Northern Economist 2.0

Showing posts with label Lakehead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lakehead. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Celebrating Grain Transshipment at the Lakehead


There was a short and well attended ceremony and plaque unveiling today at the Western Grain By-Products Elevator Site on Kingston Street held by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and Parks Canada.  The elevator is the former Fort William Elevator No. 10 which was built in 1913 at the peak of the Canadian wheat boom.  The plaque is the outcome of a long period of lobbying and work by the Friends of Grain Elevators and commemorates the role of the grain elevators at the Lakehead twin cities of Fort William and Port Arthur in facilitating Canada’s role as a leader in the international grain trade.

The development of the grain industry and its transportation infrastructure during the Wheat Boom period of 1896-1929 was an event of national historic importance given that it represented the fulfillment of the national economic strategy envisioned by the Fathers of Confederation.  Under the criteria for events of national historic significance, the development of the grain industry and the grain transport infrastructure at the Lakehead (the former twin cities of Port-Arthur-Fort William, now Thunder Bay) qualifies as a “defining episode” in Canadian history. 

At the Lakehead, the rail and water components of the grain transportation system came together in a transportation node that linked together the economy of Canada.  Along with the fleets of grain transport steamers, the twin cities also became key points for the three national transcontinental railways that were completed during the boom era.  As well, at the Lakehead, the grain transport sector played the role of a booming sector in Thunder Bay's economic development. 

Between 1905-1929, grain shipments increased seven-fold and for much of the 20th century The Lakehead was the largest grain port in the world and Canada accounted for the bulk of the world’s grain exports.  At its peak, over 30 grain terminals lined the harbour with a storage capacity of nearly 100 million bushels.  Today, fewer than a dozen of these giant “Castles of Commerce” (as they were so aptly named by Rudyard Kipling) remain along the waterfront.  Many of the key players in the development of the Lakehead’s grain transportation role and the Canadian grain industry in general such as C.D. Howe and N.M. Paterson also went on to contribute their expertise to the national political stage. 

Grain transshipment at the Lakehead is an economic event of national historic significance in that it played the cementing role in the east-west grain transport infrastructure of the Wheat Boom era, a key stage of Canada’s development.   It represents a fulfillment of the key ideas of the National Policy economic strategy and represents a tangible application of those ideas in Canadian economic and historical development.  Without the Lakehead, there would have been no east-west economic flow.

 



 
Today’s ceremony was recognition of The Lakehead’s important role in Canadian economic history.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Lakehead Faculty of Science & Environmental Studies Celebrates Service!

Well, today was the last day of classes at Lakehead and there was an impromptu gathering at the end of the day at the Lakehead Outpost of faculty from Economics, Chemistry and Physics to celebrate the end of term.  As well as celebrating the end of this term's classroom service, there was also  recognition of the long time service of three faculty members - two who are are the table in the accompanying photos.  Dr. Steve Kinrade from Chemistry and Dr. Bakhtiar Moazzami from Economics have reached the 30 year service milestone - I'll let you guess who they are.  A third member of our faculty - Dr. Scott Hamilton from Anthropology - also is celebrating 30 years and was even seen at the outpost but did not make the photo.  Congratulations to all our colleagues on the completion of another teaching year!



Friday, 23 March 2018

Art in Northern Ontario: A Visit with Visual Arts at Lakehead University

The creative arts are a fundamental component of life and the human experience.  Northern Ontario and Thunder Bay in particular are blessed with vibrant and engaged arts communities whose creative work and activity deepens the regional quality of life.  In Thunder Bay, a vital component of the creative arts is the Visual Arts Department and associated programs at Lakehead University where the faculty and students have been contributing to the regional arts scene for decades.  Many generations of artists have acquired and honed their skills in the facilities and programs of Lakehead's Visual Arts Department.


This week, I received an in depth immersion in visual arts and the creative process as a result of my role as a reviewer for the Quality Assurance review of the visual arts program at Lakehead University.   I joined Sally Hickson from the University of Guelph and Laura Peturson from Nipissing University and spent two days visiting with staff and students at the Visual Arts Department at Lakehead.  It was certainly an illuminating experience learning about the different streams of the program and it was an eye opener learning about the capital intensity of the program given the facilities and equipment required to mount a quality program in the arts. It was quite instructive learning about ceramics, printmaking, painting, drawing and sculpture.




 



The students and faculty of the Visual Arts program regularly exhibit at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery as well as with other private galleries and their work is an impressive contribution to the region's cultural assets.  Much of their work is also showcased on campus and the recent opening of the Alumni Commons at Lakehead provides an attractive venue for their work.  All the best to the students, faculty and staff of the Visual Arts Department at Lakehead University.






Saturday, 2 September 2017

Lakehead is Looking for a President

Lakehead University is looking for a new President and Vice-Chancellor - and so are Laurentian and Algoma apparently.  That is a lot of change in northern Ontario higher education in just a very short time.  Lakehead has issued a call for consultative input so if you are interested in contributing, check out the call that was issued in this last week's media relations bulletin.  If you are interested in any thoughts I might have on the matter, feel free to read my post on Worthwhile Canadian Initiative.  Have a great long weekend!