May

 

May 1

1822 – A general hospital opened at Montreal to accommodate eighty patients.
1831 – Dr Emily Howard Stowe (née Jennings), teacher and physician, was born at Norwich.
1874 – Classes began at the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph. Thirty students were then enrolled on that day.
1885 – Ottawa was the second city in Canada to have electric lights.
1888 – Lord Stanley (donor of the Stanley Cup) was made governor-general.
1896 – Sir Charles Tupper became prime minister.
1906 – Billy Sherring of Hamilton, one of Canada’s greatest marathon runners, won the Olympic gold medal in Athens.
1909 – Prohibition came into effect in Ontario.
1919 – the Winnipeg general strike began.
1963 – the Quebec government took over eleven private power companies.
1965 – The United States consulate was bombed in Montreal.
1984 – The Arboreal Emblem Act was proclaimed in the legislature, designating the Easter White Pine as the arboreal emblem of the province of Ontario.

 

May 2

1670 – On May 2, 1670, King Charles II granted a charter to the “Merchant Adventurers of England trading into Hudson’s Bay,” which came to be known as the Hudson’s Bay Company. It was a momentous charter in the history of Canada.
1793 – Lieutenant Governor Simcoe, accompanied by seven officers, made his first visit to the future site of York.
1824 – An armed force of settlers attacked Shipman’s Mills (Almonte), where Irish immigrants had gathered. One immigrant was killed, several wounded.
1835 – The first fire brigade in Cornwall was formed.
1864 – The Merchants’ Bank of Halifax opened (now absorbed in Royal Bank of Canada).
1881 – C.P.R. syndicate broke ground for the transcontinental railway at Fort William, Ontario.
1882 – The House of Commons passed a Civil Service Bill.
1939 – The National Film Board was created in Ottawa.
1945 – Fighting ended in Italy in World War II.
1961 – His Excellency Habib Bouguiba, President of Tunisia, visited Ottawa.
1962 – the Canadian dollar was pegged at 92.5 cents.
1964 – E.P. Taylor’s Northern Dancer, with jockey Bill Shoemaker in the saddle, won the Kentucky Derby.

 

May 3

1776 – Americans tried to set fire to ships at Quebec.
1631 – Captain Thomas James of Bristol began his voyage to Hudson Bay.
1840 – The first recorded shipment of manufactured goods from Upper Canada left a Toronto wharf on the schooner Lily for Montreal.
1947 – Radio station CFRA in Ottawa, founded by Frank Ryan, a pioneer in Canadian radio, began broadcasting.

 

May 4

1804 – Selkirk brought colonists from Isle of Mull, Scotland, to settle at Baldoon, near Chatham, Ontario.
1859 – Parliament prorogued. Offices were moved from Toronto to Quebec.
1639 – Madame de La Peltrie and others sailed from Dieppe to Quebec.
1907 – A late season snowfall of 19.1 cm was Ottawa’s greatest one-day total on record in May.
1949 – Leslie Frost, MPP for Lindsay, became premier of Ontario.

 

May 5

1660 – Bishop Laval announced that he would excommunicate people who were caught selling liquor to the Natives.
1665 – Twelve horses were brought to Quebec. The Natives called them “the moose from France.”
1789 – Captain Martinez claimed Nootka Sound, British Columbia, for Spain.
1813 – Sir James Yeo arrived at Quebec with 450 seamen. He was made Commodore of the Royal Navy on Lake Ontario.
1814 – Sir James Yeo attacked Oswego, New York, with 1,100 men.
1859 – New Westminster was made capital of British Columbia. Vancouver Island was a separate colony.
1863 – Huron College, London, received a charter.
1879 – In Stratford, a boxcar containing dynamite caught fire and exploded. Three were killed.
1894 – The Ontario Trade Disputes Consultation and Arbitration Act established procedures for the settlement of industrial disputes.
1929 – C.N.R. radio operators established two-way telephone links from trains.
1942 – The Little Norway camp at Muskoka airport, designed to train Norwegian pilots during World War II, was opened by Crown Prince Olav.

 

May 6

1708 – Bishop Laval died.
1720 – The first meeting of the Council of Nova Scotia was held.
1776 – Sir Guy Carleton drove the American forces from Quebec.
1777 – General Burgoyne arrived at Quebec to succeed Carleton.
1796 – One of the first recorded landowners in the Scarborough area, Captain William Mayne, registered title to 500 acres extending northwards from Lake Ontario in the easterly part of the Birchcliff district.
1870 – Sir John A. Macdonald nearly died as a result of a gallstone attack. He could not be moved from his East Block office for a month.
1910 – King Edward VII died. He was succeeded by George V.

 

May 7

1586 – John Davis began his second voyage to Baffin Land.
1792 – Lower Canada was divided into twenty-seven electoral districts with fifty members.
1865 – The Canadian Land and Immigration Company of London bought 10 townships in Upper Canada, settling Haliburton and Minden.
1866 – St. Francis Xavier University at Antogonish, Nova Scotia, received its charter.
1873 – Joseph Howe was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia.
1894 – George Drew, premier of Ontario from 1943 to 1948 and leader of the official Conservative opposition in Ottawa from 1948 to 1956, was born in Guelph.
1907 – The Vancouver Stock Exchange was incorporated.
1945 – Germany surrendered unconditionally in World War II.
1953 – Prime Minister St. Laurent paid an official visit to the United States.

 

May 8

1604 – Champlain arrived at the mouth of Lahave River, Nova Scotia.
1620 – Champlain sailed for Canada, bringing his youing wife with him.
1642 – Maisonneuve and colonists left Quebec to found Montreal.
1756 – Natives attacked Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, as a reprisal for the expulsion of the Acadians.
1818 – Samuel Leonard Tilley was born at Gagetown, New Brunswick.
1849 – The cornerstone of St Michael’s Cathedral was laid by Bishop Michael Power, the first Roman Catholic bishop of Toronto.
1849 – Joseph Howe wrote his famous letter to the British North America League concerning Confederation.
1858 – John Brown, American abolitionist, held a convention at Chatham, Ontario.
1871 – New Brunswick adopted a school system similar to Ontario’s; this led to rioting.
1882 – Northwest Territories were divided into four districts: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Assiniboia, and Athabaska.
1906 – The University of Alberta at Edmonton received its charter.
1915 – The War Purchasing Board was appointed.
1945 – The Armistice, ending the Second World War with Germany, was signed.

 

May 9

1783 – Sir Guy Carleton arrived at New York to evacuate British forces and Loyalists.
1829 – Richard Harte, a native of Ireland, was appointed the first resident rector of St James’s Church in Frank-town – the oldest Anglican Church in the Ottawa valley.
1853 – The British Parliament approved of Canada’s right to dispose of clergy reserves.
1867 – The cornerstone of St Alban the Martyr Church (Anglican), at King Edward and Daly streets in Ottawa, was laid. John A. Macdonald was a parishioner.
1880 – George Brown, editor of the Globe and father of Confederation, died from gunshot wounds inflicted on March 25 in his Globe office.
1916 – General Byng succeeded General Alderson as commander of Canadian forces.
1926 – Admiral Byrd and Floyd Bennett flew over the North Pole.
1983 – The Toronto Stock Exchange formally occupied new 25-million, 5,583-square metres premises in the Exchange Tower, First Canadian lace – a trading pavilion three times the size of the area vacated at 234 Bay St.

 

May 10

1534 – Jacques Cartier arrived at Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland on his first voyage to Canada.
1632 – Isaac de Razilly was made Lieutenant Governor of Acadia with instructions to drive out the British.
1746 – Admiral La Jonquière sailed from La Rochelle to capture Acadia.
1783 – A large group of United Empire Loyalists arrived at Saint John, New Brunswick.
1796 – Edward, Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria, was made commander of the garrison at Halifax.
1801 – Construction of the Georgian-style house “Olde Homewood,” commissioned by Dr Solomon Jones and built by Louis Brière of Montreal, was begun on what is now Highway No. 2 between Maitland and Prescott.
1844 – The capital of United Canada was moved from Kingston to Montreal.
1853 – The steamer Genova arrived at Quebec, beginning a regular 14-day service between Montreal and Liverpool.
1870 – British Columbia delegates left for Ottawa to discuss terms for entering Confederation.
1878 – The Canada Temperance Act established the principle of “local option,” under which parliamentary constituencies could vote to become either “wet” or “dry.”
1886 – W.S. Fielding introduced resolution in Nova Scotia Legislature asking for an end to Confederation.
1915 – The Curtiss Aeroplane Manufacturing Company established a flying school, designed to supply pilots to the Royal Flying Corps, at Hanlan’s Point on Toronto Island and at Long Branch.
1921 – Canada made a preferential tariff agreement with the West Indies.
1963 – Prime Minister Pearson conferred with President Kennedy at Hyannis Port. It was announced that the former home of F. D. Roosevelt on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, would be shared by Canada and the United States for public purposes.

 

May 11

1615 – Captain Richard Whitbourne was appointed commissioner to establish order in Newfoundland.
1676 – Begging without the permission of a priest was prohibited in Montreal!
1690 – Port Royal surrendered to Sir William Phips.
1717 – Commercial exchange began in Montreal when merchants were given permission to hold meetings.
1760 – Lévis attacked Quebec with a heavy artillery barrage.
1781 – Philip Turnor, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s first fulltime surveyor, set out from Moose Factory by canoe and arrived on June 26 at Michipicoten House, a small fur-trading post several kilometres from Sault Ste Marie. Turnor made the first detailed investigation of the route.
1839 – The College of Physicians and Surgeons was established in Upper Canada.
1870 – Canada paid Hudson’s Bay Company $1,500,000 for its territory.
1874 – The first horse-drawn car made its appearance in Hamilton.
1880 – Sir Alexander Galt was appointed first Canadian High Commissioner to Britain.
1938 – Lord Tweedsmuir visited Val Marie, Saskatchewan.

 

May 12

1501 – Gaspar Corte Real sailed from Lisbon to Conception Bay, Newfoundland.
1628 – Charles La Tour was made a baronet of Nova Scotia.
1678 – King of France authorized LaSalle to build forts down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.
1781 – The Chippewas ceded the Island of Michilimackinac to George III for £5,000 (pounds).
1846 – An address to Queen Victoria asked for better trade arrangements with the United States.
1870 – Manitoba, Rupert’s Land, and Northwest Territories were established by a Dominion statute.
1804 – Robert Baldwin, champion of responsible government, joint premier of the Canadas from 1848 to 1851 and founder of Ontario’s system of municipal government born in York (now Toronto).
1874 – Prince Edward Island Railway opened.
1880 – In bright spring sunshine the funeral procession of Grit leader George Brown passed through Toronto streets.
1915 – The Roblin government in Manitoba resigned following corruption charges.
1922 – The Royal Canadian Navy was reduced to only three small ships on each coast.
1937 – The coronation of King George VI took place on this date.
1943 – Fighting ended in North Africa when the Germans surrendered Tunisia.
1963 – Bobby Kerr of Hamilton, who won the 100-and 200-yard sprint events in the 1908 British Championships, and who remained active in international competition for 25 years. This marks the day he died.

 

May 13

1604 – De Monts named Port Mouton, Nova Scotia, because a sheep jumped overboard there. Now it is locally known as Port “Mootoon.”
1707 – Colonels March and Wainright sailed from Boston to attack Port Royal.
1724 – A Royal edict ordered a stone wall to be built for the defense of Montreal.
1796 – Colonel John Butler of Butler’s Rangers died at Newark.
1857 – Mayor Morris C. Lutz laid the cornerstone of the Town Hall and Market House in Peterborough.
1919 – The Winnipeg general strike began.
1950 – The Red River flood was at its height at Winnipeg; it covered 181 km² (70 square miles) and caused $27 million damage!
1954 – American President Eisenhower signed a bill approving the St. Lawrence Seaway agreement with Canada.

 

May 14

1501 – Gaspar Corte Real left Portugal on his second voyage to Newfoundland but was not heard of again.
1747 – A French fleet under La Jonquière was captured by the British.
1789 – Martinez seized British ships at Nootka, British Columbia, which were flying Portuguese flags.
1793 – General Ogilvie took the islands of St. Pierre-Miquelon and deported the inhabitants.
1817 – A bill establishing police forces in the towns of York, Sandwich and Amherstburg was passed by legislature.
1825 – Four hundred families from Ireland settled in Peterborough County, Ontario.
1850 – The third session of Third Parliament opened; it passed legislation to control bank notes, protect Natives, and establish schools.
1875 – Work began on the Fort Frances Canal on Rainy River, the purpose of which was to ensure unbroken water communication between Lake Shebandowan and Rat Portage and thus facilitate travel by immigrants and military personnel to the Red River country.
1906 – Following three years of investigation, the creation of the Hydro Electric Power Commission – the forerunner of Ontario Hydro – was approved by the Ontario government.
1942 – At 56, Red Hill Sr, veteran riverman, famous for his Niagara rescues, ended long years of service on the river. He had saved 28 persons from drowning and recovered 149 bodies.
1965 – The Anglican and United Churches of Canada announced an agreement in principle on union.

 

May 15

1649 – Established in 1639 as a central base for the Jesuit missions in Huronia and as a local centre for one of the Huron tribes, the Ataron-chronon or “Nation-Beyond-the-Silted Lake” mission was abandoned by the Jesuits.
1650 – The Iroquois defeated the powerful Neutral Indians.
1760 – Admiral Swanton and the British fleet arrived at Quebec, causing General Lévis to retreat to Montreal.
1789 – The final report on payments to United Empire Loyalists for losses was made.
1814 – United States troops burned Port Dover, Ontario.
1844 – Bytown residents residing on Rideau and Sussex streets were allowed to commute their statute-labour at 2s/6d per day, the sum collected to be spent on a plank sidewalk.
1892 – Furniture, china, glassware and ornaments – property of the late Sir John A. Macdonald – were sold at public auction at his former residence, Earnscliffe, in Ottawa.
1897 – Toronto citizens voted to allow streetcars to operate on Sundays.

 

May 16

1613 – Saussaye and Courtier arrived at Lahave, Nova Scotia, with settlers.
1619 – Jens Munck of Denmark discovered Churchill River, Hudson Bay. He returned with only 2 members of his crew of 65.
1677 – Quebec Council fixed fur prices.
1760 – Admiral Swanton destroyed a French fleet in the St. Lawrence.
1762 – Settlers from New England arrived at Maugerville (pronounced Majorville). First British settlement in (now New Brunswick).
1853 – The Northern Railway opened from Toronto to Aurora, Ontario; reached Barrie on October 11.
1865 – Macdonald, Cartier, Brown, and Galt were presented to Queen Victoria.
1871 – An Imperial Order-in-Council authorized British Columbia to join Canada.
1885 – The Lake Superior section (Bonfield-Fort William) of the C.P.R. was completed while troops were still moving west to put down the Riel Rebellion.
1961 – President Kennedy and his wife paid a state visit to Ottawa until May 18.

 

May 17

1657 – Jesuits set out to establish a mission in Iroquois country.
1774 – The Quebec Act was introduced to the House of Lords.
1794 – The Executive Council awarded 64,000 acres west of the Grand River to William Berczy and other members of the German Company, an American organization desirous of establishing a settlement of German immigrants in Upper Canada. The grant was later moved to Marham Townships.
1849 – The Hudson’s Bay Company monopoly was broken.
1882 – Queen’s College in Kingston achieved university status.
1898 – A. J. Casson, landscape painter, member of the Group of Seven, born in Toronto.
1949 – The Canadian Government granted full recognition to Israel.
1963 – The Quebec Government offered $50,000 reward for info leading to the arrest of terrorists.
1971 – Prime Minister Trudeau began an eleven-day tour of Russia.

 

May 18

1675 – Marquette died in the Lake Michigan area.
1675 – The Feast of the Assumption Mass was first celebrated at Church of Notre Dame de Bon-Secours, first stone church in Montreal.
1783 – Seven thousand United Empire Loyalists landed at Parrtown (Saint John).
1785 – John Stuart, an Anglican clergyman, opened the first school in Upper Canada at Kingston.
1785 – Parrtown was incorporated and name change to Saint John; it’s oldest incorporated city in Canada.
1785 – Reverend Dr. Stuart opened the first school in Upper Canada at Kingston, Ontario.
1800 – Birth of Jennet Thomson, daughter of David and Mary Thomson. Hers was the first recorded birth of a while child in Scarborough.
1824 – William Lyon Mackenzie founded the Colonial Advocate.
1827 – Andrew Wilson urged Lieutenant Governor Maitland to appoint regular magistrates for Bytown because peace was “most dreadfully disturbed and lives and property being in danger day and night by drunken and riotous persons employed on the Canal.”
1837 – Lower Canada banks suspended payments until June 1838.
1861 – The College of Bytown became Ottawa College.
1917 – Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden returned from sessions of the Imperial War Cabinet to announce that conscription was necessary.
1943 – Harry C. Nixon, who served as provincial secretary and minister-in-charge of game and fisheries in the Liberal government of Mitch Hepburn, was sworn in as premier of Ontario.

 

May 19

1535 – Cartier sailed on his second voyage to Canada.
1587 – John Davis began his third voyage to the Arctic.
1745 – British and French fleets fought a battle off Louisburg.
1780 – A “Dark Day” in Canada and New England, named because darkness fell at 2 PM. It’s the stuff that mysteries are made of! No explanation has ever been discovered.
1790 – Various Indian tribes surrendered 2 million acres in Ontario.
1859 – The first steamboat on the Red River arrived at Fort Garry.
1876 – B.C. Legislature passed a Schools Act supporting public schools, and taxing male residents $3 a year for education.
1885 – The first Black lawyer in Canadian history, Delos Rogest Davis of Amherst-burg, was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada.
1916 – A majority of only 87 out of some 3,057 municipal electors voted in favour of changing their city’s name from Berlin to Kitchener.
1923 – Architect Frank Darling, born in Scarborough in 1850, first Canadian recipient of the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, died.

 

May 20

1616 – Having wintered with the Hurons, Samuel de Champlain visited the Petun (Tobacco) and Nipissing tribes before starting his return journey to Quebec.
1656 – The Iroquois descended on Island of Orleans and took 80 Hurons prisoners; the garrison at Quebec did not dare try to rescue them.
1690 – Fort Loyal (now Portland, Maine) was captured by the French and Indians from Nova Scotia.
1776 – The Americans were defeated at Quinze Chenes on the Ottawa River.
1859 – George Barston was elected mayor of Nanaimo, B.C. Only one vote was cast!!
1798 – David Thompson arrived at Sault Ste Marie after a long trip.
1803 – Chief Justice Osgoode in Montreal declared that slavery was inconsistent with the laws of Canada.
1851 – The first Canadian postage stamp appeared on a letter; the colonial governments in that year assumed responsibility for postal service.
1969 – The National Research Council was established in Ottawa.

 

May 21

1690 – Sir William Phips captured Port Royal, Nova Scotia.
1765 – The first agricultural fair in Canada was held at Windsor, Nova Scotia.
1784 – A large party of Loyalists left Sorel, Quebec, to settle at Kingston, Ontario.
1860 – A new St Mary’s Cathedral, at the corner of Park and Sheaffe streets in Hamilton, was consecrated. Its predecessor had been gutted by fire the previous year.
1914 – Gurdit Singh and 396 Hindus were forbidden to land at Vancouver.
1939 – King George VI unveiled the National War Memorial at Ottawa, the work of Vernon and Sydney March.

 

May 22

1784 – A band of loyal Mohawks, led by Chief John Deserontyon, arrived in the Bay of Quinte area from their home in the Mohawk valley.
1808 – Simon Fraser left Fort St James, B.C. for a trip down the river that now bears his name.
1815 – Fort Niagara was restored to the United States.
1840 – James Morrow Walsh, one of the first officers to be commissioned when the Northwest Mounted Police was formed in 1873, and the founder of Fort Walsh in the Cypress Hills, born in Prescott.
1867 – Queen Victoria proclaimed that the British North America Act would go into effect on July 1 and named 72 senators.
1820 – Lord Dalhousie laid the cornerstone of Dalhousie University.
1872 – The Earl of Dufferin was made Governor-General of Canada.
1906 – British forces were withdrawn from Esquimalt, B.C.; they were the last British forces in Canada.
1919 – The House of Commons passed a bill prohibiting titles for Canadians.
1945 – The government announced that Japanese incendiary balloons had been found in Western Canada.
1971 – Ontario Place, a recreational centre designed by the architectural firm of Craig, Zeidler and Strong, located amid ninety-six acres of man-made islands on the Toronto waterfront, was officially opened. Its total cost was 32.5 million.
1975 – Premier William Davis announced that Arthur Maloney would be Ontario’s first ombudsman.

 

May 23

1633 – Champlain was made the first governor of New France.
1835 – The Toronto Recorder described the current depression in the city as the worst ever experienced.
1843 – Following the collapse of the Chaudière Truss Bridge at Bytown, the foundation-stone for the Union Suspension Bridge was laid.
1854 – The reform ministry of Francis Hincks and Augustin-Norbut Morin resigned, and was replaced by a liberal-conservative government headed by Allan MacNab and Ētienne-Paschal Taché.
1873 – Parliament passed an act establishing the Northwest Mounted Police.
1916 – Sir George Foster, Minister of Trade and Commerce, recommended to Cabinet the establishment of a National Research Council.

 

May 24

1784 – Lieutenant Michael Grass led the first party of loyalists from Sorel to Cataraqui (Kingston) beginning one of the first planned settlements in what is now Ontario.
1833 – The first university degree in medicine was given to W. Logie of Montreal.
1862 – John Sandfield Macdonald of Cornwall became attorney general, minister of militia affairs and premier of the Canadas.
1881 – The steamer Victoria sank in the Thames River, near London, Ontario on Victoria Day, with the loss of 200 lives.
1888 – Opening of the 154-acre Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls, precursor of the present-day Niagara parks system that runs from Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake.
1932 – Parliament passed a bill establishing a nationally-owned broadcasting system.
1934 – Five daughters – Cécile, Yvonne, Emilie, Annette and Marie – were born to Oliva and Elzire Dionne, a French-Canadian farming couple living at Corbeil, near North Bay.
1955 – The C.N.R. and the C.P.R. reduced the running time between Montreal and Vancouver by 16 hours.

 

May 25

1660 – The Company of the One Hundred Associates sent lawyer Dumesnil to Quebec to enquire into company affairs.
1830 – The village of Newboro (Newborough) in Leeds County was founded by Rideau Canal workers.
1832 – Colonel John By arrived in Smiths Falls on board the Pumper to mark the opening of the Rideau Canal.
1849 – An act of Parliament stated that postage stamps should be engraved to prevent forgery.
1870 – Fenians raided the eastern townships.
1879 – William Maxwell Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook) born at Maple (near Toronto).
1883 – The Grand Trunk and Great Western Railways were amalgamated.
1905 – Peterborough, Ontario, was incorporated as a city.

 

May 26

1577 – Martin Frobisher explored Baffin Land on his second voyage.
1611 – Champlain visited the site of Montreal and cleared land there.
1660 – In 1660, Adam Dollard defended Montreal against the Iroquois. There is some dispute about the date, various authorities giving it as May 10, 21 and 26.
1783 – Governor Frederick Haldimand instructed Major Samuel Holland, the surveyor general, to proceed to Cataraqui to examine the area’s suitability as a permanent location for a loyalist settlement.
1828 – An Imperial act allowed naturalized citizens from the United States to vote in Canada and become members of Parliament!
1867 – Robert Tait Mackenzie, sculptor, educator and surgeon, born at Almonte.
1874 – The Dominion Elections Act instituted voting by secret ballot, and abolished property qualifications for members of the House of Commons.
1932 – The Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, forerunner of the C.B.C., was established to supervise all public and private broadcasting in Canada.
1954 – Lionel “The Big Train” Connacher, MP, died in Ottawa of a heart attack during a softball game between MPs and members of the press gallery.

 

May 27

1732 – La Verendrye sent his eldest son to build a fort on the Winnipeg River; it is thought he was the first white man to see Lake Winnipeg.
1797 – Captain John McGill of the Queen’s Rangers, commissary of stores and provisions, patented 800 acres stretching northwards from the present-day Guildwood Village in Scarborough.
1813 – General Dearborn and Commodore Chauncey took Fort George, Niagara.
1893 – The Government of Ontario established Algonquin Park.
1915 – A monument to Samuel de Champlain, on Ottawa’s Nepean Point, was unveiled by the governor general, the Duke of Connaught.
1949 – Newfoundland held its first election as a province of Canada; Joseph Smallwood became premier.

 

May 28

1664 – The West India Company secured a Royal grant of all French colonies in North America.
1828 – Noted Canadian artist Paul Kane passed over the 2.4 km Savanne Portage on the Kaministiguia route, describing it as “the largest and most difficult portage in the route.” It crossed present-day Highway No. 17, about 100 km northwest of Fort William.
1845 – Fire destroyed two-thirds of Quebec and suburb of St Roch.
1868 – The major timber operators on the Ottawa River formed the Upper Ottawa improvement Company to apply for a charter “to construct works to facilitate the transmission of timber down rivers and streams, for the purpose of constructing booms, dams, slides and piers in the Ottawa River.
1881 – Britain awarded the U.S. 15,000 pounds reparation for the attack on American fishermen in Fortune Bay, Newfoundland.
1927 – The House of Commons approved the establishment of Old Age Pensions.
1934 – The Dionne quintuplets were born near North Bay, Ontario.

 

May 29

1667 – Beside the Nipigon River, Father Claude Allouez celebrated the first Mass west of Sault Ste Marie, re-establishing spiritual contact with the Nipissing Indians who had fled during the Iroquois onslaught of 1649-50.
1733 – Intendant Hocquart upheld the right of Canadians to have Indians as slaves and to sell them.
1815 – An Order-in-Council declared Canada opened to citizens of the United States for commerce.
1832 – Colonel John By, aboard the Pumper, arrived in Ottawa from Kingston to attend the official opening of the Rideau Canal, completed after six years at a cost of £800,000.
1838 – The Bank of Montreal issued pennies; now pennies are gone …
1866 – Following years of political and sectarian unrest, and a near-total absence of law and order, a police force was established in Ottawa.
1898 – Comedian Beatrice Lillie born in Toronto.
1902 – Liberal leader George Ross emerged from an Ontario election with a majority of five seats.
1914 – The C.P.R. liner Empress of Ireland sank after collision in the St. Lawrence River; over 900 souls were lost.
1963 – The Hall of Canadian Eskimos opened in the National Museum, Ottawa.

 

May 30

1675 – Jacques Duchesneau was appointed Intendant; he was the first since Talon.
1811 – The Hudson’s Bay Company agreed to Lord Selkirk’s plan to buy land at the Red River.
1832 – The Rideau Canal was opened to traffic!
1838 – Led by William “Bill” Johnston – “the Pirate of the St Lawrence” – a band of Upper Canadian rebels and their American supporters burned the Canadian steamer Sir Robert Peel at Wellesley Island.
1849 – An act of the provincial legislature transformed King’s College into the “absolutely secular” University of Toronto.
1855 – The Separate School Act made possible the establishment of a Roman Catholic separate school in any school section or ward of a town or city on petition of ten Catholic ratepayers. It also gave Catholics the right to establish separate school boards.
1859 – The British Government took over British Columbia from the Hudson’s Bay Company.
1876 – Edward “Ned” Hanlan of Toronto, perhaps the greatest sculler the world has ever seen, won the Philadelphia Race.

 

May 31

1578 – Martin Frobisher left on his third voyage to the Arctic; he discovered the Hudson Strait.
1803 – Colonel Thomas Talbot erected a log-hut residence to begin the Talbot settlement in the London District.
1819 – A policy of assisted emigration – the same policy that led to the founding of settlements at Perth in 1816 and at Richmond and March in 1818 and 1819 – was the reason for a further purchase on this date of Indian lands north and west of the Rideau River and the surveying of those lands into new townships. This purchase was followed by a treaty made with Mississauga chiefs involving the formal transfer of land that encompassed the present-day townships of Torbolton, Fitzroy, Hanby, March and Goulburn.
1862 – The Bank of British Columbia received a royal charter.
1962 – Plans were announced for the establishment of Trent University at Peterborough, Ontario.
1969 – The National Arts Centre in Ottawa was officially opened.

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