Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Monday, August 02, 2004

Civic Holiday

In Ontario the first Monday of August is the Civic Holiday. For most of the Ontarians this is just another long-weekend when they get the opportunity to enjoy the summer's sun, and go to the closest beach, trail, lake, etc. or participate in street festivals. For others it is the occasion to learn about Ontario's history or visit museums.

The idea of a summer holiday was given way back in 1869 by the Toronto City Council. Later on, in 1968, the holiday was renamed as Simcoe Day, in the honor of the first Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario (Upper Canada as it was named initially), John Graves Simcoe.

Check Toronto’s Arts Center site for info on other events organized.

Facts I learned while reading about the history of this day:
- first provincial capital was Niagara-on-the-Lake (Newark) established in 1792.
- Toronto in 1792 was an abandoned French fort.
- in 1793 Simcoe moved the capital in the Toronto harbor and named it York, in the honor of Frederick, Duke of York, George III's second son, who won over the French at Flanders.
- Ontario abolished the slavery in 1810 (influenced probably by the need to populate the province and by the French humanitarism movement that culminated with their revolution) before other British holdings, that did it in 1833.
- Simcoe intended initially to settle the provincial capital at London, Ontario.
- Simcoe's longest street built, Yonge Street, running initially from Toronto harbor till Lake Simcoe will become the world's longest street of around 2000Km. Lake Simcoe is the biggest interior lake in this poster.

If you are interested to learn about the Civic Holiday in all Canada, check this site.


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