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2017 Speaker's Book Award Shortlist
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2017 Speaker's Book Award Shortlist

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The Speaker’s Book Award recognizes works by Ontario authors reflecting the diverse culture and rich history of the province and of its residents. Topics include the history of the province and its many communities; prominent figures in Ontario from various fields including, but not limited to, politics, culture, arts, education and business; the history and achievements of women and minorities in Ontario; and the development of Ontario’s parliamentary system.
Steal Away Home

Steal Away Home

One Woman's Epic Flight to Freedom - And Her Long Road Back to the South
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
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Why it's on the list ...
Steal Away Home was awarded the 2017 Speaker's Book Award.
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Border Cities Powerhouse

Border Cities Powerhouse

The Rise of Windsor: 1901-1945
edition:Hardcover

Border Cities Powerhouse chronicles one of the most dramatic urban transformations in Canadian history, documenting the shift from modest industry to manufacturing dynamo. The coming of the automobile in 1904 put the Border Cities on the map, sparking a period of explosive growth.

From the bright lights of hydro-electric power and the construction of the Ambassador Bridge to the Battle of Ford City, communist agitation, and the Border Cities’ forced amalgamation during the Great Depression, thi …

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Dr. Oronhyatekha

Dr. Oronhyatekha

Security, Justice, and Equality
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

2016 Ontario Historical Society Joseph Brant Award — Winner • 2017 Speaker's Book Award — Shortlisted
A man of two cultures in an era where his only choices were to be a trailblazer or get left by the wayside

Dr. Oronhyatekha (“Burning Sky”), born in the Mohawk nation on the Six Nations of the Grand River territory in 1841, led an extraordinary life, rising to prominence in medicine, sports, politics, fraternalism, and business. He was one of the first Indigenous physicians in Can …

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Excerpt

A MOVE TO LONDON

During the initial debates over his band membership, Dr. Oronhyatekha moved to London in 1875 and re-established his medical practice there. He was also appointed as physician to the nearby Oneida of Thames reserve. Like his appointment to Tyendinaga, this appointment may have resulted from his friendship with John A. Macdonald, although Macdonald was no longer prime minister (after 1874). Clearly they were still friends. Dr. Oronhyatekha wrote to congratulate Macdonald on his re-election to the seat of Kingston, and asserted that his return to the office of prime minister was just a matter of time. In conclusion, Dr. Oronhyatekha said he and his family all loved the name of “Sir John.” In fact, if his recently born baby girl, Annie Edith, had been a boy, he would have named him John Alexander as an expression of his feelings.41 However the appointment arose, Dr. Oronhyatekha visited the Oneida reserve every week for over a decade42 and opened a private medical practice in downtown London. Little is known of his practice there, but he became well known in the city, attested to by his entry in a local history. The author wrote that the
pleasant results that have followed his practice warmly testify to his ability and popularity as a physician; and to his natural qualifications as a medical practitioner he brings a mind well stored with medical learning, and an experience which others might well desire. A clever student, he avails himself of the latest and most popular works of medicine, keeping thoroughly posted with the progress of this science. Not only professionally, but as a citizen, in both private and public circles, the doctor has become well and favorably known.
Another London publication stated that Dr. Oronhyatekha was “almost too well known as to require comment.”43
Part of his fame stemmed from the controversial letters he wrote to newspapers, largely in defence of First Nations culture and society. A reader of the Toronto Mail wrote a letter to the editor in November 1875 ridiculing the idea that prohibition improved society. He used native society as proof of his argument. “The North American Indians enjoyed perfect prohibition,” he wrote. “They were certainly not industrious; their morality was questionable; their treachery and inhumanity were proverbial,” he concluded.
Dr. Oronhyatekha’s response was typically humorous but scathing. He assumed the author of the letter, a Mr. R.W. Phipps, was a white man, because all the statements he made except for one were false, and “that, according to our experience, is about the average truthfulness of the average white man.” Native peoples, while not “’hewers of wood and drawers of water,’” were assiduous and perseverant in their occupations as warriors and hunters. In fact, the Haudenosaunee, he said, commanded the respect of all native groups from the Atlantic to the Mississippi and from the Great Lakes to the Ohio River. Their confederacy was an “enduring monument to their wisdom, patriotism, and statesmanship,” and their constitution “might well have been copied by the framers” of Canadian confederation. As for immorality, Dr. Oronhyatekha continued, certainly it had increased, but that stemmed from contact with white men. “Let Mr. Phipps visit the Six Nations, and he will find that a simple stick or broom placed against the door of a house, indicating that there is nobody at home, more effectually protects the property in that house than all the locks and bars, watchmen, and police are able to do for property in the city of Toronto. Then, again, an Indian cannot curse and swear till he has learned the English or some other language than his own.” Still, he didn’t think that Canadians were especially immoral, but certainly he thought that “the Indians are ten-fold better than they are, and in the earlier times … the Indians were ten-fold better than they are now.” The Haudenosaunee had a golden rule, Dr. Oronhyatekha wrote: “’Do unto others as they do unto you;’ and if Mr. Phipps or any other white man has ever suffered treachery or inhumanity at the hands of Indians, it has been in consequence of the above Golden Rule.
A further exchange appeared from “B.A.” of Peterborough, attacking native treatment of women. Both Dr. Peter E. Jones and Dr. Oronhyatekha responded. It was true that Haudenosaunee women worked while the men were hunting or at war, Dr. Oronhyatekha agreed, but they never made them “do all the drudgery while we were engaged in drinking and carousing in some neighbouring beer-shop … at any rate not till the ’average’ white man taught us their superior way of treating women.” He asked if B.A. knew that hundreds of women worked in mills and factories in England in drudgery to support their husbands. In comparison, Haudenosaunee women were the holders of political power; they determined who became chief and were consulted by council about matters that concerned the confederacy. In fact, the Haudenosaunee were “so much better than white people owing in a measure to the exalted and untrammelled position our women occupy.”
Nevertheless, Dr. Oronhyatekha was “liberal enough to admit that there are some white men who very nearly approach the high standard of morality and true nobility of the Indians.” But when he saw his people slandered in a newspaper, he was compelled to show that “the Indian has always been, is now even in his degenerate days, and ever will be, better than any white man on the face of the earth.” In fact, he offered his “cordial sympathy” to B.A. “for having been so unfortunate as not to have been born an Indian.” 44
In 1877, he drew media attention in the St. Thomas Journal for his comments on the so-called discovery of the grave of Tecumseh, a Shawnee leader who was most known in Ontario as an ally of the British in the War of 1812. In the nineteenth century, there were numerous attempts to locate and excavate Tecumseh’s bones. The idea of finding Tecumseh’s burial ground originated with supporters of William Henry Harrison, during his American presidential campaign of 1840, who wished to honour him by collecting artifacts from his military triumphs over native groups. The resulting excavation in Ontario was met with outrage, although it seemed unlikely that the bones found were, in fact, Tecumseh’s. Subsequently, various communities and historical societies took up the cause to erect a monument near Tecumseh’s grave or at a place deemed honourable for his re-interment. One of these groups was the United Canadian Association, whose general mandate aimed to boost Canadian nationalism. Members of this association conferred with Chief George H.M. Johnson, Dr. Oronhyatekha’s cousin, who apparently owned a map that indicated the location of Tecumseh’s burial based on oral tradition. These directions indeed led to a grave, which the United Canadians excavated. They called upon Daniel Wilson, Dr. Oronhyatekha’s old professor from Toronto University, to examine the bones and verify that it was Tecumseh. Instead, Wilson pronounced the bones to be an assortment of human and animal bones, likely buried as a decoy.
Not all Canadians believed that Tecumseh should be immortalized with a monument, and several wrote to the St. Thomas Journal deriding such an idea. Author “E.D.H.” called Tecumseh and other natives savage, pagan, cruel, cowardly, lazy, thieving, and dirty. Dr. Oronhyatekha answered back in anger. If some natives now possessed the traits listed, it was because of the contact they had had with white men, he wrote. In fact, countered Dr. Oronhyatekha, “many of the most cruel and diabolical outrages … are done by white men disguised as Indians — by white men who, perhaps, are able to discern only a little less between right and wrong, between justice and intolerant bigotry,” than E.D.H. himself. With another sharp dig, he said he was “quite prepared to admit that my race are not what they once were — brave, just and honest; but my only wonder is that having been in more or less constant intercourse with white gentlemen like ’E.D.H.’ for a century or so they are not ten times worse than they are.” Further, he cited prominent anthropologists of the time who argued that First Nations possessed many admirable traits. In response, E.D.H. acknowledged that there were exceptions to his characterizations, including Dr. Oronhyatekha himself who had accomplished much. 45
In 1879, Dr. Oronhyatekha again appeared in local newspapers during his temporary appointment as physician to the Moraviantown reserve during a smallpox outbreak. 46 At first, it was not recognized as smallpox, delaying the use of quarantine. Moraviantown’s physician, Dr. George Tye, began to vaccinate everyone, but when some refused to be quarantined, he resigned. Other local doctors also refused to visit the reserve. Chief C.M. Stonefish and the Indian Agent Thomas Gordon called upon the Department of Indian Affairs to ask Dr. Oronhyatekha to attend the community. Ellen and the children worried that he would also fall sick, and, in fact, Dr. Oronhyatekha did not feel safe. But he did not see how he could refuse, since all other doctors had deserted them.
Over a number of days in late May, Dr. Oronhyatekha finished vaccinating most of the Moraviantown residents, but the disease had already spread. In June, to create an effective quarantine, he established a twelve-bed temporary hospital at the home of Jeremiah Stonefish, the brother of the chief, with Stonefish and his wife as attendants. The local band council also appointed Stonefish as a constable so that he could enforce sanitary regulations and ensure that all the sick were moved to the hospital. Council also enacted a bylaw forbidding visits to homes that had sick individuals, enforced by a fine ranging from two to ten dollars. To supervise the hospital and the general disinfection of homes and the clothing of the sick, Dr. Oronhyatekha hired Dr. Kenwendeshon (John C. Maracle), a Tyendinaga Mohawk who practised in Syracuse, New York. Kenwendeshon was a nephew through Ellen’s family and had apprenticed with Dr. Oronhyatekha in London; out of desperation for assistance, Dr. Oronhyatekha asked him to leave his practice temporarily. Leaving Maracle in charge of the day-to-day hospital operations, Dr. Oronhyatekha checked in each week and also visited families who needed medical treatment unrelated to smallpox. They were afraid, they told him, to see Maracle at the hospital in case they contracted the disease. Dr. Oronhyatekha’s own practice in London suffered because his patients feared exposure to smallpox.
Even though diphtheria and tuberculosis killed more Ontarians than smallpox — there had been just over one hundred deaths in the previous two years — smallpox epidemics were met with widespread dread. Edward Jenner had invented a vaccine in the 1790s, but supplies could be contaminated or ineffective. Further, the public feared that the vaccine actually caused the disease and resisted vaccination. Without compulsory vaccination, public health authorities could only rely on the goodwill of the public and the establishment of quarantine to quell an outbreak. For those who fell sick, all Dr. Oronhyatekha could do was dose them with cream of tartar and extract of malt, typical treatments of the time. 47
Public fear meant it was impossible to get food and other supplies for the hospital or for the Moraviantown residents. Merchants refused to deliver goods or to allow residents inside their shops. In the end, Chief Stonefish donated one of his cows to the hospital to provide much needed milk for patients. By late June, local politicians were so concerned that they jointly wrote to the Department of Indian Affairs expressing their fears. These concerns made the local papers, including London’s Free Press. Little had been done, it said. The sick had not been quarantined, and Dr. Oronhyatekha only visited occasionally and then only to vaccinate those not sick. It also described how the sick washed their clothes in streams and rivers, the very same water that other communities used. Very quickly, however, the Free Press printed an apology, describing Dr. Oronhyatekha’s establishment of quarantine and his arrangement for the hospital to be under the constant charge of Dr. Kenwendeshon. The implication that Moraviantown residents had poisoned local water was untrue, it backtracked. Shortly thereafter, Indian Agent Gordon and Dr. Oronhyatekha met with local politicians to reassuringly explain their course of action.
By late July, Dr. Oronhyatekha reported that there were only six patients at the hospital, and several of these would be discharged shortly. There were no new cases, so he hoped that the outbreak was almost over. The hospital closed in mid-August, although Dr. Kenwendeshon stayed two more weeks just in case. In the end, forty-two fell ill with smallpox and of these, thirteen died, but these deaths occurred before the hospital had been established.
Even Dr. Oronhyatekha’s role in stemming the outbreak of smallpox turned political. Originally, he had quoted a fee of twenty-five dollars per visit, but when he realized he would have to continue to visit Moraviantown to treat families who did not have smallpox, he changed his price to a more affordable monthly charge of one hundred and fifty dollars. The Department of Indian Affairs questioned this change, asking why he needed to visit the community so often since Dr. Kenwendeshon was in charge of daily hospital care. This query prompted Chief Frank Wampum to write to Indian Affairs, describing Dr. Oronhyatekha as a “sharp man” who had clearly conspired with Chief Stonefish to increase his profits. Agent Gordon also reported that he had charged for visits not made and that some described him as unprincipled. In the end, however, at a Moraviantown council meeting attended by all chiefs, Gordon, and Dr. Oronhyatekha, these misunderstandings were cleared up, and the chiefs agreed to pay his outstanding charges.

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Frontier City

Frontier City

Toronto on the Verge of Greatness
edition:Hardcover

Toronto is emerging from an identity crisis into a glorious new era.
It began as a series of reports from the civic drama of the 2014 elections. But beyond the municipal circus, writer and commentator Shawn Micallef discovered the much bigger story of a city emerging into greatness. He walked and talked with candidates from all over Greater Toronto, and observed how they energized their communities, never shying away from the problems that exist within them -- poverty, violence, racism, and dru …

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Lightfoot

Lightfoot

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback

Shortlisted for the 2017 Legislative Assembly of Ontario Speaker's Book Award
Nominated for the 2018 Heritage Toronto Award - Historical Writing: Book
The definitive, full-access story of the life and songs of Canada's legendary troubadour

Gordon Lightfoot’s name is synonymous with timeless songs about trains and shipwrecks, rivers and highways, lovers and loneliness. His music defined the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and ‘70s, topped charts and sold millions. He is unquestionably Canada’s g …

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Seven Fallen Feathers

Seven Fallen Feathers

Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Winner, 2018 RBC Taylor Prize
Winner, 2017 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Winner, First Nation Communities Read Indigenous Literature Award
Finalist, 2017 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
Finalist, 2017 Speaker’s Book Award
Finalist, 2018 B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
A Globe And Mail Top 100 Book
A National Post 99 Best Book Of The Year

In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from r …

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Excerpt

It’s early April and the 2011 federal election is in full swing. All over Canada, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are duking it out with Jack Layton’s New Democrats and the struggling Liberals in a bid to win a majority government.

I’m in Thunder Bay, Ontario, to see Stan Beardy, the Nishawbe-Aski Nation’s grand chief, to interview him for a story on why it is indigenous people never seem to vote.

The receptionist at the NAN’s office greets me and ushers me into a large, common meeting room to wait for Stan. Everything in the room is grey — the walls, the tubular plastic tables, the carpets. The only splash of colour is a large white flag with a bear on it that has been tacked to the wall.

The Great White Bear stands in the centre of a red circle, in the middle of the flag. The white bear is the traditional symbol of the life of the North American Indian. The red circle background is symbolic of the Red Man. His feet are standing, planted firmly on the bottom line, representing the Earth while his head touches the top line, symbolic to his relationship to the Great Spirit in the sky. The bear is stretched out, arms and feet open wide, to show he has nothing to hide.

There are circles joining the bear’s rib cage. They are the souls of the people, indigenous songs, and legends. The circles are the ties that bind all the clans together.

These circles also offer protection. Without them, the ribcage would expose the great bear’s beating heart and leave it open to harm.

Stan walks in and greets me warmly, his brown eyes twinkling as he takes a seat.

Stan is pensive, quiet, and patient. He says nothing as he wearily leans back in his chair and waits for me to explain why exactly I flew 2,400 km north from Toronto to see him and talk about the federal election.

I launch into my spiel, trying not to sound like a salesperson or an interloper into his world, someone who kind of belongs here and kind of does not. This is the curse of my mixed blood. I am the daughter of a half-Anish mom and a Polish father.

I ramble off abysmal voting pattern statistics across Canada, while pointing out that in many ridings indigenous people could act as a swing vote, influencing that riding and hence the trajectory of the election.

Stan stares at me impassively. Non-plussed.

So I start firing off some questions.

It doesn’t go well. Every time I try to engage him, asking him about why indigenous people won’t get in the game and vote, he begins talking about the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Jordan Wabasse.

It was a frustrating exchange, like we were speaking two different languages.

“Indigenous voters could influence fifty seats across the country if they got out and voted but they don’t. Why?” I ask.

“Why aren’t you writing a story on Jordan Wabasse? He has been gone seventy-one days now,” replies Stan.

“Stephen Harper has been no friend to indigenous people yet if everyone voted, they could swing the course of this election,” I continue, hoping he’ll bite at the sound of Harper’s name. The man is no friend of the Indians.

“They found a shoe down by the water. Police think it might have been his,” replies Stan.

This went on for a good fifteen minutes. I was annoyed. I knew a missing Grade 9 indigenous student in Thunder Bay would not make news in urban Toronto at Canada’s largest daily newspaper. I could practically see that election bus rolling away without me.

Then I remembered my manners and where I was.

I was sitting with the elected grand chief of 23,000 people and he was clearly trying to tell me something.

I tried a new tactic. I’d ask about Jordan and then I’d swing around and get him to talk about elections.

Then Stan said: “Jordan is the seventh student to go missing or die while at school.”

Seven.

Stan says their names: “Reggie Bushie. Jethro Anderson. Paul Panacheese. Curran Strang. Robyn Harper. Kyle Morrisseau. And now, Jordan Wabasse.”

He then tells me the seven were hundreds of miles away from their home communities and families.

Each was forced to leave their reserve simply because there was no high school for them to attend.

“Going to high school is the right of every Canadian child,” says Stan, adding that these children are no different.

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The New Farm

The New Farm

Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback

The inspiring and sometimes hilarious story of a family that quit the rat race and left the city to live out their ideals on an organic farm, and ended up building a model for a new kind of agriculture.

You know those books where the city folks move to the country and have all kinds of crazy misadventures? Where the barnyard is a place of bucolic harmony and each passing season brings the author closer to understanding his proper place in the natural order? You know those books where the primary …

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Excerpt

PROLOGUE

EUTHANASIA FOR DUMMIES

All happy chickens are alike; each unhappy chicken is unhappy in its own way.

It all has to do with the coop. If a chicken’s coop is too small, the chicken will be pecked and harassed by its coop-mates. If its coop is too damp, it might catch the flu and die. If its coop is too cold, it will get frostbite on its comb and the comb will start bleeding. Worst of all, if a chicken’s coop isn’t properly sealed, varmints will slip in during the night and tear it to pieces. But when I woke on that fine July morning back in 2005, I wasn’t worried about any of that. I had built a beautiful coop. I knew my chickens would be happy.

It was a Saturday, and still early. Gillian and the kids were asleep, so I got up quietly and eased myself down our squeaky stairs. Outside it was cool, calm and silent, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. In the backyard I stopped and surveyed my domain: flat, green farmland stretching off in every direction, an unbroken ring of forest on the horizon. I had that feeling I sometimes get when I’m up by myself in the early morning, that I’m lucky to be in this place, at this moment. We had been living on the farm for almost a year, and I was suddenly struck by the wondrous realization that we actually owned this place, that all this land was ours—a realization that struck me on a regular basis back then, and sometimes still does.

In a single year Gillian and I had gone from being relatively normal urban professionals living in downtown Toronto to owners of a hundred-acre farm outside the village of Creemore, about a two-hour drive northwest of the city. We had been taken by the aspirational dream of living in the country, but like many actual dreams, this dream was fuzzy and vague and didn’t make a whole lot of sense if you thought about it too much. We wanted to raise our own food, to have animals and a big garden, but we didn’t really know what we were doing. We were enthusiastic and idealistic and profoundly naive. If our current selves could meet the people we were back then, we would look on ourselves with a mixture of pity and amusement.

I had woken up early that morning in a state of excited anticipation. Our chickens had just spent their first night in their new coop, a structure that I had spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about, designing and building. I had spent so much time that the coop wasn’t finished when our chicks arrived, so they spent their first week of life in our bathtub, in the bathroom next to the kitchen.

I didn’t know anything about chickens when we first moved to the farm. But we wanted livestock, and chickens seemed like the obvious place to start. I had to learn a whole chicken nomenclature in the beginning. Chickens bred to lay eggs are “layers” or “laying hens.” Chickens bred for meat—“broilers” or simply “chickens”—are very different animals. We had been persuaded by the hatchery’s website to order Special Dual Purpose chickens that supposedly combined the best attributes of layers and broilers. The website told us that White Rock broilers, the overwhelmingly dominant meat chicken variety, had been bred into such freakishly efficient gainers of weight that they couldn’t walk properly and were susceptible to all sorts of diseases if raised without antibiotic-laden feed (a claim that we later found to be false). If we were aiming for free-range and organic, we were assured, the Special Dual Purpose was the bird for us.

Our batch of day-old chicks, fifty of them, arrived at our local feed store in a very small cardboard box. I began learning new things about chickens at a rapid rate. Day-old chicks are tiny and fluffy yellow and incredibly cute, but they are also very loud, mobile and assertive. They chirped loudly when the kids picked them up or when they were hungry (which was pretty much all the time) or seemingly just for the hell of it, all day long. We put down wood shavings in the bathtub and hung a three-hundred-watt heat lamp over them to keep them warm. It occurred to me that many chickens’ lives are bookended by heat lamps. Even Special Dual Purpose chickens have been bred to rapidly put on weight, so the chicks had an insatiable appetite. From day one they would frantically climb over each other to get at their food, and they also drank a lot of water. I would fill up their little feed trough immediately before going to bed, but they would eat it all during the night. Our bedroom was on the second floor, but their manic chirping was loud enough to wake me before dawn.

Any animal with such a rapid metabolism produces a lot of waste. Our chicks were shit-producing machines (birds don’t urinate, another thing I learned early on). The bathroom rapidly became very hot, very humid and indescribably smelly. It was like some sort of dystopian sauna in there, and the stench began to pervade the whole house. Gillian let it be known that my coop construction should be expedited. It takes about ten minutes on gravel roads to drive from our farm to Hamilton Brothers, considered by many (or at least by me) to be the greatest retail establishment on the face of the earth. Hamilton Brothers is a farm and building supply store, but it sells almost everything. I once left there with some plumbing supplies, a box of ammunition, 250 feet of bungee cord and a flat of eggs. I kept the handwritten receipt as a souvenir. It’s also the place where I bought my coop-making materials.

To say Hamilton Brothers is old school would be a serious understatement. I have never seen a computer anywhere on the premises, though I think they might have one in a back office somewhere, because the statements I receive in the mail appear to be created on a dot-matrix printer. Its many separate buildings and yards make up about half of the tiny village of Glen Huron, tucked under a dam at the head of the narrow Mad River valley. The river still powers the Hamilton Brothers feed mill, a five-storey steel-clad building filled with cobwebs, wooden chutes and giant drive belts that towers over the building supply store and the main lumberyard. Across the street is the farm supply building, and behind that is the welding shop and a big hangar where they keep the sheet metal, concrete mix and drywall. Around the corner and past a few houses is another building with tongueand-groove flooring and fence posts, and across from that is a second lumberyard, for all the pressure-treated stuff. When you call Hamilton Brothers, you have to ask for either the building side or the farm supply side, depending on what you’re looking for. The gas and diesel pumps are on the farm supply side. The staff sometimes travel from building to building by bicycle.

When I first started making trips to buy coop supplies, I was accustomed to the anonymity of big-box building supply stores, where I would pile everything I needed onto a giant cart and haul it out to my car without speaking to anyone. But at Hamilton Brothers, not much is self-serve, and I was forced to interact with the guys at the counter. These were all middle-aged men who evidently knew a lot about everything. They would ask me questions about my order that I often couldn’t answer. “What size chicken wire?” or “Ardox nails or regular?” or the one that always struck me with fear, “What you doing with all this stuff?” It seemed they were running my order through a vast mental database and determining that there was nothing known to humanity that could be built properly with the list of items I wanted. I was terrified of looking like an idiot, so I would blurt out an answer and end up back at the farm with the wrong thing, and be forced to return the next day.

After dozens of trips, one of the guys finally took pity on me and took me under his wing. Ivan is a giant of a man, probably six foot five, with massive hands and a huge head. I confessed to him that I was building a chicken coop but had no clue what I was doing. Ivan took me up into the loft above the store where the chicken wire was kept and helped me choose from the surprising range of options—rolls of different lengths and widths, with different size holes and different gauges of wire. After a while he would break into a broad grin whenever he saw me come in. “That must be some chicken coop you’re building!” he’d say.

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The Politics of Ontario

The Politics of Ontario

edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover eBook
tagged : canadian, essays

Ontario is the most populous of Canada's provinces, contains the country's largest city, and continues to be the centre of finance, IT, and media. It is also experiencing significant changes and upheavals. The Politics of Ontario is the first comprehensive book on Ontario's politics, government, and public policy since Graham White's The Government and Politics of Ontario in 1997. Although The Politics of Ontario follows in the same tradition, it departs in several ways. While not losing sight o …

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