A Brief Historical Timeline of Ontario

This timeline is a very, very brief overview of Ontario's history with an emphasis on events of genealogical importance. This is by no means a full account, and many events have been left out.

Ontario did not get its present name until 1867. When France established a colony and claimed the area, it was referred to as part of New France. Because of the vastness of New France, and to avoid some confusion, whenever the area that is now Ontario is mentioned it will be referred to as 'Ontario'.

4000 BC – 1000 AD
The first known inhabitants of Ontario arrived about 4000 BC. About 800 AD these inhabitants, the Wendat tribe, known by the French as “The Huron”, began farming and their population steadily increased. They lived in 'Huronia', an area near Georgian Bay, in what would now be the northern part of Simcoe County.

By 900 AD, in the north (approx where Sudbury, Parry Sound, Nipissing and Cochrane Districts are today) lived the Algonkin-speaking tribes (later to be divided into the Algonkin, Cree, and Ojibwa tribes). In the south were the Iroquoian-speaking tribes, including The Huron.

By 1000 AD, Vikings had found what is now Labrador, but they did not remain long. The next European visitor to Canada was John Cabot in 1497, and this was the beginning of several explorations into this 'new land', mostly in the Maritimes. Ontario remained (mostly) unvisited until the 1600's.

In 1534 Jacques Cartier arrived and set out seeking a passage to the Orient. In 1535 he came as far as the area where the Ottawa River and St Lawrence River meet, but was unable to travel further due to the rapids. It would be several decades before any explorer could get past the rapids to enter Ontario.

King Henri IV of France founded a company in 1603 to colonize what was now called New France (all area west of the Maritimes, including Ontario). The company had a monopoly on the fur trade in an area that extended from Nova Scotia to Ontario.

In 1607, Pierre du Gast, Sieur de Monts, former Governor of Acadia, who previously had exclusive fur-trading rights in Canada, appointed Samuel de Champlain as his lieutenant, and set about exploring the land west of the Maritimes. In 1608 Champlain's party arrived at what would later become Quebec City and cleared the land for colonization. Now having a 'base' for exploration, and not dependent upon their larger ships, the French started exploring the Ottawa River by canoe.

Sometime in the 1500's the five Iroquois nations had come together as the Five Nations Confederacy, making themselves a force to reckon with. Wanting to dominate the fur trade, and to halt westward settlement, they were at odds with the Huron and their French allies. The Huron encouraged the French to fight with them to get rid of the Iroquois. Champlain obliged and in 1609 there was a confrontation with the Iroquois, won by Champlain when his men used rifles to kill three Iroquois chiefs. The Iroquois retreated with the understanding that they would not win in a war against the Hurons or New France without European weapons. So they negotiated with the Dutch to trade furs for guns. They also allied themselves with the English who used the Iroquois's hatred of the Hurons to aid them in their disputes with the French colony.

Meanwhile, Champlain was anxious to explore, and knowing that the natives knew the area, he sent some of his men to live with the Hurons. The first was Étienne Brûlé in 1612. He was the first Frenchman to visit the area that would become Ontario. Champlain himself made the journey at least twice. In 1613 he traveled as far as the upper Ottawa river, and in 1615 he spent the winter in Huronia with the Hurons.

That same year, France insisted that Roman Catholic Jesuit missionaries be sent amongst the native population to spread the Catholic faith. The Hurons however, were resistant. The missionaries persisted though and in 1639 established the settlement St Marie Among The Hurons (near present-day Midland, Ontario).

In 1610, Henry IV died, and with him went the monies required to keep the company of New France going. In an effort to raise the funds, Champlain married and used the dowry to help the colony survive. It was not enough though, and he continued searching for new investors. In 1627 he was finally able to convince Cardinal Richelieu to invest. The Company of One Hundred Associates was established by Richelieu, and Champlain was made governor the new colony. Because of this Champlain is often referred to as the Father of New France.

The first priority Champlain had as governor was to strengthen the colony with more colonists. Ships with four hundred passengers set sail for New France but were intercepted by the English Kirke brothers, because, yet again, England and France were at odds. The Kirkes demanded that Champlain surrender Quebec, which he did reluctantly, only to find that the war between France and England had ended three months prior to Quebec's surrender.

Regardless, the English took possession of Quebec on 29 July 1628, and Louis Kirke became governor. Meanwhile Champlain was in England trying to overturn the surrender. On 29 March 1632, the Treaty of St-German-en-Laye was signed, with England giving up possession of New France. Champlain was then able to return to governing his colony until his death on 25 Dec 1635.

During this time, New France's allies the Huron were facing difficulties of their own. Their country of Huronia provided few furs for trade, but they were able to act as middlemen between other tribes and the French. Their rivals were the Iroquois who wanted the position of middlemen. In 1648 the Iroquois attacked the Hurons. Because of recent epidemics that had cut the Huron population in half, and because the French had refused to arm them with guns, they were massacred. The Jesuit mission was also attacked and the missionaries were executed. Their settlement, St Marie among the Hurons was destroyed on 15 May 1649. The Huron that managed to survive left Huronia and scattered. Some went south seeking refuge with the Susquehannock, some went west, and others headed for New France.

The Iroquois continued their destruction by wiping out the Erie, “Petun” (Khionontateronon), and Neutral tribes. By the time they finished, southern Ontario was nearly devoid of population and the Iroquois had won control of the fur trade in the area. Although they lived south of Lake Ontario (Ohio, Pennsylvania), they were an influence on travel and growth in Ontario. Their control of the Mohawk River left only the St Lawrence River for access to the Great Lakes region for more than one hundred years.

Like the Iroquois, New France also wanted control of the fur trade to ensure profit for their growing colony, and to exclude the English. To do this, the French established trading posts and armed them with soldiers. Most of these posts were set up on what is now American soil (Fort Niagara, Fort Detroit).

After their success against the native population of Ontario, the Iroquois turned their attention upon New France. For twenty years, 1645-1665, the colony was under constant surprise attacks. Because of this, it was unsafe for any settler to clear or take care of their lands. New France suffered greatly and lost about 10% of their population. However, France wasn't interested in the happenings in the New World as they were busy fighting a war with Spain. In 1661 France's Prime Minister, Jules Mazarin, died and the colonists of New France sent a representative to France to request help directly from King Louis XIV.

King Louis XIV abolished the Company of One Hundred Associates, making Canada a proper colony instead of the property of a company. As a colony Canada would have a governor and an intendant who would report to the King. Then he sent military aid to help deal with the Iroquois threat. The Iroquois were suffering from a smallpox epidemic, and after getting a glimpse at the military re-inforcements, chose to sign a peace treaty instead of engaging in a full-fledge war. In 1671 several native Chiefs convened at Sault Ste Marie and gave consent for their tribes to become subjects of France.

Meanwhile... In 1659 Pierre Radisson and his brother-in-law Médard Chouart Des Groseilliers became partners to explore new trading territories not yet known to Europeans. They approached the Governor of Quebec and made it known they were willing to venture into the wilds to expand New France's trading territory. The Governor was interested but insisted they conduct their exploration on his terms, be accompanied by two of his government employees, and give half the profits to New France. Radisson and Des Groseilliers were not impressed that they would have to take along two inexperienced persons, and left New France without the permission of the governor. By winter they had traveled as far as Lake Superior and made camp with the Ojibwa. Many at camp died that winter due to starvation, but come spring eighteen nations took part in the Feast of the Dead. Radisson and Des Groseilliers saw the opportunity to expand their fur trading and took it. They returned to Montreal with representatives and canoes filled with furs expecting the Governor to be pleased. Instead the governor fined them and imprisoned Des Groseilliers for disobeying his order.

After the homecoming they received in New France, they headed for France where they were rejected. So they set sail for England where they were granted a meeting with King Charles II. King Charles agreed to finance their expedition and they set out for Hudson Bay. Radisson's trip was cut short when his ship was damaged in a storm, but Des Groseilliers completed the trip and spent a year collecting beaver pelts of impressive quality. With confirmation of better furs available, King Charles II chartered a new company in 1670 to be called Hudson's Bay Company. The HBC was also to be used to encourage settlement and exploration of the Hudson Bay area. King Charles II named the area that the HBC covered Rupert's Land in honour of his cousin, Prince Rupert. Rupert's Land was all land surrounding rivers that flowed to Hudson Bay, and it covered nearly eight million square kilometers. Trading posts were established on Hudson Bay, and the nearby Cree tribe was made trading partners.

Back in New France... The governor, Louis Buade, Comte de Frontenac, formed a partnership with René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle to expand New France. In 1673 Frontenac traveled to Lake Ontario and had Fort Cataraqui, also known as Fort Frontenac (where Kingston is now located), built. The fort itself had actually been planned by the last governor of the One Hundred Associates Company but construction wasn't started until Frontenac became governor. This would become the first permanent European settlement on the Great Lakes.

Under Governor Frontenac, exploration continued and by the 1680's New France was able to extend their fur trade territory from the Ottawa River to include Lake Nipissing, the French River, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior. But Frontenac's gains in land spread the resources of the colony too thin, and with their expanding fur trade they were alienating their native allies.

The Iroquois were still seeking control of the fur trade and were still at odds with New France who were trading with their enemies. Frontenac had told the King that the Iroquois posed no threat to New France, and when he was recalled to France in 1682 he left New France in the precarious situation of not being ready to defend itself or its allies against attack. So when the Iroquois took on the tribes in the west (Ontario) they won.

The next Governor of New France was Marquis DeNonville who arrived in 1685 with 600 troops. During this time the Iroquois had allied themselves with the English, and when DeNonville arrived in Cataraqui they weren't interested in negotiating. In 1687 France sent 800 more soldiers to aid DeNonville in “negotiations” and they somewhat succeeded until 1689 when the Iroquois staged an attack on Lachine. DeNonville was recalled by the King and Frontenac returned as governor.

In June 1689 war between England and France was again declared. The colonists of New France were prepared to do battle with their English neighbours for control of the fur trade. In 1691, preparations were made in New England to invade Canada and for the next several years the British tried to conquer Quebec. They were unsuccessful and the borders remained unchanged. In 1697 the war was ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ryswick, with the French agreeing to return all confiscated British land in America.

New France also suffered economically. The fur trade was starting to dwindle due to European fashion no longer demanding as many furs. In 1696 King Louis XIV had all fur trading posts in the west closed.

In 1701, one hundred years of fighting amongst native nations was put to an end when 1,300 delegates representing more than 40 nations signed a peace treaty. Things weren't going so well for the newcomers -- peace between England and France did not last long and in the early 1700's they were yet again at war, both in Europe and in the New World. While the French in the colony were winning their battles, their European counterparts were not. So treaty by treaty the French lost their colony to the British. And it was a vast colony - by 1700, New France covered territory that stretched east-west from Newfoundland to the Prairies, and north-south from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.

In 1713, Louis XIV signed the Treaty of Utrecht giving England Hudson Bay, all of Acadia (now Nova Scotia & New Brunswick) and Newfoundland. France would keep the island of Ile Royale as well as any island located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

In 1720 the colony, now estimated to have about 25,000 inhabitants, was divided into three areas: Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal. And each of these areas was further divided into parishes. The area that is now Ontario was part of Montreal District.

While there was tentative peace in the colony the British and French weren't taking any chances. Each spent their time strategizing and building new forts to defend their parts of the colony. The British build a fort at the mouth of the Oswego while the French built one at the mouth of the Niagara. Fort Cataraqui was rebuilt, replacing the wood structure for one made of stone. And a fort was built in what is now Toronto.

These preparations paid off when war was declared in 1745 and again in 1756. The French started off strong but by 1758 they were on the losing side of the war, and in 1760 Montreal surrendered and with it all other French forts effectively ending the war. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 had France give control of most of their North American colonies to England. New France was then rechristened Quebec.

The British now had claim to the northern half of the continent as well as control of the fur trade. This encouraged enterprising immigrants to enter the fur trade. Several Montreal businessmen founded the North-West Company (NWC) and within a quarter century had the monopoly on the fur trade much to the chagrin of the Hudson Bay Company. Both companies were competitive, each having over 200 trading posts. Unfortunately there just weren't enough furs to support both companies and each one pushed their traders further and further west in order to keep up with demand. The HBC, hoping to increase profits by diversifying, started mining and whaling.

In 1774 the Quebec Act established the borders of the province of Quebec. The area would include the land as far west as the Mississippi River, as far south as present-day Ohio, as well as all of present-day Ontario. The Act also established English criminal law and restored French civil law. The government would be headed by Governor Sir Guy Carleton.

During all this upheaval there was little settlement in Ontario, what there was was mostly native tribes, military personnel, and fur traders. However, this would soon change with the arrival of refugees of the American Revolution. In 1775 the US colonies declared independence from Britain sparking a war between England and the colonists. Those who remained loyal to the British Crown soon found themselves unwelcome in their new home and headed North to Canada. The first settlers started arriving in 1776 but the majority of Loyalists arrived after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.

By the time of the Treaty settlement in Ontario was starting to grow. British forts encouraged settlement nearby, the forts would protect the settlers and the settlers would provide the forts with goods and services.

The British government forbade the purchase of land, instead instituting land grants. They would purchase land from the First Nations through treaties and would then parcel it and grant it to settlers. Each grant was given freely in accordance to status and rank. To further encourage settlement and ensure the land was settled by those loyal to the British crown, land grants were given to Loyalist and Military families.

In 1788 the area west of the Ottawa River was divided into four districts: Lunenburg (which went as far as the Ganonoque River), Mecklenburg (to the Trent River), Nassau (to Long Point), and Hesse (to Lake St Clair). Each district had its own court headed by three judges, and a Land Board to handle land grant requests. As settlers arrived they were granted land along the waterways, starting with South-Eastern Ontario and moving west towards present-day Windsor.

1791: (10 Jun 1791) Constitutional Act (also known as the Canada Act) divides Québec into Upper & Lower Canada, which establishes English Law and land tenure in Upper Canada. Upper Canada (now Ontario) was all land lying west of the Ottawa River, while Lower Canada (now Québec) was all land lying east

1791: John Graves Simcoe and his council divide Upper Canada into nineteen counties

1791: Population of Upper Canada: 10,000

1792: (17 Sep 1792) First legislature is convened at Newark (Niagara-on-the-lake)

1792: Construction of The Governor's Road - planned by John Graves Simcoe - begins at the fork of the Thames (London). By the following fall the road reaches as far as the Grand River

1792: John Graves Simcoe is sworn in as Upper Canada's first Lieutenant Governor

1792: The first Methodist Church in Upper Canada is established at Adophustown

1793: (18 Apr 1793) First Ontario newspaper (Upper Canada Gazette) is published in Newark

1793: (9 July 1793) Upper Canada's Abolition Act forbade any new slaves, and gave freedom to children of slaves at least 25 years of age if born after 1793

1793: Probate & District Surrogate Courts are established

1793: The Marriage Act: Anglican and Catholic clergy as well as Justices of the Peace are granted the right to perform marriages

1794: Capital of Upper Canada is transferred from Newark to York

1794: Several mass land grants are approved for the immigration of specific groups: William Berczy receives 64,000 acres in York County for German families from New York; Able Stevens receives land in Leeds County for 200 Baptists from Vermont

1796: Yonge Street, what was to become the world's longest road, is opened for travel. At this time it measured a mere 34 miles from York to Pine Fort Landing.

1798: Marriage Act allows marriages to be legally performed by the Anglican Church, Catholic Church, Church of Scotland, Presbyterian Church, Calvinist Church and Lutheran Church

1798: (22 May 1798) The Penetanguishene Bay Purchase, registered as Crown Treaty Number Five, was signed May 22, 1798 between the Chippeway and the government of Upper Canada. It purchased the lands around Matchedash Bay on Lake Huron for a price of 101 pounds.

1800: Timothy Grant receives a land grant to establish a Quaker Settlement in York County

1802: First issue of The York Gazette

1803: British Passenger Act

1803: Thomas Talbot applies for and receives a land grant of 48,500 acres to establish a settlement (The Talbot Settlement) in London District. By 1836 he has settled portions of 29 Townships in South-West Upper Canada

1804: Lord Selkirk's attempt at a settlement in Baldoon (near Lake St Clair) fails

1804: On the way to Presqu'ile Point, the Schooner 'Speedy' sinks in Lake Ontario causing all aboard to drown, including some of Upper Canada's leading citizens

1806: Population of Upper Canada: 70,718

1807: (2 Feb 1807) Ontario Education System commences with the District Grammar School Act

1807: The first public school is opened in York by Dr. George Okill Stuart

1808: The Militia Act: All males between the ages of 16 and 60 are required to serve in the militia and appear once a year for training

1810: First issue of The Kingston Gazette

1811: Population of Upper Canada: 77,000

1812: (18 Jun 1812) USA declares war on Britain. Battles include:
    - 13 Oct 1812 Victory at Battle of Queenston Heights, Canada
    - 27 Apr 1813 York, Canada burned by USA
    - 27 May 1813 Fort George, Canada captured by US
    - 5 Jun 1813 Battle of Stoney Creek, Canada
    - 24 Jun 1813 Battle of Beaver Dam, Canada
    - 10 Sep 1813 Battle of Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie, USA
    - 5 Oct 1813 Battle of Moraviantown, USA
    - 11 Nov 1813 Battle of Crysler's Farm, Canada
    - 5 Jul 1814 Battle of Chippewa, USA
    - 25 Jul 1814 Battle of Lundy's Lane, Canada

1812: Population of Upper Canada: 95,000

1814: 24 Dec 1814 Treaty of Ghent ends conflict

1815: Lord Selkirk's Manitoba settlement (Red River Colony) encounters trouble when the majority of the settlers leave to settle in Upper Canada

1815: The settlements of Richmond & Perth are established in Lanark County

1816: The "Frontenac" is the first steamship to sail Lake Ontario

1819: Fire sweeps through Lincoln & Welland Counties

1819: Upper Canada licenses its first doctor - John Gilchrist of Hamilton

1819: Veterans of the War of 1812 are eligible for land grants

1820: (1820-1850) Mass immigration from British Isles to Southern Ontario

1823: (1823, 1825) Peter Robinson emigrants from Cork, Ireland settle in Bathurst District;

1824: Canada (Land) Company forms and acquires outstanding Crown reserve

1824: Population of Upper Canada: 150,066

1825: Population of Upper Canada: 157,923

1826: Bytown (renamed Ottawa in 1855) is founded by Lieutenant-Colonel John By

1826: Population of Upper Canada: 166,379

1827: Free lands grants to all but loyalists and the military cease. Settlers must now purchase land.

1827: King's College, now the University of Toronto, is established

1827: Population of Upper Canada: 177,174

1828: Naturalization Records commence for non-British persons

1828: Population of Upper Canada: 186,488

1829: Population of Upper Canada: 197,815

1829: The Colonel Talbot Road is completed. It extends 300 miles from York to the Detroit River.

1829: The construction of the Welland Canal is completed and the canal is opened for use

1830: Population of Upper Canada: 213,156

1831: Marriage Act allows Baptist, Congregationalist, Methodist, Mennonite, Independent, Dunkers and Moravian clergy to legally perform marriages

1831: Population of Upper Canada: 236,702

1831: The The Cobourg Star is established and is now the oldest weekly newspaper in Canada

1832: Cholera spreads from Quebec killing almost 600 in Ontario and a total of 6000 Canadians across the country

1832: Great Fire of Hamilton

1832: (1832-1837) Petworth Emigration Scheme

1832: Population of Upper Canada: 263,554

1832: Rideau Canal is opened for use

1833: Abolition of Slavery

1833: Hamilton is Incorporated. It is the first settlement in Upper Canada to be incorporated.

1833: Population of Upper Canada: 295,863

1834: Population of Upper Canada: 321,145

1834: Province-wide epidemic of cholera lasts approx 4 months during the summer and early fall

1834: The first railway, London-Gore Road (later Great Western), is incorporated in London

1834: Toronto is Incorporated

1835: (11 Mar 1835) First formal police force in Canada is established in Toronto

1835: Bank notes are printed for the first time in Canada

1835: Freedom of the Press is established in Canada

1835: Population of Upper Canada: 347,359

1836: Population of Upper Canada: 374,099

1836: The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Upper Canada is established

1837: Population of Upper Canada: 397,489

1837: Rebellion of 1837

1838: Ague depletes the population of Lindsay (Victoria County) by one-third

1838: Population of Upper Canada: 399,422

1838: (November) Battle of the Windmill - American "invasion" and armed conflict at Windmill Point.

1839: Population of Upper Canada: 409,048

1840: Population of Upper Canada: 432,159

1841: (10 Feb 1841) The Act of Union, Upper and Lower Canada are united as the Province of Canada. Lower Canada is renamed Canada East (Québec) and Upper Canada is renamed Canada West (Ontario)

1841: Population of Canada West: 455,688

1842: Population of Canada West: 487,053

1847: County Registry Offices begin keeping Town and Township copybooks of Land Transactions

1847: The largest Typhus epidemic, brought on by the thousands upon thousands of new immigrants "In one year alone, 1847, 'the black year of emigration,' more than 5,000 Irishmen, many sick from typhus and cholera, landed in Cobourg and other lake ports"

1847-1848 : Influenza Epidemic

1848: Population of Canada West: 725,879

1849: The colonial governments (Province of Canada, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & Vancouver Island) were permitted to establish their own postal systems

1850-1851 : Influenza Epidemic

1850: The Municipal Act: Towns and Townships now have local governments

1851: (23 Apr 1851) The first Canadian postage stamp, a three-penny Beaver, is issued

1851: First Province-wide Census, it takes two years to enumerate

1851: Population of Canada West: 952,004

1852: The Toronto Stock Exchange is founded

1854: For the first time the Victoria Cross is awarded to a Canadian - Lieutenant Alexander Roberts Dunn (1833-1868) of York

1855: (25 Dec 1855) The first recorded hockey game is played in Kingston

1855: Militia Act: The forerunner to the Canadian Army is established through paid active militia

1856: (26 Oct 1856) The railroad between Toronto and Montreal is opened

1857: (31 Dec 1857) Ottawa becomes the capital of Canada

1857-1859 : Influenza Epidemic

1857: Train Wreck at Des Jardines Canal kills 66

1858: Marriage Act: All religions are now permitted to perform marriages

1858: Probate Court is abolished

1859: Construction of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa commences

1861: Population of Canada West: 1,396,091

1861: Province-wide Census

1861: (1861-1865) The American Civil War

1865: Québec passenger lists date from this year

1866: Fenian Raids into Canada from the US

1867: Census taking becomes a legal requirement

1867: The three provinces of British North America (Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick) are united in Confederation / The former province of Canada is divided into Ontario and Québec, and Canada West is renamed Ontario (1 July 1867). Canada Day is born!

1868: Vote is given to male British subjects 21 years old, who own, rent or occupy property of specified values

1869: Required registration of births, marriages, and deaths commences. Known as Vital Statistics (Civil Registration)

1870: The first female federal civil servants are hired -- at Kingston Penitentiary (a matron & a deputy matron)

1871: British troops completely withdraw from Canada

1871: Population of Ontario: 1,620,851

1871: First Canada-wide Census

1872: Dominion Land Act opens the Prairies for settlement

1873-1875 : Influenza Epidemic

1874: Vote is extended to male British subjects 21 years old with annual income of $400 and to 'enfranchised Indians'

1875-1877: "First major influx of settlers into the Prairies begins" Your ancestor go missing from Ontario?

1875: (5 Apr 1875) The Supreme Court of Canada is established

1876: (1 Jun 1876) The Royal Military College opens in Kingston

1876: (10 Aug 1876) First ever long-distance phone call is placed from Brantford to Paris, Ontario

1877: (22 Aug 1877) Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for his invention of the telephone

1877: (9 Oct 1877) Construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad

1878: Electric lights reach Canada

1878: Women permitted to attend Queen's University

1879: (15 Aug 1879) The first Canadian National Exhibition is held at Fort York

1880: (24 Jun 1880) O Canada! is performed publicly for the first time

1881: Population of Ontario: 1,923,228

1881: Province-wide Census

1882: First shipload of sponsored immigrant children arrive in Canada (Dr. Barnardo Homes etc.)

1884: (2 Jan 1884) Grand Trunk Train Wreck in Toronto kills 30

1884: The Timothy Eaton Company, now known as Eaton's, publishes its first catalogue

1884: Nickel and copper are discovered in Sudbury

1884: Married Women's Property Act; married women allowed disposal of property and earnings, e.g. through wills

1884: Smallpox Epidemic in Stoco, Hungerford Township, Hastings County

1884: Spinsters and widows are permitted to vote in municipal elections

1884: Women permitted to attend University of Toronto

1885: Construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) is complete

1885: Standard Time is adopted

1885: Ontario's Milita participate in the North West Rebellion

1888: Vote is extended to all adult male British subjects except unenfranchised Indians living on reserves

1889: Ontario's boundary is extended to James Bay, Albany River, and Lake of the Woods

1891: First Children's Aid Society is established in Canada (Toronto)

1891: Population of Ontario: 2,114,000

1891: Province-wide Census

1892: Children's Aid Society opens its first shelter in Toronto

1895: Land Titles Act

1896: Formation of the United Empire Loyalists Association

1898: Yukon Gold Rush

1899-1902: South African War. Because Canada was part of the British empire, Canadian troops were sent to South Africa to fight. This is also known as the 'Boer War'. 135 Canadians are killed

1901: Grants began for Fenian & South African (Boer) War Service

1901: Population of Ontario: 2,183,000

1901: Province-wide Census

1902: Smallpox Epidemic in Galt

1903: Silver is discovered in Cobalt

1906: 70 people in Thunder Bay died of Typhus between January 6 and April 20

1906: Canada's first Hydro-Electric Company is founded in Ontario (now known as Ontario Hydro)

1908: Border Ports of entry established for customs and immigration

1908: The Royal Canadian Mint opens in Ottawa

1909: (13 Apr 1909) Supreme Court of Ontario is established

1909: (Oct 1909) Gold is discovered in Porcupine and the Porcupine Gold Rush begins

1909: (13 Oct 1909) Ontario Provincial Police formed

1910: CPR Train Wreck in Sudbury kills 43

1910: The Royal Canadian Navy is established

1911: A forest fire near Cochrane kills 70 and destroys the town of South Porcupine

1911: Population of Ontario: 2,527,000

1912: Ontario achieves present boundaraies

1914: (1914-1918) World War One - 10% of Ontario's population joins and over 60,000 Canadians are killed

1916: (3 Feb 1916) Parliament Hill's Centre Block (Ottawa, ON) is gutted by fire

1916: The Great Fire. On 29 July 1916 a fire was accidentally started in Matheson (Nipissing District) by rail workers clearing brush. By the time the fire was put out it had wiped out six villages, killed 223 people, and burned an area nearly 1400 sq. kilometres.

1917: (12 Apr 1917) The right to vote in provincial & municipal elections is extended to women

1917: Soldier Settlement Act: Returning soldiers are eligible for land grants

1918 : Influenza Epidemic

1921: Adoption Act: Children's Aid Society assumes final responsibility for adoptions

1921: Population of Ontario: 2,934,000

1922: Great Haileybury Fire: Close to 50 people lose their lives

1924: The Royal Canadian Air Force is established

1925: The United Church held its first service.

1925: The United Church of Canada formed when Methodists, Congregationalists, most Presbyterians, and other small denominations join together

1927: Old Age Pensions Act

1927: The Toronto St Pats are rechristened the Toronto Maple Leafs

1928: (13 Mar 1928) Eileen Vollick is the first Canadian women to earn a pilot's licence

1929: (18 Oct 1929) The 'Persons' Case Decision, Women are declared 'persons' by the British Privy Council

1930: (Aug) The first Commonwealth Games are held in Hamilton

1930: Divorce Act

1930: (Nov) The first international vehicle tunnel is opened connecting Windsor to Detroit

1931: Population of Ontario: 3,432,000

1939: (10 Sep 1939) Canada declares war on Germany, over the next six years over 40,000 Canadians are killed

1940: National Registration of 1940

1941: Population of Ontario: 3,787,655

1941: Trans-Canada Airplane Crash kills 12 near Armstrong

1945: Veterans' Land Act

1946: (1 July 1946) The Canadian Citizenship Act, 'Parliament proclaims an act providing for the creation of a Canadian citizen to take effect 1 January 1947'

1946: (1946-1969) Baby boom

1947: Canadian Citizenship Act

1949: (16 Sep 1949) 118 lose their lives when the SS Noronic burns in Toronto Harbour

1950: Korean War: Canadian forces serve with United Nations

1950: An oil pipeline stretching from the Great Lakes to Edmonton is opened

1950: Construction of the Trans-Canada Highway begins, it will be twenty years before it's completed.

1951: (Nov) In Toronto, The National Ballet of Canada debuts its very first performance

1951: Population of Ontario: 4,597,542

1953: The City of Toronto becomes a Metropolis

1954: (30 Mar 1954) The first Canadian subway is opened in Toronto

1954: (15 Oct 1954) Southern Ontario is hit by Hurricane Hazel. In Toronto alone 83 people are killed.

1958: The Parole Board is created

1959: (2 Feb 1959) "Black Friday" - 30,000 Ontarians lose their jobs when Prime Minister Diefenbaker announces the cancellation of the Avro Arrow & Iroquois Engine Project.

1959: (26 Jun 1959) The St Lawrence Seaway is opened. Construction of the Seaway included the flooding of several communities along the St Lawrence River.

1960: The Canadian Bill of Rights

1960: The right to vote is extended to Treaty Indians

1961: Population of Ontario: 6,236,000

1971: Population of Ontario: 7,868,400

1976: (23 Jun 1976) The CN Tower opens

1977: (7 Apr 1977) Toronto Blue Jays play in the American Baseball League for the first time

1977: Canadian Human Rights Act

(1 Jul 1980): O Canada! Becomes Canada's official national anthem

1981: Population of Ontario: 8,837,800

1982: Access to information Act goes into effect

1982: Dominion Day is renamed Canada Day

1983: The first heart-lung transplant is performed at the University of Western Ontario in London

1984: Canada Health Act

1989: Air Ontario Airplane Crash kills 24 in Dryden

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