Canada is an amazing place like many other countries with tons of historical facts, legends and stories. I have written this just to share some of the interesting historical facts about my country with those who have an interest in Canada and its history so please enjoy.
1. Canada’s First Currency
As many know Canada is one of the countries with the most colorful money on the planet but that only started in 1887 when Ottawa, Ontario issued the first 1 dollar, 2 dollar, 50 dollar, 500 dollar and 1000 dollar bills. Up till then furs and coins where the main currency used here. The picture above is a 1907 penny I found about 15 years ago and still is one of the oldest Canadian pennies I have ever seen. Might not be the oldest but it is still pretty old!
2. First Ford Car Built In Canada
Probably no big surprise but Canada’s first car off a Canadian assembly line was the Ford Model C which at the time sold for around $1,100. This model of car was also Canada’s first Ford vehicle.
First Prime Minister
Now there are some conflicts on this fact. Majority of the History books gives credit to Sir John A. MacDonald as Canada’s first Prime Minister which is like a president. He was first designated on July 1, 1867 and resigned on November 5, 1873 due to some “Pacific Scandal”. He was later then re-elected on September 17, 1878 and died while still in office on June 6, 1891. Other accounts claim the first Prime Minister of Canada was Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine but I learned through out school it was John A MacDonald so you be the judge!
4. First Airplane Flight
“Silver Dart” is the name of the plane which is considered Canada’s first airplane to take flight here. J. McCurdy took to the air in this plane for the first time on February 23, 1909 in Nova Scotia.
5. Canada’s First Newspaper
The paper printed its first edition on Monday March 23, 1752 in a small print shop on Grafton St in Halifax. Paper is still in operation to this day.
6. First Slavery Bill
On June 19, 1793 Attorney General John White of Upper Canada introduced the first bill that prohibited the import of slaves into Upper Canada. The bill was eventually passed and Upper Canada became the only British colony to legislate for abolition slavery.
7. First Subway
Canada’s first subway was “Toronto’s Yonge Subway” which construction started in 1949 and finished in early spring of 1954. It was completed and opened to public on March 30, 1954 and is still in service.
8. First Recorded F4 Twister
This is considered Canada’s first official recorded F4 twister which touched down on June 22, 2007 in Elie, Manitoba around six thirty. It caused millions in damages but to everyone’s surprised no one had died and only 6 people were injured. This is known as one of the worst twisters in Canadian history.
9. Canada’s First Political Assassination
Irish immigrant Thomas D’Arcy McGee was shot and fatality wounded while walking home in Ottawa, Ontario on April 7, 1868. To this day no one knows who shot Thomas McGee.
10. The First Canadian Submarines
They arrived in Canadian waters on Aug 5th 1914. The 2 subs where originally built for the Chilean Navy but after they reneged on the payments, the British Columbia government bought them. These submarines are no longer in service and I have no clue where they might be today.
11. First Gas Station
It was opened in 1907 and was said to be owned by Imperial Oil Company at the time and was in British Columbia.
12. First Canadian Maple Leaf Flag
The first flag that Canada was represented by and was known as the “Canadian Ensign Flag” until it was replaced by the now famous red and white maple leaf flag we all know. The new maple leaf flag started to represent Canada on February 15, 1965 and has ever since.
13. First Canadian Satellite
The first Canadian satellite that was launched into orbit was the “Alouette”. It was sent into space September 29, 1962 to study the ionosphere and was only meant to have a lifespan of 1 year. The satellite ended up lasting for a full ten years transmitting data to earth constantly. Sometime in 1972-73 the satellite had finally stopped sending information. At the time it was only the 3rd satellite in orbit next to Soviet Unions and United States.
14. Longest Covered Wooden Bridge
This is Hartland Bridge in New Brunswick. Many people claim it to be the longest covered wooden bridge in the world. It’s an amazing 1,282 feet long and was built and opened to the public on July 4, 1901. Local legend has it if you hold your breath and make a wish while traveling the length of the bridge, your wish will come true.
15. First National and Oldest Protected Park
Banff National Park in Alberta is beautiful place that was originally established in 1885 on the Western edge of the province and has been protected ever since. Banff Park is still one of Alberta’s largest tourist attractions.