This year, many significant anniversaries give us pause to not only reflect on our history, but to also look ahead to the future of our country, who we want to be and what we want to accomplish.

Here are some of those events which have left their mark on the Canada we know today.

2018 World War Anniversaries

The year 2018 marks the centennials of Canada’s Hundred Days and the end of the First World War, known as the Armistice. This year, Parks Canada will also recognize the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, and its extension, the Battle of the St. Lawrence. In addition, Canada’s “fightingest” war ship, HMCS Haida, celebrates her 75th anniversary of being commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy.

The First and Second World Wars have touched the lives of many Canadians and were defining moments in the history of our country. Parks Canada honours our First and Second World War heritage through its Hometown Heroes and Home Port Heroes initiatives.

USS Buck transfering munitions on the HMCS Haida.
HMCS Haida docked in a Korean Port / Dept. of National Defence LAC PA-138197

65th anniversary of the Korean War (1950-1953)

All three branches of the Canadian military took part in the Korean War as part of United Nations forces, including HMCS Haida, the world’s last remaining Tribal-class Destroyer and today a national historic site. Although the fighting came to an end in 1953, Canadian personnel remained in Korea until 1957. Of the more than 25,000 Canadians who served in Korea, more than 500 made the ultimate sacrifice.

Wooden Arch over the road with the inscription Point Pelee Park above an entrance for cars.
Park Entry for Point-Pelee National Park

Centennial of Point Pelee National Park

World famous stopover for migratory species with incredible biological diversity by virtue of its location at mainland Canada’s southernmost tip, Point Pelee was established as a national park in 1918. The first national park in Canada to be protected for conservation, this designation was achieved through strong support from local groups wishing to have Point Pelee preserved as a wildlife sanctuary. A hundred years later, Point Pelee National Park continues to protect sensitive ecosystems while welcoming outdoor enthusiasts who flock to the park to enjoy bird watching, canoeing, hiking and camping. Visit during this centennial year to be a part of special celebrations!

At a military encampment, nurses are standing in line to receive their ballot. Two tables and a wooden screen have been installed for privacy.
Canadian Nursing Sisters Voting. Source: Library Archives Canada (LAC) PA-002365

Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote in Federal Elections

Just over a century ago, women fought hard for the right to vote and in 1916 they achieved a major victory when Canada’s Prairie Provinces granted female suffrage in provincial elections. The right to vote in federal elections soon followed for eligible Canadian women in 1918, in part because of the contributions women were making to the war effort of the Great War (1914-1918). However, it would not be until 1960 that all Canadian women, including First Nations women, gained the right to vote.

Seven women, white blouses and black skirts, 
are wearing masks to be protected against the Spanish influenza  Epidemic.
Women wearing masks to prevent contracting the flu. Source unknown

Centennial of the Spanish Flu Epidemic

In 1918, during the final year of the First World War, an intense influenza pandemic took hold of the front lines in Europe. Infected Canadian soldiers retuned home carrying the virus which then spread rampantly throughout the population. An estimated 50,000 Canadians died of the flu, nearly as many as the 66,000 that lost their life during the war. Because of this tragedy, the Canadian government created the Department of Health in 1919.