Canada during the Interwar Years (1918-1939)

  • The War is Over

    The War is Over
    On this day in Canadian history, an armistice was signed between Germany and the Allies (of which Canada was a part), and the Great War has officially ended.
  • Period: to

    Between WWI and WWII

  • One Big Union is Formed

    One Big Union Delegates from most Western Canadian unions met at the Western Labour Conference in Calgary, AB, and held a vote on whether they should become their own revolutionary industrial union - and secede from the ones they already belonged to. They had a great deal of support, and the OBU was formed in early June.
  • Winnipeg General Strike

    Winnipeg General Strike
    Winnipeg General Strike This strike lasted until 25 June, 1919. Around 30,000 workers walked out on the job to fight for better working conditions and higher wages, among other things. This was the largest strike in Canada, and though it took place in Winnipeg, it was a large event that affected the entire nation.
  • Canada and the League of Nations

    Canada and the League of Nations
    League of Nations The League of Nations has its first council meeting in Paris; Canada is one of the nations present. It was founded a week earlier, on 10 January. We sat as a separate nation from Britain in this League - it was an important part of our road to autonomy, even though the League itself fell apart in the 1930s.
  • Indian Act Amended

    This act was amended on this day, to give Canadian First Nations/ Aboriginal peoples the right to vote.
  • Group of Seven Exhibit

    Group of Seven Exhibit
    The Group of Seven holds their first art exhibit in Toronto, ON. They are the ones responsible for developing and influencing a uniquely "Canadian" artistic style and form. They painted and sketched only Canadian landscapes - a great form of promotion for our nation as well!
  • Arthur Meighen Becomes Prime Minister

    Arthur Meighen Becomes Prime Minister
    Arthur Meighen replaces Sir Robert Borden as Prime Minister of Canada. He is the current leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
  • Federal Election, and Progress for Women!

    Federal Election, and Progress for Women!
    The Liberal Party of Canada wins a minority government over Arthur Meighen and the Conservative party, and a few weeks later William Lyon Mackenzie-King becomes Prime Minister. Also on this day, Agnes Macphail becomes the first woman elected to Parliament. Women vote for the first time after the war.
  • Dr. Frederick Banting and Insulin

    Dr. Frederick Banting and Insulin
    In January of 1922, Dr. Banting and his associate, Dr. Charles Best (left in photo) test their insulin treatment on their first human patient. The test has wonderful results, and they continue with their work on many more voluntary diabetic participants. On October 25, 1923, they were awarded The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their oustanding contribution to the field.
  • Chanak Affair

    Chanak Affair
    It was on this day that Britain sent a telegram to its Dominions, requesting that they dispatch soldiers to aid Britain in its struggles against Turkey, as a show of Empire solidarity. PM Mackenzie-King did not want to help, because Canada was still recovering from WWI. King decided that he would discuss the matter with Parliament first, rather than immediately sending aid. This was an early sign that Canada was becoming more autonomous during the 1920s.
  • The Halibut Treaty

    This is the day that Canada signed The Halibut Treaty with the United States, which provided rules and regulations for fishing off of the Pacific coast, as well as declared certain times as off-seasons, so to preserve and help maintain the halibut population. This treaty was very important to Canada, because it was the first treaty that we signed without Britain's approval. PM King declared that since the matter did not concern Britain in any way, there was no need for them to get involved.
  • Chinese Immigration Act

    Chinese Immigration Act
    Due to the creation of this Act, all people from China were banned from entering Canada, with very few exceptions. Only businessmen, diplomats, foreign students, and people with "special circumstances" were allowed to immigrate. All other Chinese people were turned back and refused entry to the country. This was done because the Head Tax had not curbed Chinese immigration into Canada as much as the government had hoped.
  • Start of the Imperial Conference

    Start of the Imperial Conference
    Imperial Conferences This conference lasted until 8 November, 1923. The main concern of this conference was to determine and agree upon the rights of Britain's Dominions in regards to determining their own foreign policies. It was here that PM King stood up for Canada regarding The Halibut Treaty and his unwillingness to involve Britain.
  • Royal Canadian Air Force is Formed

    Royal Canadian Air Force is Formed
    The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is formed. It was involved with more civilian type operations in the beginning, but towards the end of the 1920s became more of a military type unit.
  • Another Election

    Another Election
    Prime Minister Mackenzie-King does not win the majority of seats, but he refuses to resign his seat as Prime Minister and hand the title over to Arthur Meighen. He has the support of the smaller Progressive Parties (which are incredibly strong right now), and intends to hold a minority government with their support. Start of the King-Byng Affair.
  • King-Byng Affair Climax

    King-Byng Affair Climax
    Mackenzie-King wants the Governor-General, Lord Julian Byng, to dissolve Parliament and hold another election after his government is wrought with scandal. Byng refuses, and instead appoints Arthur Meighen as Prime Minister. An election is called shortly after, due to a vote of non-confidence.
  • Mackenzie-King Wins Again

    After Meighen's vote of non-confidence occurred, another federal election had to be called. Mackenzie-King's Liberals trumped Meighen's Conservatives, and Mackenzie-King became Prime Minister yet again.
  • Another Imperial Conference and the Balfour Report

    With this conference, Canada and the other Dominions of Britain were given official autonomy. This means that Canada no longer needs Britain's approval for every action they take, and they can officially sign their own documents and repesent themselves in the world.
  • Canada Places Envoy in USA

    Canada Places Envoy in USA
    Vincent Massey On this day, Vincent Massey was appointed the first Canadian Envoy to the United States, and he relocated to Washington, D.C. He was the first Canadian envoy to possess full diplomatic credentials in a foreign capital.
  • Lindbergh's Flight

    Lindbergh's Flight
    Charles Lindbergh sucessfully completes his non-stop, solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He is the first person to do this.
  • Old Age Pensions Act Introduced

    One of many social reforms to be introduced during Mackenzie-King's time as Prime Minister. This Act provided money to the elderly so that they could stop working at younger ages and be taken care of after no longer receiving an income.
  • The Jazz Singer

    The Jazz Singer
    In October 1927, The Jazz Singer was released in theatres everywhere. This was huge, because it was the first major talking picture ( a "talkie") to be released (that we know of today). Before this, all films were silent, and live music was played to accompany the actions on the screen.
  • Women Are NOT Persons?

    Women Are NOT Persons?
    The "Alberta Five" go to the Supreme Court of Canada to petition whether or not women are people and allowed to hold office. The Supreme Court rules that women are not persons, and as such cannot hold office. This is overruled a year later (1929) by the Privy Council in Britain - and women are legally declared persons in Canada.
  • Summer Olympics

    Summer Olympics
    The summer olympics were hosted by Amsterdam from July 28 - August 12. Not only did Canada compete and take home some medals, but women were allowed to compete in track and field events for the first time! Bobbie Rosenfeld and Ethel Catherwood were two female Canadian athletes, and they won medals in these games.
  • Winnipeg Grain Exchange Collapses

  • Stock Market Crash

    Stock Market Crash
    Toronto, New York, and Montreal's Stock Markets crash on what became known as "Black Tuesday". Many people lost most of their money - if not all of it - and became paupers over the course of a day. Some stocks in Toronto lost as much as 1,000,000$ a minute. Start of the Great Depression in North America
  • Period: to

    The Great Depression in Canada

  • Election Time Rolls Around

    Election Time Rolls Around
    Mackenzie-King loses the federal election, and R.B. Bennett becomes the new Prime Minister of Canada on August 7.
  • Hockey Night in Canada first Broadcast

    Hockey Night in Canada first Broadcast
    In November 1931 Hockey Night in Canada was aired on Canadian radio stations for the first time; all of the games they covered were Toronto Maple Leafs games. Over the years they changed radio stations, gained a larger audience, and started broadcasting the games of other teams. The show still exists today, though now it is on TV as well as the radio, hosted by Don Cherry, the man with a new suit for every show!
  • Statute of Westminster

    The Statute of Westminster goes into effect. Canada has now been granted full legislative independence in national and international affairs. The Crown (Britain) is represented by the Governor-General.
  • **Co-operative Commonwealth Federation Formed

    The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) was formed. They were a group that aimed to help those suffering in Canada: namely the ill, elderly, the workers, and farmers. During the Great Depression, many people faced hardships and struggles, and the CCF wanted to help those who needed it most.
  • ** Hitler Becomes Chancellor of Germany

    ** Hitler Becomes Chancellor of Germany
    Hitler On this day in world history, Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany. A year later he became the Fuhrer, and started to take over with his promises of reform and improvement for the German peoples. A very important figure of the 1930s and 1940s, around the world.
  • **Reconstruction Party of Canada Formed

    A party that argued for drastic economic reform and government intervention in the economy. Its founder had been a member of the Conservative Party, but split off from them when he realized that they were not interested in his policies. The party also opposed Canadian involvement in a European war.
  • **On-to-Ottawa Trek

    **On-to-Ottawa Trek
    Thousands of unemployed Canadian men trek to Ottawa to protest the abysmal conditions in federal relief camps. These camps had been set up to help, but the working and living conditions were poor, and the pay was even poorer. These men involved in the trek went on strike in April of 1935, and in June headed out to bring their grievances to the federal government in Ottawa.
  • **The Third Time's The Charm

    In the federal election of 1935, Prime Minister Bennett is defeated by Mackenzie-King, who becomes Prime Minister for the third time in the past 15 years.
  • **Spanish Civil War Begins

    **Spanish Civil War Begins
    The war between the Republicans, who were loyal to the established Spanish Republic, and the Nationalists - led by Francisco Franco - started on this date and lasted for almost three years. Canada contributed 1195 soldiers to the International Brigades of the Republican forces; however, the Nationalists won the war and Franco ruled Spain until his death decades later.
  • **The CBC is Born

    **The CBC is Born
    The Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission is replaced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
  • **Trans-Canada Airlines Created

    **Trans-Canada Airlines Created
    This was the predecessor to Air Canada, and was a subsidiary of Canadian National Railway (CNR). Regular flights started up on September 1 of this same year.
  • **Anschluss

    German troops occupy Austria, and annexation of the nation is declared the following day.
  • Germany Takes Poland

    Germany Takes Poland
    Poland is invaded by Germany, and is annexed as well. Adolf Hitler also announces his appointments for successors to his position as chancellor should he die - Hermann Goring, and then Rudolf Hess.
  • **World War II has Arrived

    **World War II has Arrived
    On this day in Canadian history, Canada declares war on Nazi Germany, one week after Britain gives its declaration of war.