Friday, January 5, 2018


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1912-
The City of Edmonton will adopt this flag in 1966 and update it in 1986.

February 1: The City of Strathcona merges with the City of Edmonton.

February 21: The nation’s automobile show is under way at the Armouries in Toronto. More than $1 million worth of wheels are on display. Exhibitors showcase some 150 makes of cars. Canadian-built vehicles include the Russell, the Tudhope, the McLaughlin, the McKay, the Galt, the Superior, the Harding, the Clinton, the Every Day, the Peck, the Brockville Atlas, the Amherst 40, the Maritime and the Tate. If the gleaming cars aren’t enough of a draw, there is a huge Union Jack hanging from the ceiling, illuminated at night by 6,000 lights.

March 11: Québec beats Moncton to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. This is the first time that the playoff games are divided into three 20-minute periods. Previously, the game was played in two 30-minute periods. 

March 12: Irving Layton is born in Romania. A year later his parents will move to Montréal. Young Irving will grow up to become one of the country’s most revered poets, famous for his “tell it like it is” style. Twice nominated for the Nobel Prize, he will die in 2006.

March 17: The Political Equity League is founded in Winnipeg. The group stands for the total prohibition of alcohol throughout the Dominion and firmly believes that women should have the right to vote in elections.

March 29: The doors open for the first-ever automobile show in Saint John, New Brunswick. The Maritime Singer Six is a big attraction despite its hefty $3,000 price tag. Some of the Maritime Singer factory space has been rented to Ford for assembly of Model Ts that are distributed throughout the Maritime Provinces. 

April 1: Parliament passes the Québec Boundaries Extension Act. Now the Labrador and Hudson coasts fall under the jurisdiction of Quebec City.

Canada is 'breadbasket to the world' thanks to our fertile soil.

April 10: Ottawa appoints a federal Board of Grain Commissioners to inspect and regulate the lucrative grain trade.

This  100th anniversary scale model of the RMS Titanic will be issued in 2012.

April 14:  At 11.40 pm, Newfoundland Time, an iceberg strikes the RMS Titanic. In a mere 55 minutes the unsinkable luxury liner lies on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, taking the lives of 1,490 passengers. Joe Fossett of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is the radio operator aboard the federal government Marine and Fisheries ship, Minto. The ship is the first to be equipped with the new wireless technology. He hears the Titanic’s distress call and relays it to authorities in New York. 

April 19: Jerome, the mystery man who washed up on the shore at Mink Cove near Digby, Nova Scotia in 1854, is dead. The blond, blue-eyed teen was found by locals, who were horrified that his legs had been amputated at the knees and the stumps were bandaged. Dressed in fine clothing, Jerome never spoke a word. He will be buried in the Catholic cemetery in Meteghan, Nova Scotia and his secret life will go to the grave with him.

The Château Laurier hotel boasts 429 luxurious rooms. It is owned by Grand Trunk Railways.

April 26: The grand opening of the Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa will be postponed to a later date because Grand Trunk Railways’ chairman, Charles Hays, perished in the Titanic disaster.

May 1: The Bank of Canada issues the first homegrown $5 bank note. It is intended to replace the $4 bill that has been in circulation since 1873.

May 5: King Gustav V of Sweden opens the Summer Olympic Games in Stockholm. A total 2,407 athletes from 28 nations participate. Dominions within the British Empire compete under their own flags. 

May 12: The University of Saskatchewan holds its first Convocation. Mary Oliver is one of two women graduates in the class of nine and would have won the Rhodes Scholarship but that August honour will not conferred upon women until 1976.

May 14: By act of Parliament, the boundaries of Ontario and Manitoba are expanded northward to Hudson Bay.

June 12: The Château Laurier is officially opened in Ottawa. Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier, for whom the grand building is named, is in attendance. Located across from Union Station and near Parliament Hill, the swanky hotel is another glittering jewel in the Grand Trunk Railway’s empire.

The War of 1812 begins when American troops invade Sandwich Town (present day Windsor, ON) in Upper Canada.
June 18: A hundred years ago today the United States declared war on Britain. Since Canada is a colony of Great Britain, the conflict will galvanize Canadians who fight for their lives. The conflict will drag on until 1814 when the Treaty of Ghent is signed.

June 26: Harold J. Smith is born on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario. He will grow up, change his name to Jay Silverheels and became the star of the silver screen, radio and television. Best known for his portrayal of Tonto in the Lone Ranger TV series, the Hollywood star will die of a stroke in 1980.

June 30: At 4.45 in the afternoon two green-coloured funnel clouds touch down in Regina, tearing through the Saskatchewan capital. The F-4 force tornado is three blocks wide and 12 blocks long. Three churches, the phone company office, the YMCA, the YMWA and the public library are all destroyed. In its deadly wake, 28 are killed and 2,500 are left homeless. Damage is estimated at $1.2 million, the disaster will be remembered as the Regina Cyclone.

Henri Bourassa will be honoured with a commemorative stamp in 1968.

July 16: Founder of the influential French-language newspaper, Le Devoir, Henri Bourassa is of the opinion that the rights of French-Canadians would be better protected if they were Americans.

July 17: Gordon Arthur Kelly is born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Abandoned at birth, Art will be adopted by Mary and John Linkletter. Art will grow up to one of the most popular radio and TV hosts of the 20th Century—famous for shows like House Party, People are Funny and Kids Say the Darndest Things.  In 2005—at the age of 93--he will host Disney’s “Happiest Homecoming on Earth,” marking the 50th anniversary of Disneyland.

July 22: The fifth Olympiad is over. Our athletes come home from Sweden with three gold medals, two silver medals and three bronze. This is the last time the medals are made of solid gold.

August 21: Hector 'Toe' Blake is born in Victoria Mines, Nova Scotia. When he grows up he will play left wing for the Montreal Canadiens, lead the team to two Stanley Cups as a  player and eight more as coach. He will run a successful tavern in Montreal and die in 1995.

Where French will be spoken in Ontario in 2017.

August 17: The teaching of French is banned in Ontario schools. The new law is designed to prevent the spread of bilingual education throughout the Ottawa Valley. French is commonly heard as more and more Francophones move into the region.

August 24: The first Amherst 40 rolls out the factory doors in Amherstburg, Ontario. The nifty vehicle is a five-passenger touring car that converts into pickup truck. Unfortunately only two more will be built before the company goes bankrupt.  

September 2: An estimated crowd of 75,000 people jams the streets of Calgary to watch the first Calgary Stampede. Governor General, the Duke of Connaught, is on hand to open the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

September 9: The Lethbridge, Alberta Police Chief has been sacked by city council for extorting
money from brothels. He never took money for himself but obliged the madams to fork over some of their ill-gotten gains to the poor—including the Sally Ann.

September 30: Prospectors have struck gold in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. It is one of the largest finds in North American history.

Once the world's largest concrete grain elevator, it will be abandoned and demolished in 1978.

October 2: The world’s largest concrete grain elevator in the world is now in operation. The facility, located in Montreal, can hold 87,500 cubic metres (2.5 million bushels) of grain—equal to the capacity of all other elevators in the Port of Montréal.

October 5: Bora Laskin is born in Ft. William (now Thunder Bay), Ontario. He will grow up to become a lawyer and a judge. Prime Minister Trudeau will appoint him to the Supreme Court in 1970, giving him the distinction of being the first Jewish person to hold that office. Mr. Trudeau made the constitutional law expert the fourteenth Chief Justice in 1973. Laskin will die in office in 1984.

November 24:  Some 50,000 people flock to churches in Toronto to hear sermons about the evils of alcohol. Organized by the Dominion Alliance, the group wants barrooms closed and drinking made illegal.

November 30: The Hamilton Alerts whip the Toronto Argonauts 11 to 4 to earn the Grey Cup. 

An Abitibi Pulp and Paper mill, located in Saint John, New Brunswick.

December 4: The Abitibi Pulp and Paper Company Limited is incorporated. It will post profits of $4.5 billion in 2006 and in 2007 will merge with Bowater to become the eighth largest pulp and paper company on the planet.

December 9: The Bank of New Brunswick is absorbed into the Bank of Nova Scotia. 

An openly racist advertisement like this one is quite common  in 1912 but will be condemned the 21st Century.

December 12: The Saskatchewan legislature has passes a law that white women cannot work in businesses owned or operated by Chinese. This act is meant to “preserve the morality of white women.” Many women will lose their jobs in laundries and restaurants.

December 31: The Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited reports 565 employees on its payroll. 

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