It’s Bud the Spud from the Bright Red Mud

20170630_190110_062.jpgCanada’s 150th anniversary has brought out a strong sense of patriotism across the country, but long before this recent surge of patriotism, Stompin’ Tom Connors was singing proudly of Canadian history, heritage and folklore. Though never famous beyond the Canadian border, Tom’s songs featured obscure legends and tidbits of Canadiana inspired by his journeys playing in bars and music halls across the country. Amongst his most famous of works are The Hockey Song, Sudbury Saturday Night and Bud the Spud. Graeme Dymond of ToroLUG (that is to say, I the author of this blog) built this based upon my childhood love of the song, which was the beginning of a love of the rest of Stompin’ Tom’s hits, and ultimately, to a love of Canadian history and regional folklore. Although the song leaves it somewhat ambiguous whether Bud the Spud is a human trucker, child-me always interpreted the lyric to mean that Bud was a human trucker or an actual, anthropomorphic potato – which perhaps was a little dark, seeing as he was also driving a truck full of other potatoes – and so I built the model to reflect that interpretation.

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The Height of Canadian Architecture

In 1995, when the Canada National Railway crown company privatized, the tower ownership was transferred to the Canada Lands Corporation, Although no longer owned by CN Railway, the name has stuck – though it no longer officially stands for “Canada National” as in the railway, and has radically transformed to “Canada’s National Tower”

One of the most prominent modern structure in Canada, the CN Tower is the tallest tower in the western hemisphere, and at over 553 meters, currently stands as the 9th largest structure in the world. Completed on June 26, 1976, the tower’s notoriety has grown over the years as it has established itself as a significant tourist landmark and icon of not just the city of Toronto, but for the entire nation. Chris Abrams of MBLUG in Manitoba has put together this whopper of a LEGO model, standing at over 2 meters tall – a size that only seems small in comparison to the real tower itself.

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The Great Response of Canada

“One sees at a glance the answer made by Canada when the world’s peace was broken and freedom threatened in the fateful years of the Great War.”
His Majesty King George VI on occasion of the dedication of the memorial on Sunday, May 21, 1939

Canada’s National War Memorial sits a few hundred meters from the center of Canada’s capital in Ottawa, and is a large, granite and bronze memorial arch. Bill Kernohan of ParLUGment has done a fantastic job of recreating one of Canada’s most important monuments, capturing the bronze-cast soldiers marching through the arch, with allegorical depictions of Peace and Freedom perched atop – values with which these soldiers blessed the world.

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A CANDU Attitude to Nuclear Power

Darlington Nuclear Generating Station
One of the unfortunate claims to fame for the Darlington CANDU facility was the cost overruns – fortunately, this LEGO microscale version appears to have avoided those issues.

ToroLUG‘s Jeff ‘dr_spock_888‘ Lee is back at it again, with a pair of nuclear themed builds. The CANDU reactors are a Canadian based nuclear power generation technology that has been implemented all around the world, providing nuclear power to South Korea, Romania, China, and Argentina, amongst other nations.

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The Robertson Head Screwdriver

Robertson Screwdriver
Your eyes are not going screwy – the driver, wooden block, and screws are all made out of LEGO. Shortly after its invention, the Robertson Screwdriver was referred to as “the biggest little invention of the 20th century so far.”

When building with LEGO, the builders bricks become the tools – so Toronto LEGO User Group member Jeff Lee is getting a little self-referential here in building a tool out of tools. But not just any tool – no, ask any handy Canadian, and they will tell you at length about the superior power of the Canadian invented Robertson screw head.

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A Great Way to Break the Ice

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship light icebreakers currently in service are lead by the CCGS Martha L. Black, which is named after the renowned “first lady of the Yukon,” who was the second woman ever nominated to Canadian Parliament

One of Canada’s points of pride is our ability to not only endure cold weather, but to embrace and conquer the cold.  Although it is estimated that over 75 percent of Canada’s population lives within 160km of the border with the USA, there is still a great deal of the population that lives in the far north.  In order to serve these northern communities who are often isolated in frozen environments, the Canadian Coast Guard has a fleet of icebreakers stationed across the east coast, including: Ontario; Quebec; Nova Scotia; and Newfoundland and Labrador.Adam Dodge of SLUG (and one of the coordinators of the Canada Buidls 150 project) has assembled a wonderful vignette that really makes you feel the icy environs surrounding it.

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Canada’s Grand Railway Hotels – The Royal York Hotel

When completed in 1929, the Royal York Hotel (now Fairmont Royal York Hotel) was the tallest building in the British Empire

As Canada’s railways were constructed following Confederation in 1867, people riding those rails needed places to stay.  Railway companies began constructing hotels at or near their train stations, using what is now referred to as a chateau-style or ‘chateauesque’ style of architecture. Jeff Van Winden (jeffvw) from WHaCKoLuG has put together a fabulous micro build of the Royal York Hotel, Toronto’s Grand Railway Hotel, and for a ‘microscale’ model, this building is anything but micro!

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Saint Michael’s Cathedral Basilica

St Michael's Cathedral Basilica
Founded in 1848, Saint Michael’s Cathedral Basilica is one of the oldest unchanged monuments in Toronto architecture

Saint Michael’s Cathedral Basilica serves as the principal church of Canada’s largest English speaking Catholic archdiocese. Vivian Lo from ToroLUG has managed to capture the grandeur of the building wonderfully, in a small-but-mighty microscale model.

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