The Dictionary of Canadian Biography (DCB; French: Dictionnaire biographique du Canada) is a dictionary of biographical entries for individuals who have contributed to the history of Canada. The DCB, which was initiated in 1959, is a collaboration between the University of Toronto and Laval University. Fifteen volumes have so far been published with more than 8,400 biographies of individuals who died or whose last known activity fell between the years 1000 and 1930. The entire print edition is online, along with some additional biographies to the year 2000.
The project was undertaken following a bequest to the University of Toronto from businessman, James Nicholson for the establishment of a Canadian version of the United Kingdom's Dictionary of National Biography.
In the spring of 1959, George Williams Brown was appointed general editor and the University of Toronto Press, which had been named publisher, sent out some 10,000 announcements introducing the project. Work started in July of that year. 1 July was designated the formal date of the Dictionary's establishment, not coincidentally the same day Canada's confederation is celebrated.
New ground was broken when on 9 March 1961, the French edition of the dictionary was established. No similar research or publication project of this size in English and French had ever been undertaken before in Canada. Marcel Trudel was appointed directeur adjoint for Dictionnaire biographique du Canada, Université Laval the publisher.
It had been decided from the start that for the project to have true resonance for Canadians, the French and English editions of the Dictionary would be identical in content, save for language, and each volume of the Dictionary would be issued simultaneously. The project by its nature required not only much translation, as articles would originate in English and in French, but close coordination as well.
The first volume of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography appeared in 1966 with 594 biographies covering the years 1000 to 1700. The publishers had looked at other similar projects, such as the Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) and the Dictionary of American Biography (DAB) and concluded a different approach was required. In those dictionaries, volumes were arranged alphabetically and published over a span of years. For that reason, until the last volume was published (63 for the DNB up to 22 January 2001; 20 for the DAB to the end of 1935), no historical period could be completely covered until the last volume appeared. Those who died subsequently were added in future volumes in a period arrangement.
The DCB, it was decided, would publish in a period arrangement throughout, with volumes arranged chronologically, and with each volume covering a specific range of years with biographies arranged alphabetically. The volume in which a biography was to appear was determined by death date of the individual in question or, if that was unknown, the date of their last known activity. Volumes were to be of approximate equal size, with the span of time covered within each reducing as biographies moved into the 20th century.
A major drawback to the system was the fact that few people likely would be aware of the death dates of many people and therefore would not know in which volume an individual's biography would be found. This was to be addressed by cumulative indexes and epitome volumes.
Some advantages to the period approach were practical ones – biographies more or less linked by time period would also bring together scholars specializing in those periods, thus making research, editing and cross-checking easier, and readers would not have to keep reacquainting themselves with the historical period the individuals lived in. Additionally, future revisions would be limited to the volumes in question and not the entire series.
The subjects of biographies were broad. While noteworthy Canadians born and resident in Canada and Canadians who made their reputations abroad were to be included, so were persons from other countries who made a contribution to Canadian life. A general rule was to exclude those persons who had not set foot in what is now Canada, even if their influence on Canada was great. As for those born outside of Canada, focus was to be given to their life in Canada.
A guide was issued for the writers of Volume I biographies, and repeated for subsequent volumes:
"The biography should be a fresh and scholarly treatment of the subject based upon reliable sources (where possible first-hand) precise and accurate in statements of fact, concise, but presented in attractive literary form.... the aim is to secure independent and original treatments and not mere compilations of preceding accounts."
The biographies themselves were to range from about 200 words to a maximum of 8,000 to 10,000 words. There would typically be several hundred contributors for each volume.
An additional feature, taking advantage of the period approach, was the inclusion of several historical essays to further establish the historical context of many of the subjects of the biographies. Future volumes would also include historical essays, but not all.
Volume II, covering the years 1701 to 1740, appeared in 1969. Biographies of 578 individuals appeared within its pages.
By this time, there had been an important development which would have the effect of dramatically altering the publication sequence. Canada's centennial was celebrated in 1967 and, accordingly, the government of Canada created the Centennial Commission, in part to promote historical awareness. One of the first acts of the Commission was to award a grant to the DCB specifically towards biographical research in the years 1850 to 1900. As a result, in 1967 it was decided to start preparing volumes for the 19th century. Volume X, ranging from 1871 to 1880, was the first volume to be assembled, and it appeared in 1972 with the biographies of 574 people, many of whom were instrumental in the creation of Canada itself.
From this time forward, while the original sequence of volumes continued, a parallel sequence of volumes for the 19th century appeared as well.
In 1974, the fourth volume, Volume III, was published. The biographies of 550 individuals who died between the years 1741 and 1770 were featured. A period of long editorial stability was established as Francess G. Halpenny, who succeeded Hayne in 1969, would hold the position of general editor for 20 years. Jean Hamelin, who became directeur adjoint in 1973, would hold the French editorial reins until his death in 1998.
The second volume of the 19th century appeared in 1976: Volume IX. Some 524 biographies by 311 contributors ranged from 400 to 12,000 words in length, encompassing the years 1861 to 1870. It was decided then not to include an introductory historical essay as that would be more properly included in a broader summing up of the era in a later volume.
The sixth volume published, Volume IV, brought to completion the 18th century. Appearing in 1979, 504 biographies spanned the years 1771 to 1800. That same year, Volume I was reprinted with corrections. Volume II was also reprinted, with corrections, and the seventh volume appeared, both in 1982. Volume XI contained the biographies of 586 noteworthy Canadians who died between 1881 and 1890. A new feature was introduced in this volume: indexes by occupation and geography. This new feature was to be incorporated in new volumes and in reprints of previous volumes as well as separate indexes, one of which appeared in 1981 for Volumes I–IV.
Volume V soon followed, published in 1983. It ranged the years 1801 to 1820, with 502 biographies from 269 contributors. Then, three more volumes followed in 1985, 1987 and 1988 bringing a total of 11: Volume VIII (1851 to 1860) with 521 biographies; Volume VI (1821 to 1835) with 479 biographies; Volume VII (1836 to 1850) with 538 biographies.
Finally, in 1990, the twelfth volume appeared, completing the 19th century. The 597 biographies of Volume XII (1891 to 1900) brought a total of 6,520 biographies to the project as its first main phase drew to a close, and long-time general editor Halpenny retired. An index for these first twelve volumes soon appeared allowing readers to quickly access all 6,520 biographies and all the thousands of other individuals mentioned in those biographies.
Volume XII of the DCB said that the first three volumes of the 20th century were in preparation: Volume XIII (1901–1910); Volume XIV (1911–1918); Volume XV (1919–1925). But when Volume XIII appeared in 1994, with Ramsay Cook as new general editor, the intervening years were described as "hav[ing] been among the most difficult in the history of this Canadian institution." Severe financial restraints were described and a more "modest" plan was announced, with each volume covering a decade instead of the shorter intervals previously planned for post-1910. An additional volume was said to be in preparation up to the end of 1940.
Nevertheless, Volume XIII continued in the tradition of past volumes, with 648 biographies by 438 contributors, covering the previously announced range of years of 1901 to 1910.
Volume XIV was published in 1998, and marked a dramatic superficial change: a colourful dust-jacket featuring images of some 52 prominent Canadians, a stark contrast to the modest tan covers of previous volumes which featured only text. The contents continued in the scholarly style of the past volumes, however, with 622 biographies of individuals for the years 1911 to 1920. The introduction suggested that the financial and staff pressures were "becoming more acute" but held out the hope that "funds from a wider variety of granting agencies" would permit the project to continue as planned.
Volume XV appeared in 2005, with a solemn tribute to Hamelin who had died in 1998, and an "au revoir" to Cook who completed his participation with the DCB upon publication of the volume. Réal Bélanger had since 1998 replaced Hamelin as directeur general adjoint, and John English has replaced Cook as General Editor.
The 619 biographies contained within would bring a total of 8,419 biographies spanning the years 1000 to 1930 to the project. And, as a sign of the rapidly changing means of communications the DCB was encountering, mention was made of the millennium project to distribute for free CD-ROMs of the contents of the first 14 volumes of the project to educational institutions and of the intellectual properties licensing agreement made with Library and Archives Canada in 2003 to make available on-line those same 14 volumes with some additional biographies afterwards. The on-line edition of the DCB now has incorporated the biographies of Volume XV, and includes about a dozen biographies of prominent Canadians who died between 1931 and 2000, including every prime minister who had died within that time period.
Mention was also made of the financial problems which were making work more difficult, but also of the efforts of many Canadian institutions, corporations, agencies and individuals who made the continuation of the project possible.
The DCB is preparing Volume XVI which will cover the years 1931 to 1940, and is in the research stages for additional volumes which will encompass the years 1941 to 1980. When this phase of production is complete, there will be more than 10,000 biographies.
In 2007, the DCB published Canada’s Prime Ministers: Macdonald to Trudeau – Portraits from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. The 15 biographies therein reproduced those biographies which had appeared in the various volumes of the DCB already published, supplemented by the biographies of the prime ministers who have died since 1930.
The evaluations by professional historians have been overwhelmingly favourable. Halpenny emphasizes its use of "the insights of historical geography, sociology, anthropology, and literature," and notes that it responds to both the concerns of quantitative historians as well as scholars in the fields of minorities, labor, and women.
Regarding the Maritimes, the Dictionary says little about early Indian leadership, but, says Godfrey, effectively covers French missionaries, and illuminates Acadia's relationship to France and New France. Volumes IX and X deemphasize Acadians and Indians, and focus mostly on politics as contests between elites. The treatment of Maritime economic and intellectual development suggests that the legendary mid-19th-century Golden Age was only a veneer.
Events from the year 1698 in France.1714 in Canada
Events from the year 1714 in Canada.1727 in Canada
Events from the year 1727 in Canada.1747 in Canada
Events from the year 1747 in Canada.1813 in Canada
Events from the year 1813 in Canada.Chief Justice of Quebec
The title of Chief Justice of Quebec (French: Juge en chef du Québec) is assumed by the chief justice of the Court of Appeal of Quebec. From 1849 to 1974 it was assumed by the Chief Justice from the Court of Queen's Bench or Court of King's Bench.Commander-in-Chief, North America
The office of Commander-in-Chief, North America was a military position of the British Army. Established in 1755 in the early years of the Seven Years' War, holders of the post were generally responsible for land-based military personnel and activities in and around those parts of North America that Great Britain either controlled or contested. The post continued to exist until 1775, when Lieutenant-General Thomas Gage, the last holder of the post, was replaced early in the American War of Independence. The post's responsibilities were then divided: Major-General William Howe became Commander-in-Chief, America, responsible for British troops from West Florida to Newfoundland, and General Guy Carleton became Commander-in-Chief, Quebec, responsible for the defence of the Province of Quebec.
This division of responsibility persisted after American independence and the loss of East and West Florida in the Treaty of Paris (1783). One officer was given the posting for Quebec, which later became the Commander-in-Chief of The Canadas when Quebec was divided into Upper and Lower Canada, while another officer was posted to Halifax with responsibility for military matters in the maritime provinces.
Following Canadian Confederation in 1867, these commanders were replaced in 1875 by the General Officer Commanding the Forces (Canada), whose post was succeeded in 1904 by the Chief of the General Staff Canada, a position which was established for a Canadian Army commander.Court of Appeal of Prince Edward Island
The Court of Appeal of Prince Edward Island (also known as the Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal, and as PECA in legal abbreviation) is the appellate court for the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, and thus the senior provincial court below the Supreme Court of Canada. As the number of appeals heard by the Supreme Court of Canada is extremely limited, the Court of Appeal is in practice the court of final appeal for most residents of Prince Edward Island.
The Court is composed of three judges, led by the Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island, currently David H. Jenkins. At any given time there may be one or more additional justices who sit as supernumerary justices.
The Court of Appeal derives its jurisdiction from Prince Edward Island's Judicature Act, enacted in its current form in 2008.High School of Montreal
The High School of Montreal was an English-language high school founded in 1843, serving Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in the area eventually known as the Golden Square Mile. It was less formally known as Montreal High School and from 1853 to 1870 was called the High School of McGill College, or the High School Division.
Founded as a school for boys only, girls were first admitted in 1875, although to a separate division called the High School for Girls, and a new building shared by both was opened in 1878. In its last century the school took children from the first to the twelfth grades. In 1915, after occupying several different sites, the school moved into a new neoclassical building on University Street, near the campus of McGill University. Girls and boys were taught in separate wings of the building and were also apart for school sports, but came together for some activities. The two divisions were united into a single school in 1965.
The school closed in June 1979, largely as the result of a decline in the English-speaking population. Soon after, the mostly French-speaking F.A.C.E. School moved into its empty premises, to be joined by the MIND High School on the third floor.List of Prime Ministers of Canada by time in office
This article is a list of the prime ministers of Canada by their time in office. The list starts with Confederation on July 1, 1867, and the first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. It includes all prime ministers since then, up to the current prime minister, Justin Trudeau, the twenty-third to hold the office.List of lieutenant governors of Quebec
The following is a list of the Lieutenant Governors of Quebec. Though the present day office of the lieutenant governor in Quebec came into being only upon the province's entry into Canadian Confederation in 1867, the post is a continuation from the first governorship of New France in 1627, through the governor generalcy of New France, and the governorship of the Province of Quebec. From 1786 to 1867, the Governors General of The Canadas and then the Governors General of the Province of Canada simultaneously acted as the direct governor of Lower Canada and then Canada East (what is present day Quebec), only occasionally appointing a lieutenant to act in their stead.List of premiers of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador is current title of the First Minister for the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, which was at certain points in its history a colony, dominion, and province. The province had a system of responsible government from 1855 to 1934, and again since 1949. Newfoundland became a British crown colony in 1855, in 1907 it became a dominion, and in 1949, it became a province and joined Canadian Confederation. Since then, the province has been a part of the Canadian federation and has kept its own legislature to deal with provincial matters. The province was named Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001.The province has a unicameral Westminster-style parliamentary government, in which the Premier is the leader of the party that controls the most seats in the House of Assembly. The Premier is Newfoundland and Labrador's head of government, and the Queen of Canada is its head of state and is represented by the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Premier picks a cabinet from the elected members to form the Executive Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, and presides over that body. Members are first elected to the House during general elections. General elections must be conducted every four years from the date of the last election. An election may also take place if the governing party loses the confidence of the legislature by the defeat of a supply bill or tabling of a confidence motion.From 1855 to 1907, the position of first minister was known as Premier. After the colony was granted dominion status, the position became known as Prime Minister. Democratic government was suspended in 1934 and replaced by an appointed Commission of Government, until 1949 Newfoundland became a province of Canada. Since the reinstitution of democratic government in 1949, the position of First Minister has been known as Premier.Since 1855, Newfoundland and Labrador has been led by ten Colonial Premiers, nine Dominion Prime Ministers, three Chairmen of Commission of Government, and twelve Provincial Premiers. Of the Provincial Premiers six are from the Liberal Party, and seven are from the Progressive Conservative Party.Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Lunenburg is a port town on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. Founded in 1773, the town was one of the first British attempts to settle Protestants in Nova Scotia intended to displace Mi'kmaqs and Acadians.
The economy was traditionally based on the offshore fishery, and today Lunenburg is the site of Canada's largest secondary fish-processing plant. The town flourished in the late 1800s, and much of the historic architecture dates from that period.
The historic town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. UNESCO considers the site the best example of planned British colonial settlement in North America, having retained its original layout and appearance, including wooden architecture in the local vernacular. UNESCO considers the town in need of protection because the future of its traditional economic underpinnings, the Atlantic fishery, is now very uncertain.
The historic core of the town is also a National Historic Site of Canada.Parti canadien
The Parti canadien (French pronunciation: [paʁti kanadjɛ̃]) or Parti patriote (pronounced [paʁti patʁiɔt]) was a primarily francophone political party in what is now Quebec founded by members of the liberal elite of Lower Canada at the beginning of the 19th century. Its members were made up of liberal professionals and small-scale merchants, including François Blanchet, Pierre-Stanislas Bédard, John Neilson, Jean-Thomas Taschereau, James Stuart, Louis Bourdages, Denis-Benjamin Viger, Daniel Tracey, Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan, Andrew Stuart and Louis-Joseph Papineau.Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada (French: Premier ministre du Canada) is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and Canada's head of government. The current, and 23rd, Prime Minister of Canada is the Liberal Party's Justin Trudeau, following the 2015 Canadian federal election. Canadian prime ministers are styled as The Right Honourable (French: Le Très Honorable), a privilege maintained for life.
The Prime Minister of Canada is in charge of the Prime Minister's Office. The Prime Minister also chooses the ministers that make up the Cabinet. The two groups, with the authority of the Parliament of Canada, manage the Government of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces. The Cabinet and the Prime Minister also appoint members of the Senate of Canada, the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada and federal courts, and the leaders and boards, as required under law, of various Crown Corporations, and selects the Governor General of Canada. Under the Canadian constitution, all of the power to exercise these activities is actually vested in the Monarchy of Canada, but in practice the Canadian monarch (who is the head of state) or their representative, the Governor General of Canada approves them routinely, and their role is largely ceremonial, and their powers are only exercised under the advice of the Prime Minister.Not outlined in any constitutional document, the office exists only as per long-established convention (originating in Canada's former colonial power, the United Kingdom) that stipulates the monarch's representative, the governor general, must select as prime minister the person most likely to command the confidence of the elected House of Commons; this individual is typically the leader of the political party that holds the largest number of seats in that chamber.Red River Rebellion
The Red River Rebellion (or the Red River Resistance, Red River uprising, or First Riel Rebellion) was the sequence of events that led up to the 1869 establishment of a provisional government by the Métis leader Louis Riel and his followers at the Red River Colony, in what is now the Canadian province of Manitoba. For a period it had been a territory called Rupert's Land under control of the Hudson's Bay Company.
The Resistance was the first crisis the new federal government faced following Canadian Confederation in 1867. The Canadian government had bought Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1869 and appointed an English-speaking governor, William McDougall. He was opposed by the French-speaking, mostly Métis inhabitants of the settlement. Before the land was officially transferred to Canada, McDougall sent out surveyors to plot the land according to the square township system used in Ontario. The Métis, led by Riel, prevented McDougall from entering the territory. McDougall declared that the Hudson's Bay Company was no longer in control of the territory and that Canada had asked for the transfer of sovereignty to be postponed. The Métis created a provisional government, to which they invited an equal number of Anglophone representatives. Riel negotiated directly with the Canadian government to establish Manitoba as a province.
Meanwhile, Riel's men arrested members of a pro-Canadian faction who had resisted the provisional government. They included an Orangeman named Thomas Scott. Riel's government tried and convicted Scott, and executed him for threatening to murder Louis Riel. Canada and the Assiniboia provisional government soon negotiated an agreement. In 1870, the national legislature passed the Manitoba Act, allowing the Red River Colony to enter Confederation as the province of Manitoba. The Act also incorporated some of Riel's demands, such as the provision of separate French schools for Métis children and protection for the practice of Catholicism.
After reaching an agreement, Canada sent a military expedition to Manitoba to enforce federal authority. Now known as the Wolseley Expedition (or Red River Expedition), it consisted of Canadian militia and British regular soldiers led by Colonel Garnet Wolseley. Outrage grew in Ontario over Scott's execution, and many eastern folks demanded that Wolseley's expedition arrest Riel for murder and suppress what they considered to be rebellion. Riel peacefully withdrew from Fort Garry the day the troops arrived. Warned by many that the soldiers would harm him, and denied amnesty for his political leadership of the rebellion, Riel fled to the United States. The arrival of troops marked the end of the Rebellion.St. James Cemetery (Toronto)
The Anglican St. James Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Toronto still in operation, being opened in 1844 as the burial ground for St. James Cathedral.
The entrance to the cemetery is located at the intersection of Bloor and Parliament Streets, overlooking the Don River ravine. Just to the west is the St. James Town neighbourhood, which is named after the cemetery.University of Toronto Press
The University of Toronto Press is a Canadian scholarly publisher and book distributor founded in 1901.Viceregal consort of Canada
The viceregal consort of Canada is the spouse of the serving governor general of Canada, assisting the viceroy with ceremonial and charitable work, accompanying him or her to official state occasions, and occasionally undertaking philanthropic work of their own. As the hostess of the royal and viceroyal residence in Ottawa, the consort, if female, is also known as the Chatelaine of Rideau Hall. This individual, who ranks third in the Canadian order of precedence, after the Canadian monarch and the governor general, is addressed as His or Her Excellency while their spouse is in office, and is made ex officio an Extraordinary Companion (French: Compagnon Extraordinaire) of the Order of Canada and a Knight or Dame of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem.Only once has the title of Chatelaine of Rideau Hall been held by someone who was not the spouse of the governor general—as Vincent Massey was a widower, his daughter-in-law, Lilias Massey, held the title and performed the official duties of the Chatelaine. Unlike a viceregal consort, however, Lilias Massey was not addressed as Her Excellency.