Curious Canadian History

Historian David Borys dives deep into the fascinating world of Canadian history in this bi-weekly podcast exploring everything from the wonderful to the weird to the downright dark. Get add free content at Patreon! Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

20:12 2022-11-29
If you took a stroll along the banks of Tay River, in Perth Ontario, just on the northeast edge of the town, you would come upon on a strangely named location, Last Duel Park. Certainly, for many, they might just walk on by, chalking it up to just a stran...
23:57 2022-11-15
Henri Bourassa is one of the most famous Quebec journalists in the history of Canada. His writing at Le Devoir, the paper he founded, was embraced by many as the voice of French-Canadians struggling to assert their place in a rapidly changing Canadia...
40:25 2022-11-01
There are many ways in which Canadians express their national identity. Through song, poetry, tattoos, pride over historic and international achievements, the celebration of multi-culturalism, the singing of the anthem, voting in an election, and so many ...
18:56 2022-10-18
The St. Lawrence River is one of the most important waterways in the western hemisphere. It has been home to a multitude of peoples and has provided both food and commerce for centuries.   It is both a cornucopia and a highway. First Nation...
20:30 2022-10-04
In the late 19th century a number of Canadian missionaries travelled to China ultimately arriving in the province of Honan, north of the Yellow River. These members of the Presbyterian Church of Canada sought to establish a series of missions in the volat...
33:49 2022-09-20
From 1864 until 1871 a relatively secret organisation of Canadian police patrolled Canada’s border with the United States. What began as a mission to prevent increasing tension between Britian and the US evolved into a concerted effort to undermine a ma...
28:29 2022-09-06
Perhaps no single person in the aftermath of the Second World War aroused so much widespread and continued interest in Canada than that of Nazi officer and war criminal Kurt Meyer. Meyer was a murderer, a die hard Nazi, and a ferocious battlefield command...
26:52 2022-06-21
For our last episode of Season 7 we look at how war in the US showed a deep connection between peoples on both sides of the US-Canada border. While the border between Canada and the United States is now regularly patrolled and controlled heavily on both s...
38:42 2022-06-08
In Part 2 of our two-part series we explore the aftermath of the Avro Arrow’s cancellation. While the cancellation sent short-term shockwaves through Ontario but not much beyond, in later years the cancellation becomes wrapped up in the larger conversat...
40:10 2022-05-24
There are a very few topics in Canadian history that have generated more acrimonious debate than that of the Avro Arrow. Some have called its cancellation a travesty that destroyed a Canadian industry, many of those have laid the blame at the feet of the ...
22:58 2022-05-10
While both the modern American and Canadian game of football emerged from similar roots, they took very different paths to arrive at the game we recognize today. Americans were much quicker to modify and adapt their game into a uniquely American form of s...
29:01 2022-04-26
Because New France was a colony almost perpetually at war the enforcement of law and order in the 17th and 18th centuries was considered vital to the very survival of the struggling French colony challenged by both a growing British empire and powerful In...
41:55 2022-04-12
In 1979 a conference was held in Toronto which became a pivotal event for both Toronto and Canada’s lesbian community. While so much attention at the time was focused around the emerging visibility of Canada’s gay community, it was heavily gendered, f...
21:47 2022-03-29
In the late 18th century tension in Ireland boiled over into a full scale uprising. This uprising was put down yet some Irish republicans fled to Newfoundland where they found a social, economic and political climate ripe for agitation. While the isl...
32:45 2022-03-15
A deep dive into the iconic Canadian rock band The Guess Who Get add free content at Patreon! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information....
2:30 2022-03-09
A big name change is coming! Get add free content at Patreon! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information....
25:22 2022-03-01
The historic and dynamic city of Gravenhurst is explored in this episode written by fellow podcaster Craig Baird from "Canadian History Ehx" Get add free content at Patreon! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information....
20:53 2022-02-15
The headlines screamed "Canadian detective foils Fenian bomb plot against the Prince!" When the third in line for the British throne arrived in Halifax in 1883 the entire country was excited for the young prince's tour of the equally young country. Yet, a...
48:11 2022-02-01
Lord Stanley's cup, aka "The Holy Grail," is one of the most sought after trophies in professional sports and arguably the hardest one to win. But the trophy doesn't just represent the ultimate achievement in a professional sport, in many ways it is a sym...
23:41 2022-01-18
It was in search of furs, and the riches from the fur trade, which drove so many Europeans deeper and deeper into the North American continent. Much of the modern day prairies, western Ontario, interior of British Columbia, northern Quebec were first mapp...
18:40 2022-01-04
Nine years before Rosa Parks galvanised the American civil rights movement by refusing to sit at the back of a bus, Viola Desmond sparked the mobilisation of a Nova Scotian community when she refused to be moved from a 'whites only' section in the Roselan...
14:44 2021-12-13
In June 1942 the Japanese submarine I 26 attacked a rather unusual target on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Not since the last Fenian Raid in 1871 had Canadian territory been directly attacked by a foreign enemy. While certainly not a pivotal moment ...
19:00 2021-12-01
In 1649, ravaged by war, the Wendat made the bold decision to move thousands of people to the island of Gahoendoe. This massive migration of the majority of Wendat was meant to keep the nation alive, yet it nearly destroyed them. Get add free content at P...
50:20 2021-11-15
Recently Netflix released a film called “Forgotten Battle,” one of the most expensive Dutch films ever made. The film explores the lives of several characters in and around the difficult battle for the Scheldt Estuary in 1944. What the film barely tou...
21:31 2021-11-10
Thousands of Canadian merchant mariners lost their lives during the Second World War as part of the valuable supply chain bringing important war material from North America to Great Britain. Despite the high casualty rates, dangerous working conditions, a...
28:29 2021-10-18
Within only a couple of years of the “birth” of American rap music Toronto became the centre for the early Canadian rap and hip hop scene. This episode explores some of the early trends in Canadian rap music as artists struggled to gain mainstream acc...
19:19 2021-10-04
Africville was a community that for decades stood on the physical, social and racial margins of the city of Halifax. It represented Nova Scotia's legacy of Black migration into Canada but also spoke to the very real challenges people faced settling in a l...
19:06 2021-09-20
For years, many Canadian immigrants arrived via ocean liner after a long journey across the Atlantic Ocean. While the first stop for some was Quebec or Montreal or St. John's. for nearly one million people that first stop was the shoreline of Halifax, spe...
27:40 2021-09-06
To kick off Season 7 we are going to explore the history of Canada's mission in Afghanistan from a broad perspective highlighting the four phases of Canada's war and looking at some of the challenges to Canadian efforts in the tumultuous country. Get add ...
41:34 2021-07-05
In this special episode David sits down for a fascinating and important conversation with Dr. Crystal Fraser, an historian at the University of Alberta and an expert in the history of residential schools in Canada. Dr. Fraser's 150 Acts of Reconciliation ...
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