Today's fact about Canada

Summit

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Nov 25, 2004
22,651
7,896
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Perth
I want to know more about that Selkirks
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Revelstoke Mountain
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and town is just a few kms away
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Whitewater Ski Resort
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and base town of Nelson maybe 20-30 mins drive.

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A town full of historic buildings. Luckily the town was in a slump 30 or 40 years ago when it was the norm to knock down heritage buildings as supposedly the best way forward, so no interest in knocking down the heritage buildings.

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almontyrat

One of Us
Ski Pass
Apr 16, 2005
1,742
2,894
363
Wesley Vale, Tasmania
Love Whitewater and Nelson. Been to two coldsmoke festivals there and still use the freeby bag and merino toque that were in one of the goody bags. I have tele friends in both Nelson and Rossland who are way over due for a visit....
 
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main street

Doing what I want.
Ski Pass
Jul 11, 2006
73,662
15,455
3,000
Kelowna, BC
The golf course in Grande Cache used to put up notices that bears had been seen by a certain fairway

When the +1 and I were marshalls at the Sun Peaks golf course we had to encourage multiple bears to "play through" so other golfers could get their rounds done.....

Even had one keen on looking into our hot tub....
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,289
16,070
1,063
Penticton, BC
Last census was 2016 so numbers are becoming less reliable. And Tumbler Ridge is a mining town, people arrive or leave in great numbers when there's a change in mineral markets. But I suspect the real reason is a sloppy journalist.
 
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,289
16,070
1,063
Penticton, BC
I want to know more about that Selkirks
The mountains? The family?

OK I better throw Doonks a bone, he's been pretty patient.

The Selkirk Mountains were and are a major barrier to east-west transport across southern BC. The Columbia River is forced to make a long loop off to the north in order to skirt around the 300 km long ridge of the Selkirks with its array of >3000 m peaks. Human transport systems did the same thing, avoiding the heavily glaciated area and its avalanche and rockslide problems. Early trail and road systems followed the Columbia and Kootenay rivers and their associated lakes as much as possible.

In the 1870s, railway surveyors were exploring potential routes for the coming Canadian Pacific Railway, and although the Yellowhead Pass (near today's town of Jasper) had been favoured for thousands of years due to its easy grades and moderate elevation, they were attracted to the Kicking Horse Pass (just west of Lake Louise) because it was 200 further miles south and therefore a more direct connection between the rich southern prairie farmland and the seaports of Victoria and New Westminster. The major problem with the Kicking Horse route wasn't the pass itself, but what happened west of the pass. Having followed the Kicking Horse River down to its confluence with the Columbia, the choices were poor. Downstream on the Columbia was its long loop to the north, which would eat up much of the mileage saved by using the southerly route. Upstream to the head of the Columbia and then along the Kootenay River/Kootenay Lake was even longer. A direct crossing of the Selkirks had to be found to make the Kicking Horse route viable.

I've related in an earlier post in this thread about the eventual discovery of the narrow gap known today as Rogers Pass. This convinced CPR officials to go with the southerly route, which in turn is largely responsible for the founding of the city of Calgary on the lower Bow River. The fur trading post of Fort Edmonton was initially bypassed by the railway transport revolution, being connected some 30 years after the southern upstart. The crossing of the Selkirks was unknown territory in many ways, as it was not even a major trading route for first nations people.

In hindsight, the Selkirks route was probably a poor choice. Today's CNR mainline through the Yellowhead route is significantly less expensive to operate due to lower elevation, easier grades, lower snowfall/avalanche risk. The early days in the Rogers Pass were savagely costly both in money and lives. Over 200 people were killed in avalanches in the first 25 years, and dozens of snowsheds were destroyed. In 1915, this prompted CPR to build the 9.7 km Connaught tunnel below the summit to bypass the worst sections. It was the longest railway tunnel in north america until 1988 when a second tunnel was added, the 14 km long MacDonald.

In the steam era, special locomotives were designed and built to haul mainline trains over the steep grades of the Rogers and Kicking Horse passes. They were of course named the Selkirk class, and they were to be the most powerful non-articulated steam locomotives ever built. Built in Montreal, the Selkirk locos were confined to the Revelstoke-Calgary division due to their extreme weight - 350 tonnes fully loaded and fuelled.
 

Summit

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Nov 25, 2004
22,651
7,896
1,063
Perth
^^
I want to do the drive between Revelstoke and Nelson, hopefully next northern hemisphere trip. Been researching the area, drive along Kootenay Lake and a ferry crossing at Shelter Bay across Upper Arrow Lake. Check out Kaslo and New Denver.
 
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,289
16,070
1,063
Penticton, BC
That drive can be a circle trip if you don't mind some gravel roads. Normal highway route south from Revy, across upper Arrow Lk using the ferry and on to Nelson via New Denver. Then back north along Kootenay Lk through Kaslo, road becomes gravel and passes through almost forgotten villages like Lardeau, Meadow Lake and Trout Lake on a remote, lonely stretch through the Selkirks before hitting the pavement again at Galena Bay ferry. A couple of heli and cat operators use these mountains and it's easy to see why.

Trip needs a day each way and is most definitely a fair weather forecast before attempting the Kaslo-Galena Bay section. This road isn't hardcore off roading, but anything gravel in winter requires self sufficiency, and the remote/untraveled factor lifts it several levels of serious. Plan B would be to head west at Kaslo and climb up and over to New Denver on narrow but paved road. It's all pretty country whichever route you take. Several nice hot springs in the region, some public and developed, some natural.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,289
16,070
1,063
Penticton, BC
This week will see the 144th annual running of the annual Kentucky Derby race for three year old thoroughbreds in Louisville, Kentucky. The most famous winner of the Derby is the legendary Secretariat, whose victory in 1973 was the first of his Triple Crown that year. He was the dominant horse of his generation and set several records that still stand. Although owned and foaled in the US, Secretariat was trained and ridden by Canadians.

Lucien Laurin of Quebec came out of retirement in 1971 to become head trainer for the owners of Secretariat, Meadow Stable, which became the premier establishment in north america in the early 1970s under his direction. Horses trained by Laurin won five of six Triple Crown races in 1972-3.

New Brunswick-born Ron Turcotte was a leading jockey of his era, with over 3000 wins before a racing accident in 1978 rendered him a paraplegic. He was the first jockey to ever win five of six consecutive Triple Crown races.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,289
16,070
1,063
Penticton, BC
Surely one of the most curious supermarket chain names anywhere must be BC's Overwaitea Food Group (and yes, it's pronounced "overweighty"). The name originated in 1915 when New Westminster grocer Robert Kidd started offering 18 ounces of tea for the price of a pound. The establishment became referred to as the "the over-weight tea store", and when Kidd opened a second location, he named it Overwaitea.

Kidd was innovative with marketing and merchandising, being credited as an early pioneer of "odd penny pricing" (prices ending in xx.99 to make them appear lower). The brand grew to be a BC favourite and was sold to the Jim Pattison group in 1968. The last Overwaitea branded stores were rebranded in 2018, but the Overwaitea Food Group continues as the parent organization of 160 stores operating under six different labels across BC and the prairie provinces.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,289
16,070
1,063
Penticton, BC
This week marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of Canada's weather service, today under the federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. In 1871, the fledgling nation was in just its fourth year, but the need for study, observations and weather prediction was substantial: in the previous year alone, 335 vessels had been lost in the Great Lakes and along the three ocean coasts, with the loss of almost 250 lives. The new Meteorological Service of Canada started out with just 40 weather observers but grew to 300 by 1900.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,289
16,070
1,063
Penticton, BC
Canada has snakes, venomous rattlesnakes no less. The prairies of Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, and the dry belt of the BC interior are good habitat for snakes, but so too is the warm southern tip of Ontario. The latter still contains small populations of the Massasauga rattler, much endangered due to loss of habitat and active extermination efforts by settlers. Rattlesnakes continue to thrive in the sparsely populated west.

Despite cold winters that are not kind to ectotherms ("cold blooded" animals), rattlesnakes have evolved a process known as brumation, a period of dormancy experienced jointly by large numbers of a species. The snakes will gather in an underground burrow, often dozens or even hundreds of them huddled together. The thought of this is said to be especially disturbing for certain members of the Doonks species. In cooler climates such as southwestern Canada, the brumation period can last upwards of six months, and reproductive rates are lower in these species because of the restricted annual activity.

Although Rattlesnakes are responsible for almost all incidences of snakebite injuries in Canada, they are usually shy of humans and only bite when threatened. The bite is readily treatable with anti-venom and is rarely fatal in modern times. Periods of several years pass without a verified snakebite death in Canada.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,289
16,070
1,063
Penticton, BC
In North America, tropical cyclonic storms are referred to as hurricanes. The Atlantic Ocean generates numerous hurricanes every year in the season that extends from mid May through to November.

Occasionally, a fast moving hurricane will impact the coast of Atlantic Canada. Historically, hurricanes killed thousands of people in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland as there were no warning systems in place. Today, the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, NS monitors and tracks all tropical storms that might impact Canadian territory.

In recent times, the most powerful storm to enter Canadian waters was Hurricane Juan in 2003. It made landfall over the metro Halifax area as a category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 165 km/h and gusts in excess of 200 km/h. Widespread wind damage occurred to shipping in Halifax Harbour and buildings across the region, but there was little overland flooding as the hurricane deposited only 25-45 mm of rain. Inshore marine weather buoys reported waves 20 m high before being ripped from their moorings.

Juan was a particularly fast moving storm, tracking almost exactly due north. It crossed the relatively cold waters off New England so quickly that it lost little energy, only downgrading from category 3 to category 2 just before landfall. This rapid transit prevented it from absorbing large quantities of moisture, hence the low rainfall in its wake. Juan lost more energy as it crossed the peninsula of Nova Scotia, and impacted the Northumberland Strait and PEI as a category 1. The Confederation Bridge was closed during the storm's transit but sustained almost no damage. It then went on to landfall in Charlottetown, the capital of PEI, where winds of 140 kmh were recorded, and substantial damage occurred.

On the Pacific seaboard, wind shear conditions prevent tropical rotating storms from penetrating into Canadian waters at hurricane strength. Mexico's central Pacific coast is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes, but these storms rarely survive as far north as California, let alone Canada.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,289
16,070
1,063
Penticton, BC
The International Ice Hockey Federation runs its annual World Championship event each year in May or June. Unsurprisingly, Canada has participated in more of these over the years than any other country, and is also the most successful, with 27 tournament wins from 73 attempts.

There is more to this than meets the eye. The IIHF did not permit professional players at Worlds until the late 1970s, but Canadian players made up the lion's share of the NHL and were thus ineligible. Canadian teams of this era were truly of amateur status, as playing for an NHL minor league affiliate team was also considered professional play. During this period, however, the Soviet Union had full time paid players on its various military and 'sporting club' teams that were all deemed eligible for worlds and Olympics.

Canadian and American delegates at the IIHF protested this inequity repeatedly, and when talks on the subject of professionals broke down in 1970, Canada withdrew from the tournament, not returning until 1977 when pro players were finally admitted to the worlds.

Even once pro players were allowed at worlds, the timing of the tournament meant that Canada could only field 'spare parts' teams made of players whose team had not qualified for the NHL playoffs or had been knocked out in the first round. Late timing of team selection meant training sessions were very limited, even non existent in some years.

This year's Team Canada was no exception, losing their first three games in the round robin portion of the event. But they fought their way back, squeaked into the elimination rounds and ended up winning the gold medal - in overtime - last night. Congratulations to the 2021 World Champions!
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,289
16,070
1,063
Penticton, BC
Alberta's Elk Island National Park is different from the other forty. Rather than being an undeveloped ecosystem preserved in its natural state, Elk Island's 200 square km is a mix of second growth forest and modified pasture land. Its large animal species are mostly reintroduced, the entire park is contained by a perimeter fence, and the Trans Canada Highway bisects it.

The park is situated on the eastern edge of metro Edmonton, and was almost completely deforested in the late 19th century to provide building materials for the fast growing city. Beavers were eradicated from its dozens of small pot lakes, and almost no large mammals were left.

In the early years of the twentieth century, a small acreage was fenced to create a haven for a small herd of plains bison. The area proved to be too small, and disease management was in its infancy. The 'ark experiment' failed, but Parks managers could see the value of such a program, and a second effort in the 1930s was successful, and is still running today.

Elk Island holds sizeable herds of both wood and plains bison, and in fact exports disease-free bison to re-establishment projects across North America and Russia. There is also a breeding herd of elk, and wild populations of mule deer, whitetail deer, lynx, wolves and black bears. Beavers were reintroduced in the 1940s, and now number in excess of a thousand.

Parks Canada staff now run the world's premier breeding program for large native ungulates, and the park's proximity to a large metropolitan area gives it a feel like a very large, open-environment zoo. Just outside the park's boundary is Canada's most concentrated area of petrochemical processing, yet natural ecosystems and animal populations thrive within the fences. It's a fine example of how nature can rebound if given a chance.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,289
16,070
1,063
Penticton, BC
A decade ago today, a normally peaceful Canadian city erupted with violent street riots. The reason? The Vancouver Canucks lost game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. An estimated 100,000 people had gathered in the downtown area to watch the game on outdoor TV screens made popular during the previous year's winter olympics, but their team received rough handling from the Boston Bruins and suffered an ugly 4-0 loss in the winner-take-all final game of the series. Frustrated fans lost their collective minds and went on a burning and looting rampage that caused millions of dollars in property damage. Eventually, almost 300 people were arrested and charged, although in typical Canadian fashion many of them received probation and suspended sentences.

This event was not without precedent. The 1994 edition of the Canucks also lost game 7 of the finals, and there was a destructive riot in the streets of downtown Vancouver immediately afterward. And a year previous, there were street riots in Montreal following the Canadiens' Stanley Cup win.

The Canucks have yet to win their first Stanley Cup since joining the NHL in 1970. They share the record for oldest team in the league without a Stanley Cup win with the Buffalo Sabres. The Montreal Canadiens remain the most recent Canadian team to win the Cup.
 

main street

Doing what I want.
Ski Pass
Jul 11, 2006
73,662
15,455
3,000
Kelowna, BC
A decade ago today, a normally peaceful Canadian city erupted with violent street riots. The reason? The Vancouver Canucks lost game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. An estimated 100,000 people had gathered in the downtown area to watch the game on outdoor TV screens made popular during the previous year's winter olympics, but their team received rough handling from the Boston Bruins and suffered an ugly 4-0 loss in the winner-take-all final game of the series. Frustrated fans lost their collective minds and went on a burning and looting rampage that caused millions of dollars in property damage. Eventually, almost 300 people were arrested and charged, although in typical Canadian fashion many of them received probation and suspended sentences.

This event was not without precedent. The 1994 edition of the Canucks also lost game 7 of the finals, and there was a destructive riot in the streets of downtown Vancouver immediately afterward. And a year previous, there were street riots in Montreal following the Canadiens' Stanley Cup win.

The Canucks have yet to win their first Stanley Cup since joining the NHL in 1970. They share the record for oldest team in the league without a Stanley Cup win with the Buffalo Sabres. The Montreal Canadiens remain the most recent Canadian team to win the Cup.


I was living in Vancouver at this time,..... It was not pretty at all.
 
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