Thursday, November 28, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1963-

January 1: The minimum hourly wage for a factory worker is 95 cents in Charlottetown, 70 cents in Montreal, 75 cents in Winnipeg and $1 in Toronto and Vancouver. In some provinces women are paid less then men, even though they perform the same tasks.

January 14: Planned Parenthood holds its very first meeting in Toronto. Birth control is a grey area in the law; no one knows if the organization is even legal. 

Hercules Missiles can travel at 1,600 kilometres an hour, reach an altitude of 21 kilometres and hit targets within a 40-kilometre range.

February 4: Prime Minister Diefenbaker refuses to permit Americans to place nuclear missiles on Canadian soil. Douglas Harkness, the Minister of Defence, resigns in protest.

February 5: The Tory government collapses over the nuclear missile issue. Parliament is dissolved and a general election is called. 

March 1: Simon Fraser University is founded in Vancouver. 

February 11: Rambler Canada begins exporting right-hand drive passenger cars to Commonwealth countries, including the UK. 

The Eversweet brand of oleomargarine first appeared in stores in 1925.
March 1: Members of the Provincial Parliament in Toronto will consider permitting the sale of coloured margarine. Ontario law requires that margarine be white in order to distinguish it from butter. Little packets of yellow colouring can be added by the homemaker. This is a hot-button issue with housewives and MPPs are demanding a free vote on the issue. 

March 15: The Dominion Bureau of Statistics reports that 868 families in Ontario purchase a new washing machine every week. A new Inglis, with five wash-and-rinse cycles sells for only $269 plus the trade-in of your old wringer washer.

March 18: Grey is the “hot” colour in men’s wear this season. The narrow 41.2-millimetre (1 5/8-inch) brim hat is the fashion leader but teens are wearing an even more daring narrow-brimmed chapeau.

March 21: Woolco offers customers nylon tires for $11.95 each. Shock absorbers sell for $12.45 a pair, mufflers are only $9.98 and seat belts cost $6.96 each. Prices include installation.

March 26: It’s a boy for Real and Zelande Voisine. Joseph Armand Roch Voisine is born in Edmunston, New Brunswick. He will grow up to become an international hot ticket singer with mega hits like Helene and I’ll Be There.

March 28: Willys Canada Limited announces it will begin to manufacture the new Jeep Gladiator trucks and the groundbreaking four-wheel drive Wagoneer station wagons in Windsor, Ontario. Willys has been building Jeeps at its Central Avenue plant in Windsor since 1959.

Tommy Douglas is the father of Medicare. He will be recognized as the most important political figure of the 20th Century.
March 29: More than 15,000 concerned citizens jam Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto to hear charismatic New Democratic Party leader Tommy Douglas speak. It is the largest political rally ever held.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Lester Bowles Pearson will be our 14th Prime Minister.

April 8: The voters have spoken and the Liberals will form a minority government—propped up with the help of Tommy Douglas and the New Democrats.

April 18; The Toronto Maple Leafs take home Lord Stanley’s Cup after beating the Detroit Red Wings four games to one. 

April 18: Eric McCormack is born in Toronto. He will grow up to become an actor best known for his TV role as Will Truman on the hit comedy series Will & Grace.

April 20: The IV Pan American Games open in San Paulo, Brazil. Our athletes will make us proud, coming home with 63 medals—the most we’ve ever won.

April 20: The Front de liberation du Quebec demands independence from Canada.  FLQ members set off bombs in Quebec today—the first of 200 acts of civil disobedience it will unleash on the public in hopes of achieving its goals. 

Prime Minister Pearson and US President John Kennedy.
April 22: Lester Bowles Pearson is sworn in as the nation’s 14th Prime Minister. The World War Two spy, code named ‘Mike,’ is a Nobel Peace Prize winner. He will be PM until he steps down in 1968. 

April. 27: Cali Timmins is born in Montreal. She will grow up to become a soap opera star with roles on Ryan’s Hope and Another World. 

April 28: Skating legend Lloyd Edgar Eisler is born in Seaforth, Ontario. He will grow up to partner with Isabelle Brasseur and win the bronze medal at the 1992 and 1994 Olympics and be the 1993 World Champion.

May 1: Hydro-Quebec writes cheques for $600 million to purchase the last eleven privately-owned power companies in the province. The Crown corporation now has a complete monopoly in the hydro-electricity market.

May 4: The Hay River floods in the Northwest Territories. Nearly 2,000 people in the communities of Hay River and Fort Simpson are evacuated by air.

May 10: Prime Minister Pearson is in Hyannisport, Massachusetts for talks with US President Kennedy.  He will come home with agreements that give Canada nuclear warheads and Franklin Roosevelt’s summer home on Campobello Island--off the coast of New Brunswick--will become an international park.

May 11: CN-CP Telecommunications inaugurates its new microwave network that connects Montreal with Vancouver instantly. The company will be renamed Unitel in 1988.

May 17: Royal Canadian Army engineer Sergeant-Major Walter Leja is seriously injured in Westmount, Quebec when a bomb he is attempting to diffuse goes off. The Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ) has planted 16 explosive devices to draw attention to demands for an independent Quebec.

May 18: The Government of Quebec offers a $50,000 reward for information leading to convictions for yesterday’s terrorist acts. The City of Montreal announces a 200-man anti-terrorist unit is being added to the police force.
May 25: Mike Myers is born in Scarborough, Ontario. He will grow up to be a stand-up comic and a movie star best known for his Austin Powers films.

The CCCG Sir Humphrey Gilbert served on the Atlantic coast from 1959 to 1986. Renamed Polar Prince, she will be privately owned and work in the Arctic in 2013.
June 3: Canada declares a 19.3-kilometre-wide economic jurisdiction over the coastline. It will take effect next May.
June 11: The Canadian Medical Association identifies obesity as one of the nation’s largest health issues.

Craven "A" has been popular with smokers since World War Two.
June 11: The Canadian Medical Association releases studies that show smoking to be a direct cause of cancer. The CMA wants Ottawa to require warning labels be placed on cigarette packages.

June 19: The New Brunswick Legislature passes a bill to establish the Universite de Moncton. With campuses in Moncton, Edmunston and Shippagan, the school will become the largest Francophone institution of higher learning outside of Quebec.

June – Mortgage rates drop to 6.25 percent from 6.5 percent. The chartered banks loan $1.3 billion to home buyers, four times more money than they did in 1962.

June 11: Sandra Schmirler is born in Biggar, Saskatchewan. She will grow up to become a triple World Champion curler and bring home Olympic gold in 1998. She will diagnosed with esophageal cancer and die in 2003. More than 15,000 will attend her funeral and the service will be broadcast live on television.

July 12: The three-metre tall bronze statue of Queen Victoria in Montreal’s Victoria Square is blown up. It is believed to be the work of separatistes who resent English domination over a Francophone society.

June 24: Barbara Underhill is born in Oshawa, Ontario. She will grow up to be a five-time national skating champion and bring home the gold—with partner Paul Martini--at the 1984 World Figure Skating Championship.
Dominion Day: The University of Victoria is established in British Columbia's capital city. Previously the school was Victoria College and was associated with McGill University from 1903 to 1915.

Dominion Day: The Neptune Theatre opens in Halifax. Atlantic Canada’s glittering showcase for the performing arts gets off to a good start with a performance of George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara.
July 26: Bluenose II—the schooner on the back of the dime—is launched in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. A replica of the original Bluenose that sank off the coast of Haiti in 1947, this one cost $208,600 to build. The 246-tonne vessel will become one of Canada’s most loved goodwill ambassadors.  
September 4: It may be controversial, but Toronto begins fluoridating its water system in a bid to prevent tooth decay in children.

September 21: Place-des-Arts, Montreal’s premier concert hall, glitters as 3,000 of the nation’s artistic elite attending the opening night gala.

October 17: Norm MacDonald is born in Quebec City. He will grow up to become a comedian, star on Saturday Night Live, make numerous movies and be the voice of Frank the Beaver in Bell Canada’s highly popular commercials in the 2005.
November 2: A CBC-Maclean’s poll reveals that 21 percent of Quebeckers do not know there is an organized movement in the province that demands independence from Canada.

November 19: Gordie How breaks Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s record to become the NHL’s greatest scorer.
November 23: We mourn with our American neighbours when President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

November 25: Holly Cole is born in Halifax.  The girl with the versatile voice will grow up to become a superstar in the world of jazz.

November 29: A Trans-Canada Airline Flight 831 crashes after takeoff from Dorval (Trudeau) International Airport in Montreal. The DC8's impact makes a  crater nearly two metres  deep by 46 metres wide in a muddy field. A total of 118 die in the disaster. A memorial garden will be dedicated to the memory of those whose lives were lost in St-Therese-de-Blainville, Quebec.

The fibreglass-bodied Studebaker Avanti will be discontinued by S-P.
December 9: Officials of  the faltering Studebaker-Packard Corporation announce the closing of the South Bend, Indiana factories. All future Studebakers will be built by Studebaker-Packard Canada Limited in Hamilton, Ontario.

December 31: The auto industry is in good shape. Sales top $2 billion for the first time, as 655,000 vehicles have been sold domestically. General Motors holds almost half the market with 300,288 units. Ford is second with 170,840 units sold. Chrysler sales are nearly double last year's tally with 93,625 units. Rambler moves up by another 8,000 units.  International-Harvester improves its production by 1,000 units. Only Studebaker is down--and only slightly-- from 7,902 units from 7,948 cars sold last year.

The specially trimmed Volvo Canadian is unique--it is called the Amazon or the B-18 in other markets.
This is Volvo’s maiden year to build cars in Canada. The first one off the assembly line in the newly opened Dartmouth, Nova Scotia plant is completed by Sweden's Prince Bertil who tightens the last bolt with a  gold-plated screwdriver. A total of 1,099 Volvos leave the assembly plant during the year.

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.