In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the Citizen is rolling out one fact each day for 150 days until July 1, highlighting the odd, the fascinating and the important bits of Ottawa history you might not know about.
The Redblacks mascot Big Joe is no legend — he was inspired by an equally larger-than-life logger immortalized in folklore and a Stompin’ Tom Connors song. Jos Montferrand, born in 1802, was a famed boxer before he left to take up the timber trade in Quebec and the Ottawa Valley, tirelessly felling trees and driving logs. Legend has him facing down 150 Irishmen on the Chaudière Bridge and leaping so high at a dance he left a shoe print on a ballroom ceiling. Wilfrid Laurier called him “the most truly Canadien of all Canadiens ever known.”
Article written by Megan Gillis on the Ottawa Citizen Website. Link to the original article here.