In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, municipalities across Canada will be planning events, projects and programming throughout the commemorative year. The City of Vaughan will also be joining in the celebration through a series of community-partnered events and programs. Last year, the City of Vaughan created it’s own Canada 150 Task Force which was created to consult residents, businesses and community organizations to collect ideas and develop recommendations for how Vaughan can make meaningful contributions to help mark the commemorative year. As a co-chair, I am proud of what this committee has prepared for everyone to enjoy in Vaughan! Building on the overarching theme for Canada 150 — strong, proud and free — three words that define and characterize present-day Canada, Vaughan’s celebration program will focus on promoting and showcasing its robust economy and demonstrating pride in its identity as a free and diverse society.
This historic timeline is a celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. It focuses primarily on the history and development of the City of Vaughan from 1867 onward. Click here to view the entire timeline.
Early indigenous peoples of Southern Ontario were nomadic hunter-gatherers, but as agricultural practices developed and resources became secure there was no need for groups to split up to search for food, allowing for the establishment of permanent village settlements.
A reconstruction of a family longhouse, the living structures of Northern Iroquoian peoples of the Vaughan area such as the Huron.
By 1500, two large Iroquoian villages were in place near the central Humber River and on its branch, Black Creek. The First Nations of the area predominantly belonged to the Iroquois speaking group, and included the Hurons of the Georgian Bay area. Geographically, Vaughan was an important Region for the First Nations and later the French due to the Humber River and Humber Trail, linking Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe.
Pen and ink drawing from A History of Vaughan Township, G. E. Reaman, 1971, pg. 11.
The Vaughan Lodge of the Masonic Order, was formed in 1854 in Nobleville (present day Maple), with James Wood presiding as the first Worshipful Master. The Vaughan Lodge is the second oldest lodge in Canada, with the first being formed in Annapolis, Nova Scotia in 1738.
Artifacts from the Vaughan Lodge
On July 1st, 1867, the British North America Act came into effect, unifying the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into the Dominion of Canada. With a population of approximately 7000, Vaughan Township had grown into a vibrant agricultural community.
Conference at Quebec in 1864, to settle the basics of a union of the British North American Provinces, also known as The Fathers of Confederation, 1885 photograph of Robert Harris’ painting
Local residents once again served their country in Canada’s military, but also worked in war industry in Toronto and developed local organizations in Vaughan to support the troops.
Members of the Maple Knit-Wit Club, a group formed in 1942 to assist the Allied war effort during World War II by providing knitted goods to Maple residents serving in the Canadian military, 1942
CANADA DAY 2017: THE HISTORY OF CANADA
Each year on July 1, we celebrate Canada Day, a national holiday that commemorates the anniversary of Confederation and honours the spirit, values and ideals that contribute to our uniquely Canadian identity. We’re planning a Canada Day event to remember! Be sure to check back for updates.
On March 29, 1867, the Confederation Act, 1867, known then as the British North America Act, was passed by the British Parliament. The three separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were unified into the Dominion of Canada and a parliamentary system based on that of Great Britain was established, forming the Government of Canada. The Act came into full effect on July 1, 1867. The provinces of Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland were added soon after.
Originally known as Dominion Day, Canada Day as a holiday was not made official until 1982. Prior to 1900, there was little Canadian nationalism as many Canadians still regarded themselves as British citizens. The first official celebration would not be held unit 1917, in honour of Canada’s 50th birthday. Canada’s centennial marked the first widespread celebration in 1967, promoting nationalism and Canadian pride. The holiday continued to grow in the late 1960’s and many events were televised and broadcast throughout the country. In the 1980s, the government began funding activities in smaller communities, and on July 9, 1982, the name was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day. The holiday was finally made official by a unanimous vote on Oct. 27, 1982, the same year that the Canada Act was passed, granting the country full independence from Great Britain.
VAUGHANLINK AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
Volunteers are the heartbeat of any city. The VaughanLink Ambassador Program will welcome and encourage volunteers to be part of the Canada 150 experience and contribute to the lasting impact the commemorative year will have on Vaughan citizens.
Ambassadors will be tasked with showing their community spirit with pride while assisting at special City events and festivals, spreading the news about exciting local events and being advocates of arts and culture. A training session, as well as information and promotional items, will be provided. The program is expected to begin in April. Be sure to the check the Canada 150 VaughanLink Ambassador Program Page for updates.
The spirit of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation is in the air and the party is coming to the City of Vaughan. This year of national celebration — known as the sesquicentennial — promises opportunities for citizens, visitors, businesses and community and cultural groups to participate, celebrate and embrace their civic pride. Click here
to view the full calendar and join us for these upcoming Canada 150 events!
ACTIVITIES AND GAMES
Canada 150 is about celebrating our nation’s history and honouring our First Nations heritage. Vaughan schools, community service organizations and businesses will be invited to awaken their bold, imaginative thinking in a citywide exercise to creatively capture our vision and wishes for our future.
The collective art project will see the creation of a number of original dreamcatchers that will be collected and transformed into a public art display installed in various spaces across the city. Participants will receive a toolkit with instructions and materials, and are encouraged to use their imaginations. This initiative is expected to launch in March.
Video game culture is a growing niche, with the power to inspire open community spaces where innovation, discovery, teamwork and expression can take shape. The City of Vaughan, in partnership with community organizations and businesses, will launch a friendly gaming challenge inviting local youth to come together, create teams and demonstrate their creativity in a fun and engaging way. The event is expected to take place in September in the City’s new downtown — the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.
The City will be using the hashtag #VaughanCAN150 to communicate news, information and updates about Canada 150 in Vaughan on social media. You’re encouraged to start using the hashtag to share your excitement about the upcoming commemorative year.
See Vaughan’s Canada 150 photos and videos and receive news and alerts by: