The Canadian penny is showing it’s not going down without a fight.
Nearly two months after the Royal Canadian Mint stopped distributing the one-cent piece, the coin continues to circulate, causing some confusion north of the border.
That’s because when government officials announced the mint would end the penny’s run after more than 150 years, many people thought the cent would no longer be used.
But that’s not quite the case, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
“Businesses don’t have to turn over the pennies they collect to the bank and they can decide if they want to keep using Canada’s smallest currency, even though it’s not being produced,” the CBC reported.
Pennies still remain legal tender in Canada, it added.
The transformation of the Canadian provincial capital of Regina, Saskatchewan, over the past 130 years has been nothing short of remarkable.
Today, it is a city of nearly 200,000 individuals, and features more than 350,000 hand-planted trees, an extensive park system and an array of museums, cathedrals and other elegant structures.
But back in 1882, it was little more than a pile of bones – literally.
The location, near a creek, had been a stopping point for buffalo hunters and gotten its name from remains left at the site.
The mounds of buffalo bones, some left by Cree Indians, were staggering, according to information from the Regina Library.
“The bones resulting from the slaughter were carefully assembled into cylindrical piles about six feet high and about 40 feet in diameter at the base, with the shin and other long bones radiating from the center to make stable and artistic piles,” according to the library’s website. “During the second half of the 19th century, the Métis also slaughtered large numbers of buffalo in this area, and the creek was littered with countless bones.”
Hence, the locale was called “Pile o’ Bones.” However, it was sometimes also referred to by the equally delightful names “Manybones,” “Bone Creek” and “Tas d’Os” – all of which would have taxed the abilities of even the most fervent chamber of commerce official trying to promote the locale.
Spanish maritime experts plan to reconstruct a 16th-century Basque whaling galleon, creating a replica of the oldest shipwreck ever found in Canada.
The 90-foot, three-masted San Juan sank in Red Bay in Labrador 450 years ago, just offshore of a 1560s-era whaling station in the Strait of Belle Isle.
The ship was part of a fleet that brought millions of barrels of whale oil to Europe, a treasure every bit as valuable at the time as the gold taken by Spanish conquistadors from more southerly parts of the Americas, according to Postmedia News.
Now plans are in place for the San Juan to be resurrected by a Spanish team which is seeking to construct a full-scale, seaworthy model of the original vessel.
Archaeologist Robert Grenier discovered the wreckage in 1978 and said the reconstruction project will be one of the world’s first, according to the CBC.
“Transforming these 3,000 pieces of wood we found in Red Bay, Labrador, into a very fateful, precise scientific replica of the original – this is more than a dream come true for me,” he said. “This will be the first time that the Spanish or Basque galleon is reconstructed that way in the world.”
A Canadian attorney paid more than $5,000 for a toilet from Maple Leaf Gardens, the former home of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jim Vigmond, of Barrie, Ontario, bought the commode earlier this month for $5,300 at an auction of items from Maple Leafs Gardens. He opted for the toilet once the item he initially sought – the Leafs’ 1967 Stanley Cup banner – got too pricey, according to the National Post.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the 55-year-old Vigmond has been taking some abuse from his friends for the purchase.
“They thought I had money to burn, and surely there was something that I could have better spent my money on,” he said. “They’ve got a point. But … it’s a part of an icon. I just thought … what a rare piece and just think of all of the people that have spent time contemplating in that dressing room what lies ahead of them.”
Some 112 items were auctioned off during event, including the penalty box benches, banners honoring retired greats such as King Clancy, Tim Horton and George Armstrong, and a variety of autographed jerseys and photos.
Maple Leaf Gardens was home to the club from 1931 to 1999.
Every November 11, the poem In Flanders Fields is read throughout Canada, a tribute to the 67,000 men of the Great White North who gave their lives in World War I.
The verse was written by John McCrae, a Canadian physician and poet of some note from Guelph, Ontario.
Although he was 41 years old at the outbreak of World War I and could have joined the medical corps because of his training and age, McCrae opted to volunteer for the First Brigade of the Canadian Forces Artillery as a gunner and medical officer.
He was on hand with the Canadian Expeditionary Force at the second battle of Ypres in the Flanders region of Belgium in early 1915, a month-long struggle that resulted in more than 100,000 casualties.
It was during this bloody battle that the Germans launched one of the first chemical attacks in the history of war. They hit the Canadian position with chlorine gas on April 22, 1915, but were unable to break through the Canadian line, which held for over two weeks.
McCrae described the battle as a nightmare in a letter to his mother:
After a half century of searching for additional Viking outposts in North America, it appears researchers appear to have finally hit pay dirt.
Evidence recently uncovered on Canada’s Baffin Island, north of the Arctic Circle, strongly points to the discovery of another Viking colony, it was announced earlier this month.
A team led by Memorial University professor Patricia Sutherland was digging in the ruins of a centuries-old building on Baffin Island when they came across blade-sharpening tools called whetstones.
Wear grooves in the whetstones bear traces of copper alloys such as bronze – materials known to have been made by Viking metalsmiths but unknown among the Arctic’s native inhabitants, according to National Geographic.
The find bolsters the case that Norse seafarers from Greenland — hundreds of years after their ancestors abandoned the famous L’Anse aux Meadows settlement in Newfoundland around 1,000 A.D. — were trading goods and even inhabiting sites on Baffin Island, according to Canada.com.
Norwegian researchers Helge Ingstad and Anne Stine Ingstad discovered and excavated the Viking base camp at L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland in the 1960s, marking the first confirmed Viking outpost in the Americas.
The Canadian government recently announced it will stop fighting international efforts to label asbestos as a dangerous substance, potentially sounding the death knell for what was once one of the country’s largest industries.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is no longer going to oppose efforts to include asbestos in the United Nations’ Rotterdam treaty on hazardous materials, according to The Canadian Press.
Industry Minister Christian Paradis, who hails from central Quebec’s asbestos belt, made the announcement last month, speaking in his hometown of Thetford Mines, a community still dotted with imposing tailing piles that remind locals of role asbestos once played in the area.
Canada for many decades enjoyed a reputation as the world’s top producer of asbestos, once hailed as the “magic mineral” for its fireproofing and insulating characteristics in construction materials.
While asbestos mining began several thousand years ago, it did not start on a large scale until the end of the 19th century. For many decades, the world’s largest asbestos mine was the Jeffrey Mine in the town of Asbestos, Quebec, 90 minutes northeast of Thetford Mines.
Asbestos became increasingly popular among manufacturers and builders in the late 1800s because of its sound absorption, resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage, and its affordability.
Over the past century, the purchasing power of the US dollar has declined precipitously. The amount of goods a $5 bill would purchase in 1905, for example, would require nearly $130 today.
However, at least one five-spot printed slightly more than a century ago has far outstripped inflation, by more than 2300 percent, in fact.
A 1905 $5 bill from the First National Bank of Fairbanks, Alaska, presented to then-US Vice President Charles Fairbanks from the Alaskan city of the same name, is expected to fetch as much as $300,000 during an auction this month.
The bill has been in the possession of Fairbanks’ family for the past 107 years, but its current owner, great-grandson Charles Fairbanks IV, decided it would be better to sell it than worry about a mishap, according to an Associated Press report.
The bill, which features an image of President Benjamin Harrison, hung on the younger Fairbanks’ wall for decades.
It will be sold through Dallas-based Heritage Auctions as part of the American Numismatic Association National Money Show.
The French and Indian War is the ultimate forgotten conflict in US history. Most folks can’t even get the combatants correct, guessing that it was the French and Indians who fought one another during the 1754-63 struggle.
The famous oil on canvas image depicts the death of British General James Wolfe during the pivotal Battle of Quebec in 1759. Wolfe’s army was in the process of defeating the forces of the Marquis de Montcalm, spelling the beginning of the end of French ambitions in North America.
Montcalm, like Wolfe, was mortally wounded during the battle, which took place just outside the walls of Quebec City, on the Plains of Abraham
Ironically, the interpretation of West, an American, of Wolfe’s death became iconic, “crystallizing for a patriotic public the moment when Britain assumed the mantle of empire,” according to artdaily.org.
“When Benjamin West’s painting The Death of General Wolfe was first shown at the Royal Academy in 1771 it was received with great acclaim and quickly became one of the most famous paintings in eighteenth-century Britain, serving for generations as the consummate projection of its military, moral, and cultural supremacy and a celebration of Empire,” according to the website.
A 65-year-old Englishman fishing in British Columbia recently hooked a 12-foot-long white sturgeon weighing approximately 1,100 pounds, a catch one expert called among the largest ever recorded in North America.
Michael Snell and his wife Margaret were fishing the Fraser River with a guide early on the afternoon on July 16 when he saw the tip of his rod dip. An hour-and-a-half long fight ensued.
Snell played the fish down the river where his guide maneuvered the sturgeon and the boat to shore, according to the Global Post.
“When we picked her head up out of the water, it was almost three feet wide,” Michael Snell said. “I never knew a fish could be that large.”
The fish was estimated to be at least 100 years old, guide Dean Werk said.
“I’ve been a professional fishing guide on the Fraser for 25 years and I’ve never seen a sturgeon this big,” Werk added.