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Community News Trip to Ottawa and Montreal provides historical insights

Trip to Ottawa and Montreal provides historical insights

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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

 On the November long weekend, 41 Grade 10 students from Trinity College School embarked on the first leg of the Canadian History/English Travel Education experience for this year. The group, under the watchful eyes of Mr. David Ingram, Ms. Barb Brough, Mr. Jeff Biggar and Ms. Laura Biggar, spent the four days touring sites in Ottawa and Montreal of historical significance in Canadian history.

After a painless coach ride to Ottawa, the group checked into the hotel before marching out to the Byward Market for dinner. Following this, as a fun way to cap off the first night, the group headed out together to the local IMAX theatre for a 3D adventure.

The next morning started early. The group walked first to Parliament Hill, where they spent some time walking among the many statues around the buildings, all of which offered a unique opportunity to jump into stories of Canada’s past. The group discussed the Famous Five and the Persons Case and speculated on how these five women changed the course of history for all Canadian women. The group similarly chatted about William Lyon Mackenzie King and his role in Canadian government, especially with respect to the Conscription Crisis during World War II. The group eventually moved inside, too, to get a first-hand look at Canadian Parliament and how it operates. 

The afternoon was spent in the Canadian War Museum. It was a unique visit, with a travelling exhibit on display that showed the progress of medicine in war. It is always meaningful, too, to check out the display holding the TCS cadet uniform in the WWI section. That night, the group embarked on the Ottawa Haunted Walk and, though not all were scared, the trip though the Carleton County Jail gave everyone the shivers.

The following morning, en route to Montreal, the group stopped in at Beechwood Cemetery, first visiting the grave Sir Robert Borden, Canada’s wartime Prime Minister, and then followed on to the National Military Cemetery on the same property. Both visits offered an interesting backdrop to discuss Canada’s role in war and its impact on the country. The day continued in Montreal with a visit to Olympic Stadium and a viewing of the film, Polytechnique, which offers a chilling look at the Montreal Massacre. Other stops in Montreal included a visit to St. Joseph’s Oratory and the Parc 6 Decembre, 1989, which remembers those women killed in the Montreal Massacre. The group had the opportunity to discuss Charles de Gaulle’s “Vive le Quebece Libre” speech while standing just below the balcony where de Gaulle, himself, gave the speech creating such massive controversy in the country.

The trip finished with a stop in Saint Remi at the Trudeau family grave, again a poignant stop that allowed the group to better understand a politician who changed Canada forever.

The students on the trip were tremendous to travel with and represented the School admirably while away. This is all the more exciting as the same group will be heading to Belgium, France and Poland in March of 2012.

Click here to view more photos from the trip (courtesy of students Alexis Baba, Simran Gauba, Alana Picov and Tim Wontorra)

- By David Ingram, social sciences teacher


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