Ontario During World War One

Military parade, Toronto, 1914

Ontario During World War One

A map of Ontario, circa 1914
A map of Ontario, circa 1914

One of my favorite places on Earth is Niagara Falls, Ontario, so when it came time to decide on a setting for Angel of Mercy, the province was ideal.

The Stewards have been in the area since before it was a province. By the start of World War I, the province was Canada’s largest, and its capital was Toronto. The nation’s capital, Ottawa, also is in Ontario.

The Prewar Years

Coverage of the start of World War One in the Daily News
“Canadian cities stirred by declaration of war”

The following are facts about Ontario in the years leading up to World War I.

  • Ontario was invaded during the War of 1812 and, during one battle, the town of Niagara Falls was set ablaze.
  • It is one of the four provinces that united to form the Dominion of Canada in 1867.
  • Railroads linked Ontario to the Pacific coast.
  • Windsor was the centre of the automobile industry.
  • In 1912, the province acquired it’s current size.
  • It became the nation’s financial and industrial powerhouse.
  • In 1912, the speaking of French was banned in schools after the second year.

The War Years

Military parade, Toronto, 1914
Military parade, Toronto, 1914

The following are facts about Ontario during the Great War.

  • 205,808 Ontarians served, 7.5 percent of its 1916 (estimated) population of 2.7 million.
  • As anti-German sentiment was high, the town of Berlin changed its name to Kitchener.
  • Prohibition went into effect in 1916. Alcohol could still be produced for export, however.


Updated:  19 October 2020
Melina Druga
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Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.
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