The Belgians in Ontario chronicles more than 300 years of Belgian presence in Ontario, beginning with Father Louis Hennepin, the Recollet missionary who accompanied La Salle on his explorations. This book examines the contributions of the Belgian community in a diverse range of activities including agriculture, sports, and the arts. Magee offers a detailed analysis of reasons and methods of immigration (including a study of the pioneering agricultural labourers who participated in the swallow migration). Of special interest to students of social and ethnic studies is the extensive survey of Belgian Canadians, reflecting their attitudes and experiences. Lavishly illustrated with more than 50 rare photographs culled from private and public collections, The Belgians in Ontario is a visually-interesting look at the many contributions of a determined people.
Joan Magee, a life-long resident of Windsor, is a desendent of British and European Loyalists. Her roots stretch back to the sixteenth century and seventeenth century Souther Netherlands. Fluent in Dutch, she has actively promoted the study of the Dutch language and culture in Ontario by founding the Netherlandic Press, a publishing house specializing in Dutch-Canadian literary and historical works. She also founded the Windsor Dutch School, under the auspices of the Heritage Language programme, Multiculturalism Canada. In 1971 she co-founded the Windsor chapter of the Canadian Association for the Advancement o Netherlandic Studies, and between 1978 and 1982 she severed as national secretary and is now President Emerita. Magee has also taught Scandinavian Studies at the University of Windsor, where she is currently a reference librarian. This is her fourth book for Dundurn Press. Her previous works include A Dutch Heritage (1983), Loyalist Mosaic (1984), and A Scandinavian Heritage (1985).
Provides a sketch — often interesting, and well illustrated with over 50 photographs and four maps — of a rural immigrant community that for a century was regularly reinfused by a steady flow of newcomers seeking a better economic life in South Western Ontario.