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A Canadian Glossary -- Part Two

Oakville Oakville is a part of the Greater Toronto Area and is a town in Halton Region. Oakville is now part of the lands that the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada bought in 1805 from the Mississaugas. This land covered the area between Etobicoke and Hamilton, with the exception of the land at the mouths of Twelve Mile Creek (Bronte Creek), Sixteen Mile Creek, and along the Credit River. In 1807, British immigrants settled in the area surrounding Dundas Street (which was surveyed in 1793 for a military road) and the land along the shore of Lake Ontario. Among Oakville’s first industries were shipbuilding, timber shipment, and wheat farming. In 1850, an economic recession caused the foundry, which was the most important industry in the town, to close and basket-making became a major industry. The Grand Trunk Railway was also built through Oakville.

Oakville became industrialized with the opening of Cities Service Canada (later BP Canada and then Petro Canada), Shell Canada, the Procor factory and Ford Motor Company’s Canadian headquarters and plant. In 1962, Oakville merged with the neighbouring villages of Bronte, Palermo, Sheridan and what remained of Trafalgar Township to become the new town of Oakville. After this merging, Oakville extended north to Steeles Avenue in Milton and, in 1973, the northern border extended south just north of Highway 407 after the restructuring of Halton County into Halton Region.

(Source: Wikipedia)

The Ontario College of Art & Design Although Rodney refers to it as "OCA" (the Ontario College of Art), the school became "OCAD" (the Ontario College of Art & Design) on July 1, 1996. Located in Toronto, OCAD first opened in 1876 when it was known as the Ontario School of Art. The school consists of three faculties: Foundation Studies (first-year), Art, and Design. On June 27, 2002, OCAD was given official status to confer Bachelor of Fine Art and Bachelor of Design degrees. In November 2007, OCAD introduced its first graduate studies programs that will commence in the Fall of 2008.

(Source: OCAD website)

Pointe-Claire Pointe-Claire is a municipality on the island of Montreal in southwestern Quebec. Settlers began to develop the territory of "la Pointe Claire" in 1698-1699. In 1706, enough deforestation had taken place along the riverbank for a road to be built from La Présentation to the tip of the island. It wasn't long before the parish was divided into the côtes of St. Rémy, St. Jean, and St. Charles, and, in 1834, Monseigneur Signay degreed the canonical establishment of the parish. In 1845, Pointe-Claire became a civil entity and, then, a municipality in 1854. Since its early days, agriculture had been the main focus of Pointe-Claire, but the landscape began to change with the appearance of the Grand Trunk Railroad in 1855, the introduction of the Canadian Pacific Line in 1887, and the telephone service that began in the 1890s. By the turn of the century, Pointe-Claire citizens were renting out private dwellings to people vacationing in the area, while several hotels and seasonal cottages were built to accommodate tourists. Although the hotels no longer exist, many of the seasonal cottages eventually became permanent residences. Much of Pointe-Claire's agricultural and historical heritage is located in the southern part of the municipality. In a 1989 inventory made at the request of the urban planning division, about 150 old buildings of historical interest were found. On January 1, 2002, Pointe-Claire was merged with the city of Montreal, but then was reinstated as a city on January 1, 2006.

Those of you who know my real identity have probably figured out that I was being self-indulgent when I chose this particular location for my fic. *g*

(Source: Wikipedia)

pop The common term for soda or soda pop in Canada.

The Rainbow Bridge Built near the site of the earlier Honeymoon Bridge, which collapsed on January 27, 1938 due to an ice jam in the river, the Rainbow Bridge is located at Niagara Falls and is an international steel arch bridge across the Niagara River gorge. Connecting the cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York, the bridge was designed by Richard Lee, who went on to design the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. During the 1939 Royal Tour of Canada, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth dedicated the site of the Rainbow Bridge, and the bridge opened officially on November 1, 1941.

(Source: Wikipedia)

St. John's The oldest English-founded settlement in North America, St. John's is the largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador and the provincial capital. It is believed that the city earned its name when John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) became the first European to sail into its harbour on June 24, 1497, the feast day of Saint John the Baptist. However, there has been some debate about the exact location of John Cabot's landfalls. Another theory is that St. John's was named by Basque fisherman because the bay of St. John's is similar to the Bay of Pasaia in the Basque Country. One of the fishing towns in the Basque Country is San Juan, which is Spanish for St. John. As French, Spanish and Portuguese ships were annually fishing the waters off the Avalon Peninsula by the1540s, the second theory is certainly plausible.

One of the earliest records of St. John's is its appearance as São João on a Portugese map created by Jorge Reinel in 1519. St. John's was recorded as St. Jehan in Nicholas Desliens' world map of 1541 and as San Joham in João Freire's Atlas of 1546. Around that time, Water Street was developed, making it the oldest street in North America. In addition, the first known letter sent from North America was from John Rut to Henry VIII in 1527.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Scarborough/Scarberia Scarborough is a municipality in the eastern part of the City of Toronto. Because most Torontonians think of it as being a desolate region on the edge of the Earth (e.g. outside of Toronto proper), Scarborough earned the nickname "Scarberia," which is obviously a reference to Siberia. More recently, it has become known as "Scarlem" and "Scareborough" due to an increased degree of violence. However, Scarborough was originally called "Glasgow". It wasn't until 1793, when Elizabeth Simcoe commented on the similarity between the Scarborough Bluffs and the chalk cliffs of Scarborough in Yorkshire, England, that Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simoe decided to rename it. In 1796, the township of Scarborough opened to new settlement, and by 1850 it had become a farming community with a population of 3,800. Scarborough became a borough in 1967 and a city in 1983. After the amalgamation of 1998, Scarborough was made a part of the City of Toronto and became a municipality. Prior to the 15th century, Scarborough contained many native settlements. In 1956 an ossuary was discovered at Bellamy and Lawrence when a new house was being constructed.

(Sources: Scarborough Historical Society, Don Gilmour's The Scarborough Curse and Jerrold's Scarberia, Scarlem, Scareborough)

Scarborough Mirror The Scarborough Mirror is one of nine community newspapers published by Toronto Community News, which is owned by the Metroland Media Group Ltd. As you might expect, The Mirror prints articles of local interest.

(Source: Scarborough Mirror website)

Schneiders Schneider Foods was founded by J.M. Schneider in Kitchener, Ontario in 1890. J.M. Schneider began by making pork sausage in his home, but the business has grown to include a number of meats and food products, such as lunch kits and microwaveable meals. Schneiders has even introduced a line of meatless products.


Silver Snail Comics Silver Snail Comics is a store specializing in comics, action figures, models, replicas, statues, trading cards, posters, and just about everything else a geek could dream of. Located on Queen Street West, the store can be easily spotted due to the colourful superheroes painted on its exterior.

(Source: Silver Snail Comics)

Smarties This sugar-coated chocolate candy, with its many colours, was first developed by Rowntree’s of York, England, in 1882. At that time, the product was called “Chocolate Beans,” but, in 1937, was renamed “Smarties Chocolate Beans”. In 1977, Rowntree had to change “chocolate beans” to "Milk Chocolate in a Crisp Sugar Shell" as the word “beans” was felt to be misleading and didn’t meet trading standards requirements. In 1988, Smarties was acquired by Nestlé and the product name changed to "Nestlé Smarties" in 1993. Smarties are no longer manufactured in York but Germany. Outside of Europe, Nestlé’s largest production facility is located in Canada, where Nestlé has been in business since 1918.

Smarties usually come in eight colours (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, pink, and brown), though sometimes the colours change for special occasions. For example, in Australia and Canada, Nestlé often releases packages of red, green and white Smarties for Christmas. In some countries, the blue variety of Smarties has been replaced by a white variety, as a natural colouring dye for the blue colour is still being researched. The decision to remove all artificial colouring from Smarties in the UK was made in 2006, as there were concerns over the effect of chemical dyes on the health of children. The Canadian market removed artificial colouring in March 2009 and the blue and green varieties were removed.

Smarties are sold in a number of different forms: from chocolate bars and eggs with fragments of Smarties in them, to chocolate vanilla ice cream containing Smarties pieces (Smarties Fusion). In certain parts of the world, McDonalds sells Smarties McFlurry, and Smarties Blizzard is available through Canadian Dairy Queens. Throughout the years, there have been a number of advertising jingles for Smarties. In Canada, there was the well-known jingle “When you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last?” This ran from the 1970s until the mid-nineties. The current advertising slogan is “Show your colours!” It doesn’t have quite the same ring, does it?

(Source: Wikipedia)

Stephen Harper Stephen Harper is Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister and the bane of this country’s existence. Harper was first elected to the House of Commons in 1993 when he won the federal riding of Calgary West as a Reform MP. On March 20, 2002, Harper became the leader of the Canadian Alliance Party, which was founded in 2000. After Joe Clark resigned as leader of the Progressive Conservatives in August 2002, and Peter MacKay was elected as his successor, the Canadian Alliance Party and the Progressive Conservatives began discussing a merger, which resulted in a “new” Conservative Party. On March 20, 2004, Harper won the leadership of the Conservative party over Tony Clement and Belinda Stronach. After somehow winning the federal election, Harper was sworn into power on February 6, 2006.

Harper is unpopular with many Canadians because of his decision to increase Canada’s military role in Afghanistan, his emulation of America’s views on terrorism and his rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming…among other things. Although one of the Harper government’s first acts was to pass legislation fixing election dates (and, thus, prohibiting governments from holding arbitrary elections), Harper broke his own law in September 2008 and announced an election on October 14, 2008. Unfortunately, Harper managed to win the election again, though it was a minority government. In November 2008, the Harper government announced restrictions on public sector unions and its intention to stop the public funding of political parties based on votes. As a result, the Liberals, New Democrats and the Bloc Quebecois formed a coalition to bring down Harper’s government. When Harper failed to appease the coalition, he was forced to seek a prorogation of parliament. Then, luck was on Harper’s side when Harper’s criticism of the coalition gained him sympathy from certain sectors of the public and the coalition began to fall apart under Stéphane Dion’s leadership. All the same, Harper’s future as Prime Minister is by no means certain.

(Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia (entry by Trevor W. Harrison) and the Canada Online)

street hockey Also known as road hockey, dek (or deck) hockey, ground hockey or ball hockey, street hockey is a version of ice hockey played without skates. Street hockey can be played with either a puck or ball (often a tennis ball) and usually involves little or not protective equipment. As the name implies, street hockey is usually played in the middle of a street, with the participants yelling, "CAR!" and moving the nets when a vehicle needs to pass. Once the car has passed, players will often say, "Game on" and return to the game. Another tradition is to start a game with an "NHL faceoff," which involves the two opposing centers hitting their sticks against each other and repeating "N. H. L." three times. After the final "L," the two centers fight for possession of the ball or puck.

(Source: Wikipedia)

strip mall An all too common feature of the Scarborough landscape, a strip mall is a commercial establishment made up of a row of stores, businesses and restaurants. They can usually be found along roads or majors streets and open on to a parking lot.

(Source: The Free Online Dictionary)

3rd Quadrant Comics Another well-respected Toronto comic store located on the northwest corner of Queen and McCaul. It first opened in 1986 and every inch of it is crammed full of comics, magazines, action figures, replicas, toys and all kinds of geek goodies and collectables.

(Source: Toronto

Timbits First introduced in April 1976, Timbits are bite-sized donut balls that are sold through Tim Hortons. There are a number of different varieties, the most popular being chocolate, jelly-filled, honey dip, and apple fritter. Although many donut chains in North America sell nearly identical products called "donut holes," many Canadians stubbornly refer to these "donut holes" as "Timbits" because Tim Hortons has become such a pervasive force in Canadian culture.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Tim Hortons Tim Hortons is a very popular and successful Canadian restaurant chain that is best known for its coffee and donuts, though it now offers many types of food, such as sandwiches, soups, chili, and, of course, Timbits. Tim Hortons was founded in Hamilton, Ontario in 1964 by Toronto Maple Leaf player Tim Horton. In 1967, the Tim Hortons franchise had expanded to three stores, and Tim Horton became a full partner with Ron Joyce, a former police officer and franchisee of the first Tim Hortons store. Tragically, Tim Horton was killed in a car accident on February 21, 1974 when he was travelling to Buffalo after a game at Maple Leaf Gardens. When Tim Horton died there were 40 Tim Hortons stores. Today, there are over 2,750 stores in Canada and over 350 in the States.

(Source: Tim Hortons.)

token A token is a tiny coin that can be used in place of a ticket when riding on the TTC. The advantage of tokens is that they can be bought through vending machines and can be used at a TTC entrance that isn't manned by a TTC employee. This can save you a lot of frustration when it's late at night and you may or may not have had too much to drink.

toonie A nickname for the Canadian two-dollar coin. It reflects the nickname for the Canadian one-dollar coin, which is "loonie" because there is a loon on one side of the coin.

Toronto Located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. With a population of over 2.5 million, Toronto is the fifth-most populous municipality in North America. Toronto is a part of what is known as the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). While the Toronto region has been inhabited since the first indigenous people settled there after the ice age almost 11,000 years ago, it did not become an urban community until the British purchased the land from the Mississaugas in 1787. In 1793, Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe named the settlement "York," changing it to the provincial capital as the border village of Niagara was more vulnerable to American invasion. On March 6, 1834, York was incorporated as the City of Toronto and the land regained its original native name. With industrialization and the Confederation, Toronto really began to expand in not only terms of population, but economically and culturally as well. After 1945, waves of immigrants settled in the city and by 2001 Toronto had become one of the most multicultural cities in the world.

losyark was kind enough to remind me that Toronto means "meeting place" in Huron. Well, losyark's source said Ojibway, but I've only been able to come across references to "meeting place" being Huron. Uh, Toronto means "meeting place" in at least one native language. *g*

(Sources: The Official Web Site of the City of Toronto and Wikipedia)

Toronto City Hall Actually, City Hall is one of four locations within Toronto where couples can obtain a marriage licence – the other three locations being the Etobicoke Civic Centre, the North York Civic Centre and the Scarborough Civic Centre. Toronto will issue marriage licences to all eligible couples, including same-sex couples, which have qualified for marriage licences since June 11, 2003. Same-sex marriages were made legal in Ontario following the June 10, 2003 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal.

The current City Hall is Toronto’s fourth City Hall. The first building, which stood where St. Lawrence Hall stands today, was used from 1834 to 1845 and was destroyed by fire in 1849. The second City Hall was located at Front and Jarvis Street, in the South St. Lawrence Market, from 1845 to 1899. Toronto’s third City Hall (which is now known as “Old City Hall”) is on the northeast corner of Queen and Bay and was officially opened on September 18, 1899 by the mayor, John Shaw. Old City Hall was designed by Edward James Lennox, who would later become the architect behind Casa Loma and the King Edward Hotel. Old City Hall became a Provincial courthouse when the fourth and current City Hall opened across the street in 1965. The designer, Viljo Revell, was a Finnish architect who won an international design competition for the new City Hall project in 1957. Revell’s design was made up of three components: a podium, a convex circular council chamber and two office towers of different heights. The new building was opened by Governor General Georges Vanier on September 13, 1965. Sadly, Viljo Revell wasn’t present for the opening ceremony as he had died of a heart attack ten months before.

(Source: City of Toronto: Virtual Tour of Toronto City Hall)

Toronto Harbour The Toronto Harbour is a bay on the north shore of Lake Ontario that functions as both a commercial port and recreation area. While commercial ventures have been mainly confined to the eastern side, Harbourfront has dominated the western side. Among its many facilities, Harbourfront has parks, hotels and an amphitheatre. The Toronto Islands, which were formed in 1858 when a storm washed a channel through the eastern edge of the peninsula that made up the south edge of the bay, is also used for mostly recreation, though it also has an airport and small community. Toronto Harbour is sometimes known as the Inner Harbour as the city has a second harbour called the Outer Harbour. The Outer Harbour was created by the Toronto Harbour Commission in the 1950s through the construction of a new breakwater, the Outer Harbour East Headland. With the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, Toronto was expecting an increase in the number of ships calling into port. Unfortunately, an extra harbour wasn't required, so private boats are usually the only form of traffic found in the Outer Harbour.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Toronto Maple Leafs The Toronto Maple Leafs are Toronto's official National Hockey League (NHL) team. The Maple Leafs were first known as the Toronto Arenas (because their home turf was the Arena Gardens) and played its first game in the newly-formed National Hockey League on December 19, 1917 against the Montreal Wanderers. The Wanderers won the game by one goal. In the first Toronto game, only 700 people attended, most of these uniformed soldiers who were guests of team management. However, the Arenas did win the first ever Stanley Cup in the NHL at the end of their first year.

The Toronto Arenas were forced to withdraw from the NHL due to financial difficulties late in the following season, but re-emerged in the 1919-20 season with a new name: Toronto St. Pats. With this new name, the owners hoped to attract Toronto's large Irish population to home games. The Toronto St. Pats won the Stanley Cup in the 1921-22 season, but failed to win a championship for the next few seasons after that. In February 1927, Conn Smythe, who was responsible for building the New York Rangers franchise, bought the Toronto St. Pats and prevented the team from moving to Philadelphia. As a military man, Smythe re-named the Toronto team the "Maple Leafs" after the World War I fighting unit, the Maple Leaf Regiment. He also changed the uniform from green and white to blue and white.

In 1967, everyone expected the reigning champions, the Montreal Canadiens, to win the Stanley Cup. As it was the year of Expo '67, there were even plans to display the Cup in the Quebec pavilion. However, that year the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup for the eleventh and final time. Devoted fans haven't given up hope that the Leafs will win the Cup again some day. I'm sure that even Torontonians who aren't big hockey fans would like to see it happen. I know I wouldn't mind -- despite the hours of honking I would have to endure from cars on Yonge Street.

(Source: the Official Site of Leafs Nation)

Toronto Raptors The Toronto Raptors is Toronto's official NBA basketball team, having become an NBA franchise on May 16, 1995. It had been almost fifty years since the Toronto Huskies had become a member of the Basketball Association of America (a forerunner of the NBA) -- a membership that would be short-lived as that Toronto franchise ended after the 1946-7 season. With the Toronto Raptors, the NBA expanded outside of the US for the first time.

On April 23, 1993, the Professional Basketball Franchise (Canada) Inc. (PBF) made a formal application to the NBA for membership. Leading this campaign was club president John I. Bitove. The PBF also included Allan Slaight of Standard Broadcasting Limited, Borden Osmak, a vice president of The Bank of Nova Scotia, Phil Granovsky of Atlantic Packaging Limited, and David Peterson, former premier of Ontario, who served as chairman of the group. After facing competition from other bidders, the PBF was awarded the franchise on November 4, 1993. The Toronto Raptors would have a record expansion fee of $125 million and play its first two seasons in the Skydome until their own building (which would become the Air Canada Centre) was built.

The most prominent face of the Raptors was probably Isiah Thomas, the team's first vice president of basketball operations. He made his entrance on May 24, 1994 by bursting through a large paper Raptors logo. Speaking of logos, there was a lot of excitement over the choice of a team name. The final ten entries were: Beavers, Dragons, Grizzlies, Hogs (as Toronto's nickname is Hogtown), Raptors, Scorpions, T-Rex, Tarantulas, and Terriers. Given the huge success of Jurassic Park, it's probably not surprising that the name "Raptors" was chosen. The team logo, which consisted of a dinosaur dribbling a basketball (executed in bright red, purple, black and "Naismith silver" in honour of Canadian James Naismith, who invented the game of basketball in 1891), was a hot commodity and more than $20 million was made in the first month from Raptors gear.


The Toronto Star The Toronto Star is Canada's largest daily newspaper and it has the largest readership in the country. Owned by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, the Toronto Star is published seven days a week in the Greater Toronto Area. The Toronto Star was first printed on November 3, 1892 and was originally called The Evening Star. Incredibly enough, The Evening Star was created virtually overnight by 21 printers and four teenage printers who were locked out during a labour dispute at the News. For a number of years, the paper struggled financially, but then 34-year-old journalist Joseph E. Atkinson was appointed the editor on December 13, 1999 and sales started to improve. Although supporters of the new Prime Minister, Sir Wilfred Laurier, were the new owners of The Evening Star, Atkinson only agreed to run the paper if it was free of any political party.

Oh, and losyark was kind enough (again) to point out that the Toronto Star served as the inspiration for The Daily Planet in the Superman comics. As I knew this wonderful piece of trivia, I don't know why I didn't think to include it. I mean, Superman: The Movie is my favourite film of all time!


Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Long before the TTC was formed, Toronto's first public transportation company was Williams Omnibus Bus Line, which was formed in 1849. The Williams Omnibus Bus Line travelled along Yonge Street between the St. Lawrence Market and the Village of Yorkville. The mode of transportation was horse drawn stagecoaches, and passengers paid a sixpence fare. The first street railway was formed in 1861. In 1921, the City of Toronto took over all transportation routes and formed the Toronto Transportation Commission, which mainly provided service by streetcars. In 1954, the name of the organization was changed to the Toronto Transit Commission. At this time, it opened its first subway line and expanded its service area to cover what was then the newly formed municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.

The TTC now operates 149 surface routes (using buses and streetcars), three subway lines and one rapid transit line. After the New York City Transit Authority and the Mexico City Metro, the TTC operates the third most heavily-used urban mass transit system in North America. Approximately 3 million people use the TTC on a daily basis. The TTC is sometimes known as the "Rocket" because the now-retired Gloucester subway cars were painted bright red and known as "red rockets". This brought about the slogan "Ride the Rocket". Another nickname for the TTC is "The Better Way," but I'm pretty sure that was spread by the TTC itself, as anyone who actually rides the TTC knows that's a blatant lie. *g*

(Sources: Wikipedia and TTC website)

Vive le Québec Long live Quebec. The phrase "Vive le Québec!" comes from the Quebec separatist movement. Supporters of this political movement believe that Quebec should be a separate country from Canada or, at least, have greater political autonomy. The phrase "Vive le Québec!" was made famous by French President Charles de Gaulle when he visited Montreal on July 24, 1967. During a speech he gave from a balcony at Montreal City Hall, he said, "Vive le Québec!" Then he added, "Vive le Québec libre!" ("Long live free Quebec!")

(Source: Wikipedia)

William Shatner I don't actually have anything to say about William Shatner, but he's Canadian so I thought I'd better include him in the glossary.

World's Biggest Bookstore While I'm guessing that the World's Biggest Bookstore doesn't actually have the distinction of being the "world's biggest bookstore," it certainly is huge. Covering a large portion of Edward Street in downtown Toronto, the World's Biggest bookstore has an impressive selection of fiction and non-fiction, magazines, and DVDs.

(Source: Toronto

yanked off his sneakers It's customary in Canada (as well as Asia, Eastern Europe, parts of the Middle East, much of Northern Europe, Alaska and other parts of the US, such as the Midwest) for people to remove their shoes when entering someone's home. This is usually done to avoid trailing dirt or snow into the house. In some societies, such as societies in Asia, hosts may provide indoor footwear for their guests.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Zoo-Zoo-Zoo-Zoo-Zoodles The commercial Rodney is referring to is a commercial for Libby's Zoodles that ran in Canada in the eighties. I have memories of watching it while eating lunch and watching The Flintstones. Anyway, it has a very catchy (if annoying) song that is hard to get out of your head. I should know because it keeps getting stuck in mine. If you want to experience this commercial firsthand, you can find it here:

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