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Lesson Plans for "Searching for the Sublime"
- KEY THEMES
- ABOUT THE LESSON PLANS
- INTRODUCTORY ACTIVITY: PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SOURCES
- DEFINING PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SOURCES
- LESSONS IN SOCIAL STUDIES, CANADIAN HISTORY AND CANADIAN STUDIES
- Lesson 1: The Industrializing City
- Lesson 2: The Roots of Outdoor Education
- Lesson 3: Gender Issues in the Early-Twentieth Century and Outdoor
- Lesson 4: Landscape and Canadian Identity
- LESSON IN TRAVEL AND TOURISM
- Lesson 5: Canada’s Railroads, the Wilderness and Tourism
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Searching for the Sublime is one story in the Picturing the Past (http://www.images.technomuses.ca) website created by the Canada Science and Technology Museum.
This story has five key themes: The City, The Searchers, Algonquin Park, The Great Escape and Being There.
- In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, Canada experienced significant industrial growth and urbanization.
- Canadian urban population growth was stimulated not only by migration from rural areas to cities, but also by immigration from Britain and continental Europe.
- It was a time of perceived economic disparity. Factory barons became wealthy, and the middle class grew in size; however, the numbers of the urban poor also grew, and they frequently concentrated in slum areas.
- Public space became radically altered with the appearance, and then prevalence, of the automobile.
- The city came to be seen by many as a problematic place that had a negative impact on moral and physical health.
- Wilderness vacations became increasingly popular for urban middle-class Canadians in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Algonquin Park was a favourite retreat for many people.
- Some individuals were drawn to Algonquin Park by strongly held aesthetic, religious, scientific, educational, humanistic and feminist convictions.
- Ontario’s first Provincial Park is uniquely situated on a transition zone, and both southern and northern Ontario animals mix. It is 7725 km2 and contains 2000 rivers, lakes and ponds.
- It is a multiple-use park; today, logging, conservation and tourism all coexist in Algonquin Park.
The Great Escape
- The construction of the railway facilitated the creation of the modern industrial city, but also became the means by which city dwellers escaped on rural or wilderness vacations.
- Railways exploited the growing wilderness-recreation movement for financial gain. In turn, this facilitated the growth of the modern tourist industry in Canada.
- Travel by rail was an integral part of the vacation, and was a nearly universal experience for late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century travelers.
- At Algonquin Park, travelers engaged in a variety of activities, from staying in an upscale resort to fishing and camping out under the stars.
- Some people were permanent residents of Algonquin Park, working as guides or rangers.
- The Park was frequently promoted as an excellent place to fish.
- In a period when women did not enjoy the same rights as men, some women found that spending time in the wilderness was a way to assert their autonomy.