Defining Moments In Canadian History (1914 - Present)

  • Great Britain declares war on Germany

    When WW1 started, Canada was no longer a British colony, nor was it completely independent because British government still controlled its foreign policy. This meant that when Britain declared war, Canada automatically went to war too.
  • The Battle Of Ypres

    When Canadian soldiers arrived in Europe. They were ordered to go help the French and Britain troops, especially the French front-line troops because they were hit hard by German's new deadly weapon: chlorine gas. Canadian troops moved in and stopped the Germans advance and proved they could do the job when asked.
  • Introducing Conscription in WW1

    As the war continued, more and more Canadians were injured or killed in the battle and fewer volunteers wanted to sign up. As a result, Borden decided that conscription (forced men 16+ to enlist) was the only way to raise enough troops. The families of those who were already overseas, supported the act and violent protestors in Quebec refused to conscription. This issue created hatred and distrust between the English and French Canadians.
  • The Halifax Explosion

    When the Mont Blanc and the Imo, collided in the harbour. The Mont Blanc was loaded with about 2400 tones of explosives. The explosion flattened a large part of Halifax, thousands of Canadians were died or wounded and hundreds more were left homeless. The Destruction vividly showed Canadians the horror of war.
  • Treaty of Versailles in WW1

    The Treaty of Versailles, ended World War 1, was the peace agreement between the Allies and Germany. When WW1 officially ended, Canadians no longer want Britain to speak for them. Since Canada had made an important contribution to the war, Prime Minister Robert Borden argued and earned the right to send independent delegates to the negotiating table and the right to sign as the leader of an independent country.
  • Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King

    William Lyon Mackenzie King is the longest serving Prime Minister in Canadian history from 1921-26, 1926-30 and 1935-48. Also known as the one who gave "the five-cent speech".
  • The Chinese Exclusion Act

    This act banned all Chinese immigrants to Canada except students, children of Canadians and some wealthy investors. Head tax were also used by the Canadians to prevent Chinese Immigrants to Canada.
  • Royal Canadian Air Force

    During WW1, Canada had no air force of its own. Canadians created the RCAF for three purposes; air training, protecting the convoys and attacking Europe.
  • Black Thursday

    Canada and other countries around began reporting bumper crops. As a result, there was too much wheat for sale, the wheat prices began to fall. Millions of dollars were lost as people tried to cut their losses by selling wheat. Eventually, Canada and the entire world moved into the Great Depression.
  • The On-to-Ottawa Trek

    In 1935, camp workers organized a protest and demanded for a higher wage. Bennett had no sympathy for them and ordered the RCMP to end the protest in Regina. Dozens of protestors were injured and few police officer was killed and in the end, nothing changed.
  • Canada Declares War on Germany

    Seven days after Britain and France declared war on the Nazi Third Reich. Canada declared war on Germany, the country's first independent declaration of WW2.
  • British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Is Created

    Canada and Britain created the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan because aircrews could not train safely due to constant attacks by German bombers. The plan brought many aircrews and pilots to train in safety at 231 sites in Canada.
  • Emerging of the United Nation

    Since the League of Nations had failed, many nations came together to try again to create an international organization dedicated to peace called The United Nations. In January 1942, 24 countries, including Canada, adopted to the Atlantic Charter. Canada was a member and a very strong supporter of the United Nations from the beginning.
  • The Invasion of Normandy

    The Allies surprised the Germans, when they launched the biggest invasion in history called the D-Day. The invasion force included 156 000 American, British and Canadian troops. Even though the Germans were surprised, their defense remain strong. That day, 359 Canadian soldiers were killed and more than 700 were wounded.
  • The Atomic Bomb

    The Germans and japan suffered the biggest losses when the Allied bombers used 'area bombing' to create firestorms. On August 6, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan which caused great destruction that ended WW2.
  • Canada Joins NATO

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is created by the countries of Western Europe and North America to protect themselves from the Soviet military threat. Canada was one of the founding members of NATO.
  • Creation Of N.O.R.A.D

    When the Soviet Union built long-range bombers and ballistic missiles that could reach North America. The United States built its own ballistic missiles, and Canada and the US created the North American Air Defense Command. The purpose of NORAD, which is now called the North America Aerospace Defense Command, is to track objects in space and issue warnings so that enemy aircraft and missiles can be shot down before they reach their target.
  • The October Crisis

    Many across Canada were worried when an FLQ group kidnapped James Cross, the British trade commissioner in Montreal and five days later, Pierre Laporte, Quebec's minister of labor and immigration because the members of FLQ had been caught and jailed. The War Measure Act was used upon the FLQ by Pierre Trudeau and was found dead on October 17, in the trunk of a car.
  • The CN Tower

    The CN Tower is the world's tallest building as well as Canada's most recognizable icon and was built by the Canadian National Railway.
  • The Terry Fox Run

    A young Canadian, started the marathon of hope when he loosed his leg to cancer at the age of 20. He decided to run from coast to coast in order to raise money for cancer research. Unfortunately, he could not continued his run, as the cancer has spread to his lung. He was forced to stop on September 1, 1980 just north-east of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
  • Canada Health Act

    The Canada Health Act is Canada's federal legislation for publicly funded health care insurance.
  • Gay and Lesbian Rights

    Though the Charter of Rights and Freedoms bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, attitudes toward gays and lesbians were slow to change. Until, Svend Robinson became the first member of Parliament to openly declare that he is gay in 1988. Same-sex marriage changed in 2000, when the federal government passed a law giving same-sex couples the right to benefits. In 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to recognize same-sex marriages.
  • Oka Crisis

    Some Mohawks on the Kanesatake reserve, goal is to stop the plan to expand a golf course onto the land they claim they own. The standoff went on for four months as the government refused to talk to the protesters while the roadblock was in place and the protesters refused to remove it.
  • First Canadian Woman in Space

    Roberta Bondar was one of the first Canadian astronauts and became the first Canadian woman in space in 1992.
  • The G20 Toronto Summit

    The G-20 took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre as the G-20 heads of government came together to discuss the global financial system and the world economy. More than 400 people were arrested as violence broke out. Vandals smashed the windows of various office buildings and stores along Yonge Street, Queen Street West and College Street using hammers, flag poles, umbrellas and etc., causing great destruction that frighten many.