100 Years of Occupation: Leacock in Orillia


Robertson Davies’s Salterton was inspired by Kingston, and Mordecai Richler immortalized St. Urbain Street. It’s hard to imagine these books set elsewhere: Duddy Kravitz could never come from Vancouver. But no place takes as much pride in being a setting as Orillia does in its starring role in Stephen Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. Leacock was only a part-time resident, but the...

Made in Occupied Japan


Recently an acquaintance I’ll call Eric gave me a chrome-plated naphtha lighter similar to a Zippo. The lighter was manufactured by Atomic. Engraved on the bottom were the words, “MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN.” Shiny as a trophy, at 60-plus years, the relic still functioned like new. Inquiring as to how he came to possess the lighter, Eric explained he had stolen it from an old man. “Won’t he notice...