Wednesday, January 17, 2018


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1909-

January 11: The Anglican Church lobbies Ottawa to crack down on pornography by pressing for laws to make it illegal to sell “immoral literature.” 

January 12: Canada and the United States sign an accord to preserve Niagara Falls. The British Ambassador to the United States signs the Boundary Treaty to preserve shared waters on behalf of Canada since we will not have an ambassador of our own in Washington until 1947.

February 23:  Near Baddeck, Nova Scotia a dumbfounded crowd of onlookers watches in amazement as the Silver-Dart flying machine soars into the air over a frozen lake and sails along in the air for half a mile at 75 kilometres (40 miles per hour). It is the first flight in the British Empire. Douglas McCurdy is at the controls but the credit belongs to Alexander Graham Bell—inventor of the telephone—for being the brains behind the scheme.

March 22: Gabrielle Roy is born in St. Boniface, Manitoba. She will win worldwide acclaim for her 1947 novel, “The Tin Flute.” Though she will die in 1983 her work will live on. In 2004 a quote from her book, “The Hidden Mountain” will be printed on the back of the $20 bill issued by the Bank of Canada. 
A 1909 Tudhope is seen here.

April 11: The Bell Telephone Company of Canada, Limited buys its first automobile. It is a Tudhope, built in Orillia, Ontario. The Tudhope brand will disappear in 1918 but, by 1926, Ma Bell will own 429 motorized vehicles.

April 29: A pickle and vinegar factory opens in Leamington, Ontario on the site of Ward's Tobacco Limited. The new  company's name is H.J. Heinz.   Production of ketchup will start next year.

April 29: Exotic dancer Millie De Leon is arrested by Montréal police for “indecent exposure” while performing. It is the first such arrest in the city in a dozen years.

May 1: Toronto is a little drier than yesterday as city fathers strip may bars and pubs of their liquor licenses. Now there are only 41 establishments in all of Hogtown where one may wet one’s whistle.

May 7: The Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific Railway amalgamates with the Canadian Northern Railway. The new CNoR will now be able to secure government monies in order to extend track from Stony Plains south to the coalfields in the Brazeau River Valley.

May 12: The H. J. Heinz Company of Canada Limited sets up shop on Erie Street in a converted tobacco factory in Leamington, Ontario. There are seven people in the office and 60 on the factory floor. A skilled labourer earns 15 cents an hour, works an honest ten-hour day and takes home an $18 paycheque. 

May 9: Don Messer is born on a farm near Tweedside, York County, New Brunswick. He will learn to play the fiddle when he is five, become a bandleader and host of his own radio show on CFBO in Saint John. Don Messer and the Islanders will be criss-cross the country 30 times, many of them in a capacious 1948 Hudson Hornet. He will be the host of Don Messer’s Jubilee on CBC Radio from 1944 and then on CBC-TV from 1957 to 1969. Don will die of a heart attack in Halifax in 1973.

June 1: The Ministry of External Affairs comes into existence. Its first task will be to sort out free trade with our American neighbours. 

June 3: William Lyon Mackenzie King is sworn in as the country’s first Minister of Labour. 

June 7: Sir William Francis Butler is dead at his residence, Bansha Castle in Ireland. The army commander authored The Great Lone Land, published in 1872, a highly colourful account of his 6,000-kilometre trek across this country’s western wilderness by foot, horseback and dogsled. Butler recommended the establishment of law and order before immigrants arrived. His recommendations prompted the formation of the Northwest Mounted Police.

June 22: The superstructure for the Lethbridge Viaduct is complete. Created for Canadian Pacific Railway, the engineering marvel stands 95.7 metres (314 ft) tall and spans 1.62 kilometres (5,327 feet) in length.

Dominion Day: Captain Joseph-Elzear Bernier unveils a plaque on Melville Island in the Arctic, declaring Canada’s sovereignty over the north. Bernier’s ship, the CGS Arctic, is frozen in ice but the vessel is festooned with Union Jacks to honour the nation’s birthday. 

July 3: Forest fires rip through the Porcupine District of northern Ontario. A third of the people who live in the town of Cobalt—2,000 in total—are homeless as a result of the fires.

July 11: Simon Newcomb is dead today at the age of 85 in Washington, D.C. He was born in Wallace, Nova Scotia in 1835. The astronomer and mathematician is best known for his astronomical tables - ephemerides, or tables of computed places of celestial bodies over a period of time, and for his tables of astronomical constants.

August 13: Martial law is declared in Fort William (Thunder Bay) as His Worship reads the Riot Act publicly after striking CPR dock workers square off against the CPR police. Shot are fired and ten are wounded in the ensuing battle. 

Ten Tudhope motor buggies were lost in the blaze. A 1909 Tudhope electric delivery wagon is seen here.
August 22: At two o’clock a fire starts in the paint room at the Tudhope-McIntyre factory in Orillia, Ontario. Flames reduce the plant to cinders but the owners will rebuild and commence manufacturing automobiles in January of next year.

August 31: Everything is set for tomorrow’s official opening of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Spiral Tunnels in British Columbia’s Kicking Horse Pass. It has taken 1,000 workers three years and $1.5 million to blast the twin passageways under Mt. Ogden and Cathedral Mountain. 

September – Ford of Canada opens a wholly owned subsidiary in Australia. Since people buy cars in warm months and September heralds spring down under, the factories in Windsor, Ontario will be humming year round as workers churn out Model Ts. 

September 1: A report released by the Winnipeg City Health Inspector reveals horrific living conditions in the overcrowded capital. There is an acute housing shortage—as many as 12 people are living in a single room. 

Vinegar and pickles are the first products to made at Heinz' Leamington, Ontario factory. Ketchup production will begin next year.
September 9: Heinz Canada employs 75 people in its Leamington, Ontario plant. Everyone works ten hours a day. Women earn $1 to $1.25 a day but men earn anywhere from 15c to 32c an hour.

September 17: The McLaughlin Motor Car Company of Oshawa, Ontario is recapitalized at $1.2 million. The factory will produce 423 automobiles by year’s end. 

October -- The Winnipeg branch of the Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited is established. It is bold move by Ford—there are only 34 motor cars in the entire province. Serving the eight dealers in Alberta and the 32 dealers in Manitoba, the Winnipeg branch will sell 308 Fords during its first year of operation: 123 in Manitoba, 131 in Saskatchewan and 54 in Alberta.

October 19: It's a bright idea! The Calgary Power Company Limited is formed. The entity will provide hydro for citizens of Cowtown.

October 19: Robert Beatty is born in Hamilton, Ontario. He will grow up to become a star of radio, the silver screen and television, mostly in the UK. He will have roles in such classics as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Jesus of Nazareth, Superman III and Superman IV. He will die in 1992.

November 28: A flash flood kills nearly 30 workers of a track repair crew on board a Great Northern train. Those who died were mostly Japanese. 

December 4: The University of Toronto beats the Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club 26 to 6 to win the Grey Cup. There is a slight problem, however. Governor General Lord Grey announced the trophy but forgot to have it made. The silver cup will be presented to the winning team as soon as it is cast. 

December 4: The Montreal Canadiens are founded as part of the original six member clubs of the National Hockey Association. The Habs will go on to become one of the most successful teams in hockey history, winning more Stanley Cups than any other. 

December 25: One of the most popular Christmas presents under the tree this year—for girls anyway--is a new book entitled Anne of Green Gables. Written by Lucy Maude Montgomery, the winsome tale will immortalize the loveable little orphan girl and put tiny Prince Edward Island on the world map. 

December 31: More than 10,000 Quebeckers have bid ‘adieu’ to la belle province this year to seek work elsewhere. Most have moved to the New England States in hopes of making a better life for themselves in the textile mills there.

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