Ontario | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Ontario is Canada's most populous and second-largest province. It stretches from Canada's southernmost point at Middle Island in Lake Erie in the south, to the Manitoba-Ontario border on Hudson Bay in the north, and from the banks of the St. Lawrence River in the east, to the Manitoba border in the west.

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  1. May 09, 1781

    Indigenous Peoples 

    Niagara Purchase of 1781

    The Niagara Purchase of 1781, also known as Treaty 381, was one of the first land agreements between Indigenous peoples and British authorities in Upper Canada (now Ontario). As a result, a 6.5-km-wide strip along the west bank of the Niagara River connecting Lake Erie and Lake Ontario was made available for settlement by Loyalists, who had been displaced by the American Revolution. The Niagara Purchase was one of many agreements made in the 1700s and 1800s that are collectively known as the Upper Canada Land Surrenders.

  2. September 03, 1783

    Government and Politics 

    Treaty of Paris 1783

    This treaty ended the American Revolution, recognizing the independence of the American colonies. The boundary between British and American territories was set along the St. Lawrence River and through the Great Lakes. Post-war life in the United States was very difficult for British Loyalists, who endured property loss and discrimination. Many left and began to arrive in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Québec and Ontario. Famous migrant Loyalists include Lieutenant James Moody, Laura Secord and Richard Pierpoint.

  3. May 22, 1784

    Indigenous Peoples 

    Mohawk Families Arrive at Bay of Quinte

    During the American Revolution (1775–83), the British promised their allies, the Mohawks, that their homeland would be returned to them after the war. But when the revolution ended, the Treaty of Paris gave traditional Mohawk territory to the United States. The British instead offered the Mohawks their choice of any unsettled land in Upper Canada (now Ontario). They chose land along the north shore of Lake Ontario on the Bay of Quinte. About 20 Mohawk families (100–125 people) travelled by canoe from Lachine and arrived at the Bay of Quinte on 22 May 1784. (See also Crown Grant to the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.)

  4. August 01, 1785

    Indigenous Peoples 

    John Collins’s Purchase of 1785

    John Collins’ Purchase of 1785 is one of the oldest land agreements between Indigenous peoples and British authorities in Upper Canada (now Ontario). It concerned the use of lands extending from the northwestern end of Lake Simcoe to Matchedash Bay, an inlet off Georgian Bay in Lake Huron. The purpose was to provide the British with a protected inland water route between Lake Ontario and Lake Huron, away from potential American interference. John Collins’s Purchase is one of many agreements made in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, known as the Upper Canada Land Surrenders.

  5. May 20, 1790

    Indigenous Peoples 

    McKee’s Purchase of 1790

    McKee’s Purchase of 1790 (also known as the McKee Treaty or Treaty 2) was an early land agreement between Indigenous peoples and British authorities in Upper Canada (now Ontario). The southernmost Upper Canada treaty, it consisted of a large strip of territory from the southwestern shore of Lake Erie north to the Thames River and east to a point southwest of modern-day London, Ontario. This land was made available for settlement by Loyalists who were displaced by the American Revolution. McKee’s Purchase legitimized the land transfers of 1784 and 1786 as well as many other private illegal sales of Indigenous land to settlers.

  6. April 01, 1793

    Indigenous Peoples 

    Crown Grant to the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte

    Upper Canada Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe executed Treaty 3½ or the Simcoe Deed to recognize the Mohawks’ contributions to the British during the American Revolution. The treaty granted the Mohawks some 92,700 acres (375 km2) on the Bay of Quinte, an area about the size of a township. However, the government gave Mohawk land to Loyalists, who continued to arrive between 1820 and 1843. As a result, the Mohawk tract was reduced ultimately to 18,000 acres (73 km2).

  7. February 16, 1813


    Winter march of the 104th Regiment of Foot

    Governor-in-Chief Sir George Prevost ordered the transfer of soldiers from the Atlantic region to the Canadas to help protect them from impending US attacks. Soldiers from New Brunswick began their snow-shoed march from Fredericton to Québec City, eventually reaching Kingston, Ontario. Some died of frostbite on the nearly six week journey.

  8. June 24, 1813

    The Battle of Beaver Dams, Monument

    People  Resources and Environment 

    Battle of Beaver Dams

    A force of 400 Caughnawaga and Mohawk warriors from both Upper and Lower Canada, with British regulars in support, forced the surrender of nearly 500 advancing American soldiers at what is now Thorold, Ontario. The battle was the largest Indigenous victory without significant non-Indigenous involvement.

  9. November 11, 1813

    War of 1812

    People  Resources and Environment 

    Battle of Crysler's Farm

    American forces on the St. Lawrence River were halted when British and militia units defeated them at the Battle of Crysler's Farm near Cornwall, Ontario. After defeats at Châteauguay and Crysler's Farm, the Americans abandoned the St. Lawrence campaign, guaranteeing British control of the important river.

  10. November 30, 1823

    Flight Locks, Welland Canal

    Resources and Environment 

    Welland Canal Initiated

    Construction began on the first Welland Canal, joining Lakes Erie and Ontario, with a sod-turning ceremony that included its chief promoter William Hamilton Merritt.

  11. November 30, 1829

    Flight Locks, Welland Canal

    Resources and Environment 

    Welland Canal Opened

    Two schooners passed from Port Dalhousie to Port Robinson, Upper Canada, symbolically opening the Welland Canal and linking Lakes Erie and Ontario for the first time. The canal opened the way to the west and countered the threat of the US Erie Canal.

  12. August 28, 1833

    Government and Politics  People 

    Slavery Abolition Act Receives Royal Assent

    The Slavery Abolition Act received royal assent, becoming law across the British Empire. Ontario, then Upper Canada, was a progressive force in the abolition movement. In 1793, Governor John Graves Simcoe passed the Act to Limit Slavery, which made it illegal to bring slaves into the region and created a safe haven for escaped American slaves.

  13. January 08, 1838


    Attack at Amherstburg

    A Patriote attack against Amherstburg, Upper Canada (Ontario), was defeated by Canadian militiamen.

  14. June 04, 1838

    Tecumseh Baseball Park

    Sports and Culture 

    First Baseball Game in Canada

    A game of baseball was played in Beachville, Ontario (near Woodstock). It predated by 7 years the establishment of Cartwright's New York Knickerbockers and the "New York game" with 9 men on the field.

  15. October 27, 1854

    Communication and Transportation 

    Rail Disaster at Chatham

    At Baptiste Creek, 24 km west of Chatham, Ont, a gravel train was hit by an express train that was running 7 hours late. The accident killed 52 and injured 48 others, the worst rail disaster in North America to that time.

  16. November 17, 1856

    Grand Trunk Railway

    Communication and Transportation 

    Grand Trunk Completed

    The Grand Trunk Railway was completed from Guelph to Stratford, Ont; the last stretch from St Marys to Sarnia was finished on November 21. The GTR was a significant factor in the economic development of Canada.

  17. January 01, 1857

    Government and Politics 

    Gradual Civilization Act Passed in the Province of Canada

    The government attempts to assimilate First Nations men by offering them the right to vote if they voluntarily enfranchise. This means giving up rights, including treaty rights. Only one person elects to do so under this Act. (See also Indigenous Peoples in Canadian Law.)

  18. February 28, 1857

    Resources and Environment 

    First Oil Production

    The world's first commercial oil production began at Petrolia, Ont, 2 years before the first well in the US.

  19. July 01, 1867

    Western Settlement

    Government and Politics  People 

    Canada Comes Into Existence

    The Dominion of Canada came into existence, consisting of Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

  20. January 01, 1868

    Government and Politics 

    Coats of Arms Bearing the Maple Leaf

    The coats of arms granted to Québec and Ontario each incorporated a sprig of three maple leaves in their design.

  21. March 03, 1870

    Execution of Thomas Scott

    Government and Politics  Resources and Environment 

    Scott Sentenced to Death

    A Métis court martial sentenced Thomas Scott to death. He was executed by firing squad at Fort Garry the following day, causing a furor in Ontario.

  22. July 15, 1870

    Prince Rupert

    Government and Politics  Resources and Environment 

    Transfer of Rupert's Land

    The British Crown officially transferred Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory to Canada. These lands comprise present-day Manitoba, most of Saskatchewan, southern Alberta, southern Nunavut, and northern parts of Ontario and Québec.

  23. January 01, 1871

    Canadian Red Ensign (1871-1921)

    Government and Politics 

    The Red Ensign in Canada

    Soon after Confederation, Canadians began flying the Red Ensign with the quartered arms of Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the fly. As provinces joined Confederation, the arms of Canada increased in detail. By 1921 nine provinces had joined Confederation, and the shield was difficult to recognize, especially at sea.

  24. January 17, 1871


    Obituary of Distinguished Black Veteran

    On 17 January 1871 in Cornwall, Ontario, the death of John Baker at 105 was announced. In some ways, Baker's life was unique. He may have been the last surviving enslaved Upper Canadian. He had seen his adopted homeland become Upper Canada, Canada West and then, the Dominion of Canada.

  25. May 15, 1872

    Nine Hour March

    Government and Politics  People 

    Nine-hour Day March

    Demand for a 9-hour day began on a march in Hamilton, Ont, and spread across Canada, the first unified labour protest in Canada.

  26. October 31, 1872

    Sir Oliver Mowat

    Government and Politics 

    Mowat Takes Office

    Oliver Mowat assumed office as premier of Ontario and leader of the Ontario Liberal Party; he remained premier until 1896.

  27. October 03, 1873

    Government and Politics  Resources and Environment 

    Treaty 3

    Treaty 3 was signed by the Saulteaux (Chippewa) of northwestern Ontario and of Manitoba. For the surrender of a tract comprising about 55,000 sq. miles, the Dominion Government reserved not more than one square mile for each family of five and agreed to pay $12 per head and an annuity of $5 per head.

  28. April 16, 1874

    Melatonin Subjects

    People  Resources and Environment 

    Agricultural College Opens

    The agricultural college at Guelph, Ont, received its first students.

  29. June 01, 1875

    Ottertail Bridge

    Communication and Transportation 

    Construction Begins on CPR

    At the Kaministiquia River, near present-day Thunder Bay, Ont, construction began on the CPR.

  30. September 20, 1875

    Government and Politics  Resources and Environment 

    Treaty 5

    Treaty 5 was concluded at Lake Winnipeg ceding an area of approximately 100,000 sq. miles inhabited by Chippewa and Swampy Cree (Maskegon) of Manitoba and Ontario.

  31. October 01, 1876

    Resources and Environment 

    First Wheat Shipped

    The first western Canadian wheat was shipped to Ontario.

  32. March 07, 1878

    Université de Montréal

    Government and Politics 

    Universities Incorporated

    The University of Montreal and the University of Western Ontario were incorporated.

  33. February 04, 1880


    Donnelly Massacre

    Five members of the Donnelly family were massacred near Lucan, Ont.

  34. January 04, 1884

    Resources and Environment 

    Last Eastern Cougar Shot in Canada

    The last known eastern cougar in Canada was shot in Ontario. The cougars were officially declared extinct in 2011 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but unconfirmed sightings persist throughout eastern Canada.

  35. September 15, 1885

    Sports and Culture 

    Death of Jumbo

    A Grand Trunk Railway locomotive struck and killed Jumbo, beloved circus elephant in Barnum and Bailey’s “Greatest Show on Earth,” near St. Thomas, ON. The autopsy showed that Jumbo’s stomach contained “a hat-full” of English pennies, gold and silver coins, metal trinkets and a police whistle, among other things. The death of the elephant made headlines world-wide.

  36. March 25, 1886

    Nine Hour March

    Government and Politics 

    Workman's Compensation Act

    The first Workman's Compensation Act was passed in Ontario.

  37. December 21, 1891

    Sports and Culture 

    First Rules of Basketball Written

    James Naismith of Almonte, Ontario, wrote the original 13 rules for the game of basketball.

  38. May 27, 1893

    Algonquin Park

    Resources and Environment 

    Algonquin Park Created

    The Ontario government created Algonquin Park, Canada's first provincial park.

  39. August 14, 1903

    Silver Mining

    Resources and Environment 

    World's Richest Vein of Silver

    A claim was filed for what turned out to be the richest silver vein in the world, at Cobalt, Ont, by railway workers. By 1906 there were thousands of prospectors working the area but the boom subsided only 3 years later.

  40. October 10, 1904

    Communication and Transportation 

    Ford Motor Company of Canada

    The new Ford Motor Company of Canada started producing cars in Walkerville (now Windsor), Ontario. The company started as Walkerville Wagon Works, but officially teamed up with Henry Ford in August of 1904, and grew quickly. By 1913, the original 17 employees had grown to 1,400.

  41. May 14, 1906

    Beck, Adam

    Resources and Environment 

    Ontario Hydro Created

    The Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario was created, with Adam Beck as chairman. It was the first publicly owned electric utility in the world.

  42. September 05, 1907

    Resources and Environment 

    Cornwall Earthquake

    A 5.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Cornwall, Ont. Though the earthquake was moderately severe, its rumble was felt as far away as Windsor, ON, in the west and Québec City to the east. Considerable damage was done to homes and buildings in Cornwall. The town’s mayor noted that some 2,000 chimneys required repairs.

  43. August 12, 1909

    Government and Politics  People 

    Freight Handlers Strike

    Fort William (Thunder Bay), Ont, was placed under martial law as Greek and Italian strikers engaged Canadian Pacific Railway police in a protracted gun battle.

  44. October 11, 1910

    Communication and Transportation 

    First Long-distance Transmission

    An Ontario Hydro transmission line brought Niagara Falls-generated electricity to Berlin (Kitchener), Ont, the first long-distance transmission of electricity in Canada.

  45. July 11, 1911

    South Porcupine Fire

    Resources and Environment 

    South Porcupine Fire

    A forest fire swept into the Northern Ontario town, killing about 50 people and burning the town to the ground.

  46. January 03, 1912

    Sports and Culture 

    First Pro Hockey Game West of Ontario

    The Victoria Cougars hosted the first professional hockey game played west of Ontario and Michigan.

  47. May 14, 1912

    Government and Politics  Resources and Environment 

    Ottawa Transfers Land

    The federal government divested itself of responsibility for vast tracks of northern land by granting boundary extensions to Manitoba, Ontario and Québec.

  48. January 01, 1914

    Morning Mist

    Resources and Environment 

    ​Thousand Islands National Park Established

    Thousand Islands National Park was established. One of the smallest National Parks, it is comprised of 26 islands and about 90 islets scattered for 80 km along the St. Lawrence River from Brockville to Kingston, ON. The park was formerly called St. Lawrence Islands National Park.

  49. March 08, 1914

    Sports and Culture 

    Birth of Lacrosse Superstar Bill Isaacs

    Wilton “Bill” Isaacs was born in the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. He became one of Canada’s most outstanding lacrosse players. Isaacs was a superstar of box lacrosse, the indoor version of the game, which was extremely popular in the 1930s and 1940s.

  50. May 23, 1915


    Lieutenant Clyde Scott is Rescued by Enemy Forces

    Lieutenant Clyde Scott, a soldier from Perth, Ontario, was wounded while fighting near St. Julien, Belgium, and mistaken for dead. He lay wounded in a pile of corpses until German soldiers found him, attended to him medically to save his life and took him as a prisoner of war. After the war, he returned to Canada and had a daughter who became an Olympic gold medal figure skater.

  51. July 29, 1916

    Communication and Transportation  Resources and Environment 

    Cochrane and Matheson Burn

    Fires started by lightning and locomotive sparks combined into a firestorm that struck Cochrane and Matheson, Ont, burning both towns and killing at least 233 people.

  52. April 12, 1917


    Women Get Vote in Ontario

    Women were granted the right to vote and hold public office in Ontario.

  53. July 08, 1917

    Tom Thomson

    People  Sports and Culture 

    Tom Thomson Drowns

    Artist Tom Thomson, whose paintings of Algonquin Park have become talismans of our image of the Canadian landscape, died under suspicious circumstances at Canoe Lake, Ont.

  54. October 20, 1919

    Drury, Ernest Charles

    People  Resources and Environment 

    United Farmers of Ontario

    In an Ontario general election, the Conservative government was defeated by the United Farmers of Ontario, led by E.C. Drury, who became premier.

  55. January 21, 1922


    Birth of Lincoln Alexander

    Lincoln Alexander, CC, OOnt, lawyer, parliamentarian, public servant, lieutenant-governor of Ontario, was born in Toronto, ON. The first Black Canadian to sit in the House of Commons (1968) and to hold a viceregal position (1985).

  56. February 27, 1932

    Communication and Transportation  People 

    Death of William Southam

    Newspaper publisher and philanthropist William Southam died in Hamilton, ON. In 1877, Southam and his partner took over the failing Hamilton Spectator, turning its fortunes around. Southam Inc. would eventually acquire the Ottawa Citizen, Calgary Herald and Windsor Star, among other media and broadcasting outlets.

  57. September 14, 1933

    Government and Politics  People 

    Strike in Stratford, Ont

    Furniture workers and meat packers went on strike in Stratford, Ont. Troops and armoured cars were moved into the town on September 27.

  58. May 07, 1935


    Sports and Culture 

    David Dunlap Observatory

    The David Dunlap Observatory at Richmond Hill, Ont, was completed, the second largest in the world at that time.

  59. January 06, 1936

    Barbara Hanley

    Government and Politics  People 

    Barbara Hanley Elected as First Female Mayor in Canada

    Barbara Hanley was elected mayor of Webbwood, a town west of Sudbury, Ontario, defeating Robert E. Streich by 13 votes. She served Webbwood as mayor for eight terms and was the first female mayor in Canada.

  60. September 14, 1936

    Government and Politics  People 

    Birth Control Arrest

    Dorothea Palmer, a nurse, was arrested in Eastview, Ont, for distributing information on birth control.

  61. April 08, 1937

    General Motors Strike

    Government and Politics  People 

    Oshawa Strike

    More than 4000 workers of the huge General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ont, struck. GM accepted many of the union's demands, without recognizing the union.

  62. April 17, 1943


    Birth of Bobby Curtola

    Singer-songwriter Bobby Curtola, who emerged as a teen idol and dominated the Canadian pop chart in the 1960s, was born in Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay). Curtola was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1997 for his contributions to the Canadian recording industry as well as his many charitable works.

  63. August 04, 1943

    George Drew, politician

    Government and Politics 

    Conservatives Win Ontario

    George Drew's Progressive Conservative Party won the Ontario election, beginning a political dynasty that would last 42 years.

  64. March 14, 1944

    Government and Politics  People 

    Ontario Passes Racial Discrimination Act

    Ontario was the first province to respond to social change when it passed the Racial Discrimination Act of 1944. This landmark legislation effectively prohibited the publication and display of any symbol, sign, or notice that expressed ethnic, racial, or religious discrimination. It was followed by other sweeping legislation.

  65. January 18, 1945

    Resources and Environment 

    Brantford Adds Fluoride to Water

    Brantford, Ont, was one of 3 North American cities to add fluoride to its drinking water in an experiment in the prevention of tooth decay.

  66. July 22, 1947

    Resources and Environment 

    Canada's First Nuclear Reactors

    The NRX reactor, the ancestor of Canada's unique CANDU reactors, "went critical" at Chalk River, Ont. The NRX was based on Canada's first nuclear reactor, ZEEP (1 watt of power), which was built at Chalk River in 1945.

  67. May 04, 1949

    Frost, Leslie

    Government and Politics 

    Frost Becomes Premier

    Leslie Frost signing the oath of premier, Queen's Park, Ontario, May 4, 1949 (Ontario Archives, 478).

  68. April 24, 1952

    Dingman Discovery Well No 1

    Resources and Environment 

    First Alberta Oil in Ontario

    The first shipment of oil from Alberta arrived in Ontario via pipeline and freighter.

  69. January 08, 1954

    Resources and Environment 

    First Pipeline Oil in Ontario

    The first crude oil reached Sarnia, Ont, through the pipeline from Edmonton.

  70. August 10, 1954

    Resources and Environment 

    Seaway Groundbreaking

    An international ceremony was held at Cornwall, Ont, and Massena, NY, for the groundbreaking for the St Lawrence Seaway.

  71. September 02, 1954

    Communication and Transportation 

    Toronto Telegram Covers the Dresden Story

    Discrimination against Black people continued in the 1950s, despite legislation prohibiting it. In 1954, two Black patrons visited rural Dresden, ON. and were refused service in two restaurants. The Toronto Telegram sent Black "testers" to investigate, who were also refused. When the Telegram ran the story, it confirmed what many Black Canadians suspected, that Canada's laws and regulations were ineffective.

  72. September 19, 1955

    Government and Politics  People 

    General Motors Strike Begins

    Some 17 000 General Motors auto workers in Ontario began a lengthy strike that did not end until 14 February 1956.

  73. February 14, 1956

    Day of Protest

    Government and Politics  People 

    GM Strike Ends

    A 148-day strike by 17 000 General Motors employees ended.

  74. July 01, 1958

    Resources and Environment 

    Sinking of the Lost Villages

    As part of the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a large cofferdam was demolished, flooding of over 160 km2, including the sites of seven villages and three hamlets in Ontario. The blast was an “unspectacular whisper,”and the flooding took four days.

  75. March 26, 1959


    York University Founded

    Ontario's 10th university, York University in Toronto, was formed.

  76. November 08, 1961

    Confederation of Tomorrow

    Government and Politics 

    Robarts Becomes Premier

    John Parmenter Robarts succeeded Leslie Frost as premier of Ontario.

  77. June 29, 1962

    Shaw Festival

    Sports and Culture 

    Shaw Festival Opens

    The Shaw Festival opened its first season in a renovated courthouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

  78. September 25, 1963

    Government and Politics  People 

    First Black Person Elected to a Canadian Parliament

    Leonard Braithwaite became the first African-Canadian in a provincial legislature when he was elected as the Liberal member for Etobicoke, Ontario in 1963.

  79. January 01, 1965

    Government and Politics 

    Last Racially Segregated School in Ontario Closes

    Thanks to the activism of Black parents, racially segregated schools in Ontario were gradually phased out. The last racially segregated school in Ontario, School Section No. 11 in Colchester, closed in 1965. This was accomplished after newly elected MPP Leonard Braithwaite pushed for the clause on segregated schools for Blacks to be officially removed from provincial education policy. Ontario and Nova Scotia were the only provinces to legislate racially segregated schools. The last one in Nova Scotia, in Guysborough County, closed in 1983. However, informal segregation was present in other provinces including AlbertaSaskatchewanNew Brunswick and Prince Edward Island

  80. July 22, 1965

    Government and Politics  People 

    Postal Strike

    About 10 000 postal workers in Ontario, Québec and BC struck for higher wages.

  81. August 11, 1965


    Klan Activity in Amherstburg 

    In 1965, racial tension ran high in Amherstburg, ON. A cross-burning set the tone; the Black Baptist Church was defaced and the town sign was spray-painted "Amherstburg Home of the KKK." Five days of racial incidents threatened to escalate but the situation was saved by an investigation by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. No arrests were made.

  82. November 09, 1965

    Resources and Environment 

    Electrical Blackout

    The failure of a relay device of Ontario Hydro's Queenston generating station triggered a massive power failure extending from the Atlantic coast of the US to Chicago, and from Florida to southern Ontario, lasting up to 12 hours.

  83. December 18, 1968

    Sports and Culture 

    Henry Moore's Donation

    Henry Moore, the British sculptor, announced a donation of 400 to 600 of his works to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

  84. March 24, 1970

    Resources and Environment 

    Lake St Clair Fishery Closes

    The government banned commercial fishing on Ontario's Lake St Clair because of contamination by mercury.

  85. May 22, 1971

    Ontario Place

    Sports and Culture 

    Ontario Place Opens

    Ontario Place opened on the Toronto lakeshore.

  86. June 03, 1971

    Communication and Transportation 

    Spadina Expressway Cancelled

    The Ontario government halted construction of the Spadina Expressway due to intense public opposition to the project.

  87. July 21, 1972

    Communication and Transportation  Sports and Culture 

    CRTC Grants Licence to Global

    The CRTC granted a licence to Global to operate a TV network in southern Ontario.

  88. November 23, 1972

    Government and Politics 

    Access to Credit Agency

    Ontario introduced legislation to allow individuals access to credit agency information banks.

  89. January 17, 1974

    Government and Politics  People 

    First Woman Lieutenant-Governor

    Pauline McGibbon was appointed lieutenant-governor of Ontario, the first woman to hold the position of lieutenant-governor in Canada.

  90. August 16, 1974

    Sports and Culture 

    Cindy Nicholas Breaks Record

    Sixteen-year-old Cindy Nicholas, of Toronto, broke the record for fastest swim across Lake Ontario. The crossing took her 15 hours and 10 minutes.

  91. October 26, 1974

    Sports and Culture 

    Henry Moore Centre Opens

    The Henry Moore Centre at the Art Gallery of Ontario opened.

  92. November 18, 1975

    Government and Politics 

    Mandatory Seat Belts

    Ontario introduced legislation to make the wearing of seat belts mandatory.

  93. April 07, 1977

    Sports and Culture 

    Blue Jays Win First Game

    The Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Chicago White Sox 9-5 in Toronto in the franchise's first game.

  94. September 01, 1980

    Terry Fox, philanthropist and marathon runner

    People  Sports and Culture 

    Terry Fox Ends Marathon

    Terry Fox was forced to end his Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada fund-raising run, near Thunder Bay, Ontario, when cancer spread to his lungs.

  95. January 26, 1985

    Government and Politics  People 

    Frank Miller Chosen Leader

    Frank Miller was elected leader of the Ontario Conservative Party. He replaced Bill Davis as premier in February.

  96. May 31, 1985

    Resources and Environment 

    Tornado Hits Barrie

    A tornado hit Barrie, Ont, in the worst inland storm since Hurricane Hazel. Some 300 houses were destroyed, at least 8 were killed and thousands were left homeless.

  97. September 20, 1985

    Alexander, Lincoln M.

    Government and Politics  People 

    Lincoln Alexander Sworn In

    Lincoln Alexander was sworn in as Ontario's lieutenant-governor, the first Black person to hold the vice-regal position in Canada. Alexander was also the first Black MP and federal Cabinet minister.

  98. June 05, 1989


    Sports and Culture 

    First Game in SkyDome

    The Toronto Blue Jays played their first home game in the new SkyDome, against the Milwaukee Brewers. The SkyDome was the first stadium with a successful retractable roof.

  99. September 06, 1990

    Government and Politics 

    NDP Captures Ontario

    The New Democrats took 74 of 130 seats in Ontario's provincial election, making leader Bob Rae the first NDP premier in Ontario's history.

  100. October 24, 1992

    Sports and Culture 

    Blue Jays Win World Series

    The Toronto Blue Jays became the first team from outside the US to win the World Series.

  101. January 01, 1993

    Government and Politics 

    Ontario Launches Anti-Racism Education Guidelines

    In 1993, the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training launched the Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Equity in School Boards guidelines — a resource for school boards to implement policies to identify and eliminate various forms of racism. Since then, the anti-racism education movement has grown and progressed throughout Canada.

  102. January 23, 1995

    Government and Politics 

    Morin Conviction Overturned

    The Ontario Court of Appeal overturned a conviction of Guy Paul Morin for the 1984 murder of a neighbourhood girl. DNA evidence showed that he could not have been the killer.

  103. February 21, 1995

    Government and Politics 

    Kingston Women's Prison Report

    A federal ombudsman released a report accusing officials of the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ont, of using excessive force in quelling a disturbance in April 1994.

  104. January 29, 1996

    Government and Politics 

    Ontario Gains Fiscal Controls

    The province of Ontario passed a Bill giving the government sweeping powers to overhaul fiscal policy and social services programs.

  105. January 13, 1997

    Harris, Michael

    Government and Politics 

    Ontario Reforms Municipalities

    The Ontario government of Mike Harris announced drastic changes to Ontario municipalities.

  106. August 12, 1997

    Government and Politics  Resources and Environment 

    Nuclear Reactors Shut Down

    Ontario Hydro, North America's largest electric utility, announced that it would shut down the 7 oldest of its 19 nuclear reactors: 3 at the Bruce facility on lake Huron and 4 at Pickering on lake Ontario.

  107. October 27, 1997

    Government and Politics  People 

    Teachers Strike in Ontario

    Five unions representing 126 000 teachers went on strike in Ontario, the largest teacher strike ever in north America. The teachers protested reforms put forward by the Mike Harris government. The strike ended Nov 7.

  108. March 06, 1998

    Dionne Quintuplets

    Government and Politics  People 

    Dionne Quintuplets Get Award

    The Ontario government announced that the 3 surviving quints, Annette, Cecile and Yvonne had accepted $4 million in compensation for the 9 years that they spent on display at a tourist theme park.

  109. May 20, 1999

    Government and Politics  People 

    Gay Spousal Rights

    The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the definition of the term "spouse" in Ontario law under which homosexuals were denied the right to sue for spousal support.

  110. August 14, 2003

    Resources and Environment 

    2003 Blackout

    Widespread power outage due in part to a software glitch in an alarm system at an Ohio energy company control room left an estimated 10 million people in Ontario and 40 million people in eight northeastern and midwestern states in the dark. In many places, the blackout lasted up to two days.

  111. February 09, 2004

    Communication and Transportation  People 

    Death of Janusz Zurakowski

    Aviator Janusz Zurakowski, who made the first flight of the Avro Arrow (CF-105), an advanced supersonic jet, died in Barry's Bay, ON.

  112. June 28, 2004

    Government and Politics  People 

    Bev Oda Elected to Parliament

    Bev Oda became the first Japanese Canadian Member of Parliament, when she was elected as the representative for Durham, Ontario.

  113. June 23, 2010

    Ottawa, Satellite Image

    Resources and Environment 

    Earthquake Near Ottawa

    An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale hit 60 km north of Ottawa, causing tremors that shook central Ontario and part of Québec. Though no lives were lost and only minimal damage occurred, the quake was unique in that it was felt as far away as New York.

  114. October 19, 2012


    Death of Lincoln Alexander

    Lincoln Alexander, CC, OOnt, lawyer, parliamentarian, public servant, lieutenant-governor of Ontario, died in Hamilton, ON. The first Black Canadian to sit in the House of Commons (1968) and to hold a viceregal position (1985).

  115. July 31, 2013

    Government and Politics 

    Bob Rae Steps Down as Liberal MP

    After a combined 23 years of service in government, former NDP MP, Ontario premier, Liberal MP and interim Liberal Party leader Bob Rae, OC, stepped down from political life.

  116. November 28, 2013

    Alexander, Lincoln M.

    Government and Politics 

    Lincoln Alexander Day Act

    The Legislative Assembly of Ontario declared 21 January of each year Lincoln Alexander Day citing Alexander's life as "an example of service, determination and humility. Always fighting for equal rights for all races in our society, and doing so without malice, he changed attitudes and contributed greatly to the inclusiveness and tolerance of Canada today."

  117. January 10, 2014

    Resources and Environment 

    First Indigenous Constitution in Ontario

    Members of the Nipissing First Nation voted in favour of adopting their own constitution, or Gichi-Naaknigewin, believed to be the first such document among First Nations communities in Ontario. Its purpose is to allow the nation to define its membership and create laws. Legal experts say it is unclear, however, whether this constitution will run up against Canadian laws such as the Indian Act, which it is designed to replace.

  118. September 23, 2014

    Government and Politics  People 

    Lieutenant-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell

    Elizabeth Dowdeswell, former undersecretary general of the United Nations, was sworn in as Ontario Lieutenant-Governor. She previously served as CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies and as assistant deputy minister at Environment Canada.

  119. November 19, 2014

    Government and Politics 

    Staffer Sentenced for Role in Robocall Scandal

    The Ontario Court of Justice in Guelph, ON, sentenced former Conservative staffer Michael Sona to nine months in prison for his role in the robocall scandal that erupted in the wake of the 2011 federal election. On the day of the election, 6,000 Guelph voters received automated calls directing them to incorrect voting locations. Sona was the only person charged in relation to the fraudulent calls.

  120. November 29, 2014

    Sports and Culture 

    ​Death of Brian Macdonald

    Prolific choreographer and director Brian Macdonald died in Stratford, Ontario.

  121. March 22, 2016

    Rob Ford

    Government and Politics  People 

    Death of Rob Ford

    Rob Ford, the municipal politician who became an international celebrity during his scandal-plagued term as the mayor of Toronto from 2010 to 2014, died after a battle with cancer. A staunch conservative, Ford campaigned against tax hikes and fought to cut spending at City Hall, famously running for office under the slogan "stop the gravy train."

  122. March 30, 2016


    Death of Howard Cable

    Composer Howard Cable died in Toronto, Ontario, at age 95. Over a prolific career that spanned more than seven decades, Cable made a profound impact on music in Canada. In addition to his work in radio, television and musical theatre, he composed, arranged and conducted music for a wide variety of organizations and bands.

  123. May 30, 2016

    Kathleen Wynne

    Resources and Environment 

    Premier Wynne Issues Residential Schools Apology

    In response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne formally apologizes on behalf of the provincial government for the abuses committed against Indigenous peoples in the residential school system, as well as for the oppressive policies and practices supported by past Ontario governments. The province announces a $250-million, three-year investment in several initiatives aimed at reconciliation.

  124. June 26, 2016


    Death of Austin Clarke

    Novelist, short-story writer and journalist Austin Clarke died in Toronto at age 81. Clarke grew up in Barbados and moved to Canada in 1955 to study at the University of Toronto. While his varied career ranged beyond literature to positions such as cultural attaché of Barbados in Washington (1973) and general manager of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (1975), he is best known for his fiction, which includes the Giller Prize-winning novel The Polished Hoe (2002). Called “the grandfather of Black Canadian literature” by Lawrence Hill, Clarke — a vocal social critic and civil-rights advocate — was among the first Black writers in Canada to gain international recognition and win major literary prizes.

  125. August 11, 2016

    Sports and Culture 

    Penny Oleksiak’s Olympic Medal Record

    In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 16-year-old swimmer Penny Oleksiak became the first Canadian to win four medals at a Summer Games. The first-time Olympian from Toronto skyrocketed to fame in the space of two weeks, stepping onto the podium again and again as the country looked on with amazement. She took home gold in the 100 m freestyle, silver in the 100 m butterfly and bronze in both the 4x100 m freestyle relay and 4x200 m freestyle relay.

  126. September 19, 2016

    Annie Pootoogook, Fine Liner Eyebrow, 2001-2002.


    Death of Annie Pootoogook

    The body of artist Annie Pootoogook, 47, was found in the Rideau River in Ottawa, Ontario. An internationally exhibited winner of the Sobey Art Award, Pootoogook came from a family of accomplished Inuit artists. She moved from Cape Dorset, Nunavut, to Ottawa in 2007, after achieving international recognition.

    Days after her death, Ottawa police officer Chris Hrnchiar wrote remarks widely condemned as racist in the comments section of an article on Pootoogook’s death in the Ottawa Citizen. The incident resulted in an internal investigation and, ultimately, a three-month demotion for Hrnchiar, who pleaded guilty to two charges under the Police Services Act.

    Ottawa police were still investigating suspicious elements of the case several months after Pootoogook’s death.

  127. October 19, 2016


    Death of Adam Zimmerman

    Businessman Adam Hartley Zimmerman died in Toronto, Ontario, at the age of 89. Zimmerman was a long-time executive at Noranda Mines, serving first as assistant comptroller in 1958 then rising through the ranks to become president and CEO in 1982. Zimmerman retired in 1994. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1967.

  128. November 17, 2016

    Ontario Legislature, 2012

    Government and Politics 

    Election of the Youngest MPP in Ontario History

    Nineteen-year-old Sam Oosterhoff became the youngest member of Provincial Parliament in the history of Ontario, winning the riding of Niagara West–Glanbrook in a by-election. The Progressive Conservative candidate beat out the NDP’s Mike Thomas and Liberal Vicky Ringuette.

  129. November 29, 2016

    Government and Politics 

    Ontario’s All Families Are Equal Act Passed

    Ontario passed Bill 28, the All Families are Equal Act, giving all parents equal rights under the law, “whether they are LGBTQ2+ or straight, and whether their children were conceived with or without assistance.”

  130. December 10, 2016

    Toronto FC Fans

    Sports and Culture 

    First Canadian Team to Play MLS Cup Final

    Toronto FC became the first Canadian club to reach the Major League Soccer Cup final, facing off against Seattle Sounders FC at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario. They lost the match 5–4 in penalty shootout. (See also Soccer.)

  131. December 13, 2016

    Sports and Culture 

    Penny Oleksiak Wins Lou Marsh Trophy

    Swimmer Penny Oleksiak of Toronto, Ontario won the Lou Marsh Trophy for Canada’s best athlete of 2016, the year of her triumphant four-medal record at the Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The award is given out annually by a panel of Canadian sports journalists.

  132. January 02, 2017


    Death of Tom Harpur

    Tom Harpur, theologian, priest and journalist with the Toronto Star, died at the age of 87.

  133. February 14, 2017

    Sixties Scoop

    Resources and Environment 

    First Victory of a Sixties Scoop Lawsuit

    Ontario Superior Court judge Edward Belobaba ruled in favour of Sixties Scoop victims, finding that the federal government did not take adequate steps to protect the cultural identity of on-reserve children taken away from their homes. This was the first victory of a Sixties Scoop lawsuit in Canada.

  134. February 19, 2017


    Death of Bob White

    Labour leader Bob White died in Kincardine, Ontario. Among his many achievements as a union organizer, White was the founding president of the Canadian Auto Workers union. In 1990, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

  135. March 02, 2017

    Franco-Ontarian Flag


    “Notre Place” Named Official Anthem of Franco-Ontarians

    Following a campaign led by the Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique, the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario and Ottawa’s Montfort Hospital, the Government of Ontario adopted a motion making Paul Demers’ song “Notre Place” the official anthem of the Franco-Ontarian community.

  136. March 04, 2017


    Death of Bonnie Burnard

    Short story writer and novelist Bonnie Burnard died in London, Ontario, at age 72. The four books she published in her lifetime earned her critical acclaim and literary prizes, including the Giller Prize in 1999 for her novel A Good House.

  137. March 20, 2017


    Death of Betty Kennedy

    Ottawa-born journalist and broadcaster Betty Kennedy, known for CBC’s Front Page Challenge and her Toronto radio program The Betty Kennedy Show, died at the age of 91. She was an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Senate, and was also inducted into the Canadian Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Canadian News Hall of Fame.

  138. May 02, 2017


    Death of Gerry Martiniuk

    Progressive Conservative politician Gerry Martiniuk died at the age of 79. Martiniuk served as a Member of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario from 1995 to 2011. He was first elected when the Mike Harris government swept into power with its “Common Sense Revolution” campaign.

  139. May 18, 2017


    Death of Michael Bliss

    Historian Michael Bliss died in Toronto, Ontario. One of Canada’s leading historians, Bliss wrote numerous prize-winning books on Canadian and medical history, including The Discovery of Insulin and William Osler: A Life in Medicine. He received many career honours, including the Order of Canada, honorary degrees from six universities and honorary fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. For many years he was in demand as a lecturer, speaker and public intellectual in North America and Europe.

  140. June 19, 2017

    Order of Canada


    Gord Downie Appointed to the Order of Canada

    Tragically Hip front man Gord Downie was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In addition to his iconic career with the Hip, his citation recognizes his devotion to “promoting dialogue, raising awareness of the history of residential schools and moving the country along the path to reconciliation.” His bandmates were to be inducted at a later date.

  141. June 19, 2017


    Death of Zoltan Sarosy

    Hungarian chess master Zoltan Sarosy, who emigrated to Halifax and then Toronto after the Second World War, died at the age of 110 of natural causes. At the time of his death, he was considered one of the oldest people in Canada.

  142. July 26, 2017

    Gas pipeline construction

    Resources and Environment 

    Supreme Court Rules on Pipeline Projects

    The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Indigenous peoples do not have the power to veto resource development projects such as pipelines. It stated that while the government has a duty to consult with Indigenous communities, the National Energy Board (NEB) is the “final decision maker.” The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation had appealed the NEB’s approval of a modification to Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline, which runs through traditional Chippewa territory near London, Ontario.

  143. September 14, 2017

    Government and Politics 

    Death of Arnold Chan

    Arnold Chan, Liberal member of Parliament for the Ontario riding of Scarborough-Agincourt, died at age 50 after a battle with cancer. He was remembered by colleagues in Parliament and at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, where he previously served as an aide, as an exemplary politician who deeply valued democracy and civic engagement. In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote, “he distinguished himself as a thoughtful, kind and — above all — tireless advocate for Canadians.”

  144. October 01, 2017

    New Democratic Party Logo

    Government and Politics 

    Jagmeet Singh Wins Federal NDP Leadership

    The New Democrats elected Jagmeet Singh to replace Tom Mulcair and lead the party into the 2019 federal election. A member of provincial parliament with a seat in Brampton, the 38-year-old Sikh criminal lawyer served as deputy leader of the Ontario NDP before stepping down to run for the federal leadership. Singh is the first member of a visible minority to lead a federal political party in Canada.

  145. January 01, 2018


    Toronto's oldest artifact trusted to the care of the city over 80 years after its discovery

    An Indigenous arrowhead, estimated to be between 4,000 and 6,000 years old, has been trusted to the care of the city of Toronto by the woman who discovered it during a class trip to Fort York in 1935. Jeanne Carter discovered what is now considered the oldest artifact discovered on the present-day territory of the city of Toronto.

  146. February 15, 2018

    Government and Politics 

    Candidates chosen for the Ontario PC leadership race

    Christine Elliott, Tanya Granic Allen, Caroline Mulroney and Doug Ford entered a snap election for leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. The race was triggered after party leader Patrick Brown was forced to step down following accusations of sexual assault.

  147. April 23, 2018

    Site of Toronto Van Attack


    Toronto Van Attack Kills 10, 8 of them Women

    At 1:24 p.m., a 25-year-old man who identified as an incel (involuntary celibate), drove a rented van onto the sidewalk on Yonge Street in Toronto’s North York business district. He proceeded to drive south, intentionally running over pedestrians. When he was stopped by police 10 minutes later, 10 people (eight of them women) were dead and 16 were injured. The driver was found guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

  148. June 07, 2018

    Government and Politics 

    PC Party wins majority government in Ontario

    PC Party leader Doug Ford won a majority government in Ontario’s 2018 general election. The premier-designate was voted into Queen’s Park with 76 seats and nearly 41 per cent of the popular vote. This victory ended nearly 15 years of Liberal government, first under Dalton McGuinty from 2003 to 2013, and then under Kathleen Wynne from 2013 to 2018. A total of 58 per cent of the electorate exercised its right to vote, compared to 51 per cent in the previous election. The NDP gained official opposition status under Andrea Horwath with 40 candidates elected. The Liberals won only 7 seats at Queen’s Park, falling short of the 8 required for official party status. Kathleen Wynne resigned as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. The Green Party succeeded in getting its first Ontario MPP elected — its leader Mike Schreiner in the riding of Guelph.

  149. September 13, 2018

    Indigenous Peoples 

    Agreement Reached in Williams Treaties Dispute

    In 1992, the seven Williams Treaties First Nations filed a lawsuit against the federal government asking for financial compensation for land surrenders and loss of rights dictated by the Williams Treaties. Ten years later, a trial began in which Canada and Ontario acknowledged limited off-reserve treaty harvesting rights, but litigation was dropped in favour of out-of-court negotiations. These began in March 2017. A negotiated settlement approved on 13 September 2018 gave financial compensation to the First Nations involved. It recognized their harvesting rights and allowed each First Nation to add up to 4,452 hectares to their reserves by purchase from willing sellers.

  150. February 06, 2019


    Government and Politics  People 

    NDP MP Paul Dewar Dies

    Former teacher and union leader Paul Dewar died at age 56 after a year-long battle with brain cancer. He served as the MP for Ottawa Centre from 2006 to 2015 and was the NDP’s foreign affairs critic for many years.

  151. February 10, 2019

    Canadian Parliament


    Former Finance Minister and Diplomat Michael Wilson Dies at Age 81

    A former Progressive Conservative MP for Etobicoke Centre, Wilson served in Parliament for more than ten years. He was finance minister and minister of international trade under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Wilson was Canada’s ambassador to the United States from 2006 to 2009 and served as chancellor of the University of Toronto from 2012 to 2018.

  152. April 22, 2021

    Doug Ford

    Government and Politics 

    Doug Ford Apologizes for Widely Criticized Measures

    Ontario premier Doug Ford apologized for measures his government had introduced a week earlier. Many of the new rules, including closing all playgrounds and empowering police to detain people out in public during a stay-at-home order, were criticized as “draconian.” On 26 April, three armed forces medical teams were sent to Toronto to assist health care workers, while hospitals worried about possibly having to start triaging patients.

  153. May 11, 2021

    A bottle of polio vaccine

    Government and Politics 

    Ontario Pauses Use of AstraZeneca Vaccine

    Ontario announced that it would be pausing the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns over a rare but potentially fatal blood clotting disorder caused by the vaccine. As of 8 May, more than 900,000 shots of the vaccine had been given in the province. There had been eight cases of the disorder in Ontario and at least four more in the rest of the country. Three people had died.

  154. June 06, 2021


    Muslim Family Killed in Hit-and-Run Hate Crime

    Two parents, a grandparent and a daughter were killed and a nine-year-old son was left in serious condition after the family was struck by a pickup truck while walking along the sidewalk in London, Ontario. Police confirmed that the attack was “a planned, premeditated act and that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith.” (See also Islamophobia in Canada.) A vigil was held in London two days later. The accused was charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. He was also charged with terrorism under section 83 of the Criminal Code. The nine-year-old orphaned boy was released to relatives a week later.

  155. January 28, 2022

    Government and Politics 

    “Freedom Convoy” Arrives in Ottawa and Begins Occupation of Capital

    Embed from Getty Images

    Convoys of truckers, which had been making their way to Ottawa from Western and Eastern Canada, finally arrived in Canada’s capital to protest public health mandates and restrictions. The convoys were cheered by supporters across the country, many of whom greeted them along highway overpasses. However, the protest’s stated goal of unseating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and overthrowing the government left many Canadians uneasy and brought to mind the insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 — as did the presence of Confederate and Nazi flags among the protesters. With 85 per cent of Canadians vaccinated, including about 90 per cent of all truckers, the protest was seen as a far-right fringe movement. Observers noted that online rhetoric surrounding the protest had grown “increasingly worrisome.” Similar Freedom Convoy protests formed blockades at a border crossing in Coutts, Alberta, and at the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan, on 29 January and 7 February, respectively.