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  • 1 Black Settlement in Oro Township

    Oro Township in Simcoe County was established in 1819 by the Executive Council of Upper Canada to help secure the province's northern frontier against a possible American invasion. The community was the first government-sponsored Black settlement in Upper Canada (Ontario). Land along the Penetanguishene Road was divided into 200-acre lots, which were offered to Black veterans of the War of 1812. By 1831, nine families had taken up residence along Wilberforce Street. They were later joined by Black settlers from Ohio and the Wilberforce Settlement in Biddulph Township, who were offered land grants by the Commissioner of Crown Lands. The settlers were only marginally successful in farming the land – which was remote, of poor quality, swampy and difficult to clear. The settlement eventually declined as farmers were discouraged by the harsh climate. Descendants of these settlers continue to live in the area, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church erected near Edgar in 1849 remains a testament to this early Black community in Upper Canada.

    2 record(s) found

  • 2 Clergy reserves

    The clergy reserves were lands in Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) that were specifically set aside by the Constitution Act of 1791 to support the Anglican Church. Though the land was intended to support the Church of England (Anglican), the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) was granted a claim in 1824 to a portion of the clergy reserves as an “established” Church in Canada. Income from the lands gave the Anglican and Presbyterian churches economic resources unavailable to other Protestant denominations, whose members petitioned for the redistribution of the lands amongst all Protestant groups in Upper Canada. In 1840, the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada divided the profits of the clergy reserves, with half designated for the Church of England and Church of Scotland, and the remaining half to all other Protestant denominations. In 1854, the Upper and Lower Canada coalition government of Sir Allan MacNab (1798-1862) and Augustin Morin (1803-65) passed legislation that secularized the clergy reserves as Crown Lands, redirecting their profits to regional municipality funds.

    1 record(s) found

  • 3 Continuing Presbyterians

    In the wake of the establishment of the United Church of Canada (made up of Presbyterians, Methodists and Congregationalists), approximately 30 per cent of Presbyterians chose not to join the United Church. They operated under the name of “Continuing Presbyterians” until 1939 when the Supreme Court of Canada gave them the right to retain the name Presbyterian. For this reason, many new Presbyterian congregations were created in 1925 in towns and cities across Ontario.

    21 record(s) found

  • 4 Establishment of Brethren in Christ Church

    A distinctive religious denomination similar in doctrine and practice to Mennonite assemblies, the Brethren in Christ Church emerged in Pennsylvania during the 1770s. It was established in Upper Canada in 1788 when Johannes Wenger (John Winger) – who later became bishop – and Jacob Sider formed a congregation here in Pelham. The denomination advocated adult conversion and baptism, and rejected secular pleasures, fashionable dress and political and military involvement. A small, tightly knit religious group because of these strongly-held views, the Brethren in Christ Church grew slowly, drawing its members, popularly known as Tunkers, primarily from German-speaking rural communities. By the end of the 19th century, however, it was firmly established in Welland, York, Waterloo and Simcoe counties.

  • 5 Evangelical United Brethren

    Formed in 1946, the Evangelical United Brethren in Canada had its roots in German-speaking settlements of 19th-century Pennsylvania. In 1800, Pastor William Otterbein (1726-1813) of the German Reformed Church in Baltimore, along with Mennonite preacher Martin Boehm (1725-1812) from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, formed the United Brethren in Christ. In 1807, Methodist preacher Jacob Albright (1759-1808) of Pottstown, Pennsylvania formed the Evangelical Church. In the early 19th century, many German-speaking settlers in Pennsylvania emigrated to Waterloo County, Upper Canada (Ontario). Because of a lack of spiritual leaders in the community, a missionary tour from the Evangelical Church was organized in 1836 throughout the Niagara peninsula. In August 1839, Bishop Joseph Seybert (1791-1860) and five other preachers met near Hillside Park in Waterloo and formed the first Evangelical Church congregation in Upper Canada. In 1946, the Evangelical Church joined with the United Brethren in Christ to form the Evangelical United Brethren. In 1968, with the decline of German-language religious services, the Evangelical United Brethren Church of Canada joined with the United Church of Canada.

  • 6 First Amish Settlement in Ontario

    In 1822, Christian Nafziger – an Amish Mennonite from Munich, Germany – came to Upper Canada to find land on which to settle some 70 German families. With the assistance of a group of Mennonites headed by Jacob Erb, who had settled nearby, a petition was made to the government for land in present-day Wilmot Township. Surveyed two years later by John Goessman, this German Block was peopled primarily by Amish from Europe. In 1824-25, Bishop John Stoltzfus of Pennsylvania organized the first congregation and ordained as ministers John Brenneman and Joseph Goldschmidt. Services were held in the homes of members until 1884 when a simple frame meeting house, which served until 1946, was erected.

  • 7 First Jewish Congregation in Canada West

    Regular Jewish religious services were not held in Canada West (now Ontario) until 1856 when 17 Jewish families from England and continental Europe formed a congregation known as the Toronto Hebrew Congregation – Holy Blossom. They held services in a building on the southeast corner of Yonge and Richmond streets until the construction of their first synagogue in 1876 at 25 Richmond Street East. Since its official inception in 1856, Holy Blossom Congregation has been in continuous existence to the present day.

    2 record(s) found

  • 8 First Mennonite Settlement

    During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a large number of German-speaking Mennonites emigrated from Pennsylvania to Upper Canada (Ontario). Pennsylvania had become crowded with settlers, whereas the Mennonites were offered cheap land and promised exemption from military service by the colonial British government in Canada. In 1786, a small group from Bucks County, Pennsylvania settled on land west of Twenty Mile Creek in the Niagara Peninsula. In 1799, Jacob Moyer (1767-1833), Abraham Moyer and Amos Albright (1759-1833) arrived from Pennsylvania and purchased land in the vicinity of Vineland and Jordan. Within two years, the Mennonite community along the “Twenty” had grown to approximately 30 families. On the advice of their former ministers in Bucks County, the community elected Valentine Kratz the congregation's first minister in 1801. This was the first Mennonite congregation organized in Ontario. Several Mennonite communities in other parts of Ontario were founded by members of this first settlement.

    5 record(s) found

  • 9 First Unitarian Congregation in Canada West

    Following the establishment of the Unitarian Church of Montreal in 1842, the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto was formed in 1845. Though a number of ministers for the congregation came from the United States, the Unitarian movement spread to Canada from England. The pastor of the new Toronto Unitarian Congregation was Scottish Baptist missionary Rev. William Adam (1796-1881). For several years, the congregation met in an unused Wesleyan chapel on George Street, later moving to a purpose-built church on Jarvis Street. As early as 1846, the Unitarian Congregation of Toronto adopted a constitution that, among other articles, proclaimed equality between male and female members of the congregation. A number of prominent Torontonians were members of the Unitarian Congregation, including women’s rights activist Dr. Emily Stowe (1831-1903), politician Sir Francis Hincks (1807-85) and artist Arthur Lismer (1885-1969). In 1949, the congregation moved from Jarvis Street to its present location on St. Clair Avenue West.

    1 record(s) found

  • 10 Formation of Canadian Literary Institute

    The Canadian Literary Institute was incorporated in 1857 and opened in 1860 in Woodstock, Ontario. Sponsored by prominent Baptists, the school was largely the result of its first principal, Rev. R.A. Fyfe. It was a co-educational facility, providing training in both theology and the arts. At one time, it was expected to attain full university status. In 1881, its theology faculty was moved to the Toronto Baptist College and, in 1883, it changed its name to Woodstock College.

  • 11 Formation of the Methodist Church in Canada

    Established in 1884, the Methodist Church was the largest Protestant denomination in Canada during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its formation marked the culmination of a long series of mergers between groups of British and American origin. Methodism had been established in Canada in 1791 when the Methodist Episcopal Church of Baltimore sent missionaries to Upper Canada (Ontario). The first union of Methodist congregations in Canada occurred in 1874 when the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada united with the Methodist New Connexion Church of Canada to form the Methodist Church in Canada. At their general conferences held in 1882, representatives of the Methodist Church of Canada, Methodist Episcopal, Primitive Methodist and Bible Christian Churches approved the formation of a joint committee to prepare a Basis for Union. On July 1, 1884, the four groups formally amalgamated to form the Methodist Church in Canada.

    26 record(s) found

  • 12 Founding of Knox College

    Following the controversy in the Church of Scotland in 1843, and because the Presbyterian Seminary at Queen’s in Kingston decided to remain with the Church of Scotland, a number of students left the seminary and sought to create their own education centre for Presbyterians that followed the ideals of the Free Church of Scotland. In 1844, they founded Knox College in Toronto. In November of that year, the first class of 14 students began training in the home of John Esson before moving to a larger building in 1846. In 1875, they moved to the building at Spadina Crescent and, finally in 1914, to the current building on St. George Street in Toronto.

  • 13 Founding of the first Black Baptist congregation

    The Baptist Church in Colchester (Essex County) was the first Black Baptist Congregation, organized in October 1821. It was founded by Elder William Wilks, who came from the United States in 1818.

  • 14 Founding of the First Congregationalist Church in Upper Canada

    The first Congregational Church in Upper Canada (now Ontario) was gathered by Joseph Silcox in the town of Frome in 1819. Silcox had come from Wiltshire, England and followed the independent stream of Congregationalism.

  • 15 Founding of the Toronto Baptist College

    In 1881, William McMaster – a wealthy merchant, banker and Senator of the Dominion of Canada – urged the creation of a Baptist theological school related to the Canadian Literary Institute, which was located in Woodstock, Ontario and had been founded by prominent Baptists. McMaster was generous in his financial support of the new school, called Toronto Baptist College. The College prospered with a growing student body and a useful affiliation with the University of Toronto. Toronto Baptist College was a theological school that stressed the missionary and pastoral labours of its students. In 1887, the College was united with Woodstock College to form McMaster University, which moved to Hamilton in 1930. The original buildings now house the Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music on Bloor Street West.

  • 16 Founding of the United Church of Canada

    The United Church of Canada was formed on June 10, 1925 in Toronto through the union of the Methodist Church of Canada, the Congregational Union of Canada and the Presbyterian Church of Canada. The General Council of Union Churches, centred largely in Western Canada, joined at this time as well. This union set out the doctrinal and organizational basis for the union. It was the first union of churches in the world to cross historical denominational lines and hence received international acclaim. Though the merger was successful, about 30 per cent of the Presbyterian congregations rejected union and continue today as the Presbyterian Church of Canada.

    113 record(s) found

  • 17 Founding of the University of St. Michael's College

    In 1852, this college was established as a Roman Catholic boys' school in the palace of the Right Reverend Armand, Comte de Charbonnel, Bishop of Toronto and a vigorous opponent of the public school system in Canada West. The minor seminary opened by Basilian priests that year was combined with the school in 1853 and, in 1855, St Michael’s College was incorporated. A new collegiate structure and the adjoining parish church of St. Basil’s were built here on Clover Hill. On September 15, 1856, classes commenced with the Rev. Jean Mathieu Soulerin, C.S.B., as superior. The college progressed gradually. In 1881, it affiliated with the University of Toronto. St. Michael’s formally became an arts college within the university in 1910.

  • 18 Founding of Wycliffe College

    Wycliffe College was founded in 1877 to prepare men of evangelical conviction for the Anglican ministry. Four years earlier, a group of Anglican clergy and laity committed to evangelical principles had formed the Church Association of the Diocese of Toronto. This Association brought a noted theologian and administrator, the Reverend James Paterson Sheraton, from Nova Scotia to establish the Protestant Episcopal Divinity School and serve as its principal and first professor. It opened on October 1, 1877 in St James’ Cathedral Schoolhouse in Toronto. In 1882, it moved to a newly constructed building on College Street near the University of Toronto. The school, renamed Wycliffe College in 1885, federated with the University of Toronto in 1889 and moved to its present location on Hoskin Avenue in 1891.

  • 19 Jesuit Mission to Manitoulin 1648-50

    The Jesuit Mission of St. Pierre on Manitoulin Island was established in 1648 in order to reach the Algonkian-speaking First Nations of Lake Huron’s north shore. Father Joseph Poncet (1610-75) was the first known European resident of Manitoulin Island – then called Ile de Ste. Marie by the missionaries and Ekaentoton by the Huron (Wendat). It is not known in what part of the island he worked, but it is understood that he journeyed from village to village to meet and convert the Huron to Christianity. As Huron communities across Upper Canada became split between converts to Christianity and those maintaining traditional Huron spiritual beliefs, the Huron of Manitoulin Island were similarly divided. Poncet returned to the Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons mission (Midland) in May 1649 in the midst of ongoing attacks on the Huron by the Iroquois. Weakened by European diseases and internal conflicts over the increasing influence of the Jesuits, the Huron could not withstand the superior weapons of the Iroquois. In June 1649, the Jesuit priests and their followers burned Sainte-Marie and abandoned the site in anticipation of further Iroquois attacks. Poncet returned to Manitoulin in the fall of 1649 to continue the mission, but abandoned it to join the remaining Sainte-Marie priests as they fled by canoe for Quebec in June 1650.

    2 record(s) found

  • 20 Kenté (Quinte) Mission

    The Jesuit mission at Kenté (Quinte) was established in 1668 by priests from the Order of St. Sulpice, based in Ville-Marie (Montreal). In 1649-50, the Five Nations Iroquois attacked and defeated their Huron enemies, and Iroquois communities expanded into the Great Lakes region. By 1665, Iroquois bands had established villages on the north side of Lake Ontario, including a Cayuga Nation settlement called “Kentio” by the Iroquois and “Kenté” by the French. In 1668, Claude Trouvé (1644-1704) and François de Fénelon (1641-79), Sulpician priests who had studied the Cayuga language, established a mission at Kenté. Buildings were erected in the village and livestock brought from Ville-Marie (Montreal). Letters written by missionaries indicate that their Christianizing efforts met with indifferent success at best. Following the establishment of nearby Fort Frontenac (Kingston) in 1673, the Kenté Mission collapsed due to heavy costs and the gradual dispersal of the Iroquois from Kenté in search of new hunting grounds. The mission was abandoned in 1680.

  • 21 Lord's Day Act 1906

    The Presbyterian Lord's Day Alliance was formed in 1888. With the support of the French-Canadian Roman Catholic clergy, they convinced Sir Wilfrid Laurier to pass the Lord's Day Act in 1906 (it became law in 1907). The act restricted trade, labour and recreation on Sundays. In 1985, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Lord's Day Act of 1906 was an unconstitutional violation of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and was therefore invalid.

  • 22 Militia Act of 1793

    The first protection for those objecting to compulsory military service was provided by John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. This promise became law with the Militia Act of 1793, which stated: ... and it be further enacted, that the persons called Quakers, Mennonites, and Tunkers, who from certain scruples of conscience, decline bearing arms, shall not be compelled to serve in the said Militia. For this exemption, they were compelled by law to pay a yearly tax, which increased in times of war. If unpaid, those exempted from the militia had their property confiscated. After 1809, if fines for unpaid taxes were not paid, a jail term could result.

  • 23 Mission of the Immaculate Conception

    The Mission of the Immaculate Conception was founded in 1849 on the banks of the Kaministiquia River by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in order to visit and convert First Nations communities along the north shore of Lake Superior in Canada West (Ontario). Competition for furs had depleted resources of the area, which pushed the fur trade further north and west and seriously affected the hunting practises and income of the Ojibwa. In 1849, two Jesuit priests – Father Jean-Pierre Choné (1808-78) and Father Nicholas Frémiot (1818-54) – established the Mission of the Immaculate Conception on the Kaministiquia River. From there, Jesuit missionaries travelled the north shore of Lake Superior, encouraging First Nations groups to settle rather than continue their traditional nomadic lifestyle. The Jesuits also supported Ojibwa demands for compensation for First Nations lands acquired by the Crown in the region. After the site was purchased in 1908 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, the mission was moved to the nearby Fort William First Nation Reserve. In 1972, the last of the mission buildings on the original site were destroyed by fire.

    1 record(s) found

  • 24 Norwich Quaker Settlement

    In 1809, Peter Lossing – a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) – came to Upper Canada from Dutchess County, New York. William Willcocks deeded 15,000 acres (6,070 hectares) of land in Norwich to Lossing and his brother-in-law Peter De Long in 1810. The purchasers returned to Dutchess County to recruit settlers and bring their families to Upper Canada. In 1811, the Lossing and De Long families settled on land they purchased. By 1820, a group of about 60 had settled within the tract. The arrival of the Quaker settlers in 1811 marked the beginning of progress in Norwich Township – building stores, schools and mills and operating successful dairy farms. Lossing reserved a small plot of land to construct a Quaker meeting house, which was erected in 1817.

  • 25 Peace movement

    Since the 18th century, individual Canadians and non-governmental organizations have been active supporters of the cessation of armed conflict, or the peace movement. Following the American Revolution (1775-83), pacifist Quaker and Mennonite settlers from Pennsylvania and Maryland emigrated to Upper Canada (Ontario) to escape compulsory military service. During the mid- to late 20th century, the peace movement shifted from an individual or minority adoption of neutrality toward vocal efforts by activists to persuade the Canadian public and authorities to promote and practise peace in global relations. The peace movement became increasingly tied to other forms of activism, including women’s and children’s rights and the environmental movement. In the 1970s and 1980s, large umbrella organizations were developed to connect and oversee existing, smaller peace movement groups. These groups actively fundraise to support overseas medical, faith, construction and infrastructure projects, peace and global education in Canada, and federal and provincial lobby efforts.

  • 26 Prohibition

    During the 19th and 20th centuries, the prohibition of alcohol was promoted and enforced in communities across North America. Pressure to ban the sale of alcohol was fuelled by the Temperance Movement, championed in Canada by the Dominion Alliance for the Total Suppression of the Alcohol Traffic and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. These groups sought to control alcohol consumption, which they tied to a number of social issues including poverty, education and women’s suffrage. In 1878, the federal government passed the Canada Temperance Act, which enabled individual municipalities to prohibit the sale of liquor in their communities. By 1919, each Canadian province and Newfoundland had passed some form of legislation restricting the manufacture and sale of alcohol. The temperance victory was short-lived, though, as the illegal smuggling of alcohol continued to supply consumers. In the 1920s, most provinces repealed prohibition in favour of government-controlled alcohol sales. In 1927, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario was established.

  • 27 Regiopolis College

    Regiopolis College was established in 1837 by Bishop Alexander Macdonell (1762-1840) at Regiopolis in Upper Canada (Kingston, Ontario). Macdonell saw the need for a school where a strong sense of loyalty to church and state would be instilled in students. Although plagued by a severe shortage of funds, the new secondary school began to be built in 1839. In 1866, the college was incorporated as the University of Regiopolis, but it became obvious that the Diocese of Kingston could not maintain it. The Jesuit Order purchased the university charter in 1931 and took control of the school. Enrollment at the university level was low; only two graduating classes – in 1941 and 1942 – were granted degrees. Further financial difficulties led to the union of the college and a nearby girls' school run by the Sisters of the Congregation de Notre Dame. All university-level courses were discontinued and the two schools united to become Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School in 1967.

  • 28 Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) Settlement at Adolphustown

    As a result of increased harassment of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States following the American Revolution (1775-83), members of the Friends settled in Adolphustown Township in 1784. The first Preparative Meeting of Quakers in either Upper or Lower Canada took place in Adolphustown in 1798 at the house of Philip Dorland (1755-1814). That year, a meeting house and burying ground were built on Dorland's farm at Hay Bay. By 1801, the local Quaker population had grown sufficiently to warrant the establishment of an Adolphustown Monthly Meeting. Although a new meeting house was built in 1868 to replace the original Hay Bay structure, many of the Quakers’ descendants had either moved away or joined the Methodists, greatly reducing the congregation’s size. The Adolphustown Monthly Meeting was discontinued in 1871. The Hay Bay meeting house gradually fell into ruin; all that remains is a small burying ground marking the site.

    1 record(s) found

  • 29 Retention of Presbyterian Name

    The creation of the United Church of Canada in 1925 brought together Presbyterians, Methodists and Congregationalists across the country, but a small group remained who refused to join the new denomination. Disillusioned by the carnage of the First World War (1914-18) and the failure of prohibition as a social reform to take hold in Canada, some Presbyterian parishes saw little benefit in the unification. A battle ensued over which group should retain the Presbyterian name. Both the unionist Presbyterians and those who chose not to join the United Church of Canada wished to continue using the name Presbyterian in their denomination’s title. Relations between the two groups were strained, especially since disputes in naming the denominations quickly complicated the ownership of former Presbyterian Church in Canada properties. Those Presbyterians who chose not to join the United Church in 1925 were known as Continuing-Presbyterians until 1938, when the Supreme Court of Canada awarded them use of the name Presbyterian.

    23 record(s) found

  • 30 Sacred Heart College

    In 1913, in order to accommodate the growing French-speaking community of northeastern Ontario, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) established Sacred Heart College in Sudbury. This secondary and post-secondary institution was incorporated by the Ontario Legislature in 1914. At first, the college was bilingual but after 1916, courses were taught exclusively in French. The classical college curriculum was based on the traditional study of Greek and Latin, philosophy, the Bible, teachings of the Church Fathers and French literature. The College was affiliated with various Ontario universities until 1957 when the post-secondary section of Sacred Heart College was incorporated as the University of Sudbury, which in 1960 became part of Laurentian University. The Jesuits continued to teach secondary school at Sacred Heart until 1967 when financial considerations forced them to close the institution. Sacred Heart College was the first institution of higher education in northern Ontario. In 2003, after extensive renovations on the original college site, Sacred Heart Secondary School was opened to students.

  • 31 Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons

    Sainte-Marie, the first French mission centre west of the Ottawa River, was established in 1639 as the headquarters for the Jesuits in Huronia (Wendake) and as a refuge for Christianized Huron Indians. It was constructed by skilled artisans and members of the community directed by Father Jérôme Lalemant, superior of the Mission (1638-45). Sainte-Marie eventually comprised a hospital, church, chapel, residences, workshops, farm buildings and minor fortifications; at times, it housed some 60 Europeans. By 1649, the centre served 12 mission villages. Following the defeat of the Huron by the Iroquois, Sainte-Marie was burned by the Jesuits and abandoned in the spring of 1649.

  • 32 Temperance Movement

    The Temperance Movement was formed by a series of Christian social reform groups in Canada and the United States during the mid-19th century. These groups sought to control alcohol consumption in their communities, which they tied to a number of social issues including poverty, education, family planning, children’s labour reform and women’s suffrage. Temperance groups – including the Sons of Temperance and Women’s Christian Temperance Union in Canada – petitioned provincial and federal authorities to legislate prohibition. In 1878, the federal government passed the Canada Temperance Act, which enabled individual municipalities to opt in to a prohibition scheme. This act led to the adoption of prohibition legislation by 1916 in all provinces except Quebec. The temperance victory was short-lived, however, and in the 1920s most provinces repealed the prohibition legislation in favour of government-controlled alcohol sales. Changing social attitudes toward alcohol forced temperance groups to focus their efforts on convincing individuals to abstain from alcohol, and promoting the dangers of tobacco and drug use.

  • 33 Women's Christian Temperance Union

    In 1874, Canada’s Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was founded in Picton, Ontario by Letitia Youmans (1827-96). Modelled on the American Temperance Union, the WCTU was the largest non-denominational women's organization in Canada at the time. The Union advocated for prohibition as a means towards social reform, while promoting Christian values and the expansion of women’s roles in society. Public support for prohibition grew across Canada and in the early 20th century, individual provinces began adopting prohibition. Though this was a major victory for the WCTU, it was short-lived. In the 1920s, Canadian provinces began the repeal of prohibition legislation. As attitudes to alcohol changed in Canadian society, the WCTU refocused its efforts on encouraging individuals to lead lives of temperance, advocating for social reforms and publicizing the dangers of tobacco and drug use. The WCTU actively promoted improved social conditions for women in Canada and established women’s hospitals and residences for single working women. By the late 20th century, the Union faced declining membership and financial difficulties, but continued to petition provincial and federal governments to restrict the advertisement and retail availability of alcoholic beverages.

  • 34 YMCA-YWCA

    The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) were established in 19th-century England to provide physical and spiritual help to young urban men and women . The first YMCA in North America appeared in Montreal in 1851. By 1912, a National Council of YMCAs in Canada was established to oversee some 45 branches throughout the country. The YMCA provided residences, skills training, physical training facilities and opportunities for social interaction amongst young men. In order to provide services to increasing numbers of young, single working women in urban areas, the first Canadian branch of the YWCA was organized in New Brunswick in 1870 by Agnes Blizzard and Adelaide Hoodless (1857-1910). The organization provided libraries, workplace training, camping experiences and residences for women. Although the YMCA and YWCA were initially affiliated only with Protestant churches, with the increasing diversity of Canadian society during the 20th century, the YMCA-YWCA adopted a secular approach to their programming and promotional materials in order to make their facilities accessible to all members of the community.

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