this ought to remind us that canada is a fur country

Credit: William James Topley/Library and Archives Canada/PA-138394

No Ennui: Sir Frederick Middleton strikes a pose in skating garb in 1889. When he arrived in Canada five years earlier to take command of the nation’s militia, reporters who met him at Quebec described him as red-faced, very short, and friendly. (Photo: William James Topley/Library and Archives Canada/PA-138394 ; bio: Dictionary of Canadian Biography)

Reverend John Bevan, M.A., who came out from England to pay a winter visit to Montreal, has written of his impressions. “In the winter,” he says, “Montreal is a paradise for the strong and young. There is surely no place where those who revel in sports and love the open air can enjoy life with such zest as they can and do here.”

In the course of time we shall have a great many sport loving people from Britain coming across the Atlantic for the winter sports here. They swarm in Switzerland, but the Canadian winter will bring them yet. Mr. Bevan was fascinated by hockey. The ice game as played here he found to be the fastest game in the world.

Some of the impressions Mr. Bevan got here are worth considering. The telegraph poles he describes as a blight on the streets — they are never straight and are usually drunkenly askew. The last syllable of genuine rhymes with wine and hoi polloi are called roughnecks. The policemen in Montreal wear funny little Russian hats of astrakhan, and the mounted ones wear leather shield flaps to their stirrups. This ought to remind us that Canada is a fur country and we ought to be able to cap our own policemen.

He says further:

“The streets are bilingual, so are the captions of the films at the movies, so that if one is bored with the film one can always gets a French lesson for nothing. If the answer to a question is in the affirmative the word used is sure not yes. The rule of the road is opposite from ours, and all the cars have the left-hand drive.”

Another thing that impressed the visitor was that in Canada people work hard, but play like mad — there is no ennui, they go full out with what they have in hand.

• from an editorial, “Canada As A Visitor Sees Her,” in The Toronto Daily Star, April 30, 1927; excerpted, edited, and poemized.