If there is a singular piece of infrastructure that changed the course of an entire region of Ontario that piece is the Welland Canal. Today the massive ship channel that serves as an extension of the St. Lawerence Seaway has humble beginnings. Before the construction of any canal, the only way to move supplies between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie was using the Niagara River. The river proved to be a difficult route for the British. The first being proximity to the American guns at Fort Niagara the second being the wonder of Niagara Falls. It resulted in long portages often starting at Queenston. TheRead More →

Upper Canada was a Province created by the influx of immigrants, from the first loyalists who arrived during and after the American Revolution. But they were not the only group who would make Upper Canada home. As the Province grew, many different groups such as Germans, English, Irish, Scottish, Americans, French, and those who came as slaves, arrived owing to the rich cultural mix that we in Ontario still enjoy today. And many of these cultures owe their presence in the country to these early pioneers who often faced harsh conditions to carve a living out of the wilderness that made up of most ofRead More →

There are many figured in our history that changed the course of Canadian History, think Sir John A. MacDonald, William Lyon MacKenzie, Robert Baldwin, Louis LaFontaine. However, all these men owe their contributions to a single person, Robert Gourlay. Gourlay’s presence in Upper Canada would ignite the spark of reform here in Upper Canada. Upper Canada in the early 19th-Century was a vast rural backwater. Urban centres were few and far between cities that we know today were little more than muddy villages in the middle of the vast forest. The undeveloped nature of the Province gave those in control, the colonial elite, access toRead More →

If anyone has read any of my classic film reviews, you’ll know I have a taste for out-of-production films, especially Kodak Plus-X and Panatomic-X. For several years I’ve participated in an event called Expired Film Day. This is an online celebration of shooting film past its due date and it usually is a single day, the 15th of March, but this year the mind behind it decided to give three days to get out and shoot. In the past, I’ve only gotten out and shot a single roll of film on that day, but now that I had three days to play I could getRead More →

In Post-War British North America, the British authorities took a two-pronged approach to the defences of their North American holdings. The first through a series of upgrades to the defensive forts along the border and the bolstering of the British garrisons, the second would be to prevent another war through a series of negotiated agreements and treaties. The idea would be to shore up the start of better relationships and fill in the gaps left by the Treaty of Gent. If you have read the Treaty of Ghent and understand its context you’ll quickly realise Ghent could not be the final say for normal relationsRead More →

The Anglo-American War of 1812 had decimated the defences of Upper Canada, by war’s end all the major fort’s constructed in the pre-war era had faced destruction throughout the war. Fort York and Fort George in York (Toronto) and Newark (Niagara-On-The-Lake) respectively had been destroyed in 1813, Fort Erie and Fort St. Joseph in 1814. The British knocked down Fort Amherstburg in their retreat in 1813. The only major fort to survive the war was Fort Henry in Kingston only because it defended the Royal Navy dockyard. And while the British had captured two major American forts during the war, Fort Niagara and Fort Mackinac.Read More →

Like Ultrafine Extreme 100, the 400-speed flavour is another mystery as of where the film stock comes from. But when it comes to a budget-friendly film, it might be best not to ask too many questions. Extreme 400 is a stock that I have little experience with before I started this review, I had shot a single roll several years back for a camera review. And while, like Kentmere 400 I expected Extreme 400 to be of similar style and class, with heavy grain and low contrast in general. However, the film stock quickly proved me wrong as being inexpensive but far from cheap. FilmRead More →

Canada has throughout our collective history has been ruled through an officer known as a Governor-General or Lieutenant-Governor. These men (and women) operate as a representative of the crown. Today the office is more of a symbolic role, serving as a figurehead and patron of the arts, Colonel-In-Chief of several Regiments within the Canadian Armed Forces and Reserves. But the office has a far-reaching history back to when they ruled directly or through a Provincial Parliament. The governors that ruled in Pre-Confederation Canada were among those who often ruled directly as autocrats, with an iron fist or a velvet glove. The first of these Lieutenant-GovernorsRead More →

All stories have to start somewhere and to understand everything that happened after the Anglo-American War of 1812 one must learn about how the seeds of the struggles that are to come were first sewn. Pre-Confederation History is a bit of a mess, but there is a single touchstone date where everything stems from, and that is 1791. By 1791, the American Revolution was nearly a decade over, and many who still lived in the former colonies swore loyalty to the British Crown. Many did not wish to remain under a republic, and many Americans did not want these Tories in their country. And inRead More →

I’m keeping with the budget-friendly theme here and going with the Ultrafine Extreme films for this month. I’m not exactly sure where Ultrafine gets its film stocks from, but it certainly knows how to get a decent product. Ultrafine Extreme 100 appears to be a classic grained panchromatic film that offers fine grain and excellent sharpness. And it certainly does not break the bank. The film isn’t so much cheap as it is inexpensive, a roll of 35mm 24-exposure runs about five dollars Canadian. I can honestly say I’m impressed by this film and it certainly stands up to most conditions you can throw atRead More →