Project Selection and Topics

Project Selection

Projects must explore an aspect of Canadian history and heritage. Your topic must have a connection to national, provincial, community or family history.

The best Heritage Fair projects begin with a research question to which you try to find an answer. Show your question and ideas to your teacher or librarian before you start researching. Use some of the historical/critical thinking concepts as a guide:

  • Historical Significance – What and who should be remembered?
  • Evidence and Interpretation of Evidence – Does your evidence support your conclusions?
  • Causes and Consequences – Why did historical events happen the way they did and what are the consequences?
  • Continuity and Change – How are lives and conditions alike over time and how have they changed?
  • Perspectives – What does the past look like when viewed through the lens of time?
  • Ethical Judgement – Is what happened right or fair? How to select your project

Project Topics

How to select your project

  1. What interests you? Start with what you may be learning in your classroom and/or your own interests.
  2. Can you back it up? Make sure that your topic has lots of sources, both primary and secondary. Think about where and if you can find information on your topic.
  3. Is it important? Even a very local or family topic can be important if you can link it to a larger story in Canadian history.

For inspiration

Below you will find some project topics ideas.

Canadian history

  • The Halifax Explosion and its Everlasting Destruction
  • ‘I Chews You’: Dentistry through the 1800s
  • Oh my Cod! Basque Fishermen in Canada
  • Breakfast of Heaven, Maple Syrup

Military history

  • The Avro Arrow
  • The Contributions of the Newfoundland Regiment during WWI
  • Canadian Armed Forces dealing with resistance on Canadian soil
  • The Seven Years’ War: Was the British victory inevitable?
  • The Evolution of Peacekeeping and Canada’s Role
  • The Canadian Soldiers of the Great War

Indigenous projects

  • Anishinaabe Clan System
  • Pikwakanagan History
  • The First Nations and Plants (herbal medicines and their uses)
  • Canada’s Forgotten History: Experimentation at Residential Schools
  • Birch Bark Canoes

Regional history

  • The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War “Secret”?
  • Lost and Forgotten Places in the Ottawa Region
  • The Ottawa Food Bank
  • Within the Walls of Mutchmor
  • Bytown, the Former Ottawa
  • Ottawa’s Lumber Industry

Genealogy (family history)

  • George Brown: One of the Founders of Confederation
  • Jeanne Mance: Co-founder of Montreal

People in Canadian history

  • Louis Riel, is he a traitor or a hero?
  • Canada’s “Heroic” Reputation: But even heroes have skeletons in their closets
  • The Life and Legacy of Frederick Banting The Assassination of Thomas D’Arcy McGee

Canada’s historic places and monuments

  • Lost Villages of the St. Lawrence Seaway
  • The Ottawa Jail/Hostel
  • Multicultural diversity
  • Home Sweet Home: The History of British Home Children in Canada
  • What motivated European immigration between 1713 and 1750?
  • Paths to Canada: Modern Immigration
  • A Family’s Arrival Story in Canada

Ontario’s history

  • The Story of the Chaudière Falls
  • Watson’s Mill
  • Rideau Canal: The Rest of the Story – Bobs Lake

Women’s history

  • Canadian Women in Space
  • How did Emily Carr impact Canadian art?
  • The Coloured Women’s Club of Montreal
  • Laura Secord’s Sunday Stroll

Biography

  • Emily Stowe
  • Montferrand, the man – Mufferaw, the legend
  • The Great Canadian Ace: Billy Bishop
  • Thomas McKay-Amazing Architect

Social justice/human rights

  • Multicultural Immigration to Canada: The Significance of Ethnic Minorities
  • Is History Repeating Itself?
  • Analysing the Parallels in the Canadian Treatment of Minorities
  • Ethics of War: A Case Study of Discrimination, Experimentation, and Coping with WWII

Ottawa Built Heritage

  • The Renovation of the Parliament Building
  • A history of the Aberdeen Pavilion
  • The Château Laurier
  • The Billings Estate
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