Tidbits and Trivia

This page will change as the mood takes us ... so check back often for updates.


Interesting tidbit on the Canada Government website.

"The name “Canada” likely comes from the Huron-Iroquois word “kanata,” meaning “village” or “settlement.” In 1535, two Aboriginal youths told French explorer Jacques Cartier about the route to kanata; they were actually referring to the village of Stadacona, the site of the present-day City of Québec. For lack of another name, Cartier used the word “Canada” to describe not only the village, but the entire area controlled by its chief, Donnacona.

The name was soon applied to a much larger area; maps in 1547 designated everything north of the St. Lawrence River as Canada. Cartier also called the St. Lawrence River the “rivière du Canada,” a name used until the early 1600s. By 1616, although the entire region was known as New France, the area along the great river of Canada and the Gulf of St. Lawrence was still called Canada.

Soon explorers and fur traders opened up territory to the west and to the south, and the area known as Canada grew. In the early 1700s, the name referred to all French lands in what is now the American Midwest and as far south as present-day Louisiana.

The first use of Canada as an official name came in 1791, when the Province of Quebec was divided into the colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. In 1841, the two colonies were united under one name, the Province of Canada.

Leading up to the proposed confederation, a number of names were suggested for the northern half of the continent of North America, including: Albertsland, Albionora, Borealia, Britannia, Cabotia, Colonia, EfisgaFootnote 1, Hochelaga, Norland, Superior, Transatlantia, TuponiaFootnote 2, and Victorialand.

The debate was placed in perspective by Thomas D’Arcy McGee, who declared on February 9, 1865:

“I read in one newspaper not less than a dozen attempts to derive a new name. One individual chooses Tuponia and another Hochelaga as a suitable name for the new nationality. Now I ask any honourable member of this House how he would feel if he woke up some fine morning and found himself instead of a Canadian, a Tuponian or a Hochelagander.”

Fortunately for posterity, McGee’s wit and reasoning – along with common sense – prevailed, and on July 1, 1867, the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick became “one Dominion under the name of Canada.”"


1. A combination of the first letters of England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Aboriginal lands.

2. An acrostic for the United Provinces of North America. An acrostic is a composition in verse of an arrangement of words in which the first, last, or certain other letters in each line taken in order, spell a word or a phrase.

Directly Quoting from Source: http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1443789176782


The Lyrics to O Canada! in English

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

The Lyrics to O Canada! in French

O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!

Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix!

Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.

Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

The History of the Anthem 

“O Canada” was proclaimed Canada’s national anthem in 1980, one century after it was first sung in 1880. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée – a well-known composer at the time – while the French lyrics to accompany the music were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier.

As the song became more and more popular, many English versions were written over the years. Ultimately, the official English lyrics were based on a poem written in 1908 by The Honourable Robert Stanley Weir. The French lyrics remain unaltered since 1880.

Read the full history of “O Canada”, and learn about the lives of the people behind the anthem.

~ from http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1443808632931

In addition to tid-bits and trivia being posted here, there will also be periodic posts on the blog.  Links to the posts will be included here:

Separate post on LAKE ABRAHAM



a founding mother of Canada

a Klondike Gold Rush member, and the second woman elected to Parliament

1 comment:

  1. thanks, that was very interesting I had no idea the French lyrics had not changed. It'll be good to learn more about our country, and especially to read about real events through the eyes of fictional characters who just might have lived there then.