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History General

Original Highways

Travelling the Great Rivers of Canada

by (author) Roy MacGregor

Publisher
Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
May 2018
Category
General, North America, Rivers
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780307361394
    Publish Date
    May 2018
    List Price
    $21.00

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Description

Expanding on his landmark Globe and Mail series in which he documented his travels down sixteen of Canada's great rivers, Roy MacGregor tells the story of our country through the stories of its original highways, and how they sustain our spirit, identity and economy—past, present and future.

No country is more blessed with fresh water than Canada. From the mouth of the Fraser River in BC, to the Bow in Alberta, the Red in Manitoba, the Gatineau, the Saint John and the most historic of all Canada's rivers, the St. Lawrence, our beloved chronicler of Canadian life, Roy MacGregor, has paddled, sailed and traversed their lengths, learned their stories and secrets, and the tales of centuries lived on their rapids and riverbanks. He raises lost tales, like that of the Great Tax Revolt of the Gatineau River, and reconsiders histories like that of the Irish would-be settlers who died on Grosse Ile and the incredible resilience of settlers in the Red River Valley. Along the Grand, the Ottawa and others, he meets the successful conservationists behind the resuscitation of polluted wetlands, including Toronto's Don, the most abused river in Canada. In the Mackenzie River Valley he witnesses the Dehcho First Nation's effort to block a pipeline they worry endangers the region's lifeblood.

Long before our national railroad was built, rivers held Canada together; in these sixteen portraits, filled with yesterday's adventures and tomorrow's promise, MacGregor weaves together a story of Canada and its ongoing relationship with its most precious resource.

About the author

In the fall of 2006, Roy MacGregor, veteran newspaperman, magazine writer, and author of books, came to campus. Since 2002, MacGregor had been writing columns for the Globe and Mail, but he had a long and distinguished career in hand before he came to the national newspaper. He has won National Newspaper Awards and in 2005 was named an officer in the Order of Canada. He is the author of more than 40 books — 28 of them in the internationally successful Screech Owls mystery series for young readers — on subjects ranging from Canada, to the James Bay Cree, to hockey. That fall, he spoke to a packed room in the St. Thomas chapel. After the lecture, Herménégilde Chiasson, the Acadian poet, artist, and New Brunswick's Lieutenant Governor of the day, hosted a reception at the majestic Old Government House on the banks of the St. John River. MacGregor spent the evening surrounded by young journalists and the conversation continued late into the night. After all, there were more than three decades of stories to tell.

Roy MacGregor's profile page

Awards

  • Winner, Ottawa Book Award for Fiction

Editorial Reviews

Finalist for the 2018 Ottawa Book Award for English Non-Fiction

“Well known for his books and articles on sports, Roy MacGregor has done Canadians a tremendous favour by showing not only how our rivers can provide tranquility and diversion but also how important it is that we protect and nourish our river system, an asset we must cherish.” —Winnipeg Free Press

“On your next [paddling] trip, may I suggest you bring Original Highways along. It would make great campfire reading.” —The Sun Times

“MacGregor expands on his acclaimed Globe and Mail series on Canada’s rivers, bringing these historic waterways, and the stories of those whose existence is inextricably linked to them, to remarkably vivid life.” —Canadian Geographic

“When I see a book about Canada or individual Canadians with Roy MacGregor’s name on it, I feel compelled to pick it up. . . . Mr. MacGregor writes lyrically and convincingly, opening to us Canadian experiences that have lain buried. A joy to read.” —The Millstone

Praise for Canoe Country:
"[MacGregor] has his creative fingers on the pulse of our national imagination like few others. . . . A compelling storyteller who, like Pierre Berton before him, transforms historical research into high drama, elevating ordinary people who do extraordinary things into admirable folk heroes. I couldn't put Canoe Country down." —Waterloo Region Record
"Canoe Country is a rollicking good read—engaging, thought-provoking and, at times, startling." —The Globe and Mail

Other titles by Roy MacGregor

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