Bay, Ontario. However it only became a publicly used service with the development of the internet. A number of US providers now offer this worldwide service to Canadian users including: MSN Hotmail, 1996, Yahoo! Mail, 1997, AOL Mail, 2004 and Gmail, 2004.
downloadingof music from the internet to computers and other storage devices including the iPod, has become very popular in recent years. Music can be downloaded peer-to-peeror from about 500 on-line sites in 40 countries. In Canada one site of note, puretracks, has been offering a library of about 1.3 million popular songs in Windows Media Audioand MP3format for download since 2003. Other web sites including those for social networking such as MySpace(2003), with 4.5 million Canadian profiles as of 2008, and video sharing such as YouTube(2005), with 14.5 million Canadian visits per month, have become extremely popular in Canada. [The not-so-private price paid for social networking, The Globe and Mail, 13 September 2008, p. A12.] The popular Canadian developed on-line dating service LavaLife went on line for the first time in 1997.
In recent years it has become possible for Canadians to file their yearly income tax returns using an internet service provided by
Revenue Canadaknown as NETFILE.
The internet has also become an important source of information, marked by the popularity of such sites as
Wikipediaand Google Earth. Wikipedia, an on-line encyclopedia, was established in the US in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and presently has over 2,500,000 articles in English and a large number in other languages. Many articles have been contributed to both the English and French language versions of Wikipedia by Canadians and many of these relate to important aspects of Canadian life. There are thousands of Canadians who use the service every day in both English and French. Google Earth, a virtual globe, is an on-line feature offered by
Star Choiceof Calgary, Alberta, and Bell TVof Montreal began offering Canada-wide direct-to-home satellite televisionservice in 1997. As of 2008 they had 900,000 and 1.8 million subscribers respectively. Two Toronto-based companies, Sirius Canadaand XM Canadaintroduced direct-to-home/car, satellite radioservice in December 2005 and by 2008 had 750,000 and 400,000 subscribers respectively. In 1999 Telesat launched the first of four Nimiqdirect broadcast satellites which provide the space-based satellite transmitters for these services. The CBC bagan broadcasting digital HD over-the-air TV in 2005. A national government regulatory body, the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission has stated that all over-the-air TV broadcasting will be digital by August 2011.
The film industry has also moved to adopt
digital cinematechnology. The National Film Board of Canada began to digitize its extensive archives and later in 2008 will announce the availability of its films on-line. In Toronto, Cineplex Entertainment, through Technicolor Digital Cinema has installed the Canadian made Christie CP2000 DLP Cinema projector in the Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto, making it the first Canadian cinema operating this new technology, which provides sharp images and uncompressed digital sound. It can also project 3-D features with REAL D 3D. Cineplex plans to have 25 cinemas across Canada equipped with this new technology in the near future.
The proliferation of multiple communications technologies has itself created the need to combine them effectively resulting in a new technology,
unified communications. This technique blends instant messaging, e-mail, voice mail, short message service, web-conferencing, fax, audio, video, cellphone, VIOP and other telecommunications services into a single system. Cooke Aquaculture Inc. of Blacks Harbour New Brunswick, uses just such a system, developed by Cisco Systems Canada Co. to manage its fish farm operations.
Transportation: In 2008 the Government of Canada announced the initiation of two important transportation projects. In the first instance the government stated that it will acquire, for the
Canadian Coast Guard, a new $700 million, CCG Polar Class icebreakerfor patrolling the Northwest Passage. The ship will enter service in 2017. The government also announced the construction of a second international bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan, to help relieve the pressure on the heavily overloaded, 80 year old Ambassador Bridge. The $5 billion project will include connections from the Canadian ends of both bridges to the nearby Highway 401 (Ontario). Global positioningtechnology has become an important feature of business and consumer life. After 23 years of military development the US military global positioning system became operational in 1995. Originally designed for the precise targeting of weapons and other military purposes, the US government made the system available to civilians in 1996. Industrial users such as transportation companies and resource companies began to make use of the technology for the tracking of vehicles and the location of field operations. Receivers for the consumer market, were also produced and made available in Canada and became popular with outdoorsmen and women. In 2004 a GPS feature became available on some mobile phones and stand alone units for car navigation were available to Canadians by 2008.
The 11 September 2001 terrorist attack on the US has resulted in increased security along the Canada US border. In 2004 Canada and the US signed the Canada-U.S. Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Border Security designed to speed the introduction of a number of electronic, wireless, computer and detection technologies to scrutinize cross border traffic while at the same time limiting the disruption to the flow of people and goods. The use of these technologies is particularly important at the Windsor Detroit border crossing which is the busiest in the world. [Web site, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, http://geo.international.gc.ca/can-am/main/border/status-en.asp]
Energy concerns have had a large impact on automobile manufacturers. Fuel efficient
hybrid vehiclessuch as the Chevrolet Tahoe, Saturn Vue, Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, Honda Insightand Honda Civic Hybridhave become available to Canadian consumers since the turn of the century and the rising cost of gasoline is making them increasingly attractive in spite of their generally higher cost.
The field of transportation also saw the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec in 2007 talking of yet another study of a high speed train in the
Quebec City – Windsor Corridor.
Energy, Mega Oil: In this new century the largest engineering undertaking by far is the
tar sandsproject in northern Alberta. This has seen the investment of up to $60 billion to develop and build gigantic tar sand mining, transportation, separation and refining facilities to produce oil from the gritty bitumen tar. The project is highly controversial for a number of reasons not the least of which is environmental. As of 2005 operations included the: Suncor Mine, Syncrude Mine, Shell Canada Mine and others producing 760,000 barrels of oil a day. A large number of corporations from a number of countries plan to invest in the tar sands including: Suncor Energy, Syncrude, Shell/Chevron/Marathon, Petro-Canada and others. Recovery techniques include, steam assisted gravity drainage(SAGD) and cyclic steam stimulation (CSS).
Energy concerns have inspired the development of wind farms that use modern
windmillsto generate electricity from this renewable resource. One of the first modern windmills was built at Cap Chat in Quebec in the eighties but most wind farms have been built since 2000. As of 2008, 10 megawatt wind farms in Canada were distributed as follows: Alberta 10, Quebec 5, Ontario 5, PEI, 4, Saskatchewan, 3, Manitoba 2 and Nova Scotia 2. In 2008 Hydro-Québec announced the construction of 1000 windmills at 15 new sites located mostly in the St. Lawrence River Valley. By 2015 that utility expects that 10% of the province's electricity will be provided by wind power. In 2008, in British Columbia, BC Hydro has issued a Clean Power Call for proposals for environmentally friendly energy production and one company, Naikun Wind Energy has responded with Canada’s first plan to develop off-shore wind power by installing windmills at sea in the Hecate Strait off the north coast of B.C.. Nuclear poweris also seeing a rebirth with the Government of Ontario announcing the construction of two new reactors at the existing Darlington, nuclear power facility. Competing designs include the ARC-1000 by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., the EPR by the French company Areva Group and the AP1000 by the US based Westinghouse Electric Co. Llc.. The government of Saskatchewan is considering the construction of two nuclear reactors in Lloydminister and the government of New Brunswick is proposing the addition of another reactor at its Point Lepreau nuclear power facility.
A private company, OptiSolar Farms Canada Inc., is using silicon
solar panelsto develop what will become the largest solar power farm in North America. The facility, under construction in a field near Sarnia will begin to produce 60 megawatts of electricity for Ontario consumers, by the end of 2008.
Concerns with energy efficiency have also lead to the introduction of the compact fluorescent light for domestic, commercial and industrial use and the federal government stated in 2007 that the sale of incandescent light bulbs would be phasd out by 2012.
Waste Management, CO2 and Cogeneration: Efforts to reduce the release of CO2 gas into the atmosphere lead to the initiation of the Weyburn-Midale CO2 Project in Saskatchewan in 2000. Presently the world’s largest CO2 sequestration effort, this $80 million undertaking involves the injection of waste CO2 gas from industrial processes into the ground for storage instead its release into the atmosphere. There are presently two underground sequestration facilities, one at Weyburn operated by Encana and the other at Midale operated by Apache Canada. [web site, Petroleum Technology Research Centre,www.ptrc.ca/weyburn_overview.php ]
In recent years bio-waste has been used for the production of heat and electricity. Sanitary landfill sites are notable in this regard. Often systems for the collection of methane gas are progressively installed as the sites are filled. This gas is then used at on site
cogenerationfacilities for the production of heat and electricity. A number of landfill sites including those in Kanata, Petrolia, Watford and Napanee, Ontario and Sainte-Sophie, Drummondville and Magog in Quebec have been selected for the location of cogeneration facilities. [Houston firm planning to harness the methane from dumps in Canada, Toronto Star, 28 June, 2007, www.thestar.com/Business/article/230243] . In Ottawa the cogeneration facility at the Pickard (Sewage Treatment) Centre which has been in operation since 1998, provides all the heat and electrical energy needed to operate the centre.
Materials: Efforts to save fuel have also led to efforts to reduce the weight of vehicles through the increased use of
composite material. Aircraft manufacturers have been especially notable in this regard and produced new large but relatively light aircraft such as the Boeing B-787Dreamliner with this new material. Orders for this new machine have been made by a number of major world airlines, including Air Canada. In 2008 Bombardier of Montreal announced the production of the new C Series of 100–130 seat passenger jets which will also make extensive use of composites.
Lasersmade their way into routine dentistry by the middle of the first decade, offering faster treatments, less pain and more precise results. They are used to remove tartar, treat soft tissues such as gums and to prepare cavities for filling. Of particular interest in the latter instance is the fact that this treatment is so painless that the use of a needle to inject a local anesthetic is usually unnecessary. Laser treatment results in little bleeding, a lower risk of infection and a quicker healing. Another innovation was the use of computer milled ceramic implants for repairing cavities.
In 2002, two Vancouver doctors, dermatologist Alastair Carruthers and ophthalmologist Jean Carruthers, pioneered the cosmetic use of the well known
botulinum toxin. The pair noticed that subcutanious injections of small amounts of the toxin had the effect of removing age wrinkles from the skin. The Botoxprocedure as it became known quickly gained popularity around the world.
In 2001 the Federal government created
Canada Health Infoway, in independent, not-for-profit, federally funded organization composed of the 14 Canadian federal, provincial and territorial Deputy Ministers of health. Infoway has a mandate to accelerate the Canada-wide use of electronic health records and electronic health information systems. As of 2008, more that $1.3 billion has been invested in the system. By 2010 Infoway plans to have electronic health records for 50% of the population available to authorized health professionals and by 2016, expects to have electronic health records for all Canadians. [Web site, Canada Health Infoway, http://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/en/Home/home.aspx] Domestic and Consumer Technology: Domestic construction has witnessed the introduction of improved building techniques and the smart home. Hydraulic lift equipment is now commonly used for home construction, minimizing or eliminating the need for scafolding. Furthermore homes are built with the electronics necessary for internet connection throughout the premises. Household systems, such as heating/cooling, lighting, communications, entertainment and even food storage and cooking are now all linked to each other through the web. In the kitchen the glass topped stove has become popular. The living room has seen the introduction of the very large, plasma TVwhich has undergone dramatic price reduction in the last few years and has replaced the cathode-ray TV in consumer appliance/electronic stores. Also popular with consumers is the iPodportable music player introduced to Canadians in 2001 and the iPhonewhich was made available to Canadians by Rogers Wirelessin 2008. The digital camerawhich was introduced to Canadians in the eighties has for the most part replaced the film camera in recent years. The Guitar Heromusic video game released in 2007 has enjoyed great success in Canada.
In 2008 the large Canadian Banks including, including the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Toronto-Dominion Bank and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce began issuing
VISAcredit cards with an imbedded microchip for enhanced security. Also in 2008, Mastercard Canada introduced the PayPasselectronic payment system to Canada. The system uses a card/tag/phone equipped with a embedded computer chip and radio frequency antennae which is tapped on a PayPass reader at participating grocery stores, convenience stores, fast food restaurants or gas stations. The card/tag/phone, wirelessly transmits information about the customer to the reader which in turn electronically charges the appropiate sum to the customer's acount.
Defence: In the new century Canada's government has shown renewed interest in the acquisition of military technology, especially with its commitment to the war in Afghanistan. Equipments have been improved, including the CF-18 fighter with addition of
laser guided bombsand there are plans to update the Aurora patrol aircraft. The airforce has also recently taken possession of the gigantic new C-17 Globemaster IIIlong range transport aircraft and announced plans to renew the fleet of Hercules transport aircraft. The army has acquired the new Leopard tank and C-777 long range gun. In 2003 the Forces took possession of their first tactical unmammed aerial vehicle (TUAV) the French designed CU-161 Sperwer. Used for the war in Afganistan, the machine provides an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability for the Forces. Acquisitions pending include the Cyclone ASW helicopter, the Chinook helicopter, new Arctic patrol vessels for the navy and a new ice breaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. The Canadian Forces have also acquired updated electronic equipment to conduct more advanced electronic warfareto face the new cybernetic threat and conduct cybernetic warfare, ( cyber-warfare).
The public has also been introduced to such technologies as bio-metrics,
genetically modified foodsand RFIDto name a few.
In the earlier parts of Canada's history, the state often played a crucial role in the diffusion of these technologies, in some cases through a monopoly enterprise, in others with a private "partner". In more recent times the need for the role of the state has diminished in the presence of a larger private sector.
Science and technology in Canada
Canadian government scientific research organizations
Canadian university scientific research organizations
Canadian industrial research and development organizations
Canadian space program
List of aircraft of the Canadian Air Force
List of Canadian Navy ships
List of infantry weapons and equipment of the Canadian military
Timeline of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Television in Canada
Digital television in Canada
Nuclear power in Canada
History of the petroleum industry in Canada
Canadian Mining Hall of Fame
List of bridges in Canada
Former tallest buildings in Canada by province and territory
Energy policy of Canada
List of airlines of Canada
List of airports in Canada
Internet in Canada
List of reservoirs and dams in Canada
Economic history of Canada
* Avery, Donald H., "The Science of War: Canadian Scientists and Allied Military Technology During the Scond World War", University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1998.
* Babaian, Sharon, "Radio Communication in Canada: A Historical and Technological Survey", Transformation Series 1, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, 1992.
* Ball, Norman R., "Mind, Heart, and Vision: Professional Engineering in Canada 1887 to 1987", National Museum of Science and Technology/Museums of Canada, Ottawa, 1987.
* Ball, Norman R. ed., "Building Canada: A History of Public Works", University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1988.
* Barris, Theodore, "Fire Canoe: Prairie Steamboat Days Revisited", McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, 1977.
* Berger, Carl, "Science, God, and Nature in Victorian Canada", University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1983.
* Bliss, Michael, "Northern Enterprise: Five Centuries of Canadian Business", McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, 1987.
* Bothwell, Robert, "Nucleus: The History of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited", University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1988.
* Brown, J.J., "Ideas in Exile", McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, 1967.
* Bryden, John, "Deadly Allies: Canada's Secret War 1937–1947", McClelland & stewart, Toronto, 1989.
* Chisholm, Barbara, ed., "Castles of the North: Canada's Grand Hotels", Lynx Images Inc., Toronto, 2001.
* Clearwater, John, "Canadian Nuclear Weapons: The Untold Story of Canada's Cold War Arsenal", Dundurn, Press, Toronto, 1998.
* Collins, Robert, "A Voice from Afar: The History of Telecommunications in Canada", McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1977.
* Currency Museum, "The Story of Canada's Currency", Bank of Canada, Ottawa, 1990.
* Dewalt, Bryan, "Building a Digital Network in Canada: Data Communications and Digital Telephony, 1959–1990", Transformation Series 2, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, 1992.
* Dewalt, Bryan, "Technology and Canadian Printing: A History from Lead Type to Lasers", Transformation Series 3, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, 1995.
* Eggleston, Wilfred, "Canada's Nucleur Story", Clarke Irwin, Toronto, 1965.
* Eggleston, Wilfred, "National Research in Canada: The NRC 1916–1966", Clarke Irwin, Toronto, 1978.
* Faucher, Philippe, "Grands projets et innovations technologiques au Canada", Les presses de l'universite de Montreal, Montreal, 1999.
* Germain, Georges-Hebert, "Le Genie Québécois: Histoire d'une conquete", Ordre des ingenieurs du Quebec/Libre Expression, Montreal, 1995.
* Guillet, Edwin C., "The Story of Canadian Roads", University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1967.
* Harry, J., Smith, G., Lessard, Gilles, "Forestry Resources Research in Canada", Science Council of Canada, Ottawa 1971.
* Hopps, John A., "Passing Pulses: The Pacemaker and Medical Engineering: A Canadian Story", Publishing Plus Limited, Ottawa, 1995.
* Knowles Middleton, W.E., "Radar Development in Canada: The Radio Branch of the National Research Council of Canada, 1939–1946", Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, Ontario, 1981.
* Koppel, Ted, "Powering the Future: the Ballard Fuel Cell and the Race to Change the World", John Wiley & Sons, Etobicoke, 1999.
* Lowther, William, "Arms and the Man: Dr. Gerald Bull, Iraq and the Supergun", Doubleday Canada Limites, Toronto, 1991.
* MacDermot, H.E., "One Hundred Years of Medicine in Canada 1867–1967", McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, 1967.
* Macpherson, Burgess, "The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910–1985", Collins, Toronto, 1981.
* McDonnell, "The History of Canadian Railroads", New Burlington Books, London, 1985.
* McGrath, T.M., "History of Canadian Airports", Lugus Publications, Ottawa, 1992.
* Madger, Ted, "Canada's Hollywood: The Canadian State and Feature Films", University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1993.
* Maginley, Collin, "The Ships of Canada's Marine Services", Vanwell, St. Catherines, 2001.
* Mayer, Roy, "Inventing Canada: One Hundred Years of Innovation", Raincoast Books, Vancouver, 1997.
* Mayer, Roy, "Scientific Canadian: Invention and Innovation from Canada's national Research Council", Raincoast Books, Vancouver, 1999.
* Milberry, Larry, "Aviation in Canada", McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto, 1979.
* Millard, J. Rodney, "The Master Spirit of the Age: Canadian Engineers and the Politics of Professionalism 1887–1922", University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1988.
* Morton, Desmond, "A Military History of Canada", Hurtig, Edmonton, 1990.
* Mouat, Jeremy, "Metal Mining in Canada, 1840 -1950", Transformation Series 9, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, 2000.
* Muise, McIntosh, "Coal Mining in Canada: A Historical and Comparative Overview", Transformation Series 5, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, 1996.
* Robertson, Heather, "Driving Force, The McLaughlin Family and the Age of the Car", McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 1995.
* Silversides, C.Ross, "Broadaxe to Flying Shear: the Mechanization of Forest Harvesting East of the Rockies", Transformation Series 6, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, 1997.
* Smallman, B.N., et al., "Agriculture Science in Canada", Science Council of Canada, Ottawa, 1970.
* Stewart, R.W., Dickie, L.M., "Ad Mare: Canada Looks to the Sea—A Study on Marine Science and Technology", Science Council of Canada, Ottawa 1971.
* Taylor, Baskerville, "A Concise Business History of Canada", Oxford University Press, Toronto, 1994.
* Thomson, Don W., "Men and Mericians Volumes 1,2,3", Information Canada, Ottawa, 1966.
* Thomson, Malcolm, M., "The Beginning of the Long Dash: A History of Timekeeping in Canada", University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1978.
* Tremblay, Robert, "Histoire des outils manuels au Canada de 1828 a 1960", Transformation Series 10, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, 2001.
* Warrington, Newbold, "Chemical Canada: Past and Present", The Chemical Institute of Canada, Ottawa, 1970.
* Weir, E. Austin, "The Struggle for National Broadcasting in Canada", McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 1965.
* Westman, A.E.R., "Chemistry and Chemical Engineering: A Survey of Research and Development in Canada", The Science Council of Canada, Ottawa, 1969.
* Wilson, Andrew, "Background to Invention", Science Council of Canada, 1970.
* Wilson, Andrew, "Research Councils in the Provinces: A Canadian Resource", Science Council of Canada, Ottawa, 1971.
* Wilson, Garth, "A History of Shipbuilding and Naval Architecture in Canada", Transformation Series 4, National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, 1994.
* Williams, Michael, "Massey-Ferguson Tractors", Blandford Press, London, 1987.
* Wright, J.W., A History of the Native Peoples of Canada: Volumes I(2001) & II(1999), Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa.
* Zeller,Suzanne, "Inventing Canada: Early Victorian Science and the Idea of a Transcontinental Nation", University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1987.
* Scientia Canadensis
* The Canadian Encyclopedia
* [http://www.cifar.ca Canadian Institute for Advanced Research: Science]
* [http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0007211 Canadian Encyclopedia: Science]
* [http://www.cstha-ahstc.ca/english/home.html Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association]
* [http://www.innovation.gc.ca Innovation in Canada]
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