Vote on your favourite book cover!

Vote on your favourite book cover!

Posted on July 24 by admin
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This week we are pitting 4 covers by the same author against each other. Ron Brown is a freelance travel writer and photographer who has published twenty books on the visual heritage of Ontario. The covers we are featuring explore train travel in Canada. You can find out more about them below. But first, pick your favourite cover!

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Rails Across the Prairies traces the evolution of Canada’s rail network, including the appearance of the first steam engine on the back of a barge. The book looks at the arrival of European settlers before the railway and examines how they coped by using ferry services on the Assiniboine and North Saskatchewan Rivers. The work then follows the building of the railways, the rivalries of their owners, and the unusual irrigation works of Canadian Pacific Railway. The towns were nearly all the creation of the railways from their layout to their often unusual names.

Eventually, the rail lines declined, though many are experiencing a limited revival. Learn what the heritage lover can still see of the Prairies’ railway legacy, including existing rail operations and the stories the railways brought with them. Many landmarks lie vacant, including ghost towns and elevators, while many others survive as museums or interpretative sites.

The Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore: Despite the “green” benefits of rail travel, Canada has lost much of its railway heritage. Across the country stations have been bulldozed and rails ripped up. Once the heart of communities large and small, stations and tracks have left little more than a gaping hole in Canada’s landscapes. This book revisits the times when railways were the country’s economic lifeline, and the station the social centre. Here was where we worked, played, listened to political speeches, or simply said goodbye to loved ones never knowing when they would return. The landscapes which grew around the station are also explored and include such forgotten features as station hotels, restaurants, gardens and the once common railway YMCA. Railway companies often hired the world’s leading architects to design grand station buildings which ranged in style from chateau-esque to art deco. Even small town stations and wayside shelters displayed an artistic flare and elegance. Although most have vanished, the book celebrates the survival of that heritage in stations which have been saved or indeed remain in use. The book will appeal to anyone who has links with our rail era, or who simply appreciates the value of Canada’s built heritage.

From Queenston to Kingston: Whether you hike, bike, ride the rails, or drive, the shore of Lake Ontario can yield a treasure trove of heritage sites and natural beauty — if you know where to look.

Travel with Ron Brown as he probes the shoreline of the Canadian side of Lake Ontario to discover its hidden heritage. Explore “ghost ports,” forgotten coves, historical lighthouses, rumrunning lore, and even the location of a top-secret spy camp. The area also contains some unusual natural features, including a mysterious mountain-top lake, sand dunes, and the rare albars of Prince Edward County.

From small communities to the megacity of Toronto, history lives on in the buildings, bridges, canals, rail lines, and homes that have survived, and in the stories, both well-known and long-forgotten, of the people and places no longer here. In From Queenston to Kingston, Ron Brown provides today’s explorer’s with a window into Ontario’s not so distant past and shares a hope that, in future, progress and historical preservation go hand in hand.

In Search of the Grand Trunk: Explore Ontario’s forgotten rail lines and experience the legacy and lore of this the vital railway era of Ontario’s history. At its peak between 1880and the 1920s, Ontario was criss-crossed by more than 20, 000 kilometres of rail trackage. Today , only a fraction remains. Yet trains once hauled everything from strawberries to grain, cans of milk and even eels. Villagers depended on trains to visit friends, attend weddings, to shop, and to go to school. They gathered on station platforms to await their mail or greet a long-lost relative. Holidayers packed their trunks and headed north for an extended summer day at their favourite resorts. Today, these are but a distant memory as most of Ontario’s once essential transportation links lie abandoned and largely forgotten. But perhaps not entirely – many rights of way have become rail trails, and now witness hikers, cyclists, equestrians, and snowmobilers. Others sadly, lie overgrown and barely visible, Yet regardless of how one follows these early routes, one will find preserved stations, historic bridges, and railway era buildings, all of which recall this bygone era.