The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People

By Bruce Hutchison | Go to book overview

The Names of Canada

Strange, haunting, and full of exciting sound are the names of Canada. Noble names, like the roll of an organ, are Saguenay, Miramichi, Okanagan, Lachine, Anse-à-Valleau, and Forillon. The surge of the tide and the sound of waves on the rocks are in the name of Fundy, and the shape of naked cliff in Blomidon. But there is soft music, for lovers made, in Trois Rivières, in the Grand and Petit Chlorydorme and Verchères, and there is the smell of spring flowers in Cap-des-Rosiers, Champlain's cape of wild roses, where the great Irish immigrant ship went down.

Who cannot hear the tinkle of evening bells in Similkameen, in Chaudière (the falls where Champlain saw the Indians empty tobacco to placate their gods), in Wallasheen, though they foolishly spell it Wallachin? Nipigon is the beat of a drum and Yoho the call of a trumpet echoing in the hills, and there is the piping of a far-off flute in Rainy River as your lips form the words.

Hard, manly names for daily use are here also -- the Shickshocks, the Gatineau, Jasper and Rimouski ("the retreat of dogs") and Chippewa (a windy fellow). Plain English names brought across the sea by homesick immigrants -- Halifax, Edmonton, Stratford, Grimsby, Guildford, Windsor, Victoria, Lytton, and that loveliest of all names, Windermere, and the Scottish Glengarry. Each with its great story in another land.

Can you not hear the splash of the mountain river in the name of Illecillewaet? Or the sound of mountain thunder in the names of Kootenay and Cariboo, and the bubble of river rapids in the Ottawa? Who does not sense the happy shout of

-209-

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The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • My Country 3
  • Chapter One - Chez Garneau 6
  • Mother of Canada 21
  • Canadian Spring 43
  • Chapter Three - The Wood Choppers 46
  • Letter from Montreal to Young Lady With Violets 61
  • Chapter Four - Ville Marie 64
  • The Tower 77
  • Chapter Five - Three O'Clock, Ottawa Time 79
  • Leaves Falling, Dead Men Calling 107
  • Chapter Six - Made in Canada 110
  • The Ready Way to Canada 129
  • Chapter Seven - The Wedge 132
  • Mrs. Noggins 155
  • Chapter Eight General Brock's Bloody Hill 158
  • Winter 179
  • Chapter Nine - Wood, Wind, Water 182
  • The Names of Canada 209
  • Chapter Ten - Sailors' Town 211
  • The Queer Lady 219
  • Chapter Eleven - The Home Town 222
  • The Trees 231
  • Chapter Twelve - Fundy's Children 234
  • The Geese 247
  • Chapter Thirteen - The Frontiersman 249
  • The Canadian 269
  • Chapter Fourteen - The Men in Sheepskin Coats 272
  • Father's Plow 289
  • Chapter Fifteen - Drought and Glut 292
  • Never Go Back 309
  • She's Quiet Tonight 329
  • Chapter Seventeen - The Lotus Eaters 332
  • The Buckskin 351
  • Chapter Eighteen - Cariboo Road 353
  • Index 375
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