The sense of an ending: The shape of canoes from bow to stern

John Summers


here’s nothing like being in a room with more than 400 canoes to start you thinking. To walk through the storage facility and galleries of the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario, is to listen in on a host of simultaneous conversations amongst the members of a large, closely knit yet wide-ranging family. But what if …

“Nose Art” In The Royal Canadian Air Force, 1939-1945

Crest illustration on the nose of Halifax “Ville de Quebec”

Article by Don B. Smith


mmortalized in books, movies, and song, the practice of applying illustrative graphics to aircraft during wartime has existed almost since the Wright Brothers took to the sky at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903, and J.A.D. McCurdy piloted the Silver Dart off the icy surface of Bras d’Or Lake at Baddeck, Nova Scotia …

Ship to Shore: Steamers and Hotelware of Muskoka’s Golden Age

Comport, ca. 1901, Royal Muskoka Hotel

Article by Geoffrey Shifflett


his summer the RMS Segwun turns 125. She still sails the Muskoka Lakes, the last reminder of what was once the largest inland navigation fleet in Canada. Steam navigation on the Muskoka Lakes began with the launching of the Wenonah by Alexander Peter Cockburn in 1866. Considered by many to be the father of …

Of Bikes and Bondo: Doc James’s custom creations


Article by Lee Sheppard


Cummings was known only by his middle name, James. From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, he ran a shop, an old-time gas station, called The House of Kustom Kolors in Victoria Square, north of Toronto. He painted hot-rod bodies and motorcycle parts, and developed a method of sculpting using Bondo, a 3M auto-body repair …

The Decorative View of Locomotion

Editorial by John Fleming

The “invention of the wheel, which doesn’t look at all like a leg” (Guillaume Apollinaire), sums up in a few words what is undoubtedly one of humanity’s most useful scientific concepts. Continuous rotary motion through the simplicity and formal elegance of the circle harnesses human energy and natural forces such as wind and water to devices …