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Born in a manse in Molesworth, Ontario, in 1884, John Paris Bickell would overcome family tragedy to become one of Canada’s true renaissance men of the first half of the twentieth century. JPB or ‘Smiling Jack’, as he was known to many – was fatherless at seven, owned his own brokerage firm at twenty-three and was a millionaire before he turned thirty. As one of the most important industrialists in Canadian history, J.P. Bickell cut an enormous swath across a nation that he helped to shape.

In Canada, weather is always on our minds. Mother Nature is a constant companion, sometimes charming, sometimes atrocious, but never taken for granted. When two Canadians greet each other, the first words out of their mouths, often before hello, are a commentary on the weather. “Lovely day, isn’t it?” “Isn’t this awful?” “Do you believe this snow?”

The Magic of a Backstory

Posted on September 11 by Steve Burrows in Mystery

The spotlight shines on the magician’s stage. In the box lies a lady, her torso sliced in two by a shiny, razor-sharp blade. In the audience, breathing stops. Beads of sweat trickle down temples, palm are damp. Can she have survived her ordeal? Is she still alive? Suddenly, the magician speaks: “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait a while before you find out what happened.”

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