All posts in The Otter

Otter, Giblett cover, 2014

New Book on Canadian Wetlands

Rod Giblett, Australian author on many books about wetlands, has just published Canadian Wetlands: Places and People. See here for details.

"Two Worlds Colliding," NFB Documentary about Starlight Tours and Aboriginal Deaths

Cold Cases: Hypothermia before, and after, Stonechild

The 2013 ice storm left hundreds of thousands of Canadians out in the cold and made some people pause to consider the fragility of urban energy systems in a changing […]

Source: Yatmandu, "Parliament Cats,"

A Parliament of Cats

When I lived in Ottawa, my wife and I regularly strolled up Parliament Hill to visit the cat sanctuary. Right beside the Canadian Parliament, less than a stone’s throw away, were […]

Ville de Matane, en 1950. Source: SHGM.

L’industrie du sciage et l’exploitation forestière dans la région matanaise : le déclin des années 1950

Par Rémi Lefrançois À la fin des années 1950, l’industrie du sciage au Bas-Saint-Laurent vit un véritable choc avec la fermeture coup sur coup des usines de sciage de la […]

Image Credit: Richard Huffstutter, "Hot Dogs on City Beach, Laguna, CA," 2009, available at

Hot Dog Stands and “Overcivilized Beaches”

  “From the heat and horror of the roads, from the fumes of a thousand exhausts—‘pure, ethereal gale,’ forsooth!—from all hot-dog stands, wayside ‘shoppes’ and traffic jams, good Lord, deliver us!”[1] […]

Dutch whalers at Spitsbergen in the seventeenth century. Abraham Storck, “Walvisvangst bij de kust van Spitsbergen,” 1690

How Should We Measure Climate Change? What the Past Can Tell Us

Last month, world leaders met at UN Headquarters in New York City for Climate Summit 2014. As protests raged across the globe, diplomats established the framework for a major climate […]

"Pleasant relaxation at Sunny Trails," Sunbathing for Health 11, no.9, April 1958

The Naked Truth about Conferences

This is the 8th in a series of posts written by recipients of NiCHE New Scholar Travel Grants to attend the World Congress of Environmental History in Guimarães, Portugal.   […]

Trudeau on Nahanni River, 1970

Portrait of a Country: Images for Teaching Canada

In the first installment of this three-part series, I shared eleven of my favourite images for teaching about Canada’s attempts to acquire the continental interior, particularly the prairie west, in […]

Parcs Canada. Lieu historique national de la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg, Nouvelle-Écosse. Thierry Boyer, 2013.

Des capsules temporelles sous l’eau

Je tiens à remercier Charles Dagneau, archéologue subaquatique à Parcs Canada, pour la généreuse entrevue qui a permis la rédaction de cette chronique.   Il y a plusieurs semaines déjà, […]

"Read II" by Daniel Go

#EnvHist Worth Reading: September 2014

Every month we carefully track the most popular and significant environmental history articles, videos, audio, and other items making their way through the online environmental history (#envhist) community. This month […]

6.6 Welland lock myphoto

Finding the Welland Canals

Version 1.0 of the Welland Canal, Canada’s competitor to the Erie Canal, was built privately in the 1820s to circumnavigate the route between lakes Erie and Ontario.  A little something called Niagara […]


Review: Historical GIS Research in Canada

  Jennifer Bonnell and Marcel Fortin, eds. Historical GIS Research in Canada. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2014. 322 pp. $39.95 (paperback) ISBN: 978-1-55238-708-5; Free (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-55238-744-3. Reviewed By: Jessica […]