Moving speech given by GCHPs Co-Director Christopher Grafos at the First Annual TDSB Greek Heritage Month Festival at East York Collegiate Institute. #TDSB #GreekHeritageMonthStay tuned for more photos!

Moving to Canada?

If you can’t see the video, here is the link to watch it on YouTube:

This video will help you get ready for your new life in Canada. It will explain some of the things you should do during your first two weeks in Canada to help make the transition easier. Topics include arriving at the airport, finding support at an immigrant-serving organization, getting government documents, opening a Canadian bank account and much more.

    Three cheers for this awesome mailman! What a feel good story!

    On August 1, 1926 – Headlines were made when circus elephants stampeded in Edmonton, Alberta.

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    Ethan Allen and His Green Mountain Boys

    When Ethan Allen led his force of 200 men (including Benedict Arnold) to Ticonderoga on May 10, everyone in the fort was asleep. Allen called on it to surrender and finally aroused the commanding officer, who asked him by what authority he was making such a demand.

    If the name “Ethan Allen and His Green Mountain Boys” appeared in newspapers today, it would look like an advertisement for a group of folk-singers. Ethan Allen performed in the American Revolutionary War in the same way as General George Patton did in World War II. He was the militia commander in Vermont who, loving to take his soldiers on daring sweeps into enemy territory, could not be restrained by superior officers.

    As soon as possible after war began in the Spring of 1775, Ethan Allen led his leather-stockings to the Lake Champlain area where the British had garrisons at Ticonderoga and Crown Point. These garrisons were supposed block the route from New York to Montreal, but their defences had been neglected. The British in Canada had not expected to go to war with their fellow-countrymen south of the border.

    The Americans took three British Forts in a space of 125 miles without firing a shot. General Arnold persuaded George Washington to adopt that strategy, and not try to capture Nova Scotia and close off the St. Lawrence to British reinforcements.

    Amazing, right? To read more about today’s post, I suggest visiting, and The Battle of Ticonderoga from Hobart High School (I think), Military History at by Kennedy Hickman, Willard Sterne Randall wrote an interesting piece at, and finally EyeWitness to History. A new blog I just learned about also covers this is Sandiateaparty. And another great blog I suggest you visit, is Un Current Events .

    And for physical books, I suggest Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, and also Ethan Allen: Frontier Rebel, and finally General Sir Guy Carleton, Lord Dorchester: Soldier-statesman of early British Canada.

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    P. T. Barnum’s Jumbo

    Not everyone agreed with that sale. 100,000 school children wrote to Queen Victoria begging her not to sell the elephant. When he arrived in New York, Barnum exhibited the elephant at Madison Square Garden, Then, Jumbo, one of Barnum’s 21 elephants, crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to prove that the bridge was safe after 12 people died during a stampede on the bridge a year earlier on Memorial Day, Almost immediately, Barnum earned enough to recoup what he spent to buy the animal.

    The story of Jumbo’s death was told by Barnum, but many are skeptical of his version. Barnum then explained that a younger elephant, Tom Thumb, was on the railroad tracks. According to newspaper accounts at the time, the freight train hit Jumbo directly, killing him, while the other elephant suffered a broken leg.

    Jumbo, named because of his size, was an African Bush Elephant born at what is now Mali, in 1861, and died September 15, 1885, at the age of 24. He was sent to the Jardin des Plantes zoo in Paris (France); then to a zoo in England; then in March of 1882, he was given to P. T. Barnum, who brought him to Northern America as part of their exhibition; he was purchased for $10,000 dollars ($244 thousand today).

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    In Canada no More

    Stores that are no longer in Canada

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    Happy National Maple Syrup Day!

    Did you know that today is National Maple Syrup Day?  What an amazing time to celebrate the all-natural sweetener’s culinary versatility and health advantages!

    picture of native making maple syrup in 1883

    Canadian Illustrated News: Sugar-Making Among the Indians in the North, 1883

    Pure maple syrup from Canada isn’t only delicious in a selection of holiday dishes from sweet to savory, but also offers great health advantages, perfect as an energy source for the daily workout. Regardless if you are hosting a festive meal or exercising to rejuvenate your holiday spirit, pure maple syrup can add warmth and depth of flavour to your favorite foods.

    Are you aware that 10.5 gallons of sap boiled down is needed to create only one quart of maple syrup? Every spring, as soon as the nights are cold, water from the soil is absorbed in to the maple tree. Throughout the day, warmer temperatures create pressure that pushes water along the tree, allowing maple sap to collect.

    A delightful flavor booster in a range of dishes, pure maple syrup can be an energy booster for health enthusiasts, playing a vital role before, during and after workouts. For the perfect wellness fix throughout the holidays, try pure maple syrup in homemade sports drinks or drizzled on toast with peanut butter and bananas. Maple syrup is a 100% natural power source, providing your body with easily digestible energy. Simple carbohydrates, sugars – including dextrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, white sugar, corn syrup, and honey, are easily and quickly absorbed in to the bloodstream. An excellent source of manganese and zinc, maple syrup provides vital nutrients for muscle recovery and boosting the defense mechanisms immunity system.

    Our  immunity is based on the body’s capability to launch a defense against nasty invaders. The sole product in our diet sourced from a plant’s sap, this vegan sweetener features over 54 antioxidants that might help delay or prevent diseases.

    Is pure maple syrup delicious on waffles? YES, but it is so much more than just an excellent breakfast topper. To celebrate America’s favorite breakfast ingredient, listed below are the top 5 reasons why you should use maple syrup.

    Top 5 reasons why you should Use Maple Syrup in Cooking:

    1. Baking Buddy: Not only for pancakes, pure maple syrup is the perfect sugar alternative in many different dishes, including desserts and baked goods. Maple syrup serves as an easy, one-to-one substitution for other liquid sweeteners, such as for instance honey, molasses and corn syrup. To substitute for granulated sweeteners such as for instance white sugar, use a one-to-one substitution, lessen the volume of liquid ingredients into the recipe (water, milk, juice) by one-fourth of a cup, and reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
    2. The Pantry’s Sweetest Staple: Pure maple syrup adds depth and complexity to a range of entrees, from savory to sweet. The sweetener may be used as an ingredient in glazes and rubs for poultry, meat, seafood or vegetables.

    3. Holiday Happy Hour: Bartenders and cocktail connoisseurs know to substitute maple syrup instead of simple syrup to quickly attain an urgent and deeper flavor in classic cocktails. Test it out for in your friends’ eggnog recipe this Christmas!

    4. Decide on the Gold: rather than pouring on sugar without added benefits, just a drizzle of maple syrup offers a subtle touch of sweetness to fresh fruit, cereal, tea, coffee and smoothies. Did you know that pure maple syrup has the same beneficial classes of antioxidant such as for example vitamin C (ascorbic acid), butylated hydroxytoluene compounds present in berries, tea, red wine, wheat or grain and flax-seed?

    5. Nature’s Energy Boost: Pure maple syrup is an all natural energy source, and has higher degrees of beneficial minerals than other sweeteners, including calcium, potassium and copper.

    The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers was founded in 1966 aided by the mission of defending and promoting the commercial, social and moral interests of the 7,400 maple family farms businesses. These men and women will work together to collectively focus on quality standards, create knowledge and market their products or services. Quebec is in charge of about 93 % regarding the Canadian production and close to 80 percent of today’s global maple syrup output. The Federation is proud to guide scientific research within the name of the entire Canadian maple syrup industry. Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia contributing seven percent associated with total Canadian production.

    European settlers to Canada additionally the northeastern United States learned techniques for harvesting this natural sweet from the Native Americans. Into the ensuing years, this practice became a fundamental the main settlers’ lives. Through to the 19th century, the major way to obtain sugar consumed during these areas came from maple sugar trees.

    Although maple syrup is currently known primarily as a breakfast delight, the European settlers added it to all the forms of dishes, such as for instance maple-baked beans and maple desserts. Even now, if the sap flows, families and friends in Quebec gather in the sugar hut, where tables are heavily laden with traditional maple syrup foods. After gorging on these gourmet delights, they gather outside for the usual hot maple taffy, served on a bed of fresh snow. For the true Québecois, a visit to your sugar shack in spring remains a kind of pilgrimage.

    Today, the production of maple syrup uses 21st century technology; however, making the syrup remains essentially the just like this has for centuries. The sap is still collected in buckets, but now, a method of plastic tubing transports the sap through the trees to tanks where it  is stored for distilling.

    The sap’s sugar content usually ranges from 2 to 4 percent, so just as much as 30-40 liters of sap should be boiled to make one liter of syrup. The condensed product contains quite a lot of carbohydrates, potassium, and calcium in addition to a small amount of iron and phosphorus. One Tablespoon contains approximately 50 calories. This pure syrup is filtered and sterilized before being poured into containers. Then, you can use it which will make maple sugar, maple butter, maple sugar candy, and several other delicious products.

    There are many maple syrup production areas throughout Canada therefore the northeastern United States, as soon as the sugar sap is flowing, visitors ought to drop by and see them. It really is a time for everyone to have fun. Dancing, music, and merrymaking often improve the hearty foods and friendly spirit that abound during these regions.

    Note: For all the following recipes the maple syrup may be increased or decreased according to taste.

    MAPLE SYRUP SALAD DRESSING (Serves 8) This tasty dressing, which will keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week, can be utilized with many different salads.

    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1/4 cup essential olive oil 1/4 cup vinegar
    2 cloves crushed garlic
    1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
    1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 teaspoon Pall
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne

    In a large bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients. Then, pour over salads right before serving. Store leftover dressing in a closed container and refrigerate. Total calories per serving: 88 Carbohydrates: 7 grams Sodium: 78 milligrams Fat: 7 grams Protein:

    LENTILS WITH MAPLE SYRUP (Serves 8) Simple to prepare, this recipe may be served with cooked rice or mashed potatoes.

    1-1/2 cups lentils
    4 cups water
    2 medium potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
    2 medium carrots, finely chopped
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    4 doves garlic, crushed
    4 Tablespoons tomato paste, blended with 1/2 cup water
    6 Tablespoons maple syrup
    2 Tablespoons say sauce
    2 Tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon dried marjoram
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients in a casserole dish and stir. Cover and bake for 1-1/2 hours or until lentils are well-cooked, checking once or twice and adding more water if necessary.

    Serve hot from the casserole dish.

    Total calories per serving: 256 Carbohydrates: 45 grams Sodium: 422 milligrams Fat: 4 grams Protein: 12 grams Fiber: 13 grams
    MAPLE CARROTS (Serves 4) This dish is popular in Morocco, but it is usually fashioned with sugar or honey rather than maple syrup.

    4 Tablespoons maple syrup
    2 Tablespoons orange juice
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 pound carrots, sliced into 1/8-inch thick rounds
    Water to pay for carrots
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon cumin

    In a small non-reactive bowl, combine maple syrup, orange juice, and salt. Set aside. Place carrots in a medium-sized saucepan, cover with water, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender. Drain and stir in maple syrup mixture. Allow to simmer, uncovered, over low heat for five full minutes, stirring occasionally. Place carrots in a serving dish. Sprinkle with ginger and cumin before serving.

    Total calories per serving: 105 Carbohydrates: 26 grams Sodium: 187 milligrams

    So, fellow Canadians, let us celebrate!

    If you would like to read more about maple syrup day, be sure to visit my blog post!



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    Happy Independence Day!

    July 4  I want to wish every American a wonderful Independence Day!!

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