History of Horses in Canada

6 Thursdays beginning January 9, 2020 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm

Lecturer: Joanna Dean

What was it really like to share city streets with animals that weighed half a ton and did not always do as they were told? The number of horses in Canadian cities skyrocketed in the late 1800s, when they pulled buggies, hauled carts and streetcars, and powered treadmills, lifts, and brick machines. In 1891, Ottawa had one horse for every 18 people. In this lecture, I will tell stories from the archives about the mishaps, cruelty and muck of a multispecies city. I will explain what horse manure had to do with the spread of tetanus, or lockjaw, and how an ungainly little horse called Brick Top helped Canadians overcome this dread disease during the First World War.


  1. Horses introduced to N. America
  2. Horse Power
  3. Urban Horses
  4. Horses and Tetanus
  5. Horse Doctors
  6. Horse Welfare

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