In 1867, the Town of Whitby threw a big party to celebrate Canada’s first birthday on July 1. The plan for Dominion Day was printed in local newspapers and 8000 people came from the surrounding area to take part in the festivities.
The day consisted of a mock battle performed by the 34th Ontario Regiment, speeches, a pic-nic, field games, and a torch-lit parade in the evening. Perhaps the most exciting feature of the day was the feu de joie, a 350-gun salute in honour of the new nation!
Read the rest of the program which appeared in the Whitby Chronicle on June 20, 1867.
To mark the beginning of Canada’s Centennial year in 1967, Whitby’s political elites celebrated with a costume party at Leslie and Bea McFarlane’s house on New Year’s Eve. Leslie McFarlane penned some of the first Hardy Boys novels and lived at 121 Green Street in Whitby.
The rest of Whitby celebrated Canada’s 100th birthday with a parade and a 100-gun salute in honour of the original feu de joie in 1867.
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