Blog

Toronto Maple Leafs 1967: The Last Stanley Cup

The victory of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1967 Stanley Cup was a singular event. It was unexpected then, and who would have predicted that it would not happen again? (With the Leafs not even in the playoffs in 2012, it has been 45 years and counting.) The members of the Leafs that year knew they were flawed. They were mostly old by hockey standards (2 were over 40 and 5 others were 36 or older), lacked scoring, included some erratic personalities and they had endured a season in which at one point they lost 10 straight games. This team was essentially the same team that the previous year had been...

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Sor Study in B Minor

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Canada’s Place in Baseball’s Hall of Fame

In July 2011 Toronto Blue Jay’s second baseman Roberto Alomar and general manager Pat Gillick were inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame, making it a first for Canadians in baseball history.  This marks the first time Canada’s only major league team will have a place to call its own in baseballs Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY.  While there are already four other Blue Jays in the hall, but neither Phil Niekro, Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor nor Rickey Henderson were inducted as Jays.  Plenty of Canadians made the trek south of the border to watch Alomar and Gillick be inducted. “Canadian...

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Leonard Cohen: Canadian Original

Whatever pride we are supposed to draw from the various and often-contradictory definitions of our identity and history, let’s face it, nothing inspires us so much as our own people rising out of this defensive culture to universal stature. We have been lucky in this, even outside our sports heroes, except perhaps in politics where the Diefenbakers and Trudeaus have been precious few. Growing up in Toronto in the 1950s it was certainly encouraging to me to read that a global genius and eccentric such as Glenn Gould lived among us—a sheep who could jump the fence. In that colonial...

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The Encyclopedia in the Digital Age

“Significant: expressive, suggestive, with unstated or secret sense, inviting attention; noteworthy, of considerable amount or effect or importance” - Oxford English Dictionary One of the words that recurs in the making of reference works is “significance.” While the word “encyclopedia” either means or implies “all the knowledge in the world,” and one might call a Canadian encyclopedia “everything you wanted to know about Canada,” of course this was never literally possible. So when you make a reference work you have to make choices and hope that in the final product at least...

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