Compiled by Ray Yurkowski
Jan. 1: 1858 – The decimal system comes into effect in Canada and the dollar is born. 1966 – The Canada Pension Plan begins. 1975 – Product labelling using the metric system is introduced. 1982 – Canada Post raises first-class mail rates from 17 cents to 30 cents.
Jan. 2: 1929 – First World War ace Wop May takes off from Edmonton with fellow bush pilot Vic Horner to deliver diphtheria vaccine 1,600 kilometres north at Fort Vermilion. The trip, in an open airplane, was made with oil burners to keep the vaccine from freezing. A crowd of 10,000 greet them on their return. 1943 – In support of Second World War efforts, the federal government brings in newsprint rationing.
Jan 3: 1863 – Canada’s first permanent covered skating rink opens at Halifax, Nova Scotia for a private club – the Halifax Skating Rink. The structure was made of wood, with an arched roof and had an elevated platform to accommodate musicians. Up to this time, all skating was all done outside and any covered structures were temporary. The first artificial ice rinks opened at Victoria and Vancouver in 1912.
Jan. 4: 1856 – Free education is now provided to all Ottawa children. 2006 – Suncor marks the sale of its billionth barrel of oil sands crude since the operation began in 1967.
Jan. 5: 1839 – Gallows are erected at the London, Ontario jail for the first hanging in the city, of Republican rebels captured in 1838.
Jan. 6: 1936 – Barbara Hanley is elected as Canada’s first female mayor at Webbwood, west of Sudbury, defeating Robert Streich by 13 votes. She served as mayor for eight terms.
Jan. 7: 1778 – The first public library is founded at Quebec City with 1,185 volumes.
Jan. 8: 1869 – The first suspension bridge over the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls is open to traffic. 1947 – Montreal Police hire their first nine female constables. 1948 – Mackenzie King sets a record as the longest serving prime minister in the Commonwealth with 7,825 days in office.
Jan. 9: 1805 – Lower Canada parliament starts their session prohibiting Sunday shopping and assessing a tax to pay for jails. 1889 – The Niagara suspension bridge collapses during a winter storm.
Jan. 10: 1815 – The British government bans Americans from settling in Canada. 1942 – Elizabeth Monk and Suzanne Pilon Filion are admitted to the Québec Bar as the province’s first female lawyers.
Jan. 11: 1911 – The Canadian government mandates high schools to begin programs for cadet training to help promote a strong militia.
Jan. 12: 1868 – Nova Scotia votes to leave Confederation unless it can get better terms.
Jan. 13: 1823 – An early project for the union of the Upper and Lower Canada is abandoned. 1984 – Ann Cools is appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. She is the first black Canadian to serve in the Upper Chamber.
Jan. 14: 1932 – Women property owners are given the right to vote in Montreal civic elections.
Jan. 15: 1949 – The first non-stop flight across Canada takes off from Halifax and lands in Vancouver eight hours and 32 minutes later. 1976 – The Ontario Legislature votes to end a two-month strike by 8,800 Toronto secondary-school teachers.
Jan. 16: 1939 – A comic strip created by Toronto illustrator Joe Shuster and American writer Jerry Siegel makes its debut in newspapers: Superman.
Jan. 17: 1972 – More than 1,600 Canadian air-traffic controllers begin a 12-day strike, which grounds most commercial flights.
Jan. 18: 1797 – Start of the first mail service from Montreal to New York, Niagara and Detroit. 1907 – John J. McLaughlin is awarded a trademark for his beverage, Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale.
Jan. 19: 1989 – Heather Erxleben becomes the first female combat soldier in Canada, after completing her training at the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle School, CFB Wainwright, Alberta.
Jan. 20: 1989 – In a transaction worth up to $4.15 billion, Imperial Oil acquires Texaco’s Canadian operations.
Jan. 21: 1793 – The Assembly of Lower Canada ratifies one of its first motions, to allow debates or motions in French or English, without giving one language precedence over the other.
Jan. 22: 1807 – Canada’s first curling club is founded by 20 merchants and a chaplain who liked to curl together on the ice of the St. Lawrence River. The Montreal Curling Club, now the Royal Montreal Curling Club, is the oldest established sports club still active in North America.
Jan. 23: 1935 – The thermometer drops to minus-58.3 degrees C at Iroquois Falls, the lowest temperature ever recorded in Ontario.
Jan. 24: 1942 – Mary Ellen Smith becomes BC’s first female member of the legislative assembly, winning a byelection as an Independent Liberal under the slogan, “Women and children first.”
Jan. 25: 1963 – Wilson Kettle of Newfoundland dies at age 102. At the time, he has 582 living descendents: 11 of his 13 children, 65 grandchildren, 201 great-grandchildren and 305 great-great-grandchildren.
Jan. 26: 1900 – The Niagara Parks Commission approves a plan to build a massive hydro-electric generating station on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. 1974 – The Global television network begins broadcasting in Ontario.
Jan. 27: 1914 – Nellie McClung leads a delegation to Manitoba’s provincial legislature to present several petitions and request that women be granted the right to vote. 1927 – World famous Saskatchewan hen, Lady Victorine, after laying her 694th egg.
Jan. 28: 1916 – Manitoba becomes the first province in Canada to grant women the right to vote and to hold political office provincially.
Jan. 29: 1988 – Canadian Pacific acquires nine hotels from Canadian National for $260 million.
Jan. 30: Rev. John Strachan writes a letter to ex-President Thomas Jefferson protesting actions of U.S. forces, who burned and looted York (Toronto) during the War of 1812.
Jan. 31: 1851 – The Hamilton Gas Light Company installs the first of 220 downtown street lamps. 2014 – Conrad Black is removed from the Order of Canada after his U.S. conviction on charges of fraud and obstruction of justice.