Mass Casualties in Ontario

Year What # Deaths What Happened Where
1636-1640EpidemicThe first recorded epidemic of smallpox in Canada occurs when Jesuit priests attending to the sick unintentionally spread the diseaseOntario
1659EpidemicTyphus first appears in CanadaOntario
1732-1733EpidemicInfluenza epidemicOntario
1755-1757EpidemicSmallpox epidemic in the Niagara area, as well as in Quebec and New EnglandNiagara area
1759EpidemicMeasles epidemicOntario
1761EpidemicInfluenza epidemicOntario
1772EpidemicMeasles epidemicOntario
1775-1776EpidemicInfluenza epidemicOntario
1780EpidemicSmallpox epidemic hits the Hudson Bay areaHudson Bay
1788Natural DisasterFamine hits Upper Canada when crops failUpper Canada
1804Accident20-50Aug 10: On the way to Presqu'ile Point, the Schooner 'Speedy' sank in Lake Ontario. Everyone aboard drowned, including some of Upper Canada's leading citizens (learn more)Lake Ontario
1812-1815War~8600The War of 1812 claims an estimated 8,600 British and Canadian soldiers and civilians either due to battle or disease.Ontario
1819Natural DisasterSummer: A fire devastates part of the counties of Lincoln & WellandLincoln & Welland Counties
1832Epidemic600Cholera spreads from Quebec killing almost 600 in Ontario, and a total of 6,000 Canadians across the countryOntario
1834EpidemicProvince-wide cholera epidemic that lasted approximately 4 months during the summer and early fallOntario
1838EpidemicAn epidemic of Ague depleted the population of Lindsay by one-thirdVictoria County
1847-1848EpidemicInfluenza epidemicOntario
1847-1849EpidemicTyphus and Cholera come ashore during the 'black year of emigration' when more than 5,000 Irish immigrants arrive in Cobourg and other lake portsOntario
1850-1851EpidemicInfluenza epidemicOntario
1853Accident~50Apr 30: The steamer 'Ocean Wave' burned and sank in Lake Ontario (additional details are available in the CanadaGenWeb Archives)Lake Ontario
1854Accident52Oct 27: The worst rail disaster of its time occurred near Jeannettes Creek when two trains collided killing 52 (learn more)Jeannettes Creek, Kent County
1857Accident66Mar 17: A bridge over the Des Jardines Canal collapses while a train is crossing, killing 66 people (learn more)Burlington Heights, Halton County
1857-1859EpidemicInfluenza epidemicOntario
1866War31Fenian Raids claim 31 lives (learn more)Niagara area
1871EpidemicJan-Jun: Scarlet fever claims a large number of Renfrew County inhabitantsRenfrew County
1873-1875EpidemicInfluenza epidemicOntario
1881Accidentnearly 200May 24: The upper deck of steamboat 'Princess Louise' collapses and nearly 200 are killed or drown (learn more)London, Middlesex County
1884Accident30Jan 2: Two trains collide in Parkdale killing 30 (learn more)Parkdale, York County
1884EpidemicSmallpox epidemic in Hastings CountyOntario
1889Accident19Apr 28: A Grand Trunk railway train jumps the track, killing 19Hamilton, Wentworth County
1898Accident20Jan 3: Several hundred people had gathered at London's City Hall to celebrate the election of their new mayor John Wilson when the floor collapsed causing 250 people to fall to the floor below. 20 people died.London, Middlesex County
1899-1902War135South African War, also referred to as the Second Boer War, claims 135 Canadian lives.South Africa
1902EpidemicSmallpox epidemic in GaltGalt, Waterloo County
1904Natural Disaster1Apr 19: A fire destroys a large section of downtown Toronto learn more)Toronto, York County
1906Epidemic70Jan-Apr: 70 people in Thunder Bay succumb to Typhoid FeverThunder Bay District
1907Accident8Jul 16: Crystal Hall, a three storey building in London, collapses during renovations. Eight are killed.London, Middlesex County
1907Accident2Aug 10: A train boxcar filled with 5,000 pounds of nitro-glycerine explodes in Essex (learn more)Essex, Essex County
1910Accident44Jan 21: A CPR passenger train derailed as it crossed the Spanish River near Sudbury. 44 were killed. (learn more)Spanish River, Sudbury District
1910Accident11May 8: A plant owned by the General Explosives Company explodes killing 11Hull, Carleton County
1911Natural Disaster70Jul 11: A hot dry summer sparks several small bush fires that combine to form a large fire spanning over 36km wide. The fire destroys several communities and kills at least 70 people (learn more)Porcupine, Cochrane District
1913Natural Disaster250+Nov 7-10: A blizzard with hurricane-force winds, later known as the Great Lakes Storm of 1913, hit four of the five Great Lakes destroying 19 ships and killing more than 250 people. (learn more)Great Lakes
1914-1918War68,000+World War One claims more than 68,000 CanadiansEurope
1915Accident15Jul 7: Due to heavy rains, a streetcar in Queenston Heights rolled down the escarpment killing 15. All were members of two Toronto churchs on their way to a picnic.Queenston Heights, York County
1916Natural Disaster223Jul 29: A forest fire now known as the 'Matheson Fire' destroys several towns, killing an estimated 223 people (learn more)Cochrane District
1918EpidemicInfluenza epidemicOntario
1922Natural Disaster43Oct 4-5: A fire devastates Timiskaming District, killing 43. (learn more)Timiskaming District
1924Epidemic32Smallpox epidemic in Windsor results in 32 deathsWindsor, Essex County
1930Accident30Jun 26: The drill scow 'John B. King' explodes when lightening hit the dynamite carrying boat. Thirty crew members were killed. (learn more)near Brockville, Frontenac County
1939-1945War47,000+World War Two claims more than 47,000 CanadiansEurope
1941Accident12Feb 6: Just outside Armstrong a Trans-Canada airplane bound for Manitoba crashes killing twelve.Armstrong, Thunder Bay District
1949Accident118Sep 16: A fire destroys the S.S. Noronic which was filled with sleeping American tourists (learn more)Toronto, York County
1950-1953War516Korean War claims 516 CanadiansKorea
1953Accident20Jul 31: A bus crashes into a stalled trunk then plunges into the Williamsburg Canal, 20 drownMorrisburg, Dundas County
1954Natural Disaster83Oct 15: Hurricane Hazel hits Southern Ontario killing 83. Toronto is hardest hit.Ontario
1955-1975War133While Canada didn't officially participate in the war (other than to offer peacekeeping services in 1973), over 30,000 Canadians voluntarily served. This war claimed 133 Canadian lives.Vietnam
1956Accident15May 15: A fighter jet crashes into a convent killing everyone onboard as well as 11 nuns in the convent (learn more)Orleans, Carleton County
1959Accident8Feb 28: A Listowel arena collapses during a peewee hockey practice killing seven boys and their coach (learn more)Listowel, Perth County
1974Natural Disaster8Apr 3: A tornado causes the collapse of the Windsor Curling Club killing eight (learn more)Windsor, Essex County
1980Accident21Jul 14: A fire destroys a Nursing Home in Mississauga killing 21 (learn more)Mississauga, York County
1985Natural Disaster8May 31: An F4 tornado tore through Barrie killing eight (learn more)Barrie, Simcoe County
1989Accident24Mar 10: In Dryden a plane crashes just after takeoff killing 21 passengers and 3 crew members (learn more)Dryden, Kenora District
2001-2014War159As of 2016, 159 Canadians have been claimed by military actions in AfghanistanAfghanistan