Last summer, we revealed the contents of the diary written the 5th Whitby Venturer Scouts during their epic canoe journey from Whitby to Montreal for Expo 67. Now you can see the three diaries for yourself! Gerry Hicks wrote about the ups and downs of the trip. He shared his frustrations, fatigue, and excitement. Plans changed and short-cuts were taken. His scrapbooks provide a very earnest account of the trip of a lifetime. The Canoe Diaries is on display now in the Archives and Local Gallery at Central.
Paddling to Canada’s Centennial
In 1967, the 5th Whitby Venturer Scouts canoed from Whitby to Montreal for Canada’s 100th birthday. They paddled the routes of Canada’s Indigenous people and early fur traders and camped beneath the stars all while keeping a very detailed diary of the trip.
The highlight of Canada’s Centennial celebrations was Expo 67 in Montreal. Known officially as the 1967 Universal and International Exposition, Expo 67 was held on Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame, two artificial islands set amidst the St. Lawrence River. The theme of Expo 67 was Man and his World and countries and exhibitors from around the world built pavilions to promote culture, innovation, and architecture.
Expo 67 is considered by many to be the most successful Exposition of the 20th century. From April 28 to October 27, there were over 50 million paid admissions to Expo 67 and over 5 million admissions by performers, the press, official visitors, and employees.
Trip of a lifetime
By visiting Expo 67, the Whitby Scouts were part of a cultural phenomenon. They were one of many groups to travel to Montreal by water from various parts of Canada. The trip created significant memories for all involved, it’s no wonder the Scouts wanted to record it for posterity.
Read the fully transcribed diaries at www.whitbylibrary.ca/thecanoediaries