Cool Canadian History

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Celebrating all the wacky, wild, great and weird stories of Canadian history from pre-contact to today!

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A History Podcast for Everyone
last modified
2019-06-07 01:42
last episode published
2019-06-06 15:09
publication frequency
16.53 days
David Borys author  
Number of Episodes
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Society & Culture Education History



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

*Special Bonus Episode* The Voices of D-Day

On this day, 6 June 2019, the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we at CCH give you a special bonus episode narrated by Alex Fitzgerald-Black of the Juno Beach Centre that includes testimonies and eye-witness accounts from the young soldiers that participated ...
David Borys author

*Special Episode* D-Day 75

Alex-Fitzgerald Black of the Juno Beach Centre joins us today to talk about everything D-Day. 75 years ago today the western Allies were preparing to launch the largest combined-arms operation in the history of the world. An operation that would seek t...
David Borys author

S4E17 Subordinate No More! Canada’s Inter-War Move to Independence

The First World War led to dramatic changes within the Canadian state, perhaps none more so than Canada's changing role within the British Empire. This change occurred during the 1920s and 1930s where Canada went from colony-nation of the British Empir...
David Borys author

S4E16 The Chatham Coloured All-Stars

The Chatham Coloured All-Stars were an all-black baseball team from southern Ontario who broke the colour barrier for baseball in Canada.
David Borys author

S4E15 Separate Spheres Turned Upside Down – French Women and the Survival of New France

This episode explores the various roles women played in New France in support of the fur trade and in turn helping the very colony of New France survive. Roles that were in stark contrast to gender expectations in the old world.
David Borys author

S4E14 A Search for Asylum – Sitting Bull in Canada

Sitting Bull was a legendary Native American chief who spent much of his life leading a resistance against American expansion into Indigenous territory. After the famous battle of the Little Big Horn Sitting Bull wound up in Canada fleeing the wrath of...
David Borys author

S4E13 A Lost Cause? Canadian Diplomatic Involvement in the War in Vietnam

In the years leading up to America's entry into the conflict in Vietnam Canada sought to use what it perceived as its unique diplomatic position as a leading middle power to prevent war. Though the country needed to balance its fear of a war (and poten...
David Borys author

S4E12 “The Riot Heard ‘Round the World” – Vancouver’s 1907 Anti-Asian Riot

Intense fear of what Asian immigration might do to a predominately white British Columbia sparked off a violent riot in the streets of Vancouver in 1907. A riot that had reverberations around the globe.
David Borys author

S4E11 Thérèse Casgrain

Thérèse Casgrain was one of Canada's most prolific and powerful activists. A woman born into means, she spent her life advocating for the rights of women and challenging the patriarchal status quo.
David Borys author

S4E10 Eugenics in Alberta

In the mid 20th century concerns over immigration and the changing ethnic make-up of Canadian society sparked a decades-long program of eugenics in Alberta, supported by many of Alberta's academic, intellectual and progressive elites.
David Borys author

S4E9 ‘Kill the Indian, Save the Child’ – Residential Schools in Canada

The residential school system was designed to eradicate Indigenous culture and replace it with an Anglo-European Christian one. In this attempt at cultural destruction the residential schools became a system for shocking abuse. The reverberations of wh...
David Borys author

S4E8 Montreal’s Poet Laureate: The Life and Music of Leonard Cohen

Montreal-born Leonard Cohen's prolific career included iconic music, poetry and literature creating an enduring global legacy. This episode is dedicated to Gail from Montreal, RIP.
David Borys author

S4E7 The Assassination of D’Arcy McGee

An Irish Nationalist turned Canadian patriot turned Father of Confederation. Thomas D'Arcy McGee was all of that when he was assassinated in 1868.
David Borys author

S4E6 Canadians on the Bridge Part Two: James Doohan

James Doohan played one of the most iconic engineers in the history of science fiction and helped shape Star Trek into the cultural mega-force it is today.
David Borys author

S4E5 The First World War Remembered

The First World War was a complex and dramatic period in Canadian history which saw the Canadian military perform in such a way that earned it an almost unpredictable reputation while the war on the domestic front saw Canada mobilize the nation in a wa...
David Borys author

S4E4 Canadians on the Bridge Part 1 – William Shatner

Montreal native William Shatner became one of the most iconic science fiction actors in history, this two part series opens with an examination of Shatner's early life and his time in Star Trek while part two will look at fellow Canadian James Doohan w...
David Borys author

S4E3 The Mohawk Nurse

Charlotte Edith Anderson was a combat nurse and pioneer for women and First Nations during a time when both groups struggled for equality.
David Borys author

S4E2 The Pig War of 1859

The death of a pig on an obscure island in the Pacific Northwest caused an international crisis in 1859 that nearly led to war between the most powerful empire on earth and the rising industrial North American power.
David Borys author

S4E1 The 100 Days Campaign

The 100 Days Campaign brought about the collapse of the German army on the Western Front and was a key contributor the end of the First World War. This campaign saw the Canadian Corps spearhead a number of brutal battles as the trench deadlock of the w...
David Borys author

*Special Episode* A Black Day for the German Army – The Battle of Amiens 8 August 1918

On August 8, 1918 the Entente forces, spearheaded by the Canadian and Australian Corps, inflicted a crushing defeat on the German army: a defeat that broke the back of the German army along the western front and signalled the beginning of the end to Fi...
David Borys author

S3E20 Hockey, Canadian Identity and the Summit Series of 1972

In 1972 the first ever "Team Canada" met the Soviet Union's "Red Army" hockey team in an 8 game series that was played out against the backdrop of Cold War tensions as well as challenges to Canada's position as the hockey superpower. These challenges t...
David Borys author

S3E19 Who Won the War of 1812?

In the summer of 1812 Britain and the United States of America went to war...British North America became the battleground. This week we try to sort out who might of won...if anyone did...
David Borys author

S3E18 The Graveyard of the Pacific

Whale hunters, shipwrecks, ghost stories: this is the history of a stretch of ocean on the west coast of Vancouver Island known infamously as the 'graveyard of the pacific'
David Borys author

S3E17 Camp X – Canada’s Secret WW2 Spy Camp

During the Second World War Camp X in southern Ontario played a crucial role in the global shadow war that was being fought, saw some of the world's most famous spies walk through its doors, and would be the inspiration for the training and establishme...
David Borys author

S3E16 Chloe Cooley and Slavery in Canada

Chloe Cooley was a slave in Upper Canada who sought to resist her owner's attempts to sell her. This resistance triggered serious efforts to curb and eliminate slavery in Canada.
David Borys author

S3E15 James Howlett aka Logan aka Wolverine

James Howlett is a Canadian born mutant who has evolved into one of the most famous superhero's in the world, while participating in some of Canada's most important events of the 20th century. This is his story.
David Borys author

S3E14 The 1701 Great Peace of Montreal

In 1701 a collection of some of the most powerful Iroquois nations met in Montreal to agree to peace with the French after decades of continual warfare. One of the most important peace treaties in North American history.
David Borys author

S3E13 Nils Gustav Von Schoultz and the Upper Canadian Rebellion

In 1838 Finnish born Nils Gustav Von Schoultz found himself leading an invasion of Upper Canada that culminated in the final battle at Windmill Point. The battle would mark the end of the rebellion and the end of Schoultz's life.
David Borys author

S3E12 The Bride Ships of British Columbia

In the mid 19th century several efforts were made to bring middle class, working class, and poor white British women to the two British colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia in order to increase the numbers of marriageable women within the ...
David Borys author

S3E11 Francis ‘Peggy’ Pegahmagabow: WW1 Sniper and Indigenous Activist

Francis 'Peggy' Pegahmagabow was a Nishnaabe soldier serving in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was a deadly sniper, excellent scout, and brave soldier, recipient of the Military Medal plus two bars. After the war he became a leading Nishnaabe act...
David Borys author

S3E10 First Nations Soldiers in the Canadian Expeditionary Force

When Canada went to war against the Central Powers in 1914 many First Nations men sought to enlist. While unofficially excluded at first, the high casualty rates suffered by the CEF forced the government to change its position. Thousands would serve wi...
David Borys author

S3E9 Behind Barbed Wire: Ukrainian Internment during the First World War

David Borys author

S3E8 Frostbitten and Forgotten – The Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force

In 1919 a contingent of Canadian soldiers was sent to the frozen lands of Siberia as part of a coalition of nations seeking to topple the Bolsheviks from power.
David Borys author

S3E7 Canadian Comics and the Second World War Effort

During the Second World War every aspect of Canadian society became geared towards the war effort. This even included one of the newest cultural mediums, comic books.
David Borys author

S3E6 The Pemmican War – The Rivalry for the Northwest Territories

In the second decade of the 19th century the Hudsons Bay Company and the Northwest Company squared off for control of the lucrative fur trade. Things got very violent.
David Borys author

S3E5 Mona Parsons – The Wolfville Resister

Mona Parsons was a small town Nova Scotia girl, turned New York actress, turned member of the Dutch resistance, turned prisoner of the Nazi's. This is her story.
David Borys author

S3E4 The Battle of Passchendaele

In late October of 1917 the Canadian Corps was tasked with capturing a ridge line which contained the destroyed remnants of the village of Passchendaele. Though part of the larger offensive known as the Third Battle of Ypres, it is the name Passchendae...
David Borys author

*Repeat Episode* Canada’s House Band: The History of the Tragically Hip

In the wake of the sad news of the passing of Gord Downie, frontman for legendary Canadian band The Tragically Hip, I thought I would re-release an episode from Season 2 with a bit of a foreword. RIP Gord.
David Borys author

S3E3 A Constitution in Question – The King-Byng Affair of 1926

In 1926 the new Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King faced off against Canadian Governor General Lord Byng of Vimy in a political clash that would have significant ramifications for the British Empire.
David Borys author

S3E2 Behold the Golden Harp! The Fenian Invasions

The Fenian Brotherhood was a paramilitary Irish nationalist group that attempted several invasions of British North American/Canadian territory during the 1860s and early 1870s. These invasions would play a key part in motivating the various British co...
David Borys author

S3E1 The Last of the Mohicans in Canadian History

The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 film that tells the story of the last of a proud Indigenous people as they struggle to survive in the chaos of the Seven Years War. The film's plot takes place against the backdrop of events that were significant to C...
David Borys author

*Special Episode* Bite and Hold: The Battle for Hill 70 and Lens August 1917

100 years ago today, August 15 1917, the Canadian Corps commanded by their newly appointed corps commander Arthur Currie were ordered to capture the city of Lens in support of the larger British offensive known as the Third Battle of Ypres. Currie chan...
David Borys author

*Special Episode* Canada 150

The story of 150 Canadian years in less than 30 minutes. Buckle up!
David Borys author

S2E18 A Bold and Audacious Plan – The Battle for Assoro

In July of 1943 First Canadian Division faced one of their toughest challenges in all of Sicily when they were ordered to capture the heights of Assoro.
David Borys author

S2E17 La Famille Verendrye and the Exploration of the West

The Verendrye family was one of New France's most famous explorer families of the 18th century, carving out a European presence in vast territories that were previously untouched by European feet. They were crucial in helping to open up modern day Mani...
David Borys author

S2E16 A Grim Day Indeed: The Halifax Explosion

In December of 1917 two ships collided in the Halifax harbour setting off the largest man-made non-nuclear explosion the world had ever seen.
David Borys author

S2E15 Vimy Ridge Part 2

Though Vimy Ridge was one of the more spectacular tactical successes of the First World War, strategically it did very little. Why then has it become such a well-known event in the Canadian historical consciousness? We look at some of those reasons.
David Borys author

S2E14 Vimy Ridge Part 1

On April 9 1917 the Canadian Corps launched its attack on what was thought to be one of the most difficult objectives to capture along the entire Western Front. The ensuing victory would cement the battle of Vimy Ridge as one of the most well known eve...
David Borys author

S2E13 The Komagata Maru

In the summer of 1914 a ship packed full of immigrants from India was denied the right to dock in Vancouver setting off an international incident and one of Canada's most infamous displays of anti-immigration.
David Borys author

S2E12 A Doukhobor Whodunnit: The Mysterious Death of Peter Verigin

In October of 1924, Peter "Lordly" Verigin, the leader of the Doukhobor community of British Columbia, was killed in a mysterious train explosion. The case remains unsolved to this day.
David Borys author