February

* The first day of Quebec Winter Carnival, celebrated until February 17.
* The start of Black History Month (Canada and the U.S.)

February 1

1796 – Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe transferred the capital of Upper Canada from Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake) to York (now Toronto); he wanted better security in case of an American invasion.
1814 – The eighth Regiment began its march from Fredericton (New Brunswick) to Quebec (Quebec).
1836 – Colonel John By died in Sussex, England. He was the builder of the Rideau Canal, in Ottawa (Ontario).
1849 – William Lyon Mackenzie returned to Canada from his exile in the United States.
1854 – The new Parliament Buildings burned in Quebec City (Quebec).
1871 – The Dominion Bank opened in Toronto (Ontario).
1878 – Quebecer Cyrille Duquet patented an improved version of the telephone.
1882 – The 12th Prime Minister of Canada, Liberal Louis St. Laurent, was born in Compton (Quebec), and died on July 25, 1973 at the age of 91. As prime minister, he paid back Canada’s debts that resulted from the wars and the great depression. He also expanded Canada’s social programs such as family allowances, old age pensions and began the process for Medicare (which Tommy Douglas finalized).
1893 – Prince Albert, Saskatchewan recorded a temperature of 56.7 C (that is -70 F).
1920 – The RCMP began their operations. The original force, the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, amalgamated with the Dominion Police, and its name changed to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police — RCMP. Their official motto Maintiens le Droit (meaning Uphold the Right) is not as popular as the familiar “the Mounties always get their man.”
1954 – Prime Minister St. Laurent was presented with the Freedom of the City of London during the Commonwealth Conference.
1968 – Canada’s three military services – the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force — combined into the new Canadian Forces.

 

February 2

* Groundhog Day (Canada and the U.S.)
* International World Wetlands Day

1628 – King Charles I gave William Alexander some islands in the St. Lawrence.
1800 – The first heavy influx of settlers from the United States was that of the United Empire Loyalists, who came to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Upper Canada after the American Revolutionary War.
1807 – The Upper Canada Legislature passed a bill to arrange for schools in every district.
1867 – Sir Charles Saunders was born in London (Canada West). He was a distinguished agriculturalist, responsible for the development of Marquis wheat, for which he received the Flavelle Medal in 1925. He died in Toronto (Ontario) on July 25, 1937 and the age of seventy.
1869 – John Young, 1st Baron Lisgar, became the second Governor-General of Canada after Confederation. As of 1848 he was known as Sir John Young, 2nd Baronet.
1882 – The Salvation Army (nicknamed “Sally Annes”) began operating in Toronto (Ontario). It is an evangelical Christian church known for its work. Its motto is “Giving Hope Today”.
1901 – Queen Victoria’s funeral was held.
1926 – H. J. Stevens, in the House of Commons, accused customs officials of accepting bribes and illegal favours. This led to an investigation in which several cases of graft were uncovered. The issue led in June to the resignation of the Liberal government of Mackenzie King and the coming to power of the Conservatives under Arthur Meighen.
1947 – Snag, Yukon, registered -62° C (-81° F), the lowest temperature on record in North America.
1963 – Premier Stanfield of Nova Scotia turned the first sod for the Fathers of Confederation building in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
1976 – A severe winter storm hit the north-eastern United States and south eastern Canada, causing $22 million (mostly in Canada).

 

February 3

1816 – Founder of Prescott, Edward Jessup, died at age 81.
1831 – Lord Aylmer was made Governor-General of British North America (Canada).
1843 – American-Canadian businessman William Cornelius Van Horne was born in Illinois (United States). At the age of fourteen, Van Horne began working on railroads serving in various capacities in the railway industries. By 1882, he was appointed general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), and was president by 1888. He is most recognized for overseeing the major construction of the first Canadian Transcontinental Railway. He died on September 11, 1915 in Montreal at the age of 72.
1865 – The Canadian Government returned Confederate saboteur Bennett Burley to the United States.
1865 – The Canadian Legislature resolved in an address to the Queen to ask for union of the provinces of British North America.
1866 – Canadian poet, author, and historian François-Xavier Garneau died. Canadian actor Donald Sutherland narrated the following quote from one of his poems at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. “In what other climate does the Queen of Silence, Show us more splendour? I love, Oh Canada, night, the vast plain Shining with whiteness!”
1916 – Seventeen Ottawa schools closed for three days because of a teachers’ strike over bilingualism. Regulation 17 limited the teaching of French.
1916 – Canada’s original Parliament Buildings in Ottawa were destroyed by fire.
1947 – The record-low temperature for continental North America was recorded in Snag, Yukon at −63.0 °C (−81.4 °F).
1947 – Canadian actor Stephen McHattie was born on this day in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He played Rev. Ed Driscoll in the TV series Haven and Harry Murdoch in Murdoch Mysteries among other roles.
1961 – Government approved the merger of the Imperial Bank of Canada and the Canadian Bank of Commerce, and became Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada.

February 4

* World Cancer Day

1623 – Louis Hébert received a seigniorial grant in Quebec. He is widely considered to be the first Canadian apothecary as well as the first white man to farm in Canada.
1667 – The first ball in Canada was held in New France (now Quebec) to celebrate a victory over the Iroquois. It was given by Sieur Chartier, a Jesuit who prayed, “That is not set a precedent.”
1783 – Fighting stopped between Britain and the United States. The truce was signed on January 20.
1826 – The first issue of La Menerva, in Montreal, was published.
1890 – A disastrous fire destroyed University College in Toronto.
1961 – Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch published a report in the journal Radiation Research, profiling their ground-breaking work proving the existence of stem cells in the blood, able to separate themselves into red as well as white blood cells or platelets.
1965 – The Hamilton River in Labrador is renamed the Churchill River in honour of Winston Churchill.
1965 – The Nova Scotia Board of Film Censors banned the film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” citing that it was deemed unsuitable for the province’s theatres. (See 1976).
1976 – The Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruled that the province does not have the right to censor films.
1982 – Canada joined 20 other nations in signing a United Nations avowal against “torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.”
1989 – Transport minister Benoit Bouchard announced a smoking ban on all commercial flights connecting to Canadian cities as part of the Non-Smokers’ Health Act.
2013 – Following the lead of Australia and New Zealand, it seems, Canada’s penny was taken out from circulation. The last one produced by the Royal Canadian Mint was on May 4, 2012.
2013 – Scientists confirmed that remains uncovered under a parking lot in Leicester are those of King Richard III, killed in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field. The use of DNA from Canadian Michael Ibsen verified that he was an offspring of Richard’s sister.

 

February 5

1667 – The Mining of Iron ore began in Trois Rivières.
1692 – The Abenaki Indians from Nova Scotia massacred the British in York, Maine.
1759 – Prime Minister Pitt gave Wolfe secret orders for the Quebec campaign. Britain completed the conquest of Canada in 1760 by capturing Montreal which brought the war to an end on mainland North America.
1790 – Chief Justice W. T. Smith wrote to Lord Dorchester suggesting Confederation.
1841 – A proclamation was issued declaring the union of Lower and Upper Canada.
1901 – Robert Borden was chosen to replace Charles Tupper as federal Conservative leader.
1919 – Canadian Mary Pickford (1892 – 1979), along with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith founded United Artists.
1920 – King’s College, Windsor, Nova Scotia, was destroyed by fire.
1946 – A Royal Commission was appointed to investigate Russian spy charges because of the defection of Igor Gouzenko.
1948 – Barbara Ann Scott of Ottawa (Ontario) at the age of 19, won the ladies’ singles ice-skating gold medal at the Winter Olympics Games in St Moritz, Switzerland.
1963 – John Diefenbaker’s Conservative government was defeated in the House of Commons. It was only the second time since Confederation that the government had been crushed in the Commons.
2012 – Canadian political cartoonist, Blaine, died in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1963, he became the first cartoonist to win the now internationally famous Salon of Cartoons.

 

February 6

1682 – La Salle and Tonty reached the Mississippi River.
1722 – The Council of New France made a new law stating that abandoning children was a death penalty offence. The parish priests were asked to publicize the law every few months.
1813 – American troops from Ogdensburg (New York) attacked Brockville, (Ontario) by surprise after crossing the frozen St Lawrence River. They took back fifty-two people as hostages.
1837 – The troops of the imperial garrison performed The Village Lawyer before enthusiastic audiences on Barrack Hill, Bytown’s first play.
1865 – The Canadian Parliament began its debate on Confederation.
1894 – Ontario held a referendum on prohibition.
1906 – Joseph Schull was born. He was a Canadian playwright and historian who wrote more than two dozen books and 200 plays for radio and television. He died in 1980.
1952 – When King George VI died in Sandringham, his daughter Elizabeth II was proclaimed Queen. At the exact time of succession, she was in a tree house at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya.
1959 – A new National Capital Act became law, the Federal District Commission became the National Capital Commission, and the National Capital Region grew from 576,000 acres to 1,552,000 acres.
1963 – The Twenty-Fifth Parliament was dissolved after the Conservative government under Prime Minister Diefenbaker was defeated on a vote of non-confidence.
1964 – Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Downie, of the Tragically Hip band, was born.
1980 – Kim Poirier, Canadian actor, singer, and producer, was born in Drummondville, Quebec. She is known for HypaSpace, Drive-in Classics, and Dawn of the Dead.

 

February 7

1758 – The Governor and Council of Nova Scotia passed resolutions organizing a legislature, the first in Canada.
1792 – Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe issued a declaration marketing the availability for new settlement of vacant crown lands, the size of townships and lots, the system in applying for land and the scale of fees.
1792 – The first map of Cornwall, displaying the original town plan, was issued by surveyor William Chewett. It recorded forty landowners.
1813 – There was a stalemate in Îles de Los, off Guinea, between two evenly matched frigates from the French Navy (Aréthuse) and the British Royal Navy (HMS Amelia). Though both returned to port and announced victory, there were many losses on both sides: The French with 20 killed, 88 to 98 wounded; the English with 46 killed, 44 wounded.
1867 – The Earl of Carnarvon introduced the British North America Act in the House of Lords.
1893 – Joseph Algernon Pearce, a Canadian astrophysicist, was born. Among other books, he wrote Elements of the Orbit of Reid’s Comet (University of Toronto, 1922).
1900 – In the Second Boer War (11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902) British troops failed in their third attempt to lift the Siege of Ladysmith.
1918 – The War Purchasing Board was created.
1920 – Oscar Brand was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is a folk singer, songwriter, and author. In his career, spanning over 60 years, he has composed at least 300 songs and released nearly 100 albums, among them Canadian and American patriotic songs. Brand’s music runs the gamut from novelty songs to serious social commentary and spans a number of genres.
1926 – The gold rush in Red Bank (Ontario) began.
1991 – Quebecois Jean-Paul Mousseau, painter, died. He is remembered for his design murals for the Hydro-Québec building and the Peel Metro in Montreal (Quebec).
2000 – Canadian magician, illusionist, and escape artist Doug Henning Henning died at the age of 52, five months after being diagnosed with liver cancer. More than 50 million viewers tuned in for the December 1975 broadcast of Doug Henning’s World of Magic. He successfully performed a water torture illusion, although he did not break Houdini’s time record. The event was the first of seven annual broadcasts, which would bring him seven Emmy Award nominations.

 

February 8

1850 – Prime Minister Lord Russell of Britain predicted Canada’s independence.
1853 – A petition was signed by Mayor J. B. Turgeon and presented to the Executive Council. It requested that Bytown be converted into a city and named Ottawa.
1855 – A railway opened from Halifax to Truro and Windsor, Nova Scotia.
1879 – Sandford Fleming first proposed the adoption of Universal Standard Time at a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute, at 60- Richmond Street East, in Toronto (Ontario).
1905 – Sir James Pliny Whitney formed the first Conservative government of Ontario since 1872.
1923 – Date of the first hockey broadcast in Canada on channel CFCA. The announcer, Norman Albert, described on station CFCA the last period of a game between North Toronto and Midland.
2013 – A blizzard disrupted transportation and left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity in the North-eastern United States and parts of Canada.

 

February 9

1686 – The Intendant issued a second production of card money; it was recalled in October.
1843 – “A substantial-looking pump” was installed to offer fresh water for commercial use in the Market Place in Bytown’s Lower Town (Ottawa) to offer fresh water for commercial use.
1846 – The United States Congress ended joint habitation of Oregon.
1853 – Work began on a railway between Peterborough and Cobourg, Ontario.
1870 – A fire in Ottawa destroyed a courthouse that was established in 1842.
1879 – The North Shore Railway was completed between Montreal and Quebec.
1880 – The 2nd Grand Opera House, at 11 Adelaide St West, Toronto, opened with Romeo and Juliet.
1894 – William Avery “Billy” Bishop, the World War I flying ace, credited with shooting down seventy-two enemy aircraft, was born in Owen Sound (Ontario).
1931 – The Earl of Bessborough was made Governor-General of Canada.
1937 – Patent number 364047 was issued to the Lightning Fastener Company of St Catharines and its president, Gideon Sundback, for a new device – the zipper.

 

February 10

1604 – Du Gua De Monts made an agreement with merchants of St. Malo, La Rochelle and Rouen to colonize Canada. He left France with seventy-nine settlers. Among them was François Gravé Du Pont as senior officer, Royal cartographer Samuel de Champlain, the Baron de Poutrincourt, apothecary Louis Hébert, a priest Nicolas Aubry, and Mathieu de Costa: a legendary linguist, the first registered black man to set foot in North America, and a Protestant member of the clergy.
1794 – Lord Dorchester told the Natives that British patience was exhausted with the United States and predicted war.
1802 – Alexander Mackenzie was knighted for being the first man to cross the North American continent by land.
1829 – King’s College, Fredericton (now the University of New Brunswick), was granted a Royal Charter.
1838 – The Imperial Government suspended the structure of Lower Canada; a special council was created.
1841 – Upper and Lower Canada were united as the Province of Canada, with Kingston as capital.
1876 – The office of minister of education was first established.
1883 – The Guelph Public Library was officially opened. It was one of the first municipally maintained libraries in Ontario.
1928 – Thirty-nine men died in the Hollinger mine disaster in Timmins (Ontario).
1961 – Mrs. Gladys Porter seconded the Speech from the Throne in the Nova Scotia legislature; she was the first woman to do so.
1962 – Paul Enock of Toronto set a world’s record in speed skating in Norway.

 

February 11

1813 – 104th Regiment of New Brunswick, 1,000 strong, began a march to Quebec.
1839 – Lord Durham’s report was submitted to Parliament.
1869 – The snow was falling heavily when James Patrick Whelan was hanged in Ottawa for the murder of D’Arcy McGee. It was the last public execution in Canada.
1887 – C.P.R. arranged the Pacific Ocean freight and passenger service to the Orient.
1897 – Fire damaged the West Block on Parliament Hill.
1907 – The Supreme Court of Alberta was established.
1922 – The discovery of insulin was announced in Toronto.
1940 – Governor-General Lord Tweedsmuir died in Montreal when undergoing surgery for a head injury he sustained in a fall. He was a novelist and historian.

 

February 12

1793 – Spain agreed to pay compensation for the capture of British ships in Nootka, British Columbia.
1800 – New Brunswick College was founded in Fredericton.
1816 – St. John’s, Newfoundland, was nearly destroyed by fire.
1833 – The Hamilton Farmers’ Market was established at a site on James Street as a selling place, auction yard, and entertainment centre.
1842 – Twenty-seven councillors gathered in Brockville and held the first meeting of the Johnstown District Council under the chairmanship of Warden William Morris.
1863 – Parliament met in Quebec and the big issue was representation by population.
1867 – For Canada as a nation, February 12 is a landmark. It was on this day in 1867 that the British North America Act was given its first reading in the House of Lords. On the same date in 1917, Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden arrived in London to sit as a member of the British War Cabinet. It was an unprecedented step that led to the nations of the British Commonwealth to achieve complete control of their own affairs.
1887 – Poet Isabella Valancy Crawford died in Toronto (Ontario). She is known to be one of the first Canadians to make a living as a freelance writer. D.M.R. Bentley wrote, “Crawford is increasingly being viewed as Canada’s first major poet.” She is the author of “Malcolm’s Katie,” a poem that has achieved “a central place in the canon of nineteenth-century Canadian poetry.”
1889 – Johnny Coulon was born in Toronto (Ontario). He was the winner in 1910 of the world bantamweight boxing title.
1894 – Nova Scotia Legislature voted to hold a referendum on prohibition.
1902 – The Territorial Grain Growers Association was founded in Saskatchewan.
1953 – The first Canadian “Silver Star” jet was delivered to the Department of National Defence.
1963 – Prince Albert of Belgium visited Canada on an economic mission.

 

February 13

1644 – Montreal was granted to the Society of Notre Dame.
1764 – The Earl of Egremmont devised a feudal scheme for the Island of St. John (Prince Edward Island).
1833 – Hamilton, Ontario, was incorporated as a city.
1841 – Kingston, Ontario, was made the capital of Canada.
1841 – Alwington House in Kingston, demolished in 1959, was perhaps the most important single residence erected in the Limestone City. It became the official residence of the governor general on this day.
1876 – St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Toronto’s King Street was dedicated.
1947 – The discovery of oil in Leduc started an oil boom in Alberta.
1963 – Brock University, Niagara Falls, received a charter to open in 1964.

 

February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day!
1911 – David Boyle died in Toronto (Ontario). He was a pioneer archaeologist, first secretary of the Ontario Historical Society (1898 – 1907), and considered “one of the leading archaeological authorities of the world.”
1917 – Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden announced the creation of a volunteer Canadian Defence Force which would release some 50,000 men of the Canadian Expeditionary Force stationed in Canada for overseas service.
1956 – A strike against General Motors ended after 148 days; it was the priciest strike in Canadian history.
1920 – The University of Montreal was incorporated on this day.
1921 – Arthur Meighen attended his first, and last, opening of Parliament as prime minister.
1915 – On this day, the first Canadian Division commanded by General Alderson landed in France to fight in World War I. It had been preceded by a hospital unit that had established a base in Le Touquet, and by the Princess Pat’s regiment.
1868 – Joseph Howe sailed from Britain to try to get Nova Scotia out of Confederation.
1858 – Governor Douglas fixed the price of land in British Columbia at $2.50 per acre.
1826 – Colonel John By arrived to build the Rideau Canal from the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario. For a long time, the Rideau Canal was known as the world’s largest ice rink.

 

February 15

1625 – Champlain was made representative of the viceroy to Canada and was asked to find a route to China.
1839 – Six political prisoners were executed for their part in the rebellion of 1837-1838.
1841 – Lord Sydenham had selected Kingston as the capital of the United Canadas and issued an announcement summoning the new parliament to meet on May 26.
1865 – Born on this date in Newmarket, Horatio George Summers was praised as “one of the most gifted comedians to ever walk the boards in the country.” Summers established a theatre on the edge of Hamilton Mountain which had twelve successful seasons.
1872 – Parliament opened the session that dealt with banking and a uniform system of currency.
1873 – “Prince Edward Island will have to come in, for if she does not we will have to tow her into the St. Lawrence.” – Thomas D’Arcy McGee, 1865
Prince Edward Island is known as “the cradle of Confederation” but it did not join Canada until July 1, 1873. Delegates from Canada and the Atlantic provinces met there in 1864 and took the first steps that led to Confederation.
1881 – The House of Commons passed a bill incorporating the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and providing for the payment to the railway of a subsidy of $25,000,000 and 25,000,000 acres of land.
1889 – The militia from Manitoba stifled a riot in North Dakota.
1895 – University of Toronto students went on a strike led by Mackenzie King.
1910 – Canada made a trade pact with Germany.
1965 – Canada’s new maple leaf flag was raised at a special ceremony in Ottawa.
The year was 1964 and Canada’s centennial was fast approaching. Parliament voted to adopt a new design for the Canadian flag and issued a call for submissions. Almost 4,000 designs were submitted in many different colour combinations and motifs by Canadians from all walks of life, including A. Y. Jackson of the Group of Seven. Submissions came in all shapes and sizes and on a variety of materials: wrapping paper, tissue paper, wallpaper, cardboard, Bristol board, mat board, pieces of cloth, etc. Some people used pictures out of magazines, the labels off commercial products or postcards or included petitions in support of their design.
The final design was announced on December 15, 1964, and the official ceremony inaugurating the new Canadian flag was held on February 15, 1965.
The maple leaf as found on the national flag is a traditional emblem of Canada. It was for many years the symbol of the Canadian Armed Forces and was used to identify Canadian contingents in the two world wars.

Did you know?
• The flag on Parliament Hill’s Peace Tower is 4.6 meters (or 15′) wide and 2.3 meters (or 7′ 6”) tall. That’s taller than the average Canadian (1.7 meters or 5′ 6”)!
• A Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) employee changes the Peace Tower flag every working day, except during unsafe weather conditions.
• Flags flown on Parliament Hill never serve another official purpose, regardless of the time spent on the pole.

 

February 16

1693 – Canadians battled against the English and Indians near Albany, New York.
1796 – A group of the Queen’s Rangers, who were working under the direction of Deputy Surveyor Augustus Jones, completed the opening of Yonge Street as far as Pine Fort (Holland) Landing.
1838 – An Act of Parliament suspended the constitution of Lower Canada.
1842 – Richard Beasley died. He was a pioneer merchant in the Hamilton area.
1870 – A vote on Confederation was proposed at the opening of the Legislative Council of British Columbia.
1872 – The first legislature of British Columbia opened since Confederation.
1881 – The Canadian Pacific Railway Company was incorporated by an Act of Parliament.
1928 – Charlie Gorman set a world speed-skating record for 440 yards.
1934 – Newfoundland was occupied by a Commission Government.
1958 – A conference on education opened in Ottawa.

 

February 17

1971 – Trans Canada Pipe Lines Ltd. of Toronto received government authorization to proceed with a major pipeline-building program, partially on the basis that it would provide winter work for north Ontario.
1965 – The government announced a plan to take effect gradually over five years, whereby old age pensions would be made available at age sixty-five instead of seventy.
1960 – Prime Minister Diefenbaker opened the new National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
1958 – Former Prime Minister St. Laurent (1948-1957) announced his retirement from politics.
1943 – The Marsh Report, recommending wide-ranging programs of social insurance for post-war Canada, was released in Ottawa.
1919 – The death of Sir Wilfrid Laurier was announced.
1891 – Sir John A. Macdonald, at a mass meeting in Toronto, accused the Liberals of conspiring to have Canada join the United States.
1869 – The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was organized.
1859 – A railway line that covers Smiths Falls to Perth opened.
1837 – On this date, Anna Jameson wrote a description of Toronto as, “a boundless forest within half a mile of the settlement.” The city’s society, she said, had the worst evils of the English class system with none of the advantages. A fourth- or fifth-rate provincial town, it had the pretensions of a capital city and was dominated by a petty colonial oligarchy.

 

February 18

1686 – A convent was established in Lachine, Quebec.
1844 – Regular services started in Little Trinity Church (Anglican), King Street East, Toronto, the oldest surviving church in the city. Its first rector was W.H. Ripley.
1886 – Archbishop Taché baptized Poundmaker and twenty-eight more natives at the Stoney Mountain penitentiary, following the Riel rebellion of 1885.
1916 – Tom Longboat, who was a prominent Native runner, walked from Brantford to Toronto to enlist in the army.
1941 – Sir Frederick Bantin, co-discoverer of insulin, died in a plane crash.
1949 – Royal Assent was given to the Terms of Union with Newfoundland.
1963 – Justice Minister Fleming resigned after twenty-five years in public life.
1963 – The Canada Council was given an anonymous gift of $4,250,000.
1966 – A bill was passed approving the Ontario Medicare Plan.

 

February 19

1631 – The first Lutheran baptism in Canada took place in Quebec.
1732 – Religious households were forbidden to shelter fugitives from justice.
1860 – The ship Hungarian was lost off Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, with 205 lives.
1864 – Parliament met in Quebec.
1873 – C.P.R. received its charter. It was later replaced by a new company as the result of a campaign funds scandal.
1876 – Adam Crooks was sworn in as Ontario’s first minister of education.
1882 – Egerton Ryerson, Methodist minister, journalist and educator, died in Toronto.
1889 – Gabriel Dumont was pardoned for his part in the Northwest Rebellion.
1897 – The first Women’s Institute was organized by Mrs. Adelaide Hunter Hoodless in Stoney Creek (Ontario). Its mission was to improve standards and enrich cultural life of those who live in countryside areas or small centres. Later it spread through Canada and Britain.
1911 – Japan rejected a trade treaty with Canada.
1920 – Shareholders of the Grand Trunk Railway approved its sale to the government.
1928 – The University of Toronto’s Varsity Grads defeated the Swiss for the Olympic hockey title.
1960 – Figure skaters Barbara Wagner and Bob Paul earned a medal at the 1960 Olympic pairs event in Squaw Valley, California.

 

February 20

1667 – La Salle settled in Montreal.
1808 – Joseph Willcocks was arrested for contempt of the Assembly.
1836 – Governor Sir Francis Bond Head invited Reformers to join the Upper Canada Council.
1865 – The Legislative Council of Canada voted 45-15 for Confederation.
1887 – Scion of a long-established manufacturing family, Vincent Massey was born in Toronto. Born into a long-established manufacturing family, he later became a lawyer and diplomat, and was Canada’s 18th Governor General.
1894 – The Supreme Court of Canada refused the petition of Manitoba Roman Catholics concerning the abolition of separate schools.
1915 – Field Marshal Sir John French inspected the 1st Canadian Division on the western front.
1930 – Cairine Wilson became the first woman appointed to the Senate.
1942 – Phil Esposito was born in Sault Ste Marie. He was the first National Hockey League player to score 100 points in a single season.
1959 – The Diefenbaker administration annulled the Avro Arrow program and thereby triggered considerable public outcry.
1950 – The Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry was in Korea.
1961 – Prime Minister Diefenbaker convened with President Kennedy in Washington.
1966 – The Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec, Paul Comtois, died in a great fire which destroyed the historic residence of Bois de Coulonge.

 

February 21

1642 – Charnisay was commissioned to arrest La Tour as a traitor.
1812 – The Lower Canada Parliament voted for money for the war.
1824 – An eighteen-year-old boy was executed in Saint John, New Brunswick, for stealing 25¢.
1834 – The Ninety-two Resolutions on public grievances were passed by the Assembly of Lower Canada.
1941 – Sir Frederick Banting, one of the discoverers of insulin, died in the crash of a military aircraft in Newfoundland. Banting was carrying to England the first prototype of a pressurized flying suit, an invention ascribed with helping to turn the tide of the air war over Europe.
1946 – Former Ontario premier Howard Ferguson died at the age of seventy-six following a heart attack, and was later buried in Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
1949 – Newfoundland’s Commission Government announced approval of the Terms of Union with Canada.
1952 – Canada and the United States signed an agreement to use radio as a safety measure on the Great Lakes.
1961 – The Ontario Royal Commission recommended fluoridation of water supplies.

 

February 22

1724 – Edmé Nicholas Robert was appointed Intendant.
1785 – British Law was established in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
1851 – The Bytown Packet became the Ottawa Citizen.
1884 – The Hamilton Orchestral Society (now the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra) was founded.
1887 – The Conservatives under Sir John A. Macdonald won the general election with a majority of thirty seats. The execution of Riel in 1885 was an important factor in the election campaign. Wilfrid Laurier and Edward Blake were the Liberal leaders.
1903 – Morley Edward Callaghan was born in Toronto. He was a son of a C.N.R. Despatcher and among Canada’s great writers.
1931 – The Central Organization of Loyal Finns in Canada was established in Toronto to provide cohesion among the dispersed Finnish-Canadian societies.

 

February 23

1770 – Samuel Hearne began his second search for the Coppermine River, lasting until November 25.
1876 – Governor General Lord Dufferin and Lady Dufferin presented the most illustrious masquerade ball ever held at Government House, with over a 1,000 costumed guests from all over the world.
1879 – The first issue of La Patrie was published in Montreal.
1909 – J.A.D. McCurdy completed the first airplane flight in the British Commonwealth in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.
1914 – A rock slide into the Fraser River nearly devastated the salmon fishing industry there.
1984 – Lester B. Pearson Airport in Toronto recorded a temperature of 14.9 ºC (58.82ºF), the highest for any February day in Toronto’s 144 years of recorded weather history.

 

February 24

1653 – Charles La Tour married Madame Charnisay.
1662 – Bishop Laval excommunicated people selling liquor to the Natives.
1825 – Sir Richard W. Scott was born in Prescott. He was secretary of state for Canada from 1874-78 and 1896-1908, and father of the Canada Temperance Act of 1878 (the Scott Act).
1836 – The Bytown Independent and Farmer’s Advocate was established in Bytown by James Johnston.
1865 – A telegraph line to Russia was begun in New Westminster, British Columbia, but never was completed.
1887 – Vancouver lost its city charter over rioting against Chinese labour.
1915 – Canadian troops went into action in Armentières, France.
1925 – Canada signed an agreement with the United States, setting up control of the Lake-of-the-Woods waterways.

 

February 25

1651 – Charles La Tour was made governor of Acadia.
1752 – Upper Canada’s first lieutenant-governor John Graves Simcoe (1791-96) was born in Cotter-stock, England. He founded York (Toronto) and was instrumental in introducing organisations such as courts of law, trial by Jury, English common law, freehold land tenure, and the abolition of slavery – which ended in Upper Canada in 1793). He died on October 26, 1806 in England at the age of 54.
1813 – The Parliament of Upper Canada opened the session that prohibited the sale of liquor to Natives, and the export of grain, because of food shortage.
1832 – The Champlain and St. Lawrence Railway was incorporated; this was the first railway legislation passed in Canada.
1876 – John Jennings, a Presbyterian minister who had taken a prominent part in stimulating the cause of education in Upper Canada, died in Toronto (Ontario).
1880 – The legislature of New Brunswick in Fredericton was destroyed by fire.
1903 – Frank Michael “King” Clancy was born in Ottawa (Ontario). He was a colourful hockey figure active in many phases of the sport for sixty years.
1918 – McGill University received $1,000,000 from the Carnegie Foundation.
1940 – No. 110 City of Toronto squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force disembarked in England. It was the first Canadian air unit to engage the enemy in World War II.
1963 – Prime Minister Diefenbaker was made a Freeman of the City of London (England).

 

February 26

1790 – Prime Minister Pitt demanded that Spain make restitution for British ships captured in Nootka (British Columbia).
1794 – Augustus Jones initiated his first official survey of Yonge Street.
1798 – David Thompson explored the headwaters of the Mississippi.
1851 – The Toronto Anti-Slavery Society was formed. George Brown of the Globe was a founding member.
1857 – Parliament met in Toronto and asked Queen Victoria to choose a site for the capital.
1919 – The session of Parliament began that passed the Soldiers’ Settlement Act, established an air board, and abolished further titles for Canadians.
1920 – Parliament met for the first time since the rebuild of the Parliament Buildings. The old buildings had been destroyed by a fire in 1916.
1960 – Anne Heggtveit of Ottawa became the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal for alpine skiing. At the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics, she won gold medals in both Slalom and Combined events.

 

February 27

1629 – Louis Hébert was made a seignior with the authority to grant land.
1742 – France issued additional card money worth 120,000 livres.
1796 – The Yonge Street route from York to Lake Huron was officially opened by a detachment of the Queen’s Rangers.
1839 – The Upper Canada Parliament advocated the union of Upper and Lower Canada.
1842 – The Anglican St Thomas Church, in Shanty Bay, Simcoe County, officially opened. It was one of the few surviving structures in Ontario built of “rammed earth.”
1862 – Bytown’s (Ottawa, Ontario) first tycoon Nicholas Sparks, who served on the original town council, died and was later busied in St James Cemetery on Aylmer Road.
1867 – Queen Victoria formally approved the British North America Act.
1896 – The Manitoba Legislature protested federal interference in its Separate Schools Act.
1900 – The government of British Columbia was dismissed by Lieutenant-Governor McInnis; all but one member left the legislature when the governor arrived to prorogue.
1909 – Ontario received its official coat of arms by a proclamation dispensed on behalf of King Edward VII.
1951 – Canada posted an Army officer with the Supreme Allied Commander’s staff: the first step in providing Canadian ground troops for Europe.

 

February 28

1820 – Mississauga Natives surrendered 2,000 acres, now part of Peel County (Ontario), to the Government.
1825 – A treaty between Britain and Russia defined the Alaska boundary.
1842 – Dr. John Troyer, a Pennsylvania Dutch Mennonite and the first settler in what became Norfolk County, died in his Port Rowan home at the age of 90.
1918 – The Conservative government of Sir Robert Borden summoned a women’s conference in Ottawa to discuss child welfare and health concerns.
1925 – At 9:19 p.m. the Charlevoix–Kamouraska area was shaken by a 6.2 earthquake, and was felt across much of eastern North America, to distances as far as 1,000 km away. In the weeks that followed, dozens of aftershocks continued to shake the area, keeping the inhabitants living in fear.
1952 – Vincent Massey became Canada’s 18th Governor-General of Canada; he was the first Canadian-born to hold the position.

 

February 29

1680 – Father Louis Hennepin (baptized Antoine) left to explore the Mississippi. He was a Franciscan priest of the Récollets order, and a North American explorer. Louis XIV sent him to New France in 1675, accompanied by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. He was 39 years old when he left Quebec City in 1679 to build the 45-ton ship Le Griffon, and then sailed through the Great Lakes. Soon thereafter he was captured by a group of Sioux and carried off into what is now the state of Minnesota. In September 1680, thanks to Danel Greysolon, Sieur Du Lhut, Hennepin and others were given canoes and allowed to leave.
1892 – The Treaty of Washington between Britain and the United States allowed both sides to submit the Bering Sea fishing dispute to arbitration.
1920 – King’s College, Windsor, Nova Scotia, was destroyed by fire. It was suggested that the fire was caused by students playing with matches in a dormitory. Because the hydrants were frozen, the blaze could not be extinguished so the buildings burned to the ground. The institution relocated to Halifax (Nova Scotia).
1934 – Don Cherry was born in Kingston (Ontario). He is an ice hockey sportscaster for CBC TV’s long-running Canadian sports program “Hockey Night in Canada” with Ron MacLean. He’s a sports writer, retired professional hockey player and NHL coach. He is a Canadian icon known for his frank manner, colourful dress, and staunch Canadian patriotism. Part of his flashy dress is the rose he always wears on his lapel, to commemorate his wife Rosemarie who donated her kidney to their 13-year-old son Tim, and then died of liver cancer on June 1, 1997. In honour of her perseverance, Don created Rose Cherry’s Home for Kids.
1946 – A Royal Commission was established to investigate soviet espionage activities in the west brought on by the defection of Igor Gouzenko on September 5, 1945. He had been a cipher clerk for the Soviet Embassy in Canada in Ottawa at the time, and brought with him 109 documents on soviet espionage. He made known Joseph Stalin’s attempts to steal nuclear secrets, and the strategy of planting sleeper agents. This defection is known to be the contributing factor of the “cold war.”
1963 – John Diefenbaker’s Conservative government was defeated in the House of Commons. It was only the second time since Confederation that the government had been beaten in the Commons.
1984 – Pierre Trudeau took a walk in an Ottawa snowstorm before declaring his intention to withdraw as Liberal leader and prime minister.
2012 – Canadian political cartoonist, Blain, died in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1963, he became the first cartoonist to win the now internationally known Salon of Cartoons.

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