As Canadians we like to pride ourselves on being different from our southern cousins – particularly when it comes to knowledge about our own nation. So while we may laugh at people who think we live in igloos and eat poutine all day, we can’t get too haughty if we don’t know our facts and dates either.
Case and point: Do you know what the original name for Canada Day was?
If not, then you may want to read on for a little mini history lesson in honour of our great country’s upcoming holiday. Here are a few important facts to help you brush up on your Canadian IQ.
Nope, we’re not referring to forefathers, what we’re talking about is the first four provinces (well it was three actually, but we’ll explain that later) that originally made up the ‘self-governing Dominion of Great Britain” (or as we call it today – Canada). Among the four provinces that made up this Dominion were: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec.
Technically, there were 3 original provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada – which is the area where Ontario and Quebec are now. Confusing isn’t it?
Name That Date
So if there is one date you need to remember it’s this one: July 1, 1867. On this day, Canada officially became a ‘Dominion’ of Great Britain. This grand event was called ‘the confederation of Canada’ under the British North America Act, or as we now call it, the Constitution Act.
Dominion Day? What?
On June 20, 1868, the nation’s Governor General proclaimed that Canadians should celebrate the anniversary of the confederation (and rightly so!). Thus in 1879, July 1 became a statutory holiday called… Dominion Day.
Strangely though, it wasn’t until 50 years later that people began having official celebrations. After World War II, Dominion Day was celebrated more frequently and the government became more proactive about creating public events. Of course when we celebrated our 100th anniversary in 1967, people really took notice and began thinking “Hey, why don’t we call it Canada Day?” Much to the chagrin of many traditionalists, the holiday’s name was officially changed to Canada Day in 1983, and since then it’s stuck.
But What About The Other Provinces?
The Canada that we know today certainly took a while to develop. Here is a list of when all the other provinces joined in on the fun.
*side note: when we say join, we mean previous borders and ownership rights were changed.
July 15, 1870
- The North-West Territories join.
- Manitoba joins.
July 20, 1871
- British Columbia joins.
July 1, 1873
- Prince Edward Island joins.
June 13, 1898
- Yukon Territory joins.
September 1, 1905
March 31, 1949
- The Dominion of Newfoundland and its dependency of Labrador join. Both are later renamed under one title: Newfoundland.
April 1, 1999
- The territory of Nunavut joins.
Know Your Bills
Though we see them every day, it’s a rare occasion that we actually think about the faces on our multi-coloured currency. Much more than aging men and women with nice clothes, they are all prominent historical figures and you should know them by name.
$5 Dollars, Wilfrid Laurier,
Prime Minister 1896-1911
And there you have it. A crash course just in time for Canada Day. Considering our hotels are 100% Canadian owned, we think that a well-deserved Sutton Place hotel stay might be the best way to show your patriotism this holiday. So, if you’re in Edmonton, Revelstoke or Vancouver, then get you to the Sutton Place!
What’s more? We have excellent Summer Promo Rates at all of our properties – the perfect way to kick of the festivities off in style. Click here to find out more!
Canada Day events happening in Sutton cities: