Canadian History Time Line, 1911 to Present

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The History Ring

A review of this site by Brent Johner is available at the Canadian History site.

    War (WWI) is declared on Germany (by Britain, implicating CA automatically). The War Measures Act is passed suspending civil rights during crises. Immigration to CA is at an all-time high. The Parliament of Women is staged


    Women are granted the right to vote & hold public office, thanks to Nellie Mclung (or here, or yet more links) & others. The Parliament buildings are destroyed in a fire. 25,000 Canadians & Newfoundlanders are killed in the Battle of the Somme. (Here for other links, maps, etc. for 3 major battles of WWI.)












    10% of CDNs depend on financial relief (here for an analysis of economic issues of the period). Young men from government-sponsored work camps end their “On to Ottawa Trek” in a riot at Regina


    Roosevelt (and here for biography or time line links) becomes the first president in office to visit CA. [A link that was formerly listed on this site has been changed; it was found to contain inaccurate information. My aplogies to anyone who was offended by that inadvertent error.]


    Britain declares war (WWII) on Germany. CA declares war shortly after. (Set of links for Canada and WWII)


    Unemployment insurance becomes available (here for an interesting history of Social Work in Canada). Thérèse Casgrain helps women win the right to vote & hold office in the provincial legislature (Quebec)




    On D-Day, Canadians push further inland than other Allied forces. Saskatchewan elects the first Socialist government in NA with the CCF led by Tommy Douglas (here for history of NDP)


    WWII ends. Of the one million Canadian soldiers who fought, 42,000 were killed. Family Allowance payments are introduced. A Soviet spy network is found to be operating in CA


    Newfoundland becomes the 10th province. CA joins NATO. The final court of appeal in CA is the Supreme Court after CDN appeals to the British Privy Council are abolished


    The Korean War begins; Canadians are part of a United Nations force


    Population is 14,009,429. Immigration after the war is more than 100,000 per year (also here). A report finds that CA’s culture is dominated by American influences. The Indian Act is revised to limit coverage of Native people, excluding Native women who married non-Native men (rescinded in 1985)




    An economic slowdown occurs. The first subway in CA opens in Toronto. CA becomes part of a peacekeeping force supervising peace in Indochina


    In Springhill, N.S. a coal mine disaster results in the deaths of 74 miners



    The Quiet Revolution begins in Quebec. The Canadian Bill of Rights is approved by Parliament. French is beginning to become a recognized language of instruction in schools outside of Quebec


    CCF becomes the New Democratic Party (NDP)


    The first Medicare plan is introduced (Saskatchewan). A CDN satellite is launched. The last executions take place in Toronto


    The Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ) sets off bombs in Montreal (FLQ manifesto)


    Social Insurance numbers & cards are issued. Peacekeeping ends in the Congo, & troops are posted to Cyprus


    A new flag is adopted by CA









    Bill 101 is passed in Quebec limiting access to English-language schools


    The Supreme Court declares unilingual legislatures & courts unconstitutional (Quebec & Manitoba)


    Quebec votes against separation in a referendum. “O Canada” becomes national anthem. Jeanne Sauvé becomes first woman Speaker of the House of Commons. National Energy Program (NEP) is created.


    Terry Fox, whose marathons raised funds for cancer research, dies. The federal government & all provinces except Quebec agree on a way of patriating the constitution. Charter of Rights and Freedoms


    The Ocean Ranger oil platform sinks. A new Constitution & Charter of Rights (see half way down their long page or here) is introduced


    CA agrees to test U.S cruise missiles. Mulroney replaces Clark as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party



    Mulroney & Reagan agree to support Star Wars research & free trade. Major amendments made to Indian Act grants Band Councils jurisdiction over reserve lands, restores rights


    The CDN dollar value is low at 70.20¢ U.S. CA supports sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid regime. CA is honoured by the UN for providing a haven for many of the world’s refugees


    Provincial premiers agree to the Meech Lake Accord (though it does not pass in 1990). Pay Equity legislation is passed in Ontario. The Reform party with its popularity base centred in Western Canada, is founded


    The French-only sign law is reinstated after being struck down by the Supreme Court, through the “notwithstanding” (an opinion column which discusses the clause) clause in the Charter of Rights & Freedoms


    Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) takes effect. GST (goods & services tax) is introduced for 1991




    Cod fishery is shut down in Atlantic region. NAFTA is signed. Constitutional reform (the or here Charlottetown Accord) including reform of the Senate, self government for aboriginal nations, enlarged House of Commons—though having Quebec's approval—is voted down in a national referendum


    Quebec Cree win compensation from Hydro Quebec for damage to their lands. NAFTA legislation passes in House of Commons (NAFTA defended in 1997 by Mulroney). Brian Mulroney resigns as Prime Minister. Kim Campbell becomes first female Prime Minister, but her party (Conservative) is defeated & nearly eradicated in an election.


    Quebec holds a referendum on sovereignty, & the No side barely wins a majority. Native people (Cree, Innu) review their stand on Quebec sovereignty. Study of Somalia Affair causes disbanding of Airborne Regiment. Representatives of aboriginal people gather in Dec. and issue the Sacred Assembly Proclamation; from this was developed the Reconciliation Proclamation and the Statement of Principles and Priorities.


    Flooding in Saguenay/Lac-St-Jean and in some Northern Ontario towns. General Jean Boyle resigns over Somalia Inquiry controversy (Inquiry was cut short in 1997; some background info.); report here; additional links here (CBC Newsworld)


    Federal election sends five parties to Parliament. The provincial premiers, except Lucien Bouchard of Quebec, draw up a proposal for constitutional reform known as the Calgary Declaration. Flooding in Manitoba (some more photos). Report on military's role in the 21st Century. A second Sacred Assembly (see 1995 entry) is held but does not issue a proclamation. An out of court settlement between the Federal Government and Brian Mulroney is reached in the Airbus affair. Confederation Bridge between the mainland and PEI opens (critique here)


    Electrical failures due to ice storm (New York—I know it's not Canada, but for American readers this may be of interest—here, Montreal area here) leave millions of people without power in mid-winter in Quebec & Ontario (here's news, here's satellite image). Blood is being collected by the Canadian Blood Services since the Canadian Red Cross had to withdraw from its role in the blood system in 1997 after it comes to light that people had become infected by tainted blood since the mid-1980's. Allegations of the abuse of women in the Canadian military become public


    NWT is divided into Nunavut, the east part, & a western territory, still to be named. (This is a site in Inuktitut with pictures and a font for viewing.)The Royal Ontario Museum's largest collection of human remains of over 500 Wendat (Huron) people, whom archaeologists unearthed in the 1940's, are returned to the Ossossane burial ground near Midland, Ontario; members of the Wendat Nation came from all over NA to witness the burial of their ancestors.

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Updated September 2000

N.B.: All links in the Time Line will take you off this site. Bookmark now, or use your browser's "back" feature. See Introduction for further information regarding links.
For visual representations of the changing map of Canada during this time period, see Canadian Geographic's Mapping Canada site.




HBC—Hudsons’s Bay Company;

NA–North America

NAFTA–North American Free Trade Agreement.

Standard provincal & other abbreviations used wherever possible.

Primary sources: The 1999 Canadian Global Almanac by John Robert Colombo; A Short History of Canada by Desmond Morton.

Icons are used primarily to illustrate the main tenor of the entry for a given date and to help follow events at a glance.

= Exploration

= Historic voyage (exploration)

= Settlement

= Events concerning Native people

= Conflict for a national claim

= Treaty, act or decree

= Battle or war

= Religious matters

= CA nation


= Railroad

= Western Canada

= Women, women's rights

= Culture or media

= Science, technology

= Natural disaster

= CA & the world

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