• Throwback Thursday: Canadian Poets of the 19th Century


    CharlesGDRoberts23Canadian poetry, in the most general of terms, is an archive of Canada’s history and cultural development. However, due to colonial reform in the 19th century, the representation of Canada varies in the works of our poets. Some have attempted to describe and interpret what was considered to be distinctly Canadian in order to accept their colonial environment, while another group made a heroic effort to transcend colonialism by establishing civilized, cultural ideas.

    In 1942, A.J.M. Smith analyzed the works of 19th century Canadian poets, providing insight into some famous works of Canadian literature. “‘Our Poets’ A Sketch of Canadian Poetry in the 19th Century” from the University of Toronto Quarterly highlights the works of poets such as Isabella Valancy Crawford, Bliss Carman, and Charles G.D. Roberts. Each poet maintains their own perception of Canada, whether describing the peace that the country’s beautiful landscape instills in its inhabitants or the positive effect colonialism is having on the country’s development. A.J.M Smith’s article provides a multi-faceted mosaic of Canada’s poetry.

  • Throwback Thursday: Kingston's Fort Frontenac



    Fort Frontenac was initially constructed by Louis de Buade de Frontenac in 1673 to protect the French fur trade business against English competitors. The fort was strategically placed to protect a small, sheltered bay that allowed larger vessels to make shipments, leading to increased profit.

    Fort Frontenac was located in present-day Kingston, Ontario at the mouth of the Cataraqui River. Increased tensions between the British and French to gain control of the fur trade led to an upgrade in Fort Frontenac’s defensive capabilities, which included new barracks, weaponry, and a larger garrison. Despite these military additions, the fort’s strategic power dwindled and Fort Frontenac served only as storage for supplies and a harbour for French vessels. In 1758, Lieutenant-Colonel Bradstreet attacked the fort with an army of 3,000 British soldiers, causing its 110 French inhabitants to flee. Fort Frontenac remained abandoned for the next twenty-five years.

    In 1783, the British military revitalized Fort Frontenac in order to protect Cataraqui’s expanding population from the threat of American attack. It was also the focus of military action in Kingston during the War of 1812. Fort Frontenacwas deemed a National Historic Site of Canada in 1923 and its remains are still open to the public for exploration.


    The Champlain Society is hosting their Annual General Meeting this Saturday, November 9th from 2:00-5:00pm at the City of Toronto Archives; view event details here. If you are interested in attending the meeting, please RSVP to Lauren Mitchell  – lmitchell@utpress.utoronto.ca

    To view more from The Champlain Society’s digital collection of archives, click here.

  • Throwback Thursday: The Life of Julia Marlowe


    English-born actress Julia Marlowe is revered not only for her portrayal of William Shakespeare’s heroines, but also for her dedication and determination in pursuing her dream career.

    Despite making her Broadway debut at the age of 21, Marlowe was not a financially successful actress until she directed and starred in When Knightwood Was in Flower. Marlowe’s desire to focus her career on Shakespeare’s plays ignited after she appeared as Balthazar in Romeo and Juliet and Maria in Twelfth Night.  In 1904, her dreams took flight when she paired up to perform with E.H. Southern.  The duo was destined to become the leading couple in Shakespearean performance.  Marlowe later married Southern and they performed alongside one another until                                                                                 they retired in 1924.

    Discover each of Julia Marlowe’s roles and achievements that led her to become one of the greatest actresses of the 19th century in Edward Wagenknecht’s “Julia Marlowe: Portrait of an Actress”, which appeared in the 1959 edition of Modern Drama.

  • Throwback Thursday: Toronto, Before the Skyline

    Have you ever wondered what Toronto looked like without the attractions, buildings, traffic, and the CN Tower? It is hard to visualize. However, an image of Toronto before its urban makeover is preserved for future generations in The Champlain Society’s archive, “The town of York, 1793 – 1815: a collection of documents of early Toronto,” by Edith Firth

    The two volume series begins with the arrival of Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe in 1793 and concludes in April 1815 at the end of the War of 1812. Also included are documents relating to York’s role in the war as well as illustrations of York in the early 1800s before it became Toronto.

    Take a look at the progression of the Harbourfront and King St.E!



    To access The Champlain Society's Digital Archive Click Here

  • Throwback Thursday: The Beginning of Canadian Theatre

    Theatre-NeptuneIn Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, there is a tablet commemorating the first theatrical production performed by Europeans in North America. Marc LesCarbot’s Théâtre de Neptune was performed at the habitation in Port Royal to celebrate the return of Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt in 1606.  The play is filled with compliments directed at Poutrincourt and interestingly scatters native terminology from Mi’kmaq dialect throughout. To explore the creation and performance of Théâtre de Neptune, take a look at Margaret M. Cameron’s “Play Acting in Canada during the French Regime” from The Canadian Historical Review! #tbt



Items 21 to 25 of 28 total