Like Ontario, Simcoe & Huron, unless you’re a hardcore railroad history fan, you may have never heard of the Great Western Railroad. If you commute between Hamilton and Toronto on the GO Train, you’ve ridden on the part of the original line for Great Western. Their stations are still in use around the province, and yet the name is long lost to history. Great Western Railroad got its start in 1834 as the London & Gore Railway to build a railway between the city of London and the city of Hamilton. Even in 1834, Sir Allan Napier MacNab invested heavily in the company. But theRead More →

Sir Francis Hincks, the proverbial third wheel in the reform movement and a figure that I knew nothing of until I started researching for this project. And while generally overshadowed by the likes of his predecessor in Robert Baldwin and his successor Sir Allan Napier MacNab as Premier of the Province of Canada his role in creating the modern province is fairly essential. The meeting of Robert Baldwin and Louis La Fontaine may have never happened if it was not for Hincks. Born the 4th of December 1807 in Cork Ireland, Francis was the youngest son of Reverend Thomas Dix Hincks. From his youth, HincksRead More →

Politics, in general, can be rather dull. I’m sure only pundits and political science students watch CSPAN regularly. When I attended a question period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, it proved so dull that even the Prime Minister appeared to be napping. Yes, tales of military might, bravery, heroism, and battles make for more exciting reading and writing. We cannot ignore the political history that shaped pre-confederation Canada. Because much of this early dealings helped shaped our country’s government today, yet if you look closely you’ll find a bit of exciting. Like how the arrival of democracy resulted in riots only seenRead More →

If you’re confused at the title, don’t worry, there never was the Republic of Canada, well not in any formally recognised manner. I happened across this strange pseudo-nation while doing the initial planning stages of this project. The grand republic is the brainchild of William Lyon MacKenzie and Charles Duncombe; they desired to reshape both Upper and Lower Canada into a single country with a Constitution and Government structure similar to that in the United States of America. And while he aimed to establish his new republic through force of arms, his failure at Toronto and Duncombe’s failure in the west did little to dampenRead More →

It was the 6th of November 1837, and Lower Canada had erupted in open armed revolt against the Colonial Government. The Patriotes under Louis-Joseph Papineau and many others fuelled by the ideals of the American Revolution, French Liberty, and Republicanism. They decided that they would only rid themselves of the influence of the British Ruling Class, a group of Tory elites organised into a group known as the Chateau Clique was to begin a revolution when their demands for reform were ignored. There had been some communication between Lower Canada Patriotes and the radicals in Upper Canada under William Lyon MacKenzie. And while a coordinatedRead More →

Out of all the historical figures I have come across in my research one of the more interesting is Sir Allan Napier MacNab. MacNab is one figure whom I already had some knowledge of considering I have visited his former home many times in Hamilton. However, I had no idea how influential he was on pre-confederation history and his lasting impact on Canada today. Born in Newark, Upper Canada, today Niagara-On-The-Lake on the 19th of February 1798, his father an officer in the Queen’s Ranger who came to Upper Canada with Sir John Graves Simcoe. When the unit saw disbandment, the MacNab’s moved to theRead More →

If there is a singular group that I had a clue about going deep into this project, that group would be the Family Compact. And how you view them relies on your view of Canadian History. To some they are the antagonist of this particular branch of Canadian history, to others, they represent Canadian loyalty to the British Crown in the rebellions. But for me, they now stand as the opposite side of the same coin during the Upper Canada Rebellion. The Compact represented the colonial elite, the new ruling class. They controlled every aspect, every part of the government, the law, and the church.Read More →