Inventions and Innovations | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article


    Accommodation, first successful steamboat built entirely in North America. It was launched 19 August 1809 at Montréal, its engines having been constructed at the Forges Saint-Maurice, Trois-Rivières.

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  • Article

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Canada

    The term artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the capacity of a machine to simulate or exceed intelligent human activity or behaviour. It also denotes the subfield of computer science and engineering committed to the study of AI technologies. With recent advancements in digital technology, scientists have begun to create systems modelled on the workings of the human mind. Canadian researchers have played an important role in the development of AI. Now a global leader in the field, Canada, like other nations worldwide, faces important societal questions and challenges related to these potentially powerful technologies.

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  • Article

    Association canadienne-française pour l'avancement des sciences (Acfas)

    Created in 1923, l'Association canadienne-française pour l'avancement des sciences (Acfas) played a major role in the emergence of a French-speaking scientific community.

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  • Article

    Avro Arrow

    The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow (the Arrow) was a supersonic interceptor jet aircraft designed and built in the 1950s by A.V. Roe Canada (Avro). The Arrow was one of the most advanced aircraft of its era, helping to establish Canada as a world leader in scientific research and development. Though the Arrow was widely praised for its power and beauty, the program was cancelled in February 1959 by the government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. This resulted in the loss of at least 25,000 direct and indirect jobs. Many believe that the Arrow’s cancellation was a betrayal of Canada’s aerospace industry. Others assert that the jet was extravagant and had little chance of competing with impending innovations. At best, Avro and the Arrow were historic examples of Canadian ingenuity and intriguing case studies of unrealized potential.

    " unveiling.jpg" // resources/views/front/categories/view.blade.php unveiling.jpg Avro Arrow
  • Editorial

    The Avro Arrow is Cancelled

    The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

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  • Article


    Babiche is a type of string traditionally made by Indigenous peoples from rawhide and had multiple uses, such as to lace snowshoes, fishing nets, drumheads and the like. Though typically considered a French Canadian term, babiche is an Algonquian word, loosely translating to “cord” (in Mi’kmaq, ababich) or “thread” (in Ojibwa, assabâbish).

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  • Article


    BIONESS (Bedford Institute of Oceanography Net and Environmental Sampling System) is a multiple-net sampler for ZOOPLANKTON and micronekton (pelagic animals 1-10 cm in length). It uses a new design concept, with nets arranged horizontally rather than vertically, as in earlier multiple-net samplers.

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  • Article

    Birchbark Canoe

    The birchbark canoe was the principal means of water transportation for Indigenous peoples of the Eastern Woodlands, and later voyageurs, who used it extensively in the fur trade in Canada. Light and maneuverable, birchbark canoes were perfectly adapted to summer travel through the network of shallow streams, ponds, lakes and swift rivers of the Canadian Shield. As the fur trade declined in the 19th century, the canoe became more of a recreational vehicle. Though most canoes are no longer constructed of birchbark, its enduring historical legacy and its popularity as a pleasure craft have made it a Canadian cultural icon.

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  • Article


    In Canada the Gregorian calendar is in use under the terms of the 1750 British Act for Regulating the Commencement of the Year, and for Correcting the Calendar Now in Use, which switched the official English calendar from the Julian to the Gregorian form in 1752.

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  • Collection

    Canada During COVID-19

    Countries, communities, and individuals around the world are grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. How will historians remember this time in history? Canada During COVID-19: A Living Archive is meant to capture the experiences of everyday Canadians as they live through this challenging time.

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  • Article

    Cardiac Pacemaker

    In 1950, one of Canada’s greatest medical innovations was developed at the University of Toronto’s Banting Institute. Cardiac surgeon, Dr. Wilfred Bigelow and research fellow, Dr. John Carter Callaghan were trying to understand how hypothermia (see Cold-Weather Injuries) could slow the beating of an animal’s heart before surgery. They were also looking for a way to stimulate the heart when it faltered as it cooled. This largely unknown area of research could have tremendous applications for humans. The doctors partnered with Dr. John A. Hopps from the National Research Council of Canada, who created a portable artificial external pacemaker. It was designed to send electric pulses to the heart, which caused the heart to contract and pump blood to the body. The device was successfully tested on a dog in 1950. This landmark discovery paved the way for the use of implantable pacemakers in humans.

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  • Macleans

    Cloned Sheep Raises Ethical Issues

    She does not look like a circus freak or a monster or an omen of evil. Her eyes and ears have a pinkish hue - just like they are supposed to.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on March 10, 1997

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  • Macleans

    Cloning Sheep

    For more than a decade, scientists have been using genetic technology to produce biologically identical copies, or clones, of animals. In theory, cloning can be used to improve sheep and cattle breeds by ensuring that the animals' most desirable genetic characteristics are passed on.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on March 18, 1996

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  • Article

    Dating in Archaeology

     For those researchers working in the field of human history, the chronology of events remains a major element of reflection. Archaeologists have access to various techniques for dating archaeological sites or the objects found on those sites.

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  • Article

    Dugout Canoe

    A dugout canoe was a common type of canoe, traditionally used by ​Indigenous peoples and early settlers wherever the size of tree growth made construction possible. The dugout canoe was most popular along the West Coast, where waters teeming with sea life—whales, seals,  sea lions, salmon,  halibut, herring, eulachon and shellfish—sustained a complex maritime culture. (See also Northwest Coast Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

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