How Well Do You Remember the Most Important Dates In Canadian History?

Bambi Turner

Columbus reached America in 1492, but the Vikings had a settlement in Canada as early as what year?

Leif Erikson sailed to what is now Newfoundland around 1000 AD. The Vikings even established a settlement, known as L'Anse aux Meadows, leaving behind plenty of archaeological evidence to prove they were in Canada by the 11th century.

What year did John Cabot sail from Britain to Newfoundland?

On June 24, 1497, John Cabot reached Newfoundland and claimed it for King Henry VII of England. Like Columbus before him, he thought he had sailed to Asia, and had no idea he had landed on a "New World."

When did Jacques Cartier claim land along the St. Lawrence River for France?

In 1534, Jacques Cartier sailed along the St. Lawrence River. Claiming the land for King Francis I of France, he helped to establish the modern French-speaking regions of Canada.

What year was Quebec City founded?

Samuel de Champlain of France founded Quebec City on July 3, 1608. It was one of six Canadian colonies along the St. Lawrence River at the time.

When was the iconic Hudson's Bay Company founded?

The early Canadian economy was dominated by fur trading. On May 2, 1670, King Charles II of England granted fur trading merchant Hudson's Bay Company a permanent charter.The company still exists today as a major Canadian department store.

When did France relinquish much of its Canadian territory, thanks to the War of the Spanish Succession?

When Charles II of Spain died in 1710 with no heir, it set off the War of the Spanish Succession. After battling for several years, Britain and France signed the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which resulted in France relinquishing control of many Canadian territories to Britain.

When did the Seven Years War end?

Britain and France battled it out yet again in the Seven Years War, from 1756 to 1763. When the war ended on February 10, 1763, France had ceded almost all of its North American land east of the Mississippi to British control.

When did the individual colonies unite to form the Dominion of Canada?

On July 1, 1867, the individual colonies -- New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the colonies of Canada -- united to form the Dominion of Canada. Today, July 1 is known as Canada Day in the country.

When did Manitoba become the fifth Canadian province?

In 1870, the Manitoba Act resulted in a new province being carved out of the land known as the Northwest Territory. This fifth province was named Manitoba, which means "the god who speaks."

When did Native Canadians establish the Iroquois League?

Native people in Canada established the Iroquois Confederacy, also known as The Great League of Peace, around 1450. This was prior to contact with Europeans.

When did the Canadian dollar come about?

Until 1859, Canadians used the Canadian pound. In 1859, this pound was replaced by the Canadian dollar. The dollar coin, known as a loonie, was introduced in 1987.

What year did British Columbia become the sixth province?

On July 20, 1871, British Columbia agreed to become the sixth Canadian province. In exchange, the Canadian government agreed to build a railroad stretching east to west across the country within a decade.

When did Canada enter WWI?

Great Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914. As a dominion of Britain, this meant Canada was automatically at war. By the time WWI ended in 1919, 67,000 Canadians had died.

When did the Battle of Vimy Ridge take place?

The Battle of Vimy Ridge ranks among Canada's proudest wartime victories. While taking on the Germans at Vimy RIdge in France, between April 9 and April 12, 1917, the Canadians decisively beat the German troops and took control of the Ridge.

When did women win the right to vote in federal Canadian elections?

The women's suffrage movement peaked in Canada around the same time as it did in the U.S., with Canadian women winning the right to vote in federal elections on May 24, 1918 - with some racial exclusions. The province of Manitoba was ahead of the curve, however, allowing women to vote in provincial elections two years earlier.

When did Canada finally become a fully independent nation?

The British Parliament passed the Statute of Westminster on December 11, 1931. From that date, Canada was no longer a dominion, but a fully independent nation.

When did Canada enter WWII?

Great Britain entered WWII on September 3, 1939, and Canada made the decision to enter the war to support Britain about a week later. More than 1.1 million Canadians served, and 44,000 were killed in the war.

What year did "O Canada" officially become the country's national anthem?

The music to "O Canada" was written as early as 1880, with English lyrics following in 1908. The song was a de facto anthem, but wasn't officially named as the country's national anthem until 1980.

When did the maple leaf become Canada's official flag?

The maple leaf has long been a symbol of Canada, but until 1965, the country used the British Red Ensign as its flag. On February 15, 1965, Canada officially named the red and white maple leaf as its national flag.

Canadians celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria, who was born in what year, with Victoria Day celebrations?

Queen Victoria of Britain was born May 24, 1819. Canadians honor her with Victoria Day, which is celebrated the last Monday before May 25th of each year -- and kicks off the summer season, as Memorial Day does in the U.S.

When did the Constitutional Act give Canada control over its own Constitution for the first time?

On April 17, 1982, Queen Elizabeth II signed the Constitutional Act, which finally gave the Canadian Parliament power to modify and amend the Canadian Constitution.

When did NAFTA go into effect?

The North American Free Trade Agreement permitted free trade throughout North America. It went into effect on January 1, 1994, and created the largest free trade area in the world at the time.

When did Canada get its first female prime minister?

Canada had its first female Prime Minister in 1993. Kim Campbell served in the role from June to November of 1993.

What year did Quebec voters narrowly elect to remain part of Canada?

On October 30, 1995, Quebec held a referendum to let people vote on whether the province should declare independence or remain a part of Canada. With a 93.5 percent turnout, 50.58 percent of voters declared that Quebec should remain part of Canada.

When did Nunavut become the third Canadian territory?

Carved out of the Northwest Territory, Nunavut become the third official territory in April 1999. The name comes from the Inukitut language, and means "our land."

What year did Montreal host the World's Fair?

On April 27, 1967, the Montreal World's Fair, or Expo 67, opened in Montreal. More than 90 pavilions welcomed record crowds, including more than half a million on the third day of the event alone.

When did Canada host the Olympics for the first time?

Montreal was the first Canadian city to host the Olympics, as home to the summer games in 1976. That was the first year that women's basketball and rowing were part of the games, and a young Romanian gymnast named Nadia Comaneci made history by scoring the first perfect 10 in gymnastics.

What year did Vancouver host the Olympics?

Canada has hosted the winter Olympics twice, once in 1988 in Calgary and again in 2010 in Vancouver.

When did Canada legalize same-sex marriage?

With Bill C-38, Canada became the first country in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage, on July 20, 2005.

When did the Canadian mint stop making pennies?

Canada did away with the penny in 2012. All purchases are now rounded to the nearest five cents.

On November 7, 1885, Canada completed which achievement of transportation?

In November 1885, the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed after four years of initial construction. But because so many shoddy materials were rushed into the job, the company needed more than half a year longer to make repairs so that service could finally start.

What political event took place on July 1, 1867?

On July 1, 1867, the area was changed to the Dominion of Canada, a self-governing entity. But in reality, it would be decades before Canada became a truly sovreign nation.

On April 27, Canada marked the beginning of which fabulously successful event?

From April to October, Montreal was home to Expo 67, which is often called the most successful World's Fair of the century. By the end of the expo's run, more than 50 million people had visited the extravaganza, which featured the work of more than 60 nations.

In 1849, which Canadian city was declared the capital of Canada?

From 1849 to 1851, Toronto was the capital of Canada. Then, the capital drifted around like a confused rabid moose until finally settling for good in Ottawa in 1867.

On August 4, 1914, Canada declared war on _____.

As the Central Powers began mucking up European affairs, Canada jumped to defend its allies. On August 4, 1914, it declared war on Germany. Meanwhile, Canada's southern neighbor sat on its hands.

On November 9, 1945, Canada became a founding member of which organization?

Following WWII, the League of Nations was officially deemed a disaster. In 1945, Canada became a founding member of the new United Nations, which has so far helped humans avoid another world war.

Which cultural landmark was established in 1885?

In 1885, Canada established Banff National Park, the nation's first national park. It is home to the Canadian Rockies, a jaw-dropping jagged stretch of land in British Columbia and Alberta.

On June 6, 1944, Canadian troops were tasked with capturing _____ Beach on the shores of Normandy during the D-Day invasion.

During WWII, the Allies divided their D-Day amphibious assaults into five code-named beach areas. Canada was charged with seizing Juno Beach, and they lost more than 800 men in the terrifying ordeal.

On April 9, 1917, Canadian troops led a major WWI attack at the Battle of _____.

On April 9, 1917, Canadian troops charged into a hail of Germany artillery at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Canadians demonstrated such courage that the battle became a rallying point for the nation's military identity.

In late 1944, the Canadians began testing for which communications system?

In December 1944, Radio Canada International began its test broadcasts. The system went active during WWII, helping to spread Allied propaganda in North American and abroad.

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Image: Library and Archives Canada

About This Quiz

Canada has a lot more to offer than hockey and poutine. The world's second largest country has a rich history, with a European presence that dates back 500 years before Columbus. Take our quiz to see if you can remember the most important dates in Canadian history!

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