Nov 13, 1871
Oath of office: B.C.’s first premier, John Foster McCreight, is sworn in; he loses and is replaced less than a year later.
Dec 29, 1989
Breathe deeply: Canada bans smoking on airplanes flying within the country, the first in the world to do so.
Feb 26, 1917
Good decision: Ontario women are finally given the right to vote in provincial elections.
Mar 24, 1893
Expensive ride: A Toronto cab driver caught driving on a Sunday must pay two dollars or spend 10 days in jail.
Aug 26, 1977
Mais oui! The Quebec government adopts Bill 101, making French the official language of the province.
Mar 09, 1876
Hello? Alexander Graham Bell makes the first successful call on his new invention, the telephone.
Feb 29, 1888
Signed, sealed and delivered: today is the first day that parcels can be mailed between Canada and the united States.
Apr 06, 1868
In Canada’s first political assassination, an Irish-American shoots and kills Thomas D’Arcy McGee in Ottawa
Jun 26, 1959
Sail away! Queen Elizabeth II officially opens the 318-kilometre-long St. Lawrence Seaway.
Feb 23, 1956
Shield yourself: On this day, Queen Elizabeth approves the coats of arms for the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
Apr 30, 1956
Solidarity! The Canadian Labour Congress was formed today to protect workers’ rights
Jul 10, 1946
Watch it! Canada’s first drive-in theatre opens in Hamilton, Ont.
Aug 15, 1881
The Rat Portage War starts when Manitoba claims its control extends to Rat Portage (now Kenora) in Ontario.
Oct 14, 1957
Royal occasion: Queen Elizabeth II opens Parliament, the first time the reigning monarch has done so.
Jul 11, 1921
Just the start: Irene Parlby is elected to the government of Alberta, and later becomes Canada’s first female cabinet minister.
Aug 06, 1939
Take off, eh? Regular air mail service between Canada and Great Britain starts with a flight from Montreal.
Oct 31, 1893
Light and bright: McGill University's Redpath Library opens in Montreal with glass floors that also help make it fireproof.
Apr 28, 1903
Seventy-four million tonnes of rock from Turtle Mountain collapses on the town of Frank, Alberta. The Frank Slide kills 80
May 21, 1893
The first Stanley Cup is awarded. It goes to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, which beat the Ottawa Generals
Nov 21, 1927
On the air: Edmonton’s CKUA radio becomes the first public broadcaster in Canada.
Aug 13, 1941
The Canadian Women's Army Corps is created for women who want to be part of the war effort.
Jul 06, 1892
Out of control: A three-day fire sweeps through St. John’s destroying most of the city
Apr 15, 1874
Louis Riel is kicked out the House of Commons because he’s wanted for the shooting of Thomas Scott in Manitoba
May 13, 1904
Quebec’s Étienne Desmarteau wins Canada’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in the fifty-six-pound hammer throw
Nov 22, 1957
Smooth sailing: The first ship enters the new St. Lawrence Seaway through the system’s first lock in Iroquois, Ontario.
Aug 30, 1812
The first Red River settlers arrive at The Forks, where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet in what is now Winnipeg.
Sep 22, 1930
The Unemployment Relief Act is passed to help create jobs for Canadians hit by the Great Depression.
Mar 10, 1756
Never cry Wolfe: France appoints the Marquis de Montcalm commander of its forces in New France.
Jul 08, 1787
Coastal pioneer: Seventeen-year-old Frances Barkley becomes the first European woman to set foot in British Columbia.
Oct 12, 1957
International honour: Lester B. Pearson receives the Nobel Peace Prize for helping set up the United Nations Emergency Force.
Jun 09, 1919
Solidarity! Winnipeg fires nearly all of its police officers when they won’t promise not to join a union or go on strike.
Mar 08, 1815
Hands off! A Canadian fisheries patrol ship fires warning shots at a Spanish ship illegally catching under-sized turbot off Newfoundland.
Feb 18, 1996
Can you bear it? The Royal Canadian Mint reveals the design of the new two dollar coin, soon called the toonie.
Nov 19, 1866
Ferry good: Vancouver Island, until now a separate colony, officially becomes part of B.C.
Oct 21, 1880
Nearing the end: Sir John A. Macdonald signs the final contract for work on the final part of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Feb 09, 1763
Peace, man. The Seven Years’ War between France and England to see who will control North America ends today with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
Jul 18, 1818
Yuck! A gigantic cloud of grasshoppers descends on Manitoba’s Red River colony, destroying all plants in just a few minutes.
Sep 13, 1759
British forces under Wolfe defeat the French, led by Montcalm, on the Plains of Abraham.
Aug 19, 1859
The Great Blondin, Jean François Gravelet, tightrope-walks over Niagara Falls... while carrying his manager on his back.
Feb 13, 1826
All locked up: Lt. Col. John By of the Royal Engineers arrives in the Ottawa area to plan how to build the Rideau Canal all the way to Lake Ontario
Jun 17, 1958
Construction tragedy: The half-finished Second Narrows Bridge in Vancouver collapses killing 19 workers.
Feb 14, 1965
Wave! Today marks the first time our new Maple Leaf flag is flown in Canada during a ceremony on Parliament Hill.
Dec 21, 1891
Swish! Canadian James Naismith pioneers the game of basketball at the YMCA school in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Apr 26, 1928
Prince Edward Island gives in and requires motorists to drive on the right-hand side of the road
Sep 01, 1980
Terry Fox ends his Marathon of Hope in Thunder Bay, Ont., after 135 days.
Dec 22, 1859
Read all about it! The first newspaper on the Canadian Prairies, The Nor’Wester, publishes its first edition.
Sep 05, 1945
Igor Gouzenko defects from the Soviet embassy in Ottawa with documents that prove Soviet spying.
Jun 19, 1816
Battle or massacre? Nineteen men die at Seven Oaks in a bloody fight between the two big fur-trading companies.
Jun 13, 1898
Thanks, Gold Rush! The Yukon Territory is established and joins Confederation.
Dec 19, 1997
Titanic, directed by Canadian James Cameron, hits theatres; it will go on to make more money than any movie before it.
May 28, 1914
More than 1,000 people lose their lives as the Empress of Ireland sinks in the St. Lawrence after being hit by a coal ship
Aug 01, 1834
Three decades before it ends in the United States, slavery is outlawed in the British Empire, freeing more than 770,280 people.
Jun 08, 1826
Splash! A gang dumps William Lyon Mackenzie’s printing press into Toronto Bay over his criticisms of Ontario’s Family Compact.
Jul 22, 1793
End of the road: Alexander Mackenzie arrives at the Pacific Ocean, making him the first European to trek across North America.
Aug 24, 1870
Louis Riel and several companions flee to the United States as government troops take over the Red River settlement.
Jun 01, 1969
Butt out! As of this day, it’s illegal to advertise cigarettes on radio or TV in Canada
Nov 03, 1995
Winning ways: In their first games, the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors basketball teams both beat their opponents.
Jul 30, 1962
Avalanche avoided: Rogers Pass, which gives cars on the Trans-Canada Highway a safe route through the mountains, opens.
Oct 15, 1912
Road trip! The first cross-Canada motor journey ends when Thomas Wilby and Jack Haney reach Port Alberni, B.C.
Sep 27, 1876
After the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Sioux chief Sitting Bull leads his people to Saskatchewan.
Aug 09, 1988
Edmonton Oiler superstar Wayne Gretzky is traded to the Los Angeles Kings.
May 23, 1833
William Loggie, who studied at McGill University, becomes the first medical student to graduate in Canada
Nov 01, 1952
Watch them go: The two candidates for mayor of Toronto take each other on in the first political debate on Canadian TV.
Apr 17, 1851
The Marco Polo is launched at Saint John, N.B. It is the fastest ship in the world for several years
Oct 23, 1993
Back to back: The Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series for a second straight year. They’re the first to win it in Canada.
Sep 06, 1893
Future Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King starts writing the diary he kept every day until just before his death.
Nov 28, 1956
Welcome! Refugees from Hungary escaping Communist rule receive free passage to Canada.
Jun 05, 1939
Happy Birthday, Joe Clark! Canada’s 16th prime minister is born this day in High Rivert, Alta.
Nov 26, 1878
Bravery in action: As a ship slowly sinks in Lake Erie, Abigail Becker rescues the captain and seven crew members.
Jan 01, 1947
O Canada! The Canadian Citizenship Act officially makes us Canadians citizens instead of British subjects.
Nov 29, 1798
The government of Île St-Jean votes to change that name to Prince Edward Island.
Dec 20, 1919
Railroaded: Five companies combine to create the government-owned Canadian National Railways, the longest in North America.
Jun 28, 1886
All aboard! The CPR’s first passenger train to travel from Montreal all the way to the Pacific leaves on its six-day trip.
Feb 12, 1759
Shh—don’t tell! This is the day when secret ballots are used for the first time in any British territory, by the Nova Scotia government.
Sep 21, 1826
Construction begins in Ottawa on the Rideau Canal under Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers.
Sep 10, 1939
Canada declares war on its own for the first time, one week after Great Britain goes to war with Germany.
May 09, 1844
The back-and-forth continues as Canada’s capital moves from Kingston to Montréal ... for five years
Apr 12, 1980
The amazing Terry Fox starts his Marathon of Hope by dipping his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean at St. John’s, N.L.
Jun 27, 1995
We get our man: The RCMP makes a deal with the Walt Disney Company to market the Mounties’ image.
Jul 27, 1965
Start of a tradition: Anne of Green Gables - The Musical premieres at the Charlottetown Festival; it’s still running.
Jul 08, 1917
Mysterious death: Talented painter and canoeist Tom Thomson, a friend of the Group of Seven, drowns in Ontario’s Algonquin Park.
Apr 23, 1942
Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon and 20 other books dies
Dec 18, 1854
The seigneurial system of dividing and giving out land in Quebec is officially abolished.
Mar 19, 1970
Bienvenue! Canada signs an agreement with 19 other nations to create La Francophonie, an organization of French-speaking countries.
Mar 29, 1874
Louis Riel arrives to take his seat in Parliament, but decides to stay in Quebec for fear of being arrested if he crosses the river into Ottawa.
Oct 13, 1812
Isaac Brock dies in the Battle of Queenston Heights, but the day is won when Roger Sheaffe takes over command.
Nov 07, 1885
The last spike: Construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway is finished in a ceremony at Craigellachie, B.C.
Apr 20, 1918
The Red Baron, who had downed 80 Allied pilots is shot down and killed during a dogfight with Canadian Roy Brown
Jul 02, 1808
Whoops! Simon Fraser reaches the Pacific Ocean, but is confused about which river he took to get there.
May 17, 1970
Rock on! Winnipeg group The Guess Who’s “American Woman” is the #1 song on Billboard’s chart for the third straight week
Mar 21, 1765
Read on! Canada’s first hardcover book, a religious text, is printed today.
Mar 30, 1949
I’se the bye: Newfoundland joins Confederation as Canada’s tenth province.
May 03, 1945
Peace comes in sight as German forces in Denmark, the Netherlands and northern Germany surrender to the Canadians
Nov 25, 1995
Ouch! Dozens of protestors are hit with pepper spray outside the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference in Vancouver.
Dec 25, 1924
Look up: The cross on Mount Royal in Montreal is lit up for the first time.
Mar 17, 1855
Don’t look down! The world’s first working railway suspension bridge near Niagara Falls, Ont., opens today.
Jan 02, 1929
What a rush: Canada and the United States agree to preserve Niagara Falls for public enjoyment.
Jul 16, 1880
Congratulations! Dr. Emily Stowe becomes the first woman in Canada given a licence to be a doctor.
Jun 12, 1947
Got our man: The show Sergeant Preston of the Yukon is broadcast for the first time on the American ABC radio network.
Nov 17, 1840
James Evans comes up with a special alphabet to write down words in Cree and Inuit; his system is still used today.
Oct 05, 1786
Your future Majesty: Prince William Henry, the future King William IV, becomes the first British royal to visit Nova Scotia.
Mar 23, 1996
Booo! The Vancouver Grizzlies become the first team in the NBA to lose 18 or more games in a row for two straight seasons.
Nov 20, 1942
Hit the road: The Alaska Highway officially opens. It runs 2450 km from Dawson Creek, B.C. to Fairbanks, Alaska.
May 16, 1756
England declares war on France, starting the Seven Years’ War that will see crucial battles fought in Canada
Jul 17, 1976
Swifter, higher, stronger: The Summer Olympics — the first ever held in Canada — begin in Montreal.
Jul 29, 1873
Northern spirit: A group of 285 Icelanders headed for Manitoba reaches Canada.
Dec 30, 1941
Winston Churchill arrives in Ottawa to discuss war strategy; famous portrait of him is taken by photographer Yousuf Karsh.
Apr 21, 1980
The federal government decides not to take part in the Olympics to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan
Jul 28, 1755
Mais, non! The Nova Scotia Council imprisons Acadians who refuse to declare loyalty to the British Crown.
Feb 08, 1931
Best Governor General’s name ever: Vere Brabazan Ponsonby, Earl of Bessborough, is appointed today and takes office on Apr. 4.
Oct 27, 1928
Gens du pays: Legendary Québec folk singer Gilles Vigneault is born in Natashquan.
Feb 22, 1909
Take off, eh? The first powered flight in the British Empire takes place today near Baddeck, N.S. thanks to John Alexander Douglas McCurdy.
Feb 24, 1966
Underground operation: Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson opens the new Toronto subway system. It stretches 13 km and costs $200-million.
Apr 12, 1884
The slogan for the RCMP, “They always get their man” is used for the first time . . . by an American newspaper
Apr 24, 1959
The first ship sails into the brand new St. Lawrence Seaway, which stretches from Montreal to Lake Erie
Apr 13, 1861
Eight people die in an explosion on the B.C. steamship Fort Yale after the captain demands more pressure in the boiler
Mar 11, 1821
Read all about it! The first issue of the Voice of the Fugitive, Canada’s first black newspaper, appears, published by former slave Henry Walton Bibb
Nov 06, 1879
Be thankful: The first official celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada; it’s moved to the second Monday in October in 1957.
Mar 26, 1883
Nice name: Pile O' Bones, later renamed Regina, is named capital of the North-West Territories, which then includes Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Apr 03, 1784
The first wedding ever recorded in New Brunswick takes place as a man named Andrew Stockton marries a Loyalist girl
Mar 16, 1765
Dance a jig! For the first time ever, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in Canada.
Nov 30, 1874
Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables and many other books, poems and stories is born in Clifton, P.E.I.
Aug 08, 1991
American company Wendy’s International buys Tim Hortons from founder Ron Joyce for $300 million.
Jun 10, 1971
Green team: The federal government creates the new Department of the Environment.
May 02, 1915
Think of poppies to remember Canadian doctor, John McCrae, writing the First World War poem “In Flanders Fields” today
Oct 06, 1967
Rain, rain, go away! Ucluelet, B.C., is deluged with 489.2 mm of precipitation, the most that’s ever fallen anywhere in Canada during a 24-hr period.
May 20, 1803
Freedom at last: Chief Justice of Lower Canada William Osgoode declares slavery to be against British law
Oct 11, 1869
Louis Riel says “You go no further” when surveyors try to mark out Métis land for others to buy. It touches off the Red River Rebellion.
Aug 23, 1967
The Anglican Church of Canada says it’s okay for people who are divorced to remarry.
May 15, 1806
Timber! Philemon Wright sends pine and oak lumber down the Ottawa River, starting a valuable Ottawa Valley industry
May 29, 1769
St. John Island — now P.E.I. — separates from Nova Scotia and gets its own government
Sep 04, 1995
First Nations protestors from Kettle and Stony Creek bands build barricades in Ontario’s Ipperwash Provincial Park.
Oct 28, 1830
Free at last! Escaped slave Josiah Henson and his family arrive in Ontario, where he becomes a pastor and starts a school.
Sep 30, 1950
A terrible fire in Alberta finally ends after 222 days of sending smoke over North America.
Aug 25, 1785
Extra, extra! The first issue of Canada’s oldest newspaper, The Montreal Gazette appears.
Sep 17, 1952
The biggest manhunt in Canadian history ends when Edwin Boyd, leader of the Boyd Gang of bank robbers, is captured.
Sep 02, 1912
Yee-haw! The first-ever Calgary Stampede opens. The six-day rodeo is billed as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
Sep 20, 1917
The federal government introduces the Income War Tax Act, intended as a temporary way to raise money.
Jul 20, 1871
Number six: British Columbia joins Confederation, and is promised the railway will reach it within 10 years.
Nov 12, 1931
He shoots, he scores! Famed hockey arena Maple Leaf Gardens opens in Toronto.
Oct 26, 1813
Lieut.-Col. Charles de Salaberry leads a force of Canadians and First Nations to victory over the Americans at Châteauguay.
Jul 26, 1845
Deadly voyage: The crew of the ship Prince of Wales are the last Europeans to see members of the Franklin Expedition alive.
May 10, 1839
Doctor, doctor! The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Upper Canada comes into being today
Apr 08, 1945
The Canadian army surrounds German troops in the Netherlands, preventing them from escape
Apr 03, 1898
Eighty-eight men die at the height of the Klondike gold rush when an avalanche hits Chilkoot Pass in the Yukon
Nov 09, 1965
Where’s the light? A blackout sends much of Ontario, Quebec and the northeastern U.S. into 13 hours of darkness.
Nov 14, 1950
Great grain: A 13-year-old from Munson, Alta., Ricky Sharpe, wins the world wheat championship at the Royal Winter Fair.
Feb 19, 1893
Time to relax! The federal government says employees only have to work an eight-hour day.
Feb 17, 1884
Pay attention! Today marks the opening of the first school in Calgary.
Apr 14, 1912
RMS Titanic sinks off the southeast coast of Newfoundland taking more than 700 lives
Jun 21, 1919
Bloody Saturday: Police charge their horses into a crowd supporting the Winnipeg General Strike, killing two people
Feb 14, 2010
Competing in Mens Moguls Skiing, Alexandre Bilodeau became the first Canadian to win a gold medal on home soil.
Jun 15, 1962
Blast-off! Canada becomes the third country in space, launching an 11.3-kilogram scientific satellite.
Oct 18, 1929
Well, duh! A ruling in Britain declares that women are legally considered “persons,” meaning they can run for office.
Jun 20, 1877
Hello? Alexander Graham Bell creates the first telephone service in the world in Hamilton, Ont.
Apr 10, 1940
Women are allowed into the Quebec government building for the first time to hear the premier talk about giving them the vote
Jul 25, 1814
Bitter battle: New troops arrive at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, near Niagara Falls; the Americans retreat the next day.
Jun 16, 1833
Five paces: The last fatal duel in Upper Canada takes place near Perth, Ont., when John Wilson kills 19-year-old Robert Lyon.
Aug 10, 1876
Alexander Graham Bell makes the world’s first long distance telephone call from Brantford to Paris, Ont., 13 kilometres away.
May 14, 1919
More than 30,000 workers walk off the job, starting the Winnipeg General Strike to secure better working conditions
Jul 19, 1933
All together: Regina hosts the first convention of the CCF (Cooperative Commonwealth Federation), later the NDP.
Jun 02, 1952
What’s on? The first TV broadcast in Canadian history takes place in Montreal when Radio-Canada shows a pattern of stripes.
Oct 30, 1995
Non encore: Quebeckers vote 50.6% no, 49.4% yes in a referendum that could have seen their province separate from Canada
Apr 27, 1967
Canada’s spectacular World’s Fair, Expo 67, opens to celebrate our country’s 100th birthday
May 08, 1992
A terrible methane gas explosion at the Westray coal mine in Plymouth, N.S., kills 26 miners
Aug 14, 1877
The North-West Territorial Council passes laws aimed at reducing the slaughter of bison.
Nov 13, 1871
Oath of office: B.C.’s first premier, John Foster McCreight, is sworn in; he loses and is replaced less than a year later.
Nov 23, 1815
Light up: The first street lamps in Canada go up in Montréal; they will be fuelled by whale oil.
May 19, 1980
C’est Non: By a tiny bit, Quebec voters turn down a plan that could see the province separate from Canada
Oct 02, 1887
The one that didn’t get away: A fisherman in Ladner’s Landing, B.C., lands a sturgeon weighing 374 kg and measuring 3.58 m.
Oct 01, 1951
Charlotte Whitton is elected mayor of Ottawa — the first woman to take the office in a Canadian city.
Feb 20, 1949
Be glad things have changed. An 18-year-old boy in Saint John, N.B., is hanged today for stealing 25 cents.
Nov 18, 1883
Tick, tick: Canada adopts standardized time in hour-long zones, a plan thought up by Sir Sandford Fleming.
Sep 28, 1972
Paul Henderson scores with 34 seconds left to give Canada victory in hockey’s Summit Series against the Soviet Union.
Oct 17, 1977
Smile for the cameras! Regular TV coverage of debates and Question Period in the House of Commons begins.
Jul 15, 1870
Bienvenue! Bilingual Manitoba becomes Canada’s fifth province.
Dec 26, 1791
Break-up: Britain passes an act splitting Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada with the Ottawa River as the dividing line.
Oct 19, 1959
Boffo ballad: “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” by Ottawa’s Paul Anka hits number one on the Billboard chart.
Aug 27, 1793
John Graves Simcoe establishes the town of York in Upper Canada; it is renamed Toronto in 1834.
May 27, 1934
The first quintuplets ever to survive (Annette, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile and Marie Dionne) are born near North Bay, Ontario
May 22, 1873
The North-West Mounted Police is created to keep peace in western Canada and patrol the border. It becomes the RCMP in 1920
Oct 03, 1927
Hello? Hello? The first transatlantic phone call between Canada and Great Britain goes through.
Nov 10, 1892
Punt and pass: The first Canadian Rugby Union championship game, later to become the Grey Cup, takes place in Toronto.
Mar 12, 1916
I’ll drink to that! Manitoba becomes the first province to ban alcoholic beverages.
Aug 11, 1931
Communist Party of Canada leader Tim Buck is arrested for being a member of an “unlawful association”; he is later jailed.
May 05, 1877
After defeating General Custer, Sioux Chief Sitting Bull leads 1,500 people to Saskatchewan hoping for protection from the Queen
Feb 15, 1881
Get rolling! The Canadian Pacific Railway comes into being on this day.
Jul 31, 1880
Dominion day: All of British North America except Newfoundland becomes part of Canada.
May 07, 1906
Stick ‘em up! Bill Miner and his gang pull the first train robbery in Canada near Kamloops, B.C.
Nov 08, 1917
This just in: The Canadian Press, later known as CP, forms to provide news services across the country.
May 06, 1920
There’s a new art of seeing nature as the Group of Seven opens its first exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto.
Feb 25, 1857
Make up your mind! The Province of Canada asks Queen Victoria to choose our capital, since we can’t decide on Kingston, Quebec, Toronto or Montreal.
Sep 12, 1987
Fraggle Rock, the puppet-based show produced in Toronto, airs on NBC.
Mar 03, 1791
Creating Canada: The British House of Commons begins discussing the act that will divide Québec into Upper and Lower Canada.
Aug 29, 1832
The first location of the Bank of Nova Scotia opens at the corner of Halifax’s Granville and Duke streets.
Aug 12, 1816
The Royal St. John’s Regatta, North America’s oldest continuing sporting event, gets its start on Qidi Vidi Lake.
Jul 12, 1963
Not amused: Dynamite explodes in downtown Montreal, destroying a statue of Queen Victoria.
Mar 06, 1963
Fire! The terrorist group le Front de liberation du Québec shows what’s ahead when it fire-bombs three Canadian Army halls.
Apr 17, 1763
The first edition of The Upper Canada Gazette, the first newspaper published in what is now Ontario, appears today
May 25, 1874
Psst — the Canadian Parliament agrees to bring in the votes done by secret ballot
Aug 02, 1858
The British government creates British Columbia with New Westminster as its capital.
Dec 24, 1781
O Tannenbaum: German immigrant Baron Friederick von Riedesel brings the first-ever Christmas tree to Canada at Sorel, Que.
Jun 24, 1880
With glowing hearts: Calixa Lavallée conducts the first performance of what will become “O Canada.”
Jul 23, 1983
Emergency! An Air Canada flight runs out of fuel and has to land in rural Manitoba. It is forever known as the Gimli Glider.
May 30, 1902
The South African War (also known as the Boer War) ends after costing the lives of 267 of more than 7,000 Canadians involved
Oct 24, 1852
Buy! Sell! The Toronto Stock Exchange opens for the first time, trading shares in Canadian companies.
Nov 24, 1807
Passing of a chief: One of Canada’s greatest leaders, Six Nations Mohawk chief Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) dies.
Mar 28, 1778
Land ho! After an eight-month voyage from England, James Cook sets food on what is now Vancouver Island
Nov 27, 1861
All aboard! Montreal’s first streetcars begin operation; they are actually tramcars drawn by horses.
Jul 01, 1858
Money! The first Canadian coins are minted today in one-, five-, 10- and 20-cent amounts.
May 01, 1964
You can bet on this — Northern Dancer becomes the first Canadian horse to win the famous Kentucky Derby
Feb 16, 1869
“Meow!” (That’s kitty for “Thanks!”) The Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, now the Humane Society, is founded today.
May 24, 1927
Nyet, comrade: The Canadian government announces it will stop trading with the newly created Soviet Union
May 04, 1950
Crazy winds drive waves through Winnipeg’s dikes, flooding the city and forcing one-third of its people from their homes
Jul 04, 1905
Welcome! The federal government passes a bill that creates the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Dec 28, 1857
We’ll take that: The government declares it owns all gold found along B.C.’s Fraser and Thompson rivers.
Jun 04, 1788
Cheers! The Canada, the first warship built in New France, sets sail for Rochefort in, um, Old France.
Dec 23, 1900
Canadian Reginald Fessenden sends the world’s first radio voice communication; he asks, “Is it snowing where you are?”
Jul 05, 1937
Whew! Midale, Sask., experiences the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada, 45 degrees Celsius.
Nov 02, 1960
Play on! The National Theatre School is founded in Montreal to be a bilingual place for Canadians to study the stage.
Aug 04, 1914
Britain declares war on Germany after the invasion of Belgium; as a colony, Canada is automatically at war, too.
Nov 11, 1918
Lest we forget: The First World War ends as German leaders surrender. Renamed Remembrance Day in 1931.
Sep 18, 1867
John A. Macdonald beats George Brown to win the first Canadian election with 51.1% of the vote.
Aug 18, 1833
The Royal William sails from Pictou, N.S. to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.
Jul 14, 1976
At last: A free vote in the House of Commons abolishes capital punishment — the execution of prisoners by the state.
Sep 24, 1875
The huge Treaty #5 is signed in northern Manitoba by the Saulteaux, Swampy Cree and other nations.
Feb 28, 1980
Hear, hear! Jeanne Sauvé is named the first female Speaker of the House of Commons.
Jun 06, 1944
Day of bravery: Canadians storm Juno Beach in France with 14,000 soldiers taking part in D-Day’s Operation Overlord.
May 26, 1949
In its first election since becoming a province, Newfoundland elects Joey Smallwood premier. He continues for nearly 25 years
Aug 17, 1896
Yippee! Gold is discovered along the Klondike River leading to the Yukon Gold Rush.
Apr 22, 1851
Canada’s first postage stamp, the Three Penny Beaver, appears today. It would be worth more than $1000 now
Apr 07, 1969
The Montreal Expos play their first game, which is also the first major league baseball game played outside the U.S.
Sep 23, 1785
Mississauga chiefs sell the British more than 100,000 hectares where Toronto will eventually grow, for about $8,500.
Jul 24, 1899
Chief actor: Academy-Award-winning actor Dan George, chief of the Salish First Nation, is born.
Mar 05, 1834
Centre of the universe: Upper Canada’s first city, York (now Toronto) is incorporated.
Mar 13, 1923
On ice: The first ever play-by-play of a professional hockey game is broadcast on CKCK Radio in Regina.
Sep 09, 1954
The country watches and waits as sixteen-year-old Marilyn Bell swims 52 kilometres across Lake Ontario.
May 23, 1888
Have a picnic! Canada’s first provincial park, Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park, opens in Ontario
Jun 29, 1937
Think winter: Joseph Armand Bombardier patents a seven-passenger snow vehicle.
Feb 11, 1949
What’s Danish for “blowout”? Canada’s national men’s team beats Denmark 47-0 in the first round of the World Ice Hockey Championship.
Jul 13, 1953
Play on! A performance of Richard III in a tent marks the start of the annual theatre festival in Stratford, Ont.
Mar 02, 1921
Sweet news: Doctors Frederick Banting and Charles Best announce they’ve discovered insulin, a treatment for diabetes.
Apr 05, 1968
Pierre Elliott Trudeau takes over from Lester Pearson as leader of the Liberal Party; he becomes Prime Minister on April 22
Sep 03, 1893
How relaxing! Parliament makes Labour Day an official holiday.
May 03, 1958
Funny thing…Canadian comedy team Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster make the first of 67 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show
Aug 20, 1882
An anti-alcohol group from Ontario establishes Saskatoon in hopes it will become capital of a booze-free colony.
Sep 08, 1949
Work starts on Toronto's Yonge Street subway line, the first in Canada.
May 18, 1776
Take that, America! With just 240 men, Capt. George Forster and Thayendenega beat 400 invaders at the Battle of the Cedars
Aug 31, 1993
All cod fishing is banned in an effort to protect the remaining fish, throwing 40,000 people in Atlantic Canada out of work.
Nov 04, 1978
Top of the charts: “You Needed Me” by Nova Scotia’s Anne Murray hits number one on the Billboard pop chart.
Jul 21, 1975
Right on! The federal government sets up the Canadian Human Rights Commission, aimed at ending discrimination.
Mar 07, 1765
Au secours! Fire sweeps through Montreal, burning one-quarter of the settlement.
Feb 21, 1813
Icy victory: Lt. Col. “Red George” Macdonnell marches 400 men across the frozen St. Lawrence river for an early-morning attack on Fort Ogdensburg.
Dec 31, 1857
Bytown goes big: Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa as Canada's new capital.
Jun 07, 1904
Goodbye, old chap: The Earl of Dundonald is fired as commander of our military. After him, Canadians take command.
May 23, 1888
Have a picnic! Canada’s first provincial park, Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park, opens in Ontario
Oct 29, 1929
Black Tuesday: The stock market crashes, wiping out fortunes and leading the way to the Great Depression.
Jul 09, 1923
Whoa! Six ranchers compete in the first-ever chuck wagon race — known as “the half-mile of hell” — at the Calgary Stampede.
Mar 15, 1955
Street fights: NHL president Clarence Campbell bans Maurice Richard from playing for the Montreal Canadiens for the rest of the season; riots follow.
Nov 05, 1995
Get out! A man with a knife breaks into the prime minister’s house. Jean Chrétien’s wife Aline locks him out of the bedroom.
Apr 01, 1980
The Great One makes his mark: Wayne Gretzky becomes the first teenager in the NHL to score 50 goals in a season
Oct 20, 1818
Line up! The Canada-U.S. border is set at the forty-ninth parallel of latitude.
Jun 25, 1898
Lending a hand: A Salvation Army group arrives in Dawson City after trudging 882 kilometres to bring help for gold miners.
Mar 04, 1891
Catch! Sir John A. Macdonald’s Conservative party wins the federal election with the slogan “The old man, the old flag, the old policy.”
Sep 15, 1885
Jumbo, star of P.T. Barnum’s circus, dies when he crashes into a train in St. Thomas, Ont.
Jun 30, 1859
Steady, steady: The Great Blondin, Jean-Françoise Gravalet, becomes the first to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
Feb 08, 1879
Watch out! Our very own Sir Sandford Fleming suggests the world be divided into 24 time zones. The time would be the same throughout each zone.
Aug 16, 1812
Although outnumbered, General Isaac Brock and his force of Canadians, First Nations and British troops capture Fort Detroit.
Sep 25, 1985
The Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology opens in Drumheller, Alta., 100 years after dinosaur bones were discovered nearby.
Oct 16, 1970
October Crisis: Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau brings in the War Measures Act to deal with terrorist actions by the Front de Libération du Québec.
Aug 22, 1964
The Beatles perform in Canada for the first time, but police stop the Vancouver concert after 27 minutes, fearing a riot.
Mar 27, 1885
Riding the rails: Troops head west on the not-yet-complete CPR to put down the North West Rebellion.
Apr 18, 1916
Women in Alberta women gain the right to vote today
Feb 10, 1967
On your mark, get set…brrr! The first Canada Winter Games open today in Quebec City.
Oct 08, 1904
Happy Birthday, Big E! Edmonton becomes a city today.
Jun 03, 1788
Oceans ho! Alexander Mackenzie leaves Fort Chipewyan to search for a route to the West Coast.
May 12, 1898
Happy Birthday, Yukon! The territory is created today with its capital at Dawson City
Jun 23, 1935
Sweep: The Liberal Party wins all 30 seats in P.E.I.’s provincial election, the first to do so anywhere in the Commonwealth.
Oct 25, 1768
Queenly name: The biggest town in Prince Edward Island, Fort Amherst, is renamed Charlottetown in honour of Queen Charlotte.
Oct 09, 1877
Chugga-chugga: Western Canada’s first steam locomotive, the Countess of Dufferin, arrives in Winnipeg.
Sep 26, 1826
Bytown is founded; it will be renamed Ottawa in 1855 and become the capital in 1857.
Jun 22, 1812
Sore feet? Laura Secord walks 30 kilometres to warn British Lieutenant James Fitzgibbons of an American attack.
Dec 27, 1901
Sounds good: Guglielmo Marconi sails the coast of Cape Breton looking for places to set up a wireless broadcast station.
Aug 28, 1972
Les Belles-soeurs, the first play to use the Quebec slang joual premieres in Quebec City.
Apr 09, 1990
The House of Commons passes the Goods and Services Tax, which adds 7 per cent to the price of a whole bunch of stuff
Feb 27, 1956
Serves you right! A restaurant in Chatham, Ont., has to pay a $50 fine for refusing to serve two young black customers.
Mar 25, 1921
Speedy schooner: Canada's most famous sailing ship, the Bluenose, is launched today.
Oct 04, 1873
The first group of Icelanders settles on Lake Winnipeg. They name their community Gimli, meaning “paradise.”
Nov 15, 1765
Mais, oui! James Murray, the first British governor of Quebec, allows French to be spoken in courts by jurors and lawyers.
May 11, 1937
Canadians gather round to listen as King George VI is crowned in England in the first radio broadcast heard around the world
Oct 07, 1777
Take that! The unit later known as the Queen’s York Regiment defeats George Washington and his rebels at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.