Saturday, November 23, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1964--
The Oldsmobile Jetstar 1 two-door Hardtop Coupe is imported from the US and retails for $5,043 f.o.b. Oshawa, Ontario. Folks buy 16,597 full-sized Olds and 5,969 of the compact F-85 models.

January 10: It is the birth date of Brad Roberts. Born in Winnipeg, he will grow up to be the gravelly voiced singer and lead guitarist for the pop rock group, Crash Test Dummies.

Terminal One.

January 12: Thousands of curious onlookers jam the brand spanking new Toronto International Airport to watch the first airplane land. Arriving from Vienna, Trans-Canada Air Flight 871 takes the honours as the first plane to kiss the tarmac. In 1984 YYZ will be renamed to honour the late Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson.

February 7: The Schlitz Brewing of Milwaukee beats out Power Corporation to purchase 34 percent of John Labbatt, Limited. The purchase is controversial; many folks feel it amounts to foreign takeover of the 117-year old London, Ontario-based brewery.

February 10: Victor Davis is born in Guelph, Ontario. He will grow up to be an Olympic swimming champion, winning Silver for Canada at the Summer Games in 1984. A hit-and-run driver will kill Davis at the age of 25. A memorial fund will be established in his honour to assist young swimmers achieve their Olympic dreams.

The Bombardier B-12 was introduced in 1942.

February 18: Joseph-Armand Bombardier is dead at the age of 56. Born in Valcourt, Quebec, Bombardier invented the snowmobile, forever changing our way of life.  Canada Post will honour his legacy with a commemorative stamp in 2000.

Children in front of the Marble Village Coloured School [ca. 1900].
March 12: Rising in Queen’s Park, Ontario’s Minister of Education, Bill Davis, tells legislators that segregated schools will be abolished. The law has been on the books for 110 years, though in fact, most of Ontario's schools have been integrated since the turn of the century.

Canadian Peacekeepers in Cyprus man their post in the Kyrenia Mountains.

March 15: The first Canadian peacekeepers arrive in Cyprus. They will join the Finns, Danes, Swedes, Irish and British in monitoring the fractious peace between the island’s Turkish and Greek inhabitants.

March 16: Super stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton tie the knot in a civil ceremony at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.  This will be her fifth time at the altar and his second. 

March 17: The government tables the Canada Pension Plan Act in the House. When it comes into effect on January 1, 1966, workers will contribute 1.8 percent of their income toward the retirement scheme.

March 19: Cape Whittle—located on Quebec’s North Shore—is buried in more than 100 centimetres of snow. It stands as the heaviest snowfall in provincial history.

March 25: The provincial legislature in Charlottetown votes to adopt a new flag. The flag depicts an island with three small oak saplings on the left—representing the three counties of PEI—and the mighty oak tree on the right represents protective Great Britain.

March 26: The Minister of National Defense tables a White Paper in Parliament to merge the three branches of the military into a single force. Amalgamation will save $100 million but prove be highly unpopular with almost everyone.

March 28:  A tsunami hits Vancouver Island causing millions of dollars of damage in and around Port Alberni.

April: Ottawa begins issuing Social Insurance Numbers to help the government keep track of taxpayers and people receiving benefits. All off us are required to apply for a nine-digit SIN card. The first digit indicates region. One is for Atlantic Canada. Two and three are for Quebeckers. Cards that start with four and five are for Ontario and members of the Canadian Forces. A card starting with six indicates the three Prairie Provinces, the NWT and Nunavut. Seven is for British Columbia and the Yukon. Nine is for temporary residents. The physical cards will be discontinued in 2013.

April 1: Scott Stevens is born in Kitchener, Ontario. He will grow up to be an NHL star. The three-time Stanley Cup champion will spend much of his career with the New Jersey Devils.

April 22: It’s a boy for Doreen and Harry Makepeace of Montreal. Son Chris will grow up to be an actor appearing in movies like, Vamp, My Bodyguard, Meatballs and Oasis.

April 25: The Toronto Maple Leafs skate home with the Stanley Cup, having whipped the Detroit Redwings four games to three.

April 28: Vasily Vasilievich Tarasov is arrested by the RCMP and expelled from Canada for spying. The 36-year old’s espionage cover is that of Ottawa correspondent for the Soviet newspaper Izvestia.

May 2: Northern Dancer, born in Oshawa, Ontario wins the Kentucky Derby. The three-year old will go on to win the Triple Crown and become the most sired horse in history.

May 5: Controversial labour leader Hal C. Banks of the Seafarers’ International Union is sentenced to five years in prison for having assaulted a rival labour leader in Montreal. Banks will flee the country rather than serve time. A 1985 movie, Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks, will tell his story.

May 11: Some 4,500 lumber workers return to work in British Columbia. The strike was a long one—the men have been off work since October 4 of last year.

Miles Gilbert "Tim" Horton on opening day of his first coffee shop. The 34-year old hockey star will be killed in a car crash in 1974.

May 17 – The first Tim Horton’s Coffee Shop opens at 41 Ottawa Street North in Hamilton, Ontario. Over the next fifty years it will grow into a chain of more than 2,000 stores throughout North America.

My 31: There is sufficient thaw in the Cold War that Canadian Press sends a correspondent to live in Moscow and report on events in the USSR.

June 8: Toronto city councillors pass a law to give away free birth control pills to any woman on social assistance who wants them.

June 9: William Maxwell Aitken is dead in Surrey, England at the age of 85. Born in Maple, Ontario his sharp business acumen made him one of the wealthiest men in the world, He was knighted as Baron of Beaverbrook by King George V. Aitken will bequeath most of his money to the University of New Brunswick and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton.

June 11: The Dominion of Canada and the People’s Republic of Hungary ink a three-year trade agreement.

June 15, 1964: The first Touch-Tone telephones in the nation are introduced to Bell Canada subscribers in Malton, Ontario.  Model 1500 will be replaced in 1968 with a 12-button setup.

June 15: Debate opens in Parliament as to whether or not we should have a new national symbol to replace the Red Ensign. The Great Flag Debate will be not only be heated, it will drag on until the end of the session.

June 29: Minimum wage for Ontarians goes into effect—employees must receive $1 an hour.

The CCGS Labrador is a Wind-class icebreaker. As part of the Canadian Coast Guard's fleet, CCCG Labrador will be the first ship to circumnavigate North American in a single trip.

July 16: Ottawa declares exclusive jurisdiction over the oceans, stretching 19 kilometres offshore. This is good news for Canadian fishermen but angers our neighbours to the south.

July 17: Divers discover the wreck of the Canadian Pacific Liner RMS Empress of Ireland near Ste-Luce-sur-Mer, Quebec. The luxury liner sank 50 years ago on May 29 1914, after being struck by a Norwegian collier, the SS Storstad. There was little damage to the collier but with a 4.3-metre gash in her side, the Empress of Ireland sank in only 14 minutes,  taking 1,014 souls to a watery grave.

August:  Construction begins on the Ford truck plant in Oakville, Ontario. When it is complete it will boast 93,000-square metres of space under the roof. Workers will build 43,756 Ford and Mercury trucks this year and 97,149 in the 1965 model year.

August 9: It’s a boy for hockey legend Bobby and Joanne Hull. Born in Belleville, Ontario, Brett will be a chip off the old block and become a super star in his own right. Golden Brett will score the winning goal that brings the Redwings the Stanley Cup in 2002.

August 12: In Edmonton, Gus Agiortis hangs out his sign for the first Boston Pizza restaurant. The chain will grow to 300-plus restaurants in Canada, the United States and Mexico by 2010 and rack up nearly a billion dollars worth of sales.

August 22: Some 16,000 fans drown out the Beetles as they perform in Vancouver. More than 100 teenage girls faint from excitement of being so close to “The Fab Four.”

August 27: It is a boy for Kenneth and Marilyn Bernardo of Scarborough, Ontario. Paul Kenneth will grow up to become one of the nation’s most reviled serial killers. Along with wife Karla, he will be convicted in 1995 for many rapes and the torture slayings of teenaged girls. Paul will be declared a dangerous offender and live the rest of his life in prison.

September 2: Keanu Charles Reeves is born in Beirut, Lebanon. His family will move to Canada when he is small and he will grow up in Toronto. Hollywood will hire the aspiring actor in 1986 and he will be famous for such movies as Speed, Johnny Mnemonic and the Matrix series.

September 6: The Beetles arrive at Toronto International Airport where there are greeted by 3,000 hysterical fans.

September 13: It’s a girl for Marjorie and David Rhea of Westmount, Quebec. Daughter Caroline will grow up to be a stand-up comedienne before moving on to TV and movie stardom.

September 16: Prime Minister Pearson and US President Johnson are on hand in Blaine, Washington to attend the festivities and sign a revised Columbia River Treaty.

Queen Elizabeth II and His Excellency, Governor General The Right Honourable George Vanier in Quebec City.
October 10: Her Majesty is in Quebec City. Thirty-two students, opposed to traditional ties to the monarchy are arrested for protesting.

October 22: The Parliamentary Flag Committee shows off the design it has selected for our new national symbol.

October 3, 1964: A  TCA DC-8 carries the Canadian Olympic Team to Japan. On the way home it will make a non-stop  flight to Montreal in a record time of 12 hours, 24 minutes.

National Stadium in Tokyo seats 71,600. This marks the first time the Olympics are held in Asia. Tokyo will host the Olympics in 2020.
October 24: The XVIIIth Summer Olympiad draws to a close in Tokyo. A total of 93 countries participated. Canada’s 118 athletes come home with four medals, including the Gold for men’s rowing.
Polytechnique will tell the sad story of the Montreal Massacre when it is released in 2009. The movie will win nine Genie Awards.

October 26: Gamil Bharbi is born and grows up in an extremely dysfunctional family in Montreal. He will change his name to Marc Lepine when he is thirteen. Rejected from the Armed Forces as unstable and from university as being unsuitable, he will buy a hunting rifle and a few days later, on December 9, 1989, walk into the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal to slay fourteen female students before killing himself. The Montreal Massacre will be made into a movie in 2009.

November 16: It is a girl for Jim and Adella Krall of Nanaimo, BC. Born into a musical family, Diana will grow up to become the whisky and maple syrup voiced jazz singer and pianist. The “Jazz Princess” will earn two Grammys and eight Juno Awards.

November 28: The BC Lions whip the Ti-Cats 34 to 24  to take home the Grey Cup. It's the Lions' first ever Grey Cup victory. While 32,655 fans watched the game at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, the CBC, Radio-Canada and CTV all broadcast the match.

Dr. Whidden once quipped, "Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be half as good. Luckily this is not difficult."

December 7: The nation’s most colourful mayor, Dr. Charlotte Whitten, of Ottawa, is defeated for a third term. After eleven years in office and only the second woman in the country to hold the office of mayor, Her Worship leaves City Hall in good shape and tosses this quip to her male successor, “Its always a woman’s way to leave everything ready for the men of the household so all they have to do is eat and not was the dishes.”
Our new flag will look like this. The Union Flag (Jack) will be flown in addition to the maple leaf flag on 'occasions of importance to the Commonwealth.'

December 15: After months of bitter Parliamentary debate the vote is 152 “yeas” and 85 “nays”. The “yeas” have it and the country will have a new flag. This standard will feature two red bars with a single red maple leaf in the centre of a white field. It will replace the Red Ensign.
Canadians could buy the Volkswagen 1500 sedan in 1964.

December 31: The Top Ten selling cars during the calendar are the full-sized Pontiac, the full-sized Chevrolet, the full-sized Ford, Valiant, Rambler, Volkswagen, Dodge, Meteor, Plymouth and the Mercury Comet.

Built in Hamilton, Ontario, the 1964 Studebaker Daytona four-door sedan carries a $3,172 price tag. Domestic sales are 7,151 units for the calendar year, giving it 21st place in sales—ahead of Chevrolet Corvair and behind GM’s Acadian.

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