Canadian towns

Recently, I stumbled onto this resource and there goes any extra time I might have! It’s called 1000 Towns of Canada and the goal is to have all of Canada’s small towns in one place.

The maple leaves will let you know just what a wealth of information is there already.

Of course, there’s a search field to let you go precisely to your destination.

My initial explorations were a little different – I just zoom in on a community that I know and see what comes up. So, for Seaforth, I get this …

Like most resources like this, it’s interesting to poke around and learn a little of the history of the various locations. Depending upon the link, you might end up with a link to an interview or some pictures historical or otherwise of the communities. Just go nuts clicking on the red links.

In that case of Seaforth, it was a nice memory trip along Main St. South. How many big towns have just one “Main Street”.

When was the last time you poked around your old home town and fully appreciated those people who came from there?

Click here for a Media Kit that explains the project.

Stuck where you want

One of the amazing stories recently is the incident involving the Ever Given and how it’s stuck in the Suez Canal. I’ve never sailed anything larger than a canoe so I don’t know how or why for certain other than what’s been reported in the news.

Massive container ship stuck in Suez Canal, blocking world’s busiest shipping route

Of particular note in this article is the comparison on the ship to landmarks like the CN Tower. That’s one HUGE ship.

The Suez Canal has always intrigued me. There are so many articles written about the construction and the number of times that it’s been shut down. So, we can add one more time to that. Now, it’s been stuck for six days as I write this.

Technology is amazing at times. You can take a time lapsed trip through the canal. Many such exist on YouTube.

With all the technology in the world, you have to be amazed that there wasn’t something in place to keep the ship actually in the canal. It’s now a feature that you find on new cars.

Even more bizarre is how difficult it’s proving to be to remove the Ever Given from its current location. If you read the CBC story above, you’ll see an aerial image of the ship stuck.

Of course, the internet doesn’t let us down at times like this. We all know that we’ve seen so many memes of Bernie Sanders and his mittens. Well, now, you can plot the Ever Given any place in the world that you want. I chose to run it into the dock on Boblo Island that the ferry uses to transport homeowners from there to the mainland at the dock in Amherstburg.

This was created at the website Ever Given Ever Ywhere.

It was kind of fun picking it up and dropping it in various places. What I found personally educational about this was to put some sort of reality of size into my learning. (Check the “Boat is to scale” box)

Jaimie and I have walked the park along there many times and many times made reference to it here in the blog. You might get tired of it but he’s my thrice daily walking partner.

Of course, this is fun but I can see all kinds of educational ways to use this in your classroom. On television news, it’s just another picture on a ship. When you put it in context of something that you and your students would immediately recognize, it becomes a reality. Of course, it would be a great writing prompt.

Here, I compared it to a regular Great Lake ship, making sure that it was to scale.

It gives you a sense of how gigantic this ship is because Great Lakes boats are no small things.

Here it is compared to the Jiiman sitting in Kingville harbor. The Jiimaan transports people, cars, trucks, etc. to Pelee Island.

When you look at the size, the weight, etc. the sides of the Suez didn’t really stand a chance.

Later, after this post was written – good news.

Giant container ship that blocked Suez Canal set free

All hits, all the time

Well, maybe …

After writing my blog post on Saturday for World Radio Day, I went on a bit of a nostalgic tour of the radio stations that I’ve followed as I moved from place to place.

Here they are, and their current format.

CKLW – the information station

WCAR – sports radio

CKNX – country, talk, news

CFTR – new

CHUM FM – adult contemporary

CKMS – independent, progressive university

WLS (The call letters kicked in while thinking about this Chicago station) – news and talk radio

WRIF – rock ‘n roll

CJWF – country

E STREET RADIO – Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band

voicEd Radio – education and music

It comes as no surprise that these days all of these stations have a website. I mean, who doesn’t have a website these days. I tracked each of those down to see it and also to see what format of radio they currently have.

I can’t help but be impressed with the change in mindset radio has had over the years. Originally, you had to be in a car or near a radio AND within the broadcast area of the station to hear it. There was nothing more frustrating to drive outside the range of a station and have to endure static. Then, you’re scanning for a new station that was both strong and the same format that you wanted.

It’s not the same these days. Since stations also broadcast over the internet, distance and antennas are no longer the requirements. I can, and did, tune into CKNX to find out what was happening in Western Ontario.

Radio is also very competitive. It was interesting to see the chance in format for some of the radio stations. Listenership is important and having the loyal following is key.

So, thanks to World Radio Day for taking me back to some great listening memories. As I leave, I’ll leave you with this link to Radio Garden. Here’s a place to go and search for a station or just explore on a map. After all, once you know location and where the stream is, you can listen from anywhere.

Or zoom way out to see stations across a continent.

Or take the earth for a spin. We don’t have a monopoly in North America with radio stations.

Mapping it

My learning today started early in the morning. When I was done, it was filed under the category of “Why am I just learning about this now?”

In my defense, the answer is “because you’ve never had a need to do it until now.” But now that I know about it, I’ll never forget and I’ll blog about it to reinforce my learning.

It started when I read this story

This Mississauga neighbourhood has one of the highest COVID-19 percent positivity rates in Ontario

It comes from the Mississauga | online news service.

I feel badly for those people who live, work, and learn in that neighbourhood. After all, your little town or neighbourhood should be safe to live in.

Embedded in the article is a chart of a lot of areas within the province ranked from highest to lowest in terms of highest percentage positivity of COVID. I was using a small screen so had to pinch out to see the content. Other than the name of the community, the first three letters of the postal code really meant little to me.

Then, I ran into three areas in Windsor and Essex County that would be part of our Health Unit. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit | Local, relevant, and timely public health information. (

But just where are these neighbourhoods? I made a mental note that I should check the Canada Post website because they’ll have that mapped out by postal code. Then, another visual from the article clicked in. Sure, they might have use Canada Post if they had to … instead they used Google Maps and a screen capture.

Could it be that easy?

And, it was.

The three areas around here have the first three characters in their Postal Code.

  • N8T
  • N8R
  • N8H

None of these clicked. When I worked in Windsor, my Postal Code started with N9A.

Where are they? It really was as simple as entering the three characters into a Google Maps search.


If I zoom in, it completes the picture for me as the schools in the area pop up.
William G. Davis, W.J. Langlois, and Coronation.


Here, there’s Eastwood, H.J. Lassaline, Parkview, L.A. Desmarais, and Forest Glade.


And, in the Leamington area, there’s Cardinal Carter, Leamington DSS, Saint-Michel, Queen Elizabeth, Margaret D. Bennie, Mill Street, and St. Louis. Interestingly, Gore Hill which does have an N8H address wasn’t inside the boundaries on the map. Ditto for the South Shore Christian School.

I looked for a second opinion on Bing Maps and indeed the first three letters of the Postal Code were mapped nicely. Apple Maps recognized the Postal Code but just dropped a pin and didn’t map out the area.

So, why am I just learning this now? Like I said above, I never had the need before. A couple more brain cells and blog space just expanded a bit to make room for this new learning!

Did you know this? Am I just late to the party?

Time marches on

Who hasn’t used Google Earth and been amazed with what is captured on our surface from satellites in space? It’s a really interesting process and guaranteed to be a time suck, to be sure.

Timelapse is based on the Google Earth engine and shows interesting animations over a period of time.

Some notable ones appear in the sidebar.

And, at a first look, it might appear that this all there is to it.

But, once you realize that all of the imagery covering the globe is available, it gets really interesting. The images were made at varying times over the years so you can look at a farm, for example, and watch the different crops pop in and out.

I was watching Niagara Falls, which is always a highlight of a world imagery application for me when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. I should have thought of this immediately. I could witness the Scotiabank Convention Centre where the Bring IT, Together Conference was held being built from an open field to what it is today.

Closer to home, I saw an older commercial building being torn down!

In Hamilton, I could see the construction of the Red Hill Valley Parkway snake its way down the hill to completion.

Above that, if you know where to look, you can see farmer fields turn into subdivisions.

There’s just a wealth of uses and applications here. You’ve got to give it a try. Deforestration appears a few times from places around the world.

Obviously, the quality of the results depends on the quality of the images that are fed into Google Earth. Certainly, there are some areas that are captured in a higher degree of resolution and make for an even more spectacular video.

Go ahead and give it a shot. If you put an addition on to your house, Timelapse has a documentary of it happening for you.