All posts in The Otter

Horseshoe Falls in February 2013. Daniel Macfarlane

An (Ice) Bridge to the Past: Niagara Falls has Frozen

Niagara Falls has frozen. Well, not really. The entire water flow of the famous Horseshoe Falls doesn’t actually freeze, despite ‘polar vortexes’ (more commonly known to most Canadians as ‘winter’). Water […]

View from causeway, Bay of Jardines Building, 1846. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Environmental History of China’s Multiple Tea Trades: Peter Perdue, Melville-Nelles-Hoffmann Lecture, 2014

Last year, Professor Peter Perdue visited York University to deliver the 2014 Melville-Nelles-Hoffmann Lecture in Environmental History. His lecture titled, “Mountains, Caravans, Rivers, and Salons: China’s Multiple Tea Trades,” explored […]

Photo courtesy of Snell Library, Northeastern University, United South End Settlements Collection

A Personal Journey to Understanding Space, Race, and Environmental Justice in Boston

In 1983, at five years old, my family and I moved closer to the town square in a suburb just outside of Boston. An older boy stalking the street looking […]

Montreal from Street Railway Power House chimney, Quebec, 1896. Photo courtesy of Musée McCord Museum.

One Flew Over The City: Sensorial Experiences of Urban Space

“Plan Wathelet PAS QUESTION!” screamed the little yellow signs. They were taped to practically every window of the quiet Brussels street that my family and I had moved into late […]

Image : Dew Web by photophilde / ©

Outils et ressources numériques sur le web

Comme première chronique de 2015, je vous propose un petit tour d’horizon de sites web francophones – avec quelques écarts! – offrant des outils et ressources numériques qui peuvent être […]

Workers slaughter a sperm whale. Sperm whales produce about 41 barrels of oil.— Photo Credit: Victoria News and the Maritime Museum Of B.C.

#EnvHist Worth Reading: January 2015

Every month I 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. Also check […]

"The First Auto Trip Across the Prairies." Source: Thomas Bouckley Collection, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 715 0667, 1911.

Dislocated Landscapes: The Motor Car and Social Inequality in the Cultural Realm

I have come to think of my dissertation as a reflection of my way of seeing, both now, and in the past. As a daughter of Canada’s Motor City—Oshawa, Ontario—I was […]

Figures 1, 2 and 3: Jameson, Anna. 1838. Left to Right: ‘The Canoe on Lake Huron’, ‘Wayish-ky’s Lodge’, ‘Indians’, Voyage to America Album
Toronto Reference Library, Special Collections. Used with permission.

“Defiled at once, and sanctified by contact”: Anna Brownell Jameson and Visual/Textual Tourism

Anna Brownell Jameson, like others of her class in the mid-1830s, was at pains to extricate herself from the common views and viewing habits of the nineteenth-century tourist. In many […]

Ontario Quebec Border

Lake Abitibi Revisited

As a Master’s student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Environmental History appeared to me as something of a revelation.  Here was a discipline that combined the scope and grandeur of […]

A page from William McKay’s “List of Indians trading at Fort Ellice” in Fort Ellice ledger, 1866-1868. HBCA B.63/d/11 fos. 12d-13. Courtesy of Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba.

William McKay’s Character Book: Tracing Environmental Change in Archival Fragments

Through a sheer accident of history, a document useful for better understanding environmental change survived the test of time. Just after World War I, a farm boy digging around the […]


Nature’s Past – Episode 46: Historical GIS Research in Canada

Episode 46: Historical GIS Research in Canada, 26 January 2015 [38:27] Download Audio In recent years, environmental historians and other historians have been working with maps in new ways. Specifically, they […]


Review: Forest Prairie Edge

Reviewed By: Naomi Horst (University of Guelph) Published: The Otter-NiCHE (December, 2014) Merle Massie, Forest Prairie Edge: Place History in Saskatchewan. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2014. 336 pp. $27.95 […]