The Scots who populated the New World that became Canada brought vitality and a unique character to a vast land. Adventurous, hardworking and sometimes outrageous, the earliest Scots settlers were rejuvenated by later waves of immigration. Their spirit epitomized a central theme of progress and development that permeates our culture and sense of home.
Some even believe the Scots from the Orkney Islands were the first Europeans to land here. Or did they crew boats with the Vikings or St. Brendan?
Their numbers filled every province, and we remember famous and familiar names, such as Sanford Fleming, Hugh Allan, Alexander Keith, Robert Service and Alexander MacKenzie. The rogues and scallywags might be less well known, but their stories give great colour to our past. Even Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada's first prime minister and the best-known Father of Confederation, faced scandal and turmoil during his tenure. Still, Canada's Scots brought you the RCMP, the telephone and standard time.
Paul Cowan takes us on an insightful, often irreverent journey from the earliest days of exploration and fur trading through the centuries of Canadian history. Sit back and pour yourself a nip of Scotch while he tells tales filled with bold and outrageous characters, the Scots who really did create Canada.