TIL Roundup Vol. 29

When you edit an encyclopedia, you learn something new every day. Sometimes it’s mundane, but other times it’s something fascinating that must be shared, like the fact that not all beavers have tails. Therefore we’re collecting all of the fascinating things we’re learning as we comb through and edit The Canadian Encyclopedia. Here’s this week’s roundup of our “Today I Learned” (TIL) moments.

Angry Capes

Our own Web & New Media Manager Chantal Gagnon was delighted to discover that New Brunswick is home to the righteously titled Cape Enrage in the Bay of Fundy. Enraged is what you’ll be if you get stuck on the shore as the tides start to rise.

The Right To Not Be Worked To Death

Erin James-Abra learned about the Nine Hour Movement, one of the first labour protests in Canada. While the efforts of these tradesmen to secure shorter working days were unsuccessful, the movement did pave the way for the Canadian Labor Union.

The Mother of Confederation

Eli Yarhi learned about Anne Nelson Brown, the “Mother of Confederation” “Her correspondence with George Brown during the Charlottetown and Québec Conferences provides a chronicle of the 1864 meetings, for which there are no official records.”

So Crazy

Andrew McIntosh’s update of C.R.A.Z.Y. teaches us that “[Jean-Marc] Vallée was so determined to achieve a particular tone and style that he voluntarily deferred his director and co-producer fees, totalling around $600,000, to accommodate the substantial cost of music rights in the film’s $6.5 million budget.” That’s some serious dedication.

One of Life’s Certainties

Richard Foot is slogging through the Taxation article and discovered Canada was built on the fur trade… and crazy-high taxes. Anyone complaining about their 26 per cent marginal tax rate as they file their tax return should consider this: “The first recorded tax in Canada appears to date back to 1650, when an export tax of 50 per cent on all beaver pelts was levied on the residents of New France.”

Too Many St. Johns

Andrea Hall learned from our Place Names article that PEI was called St. John’s Island until 1798, and then only changed because Canada had too many places named Saint John or St. John’s and it was confusing people.

Image: North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) at its lodge – Ontario. 20973533 © Brian Lasenby |