Feu de Joie: Whitby in 1867

Feu de Joie: Whitby in 1867

It’s Canada’s 150th birthday! To mark this occasion we’ve pulled items from our archival collection that showcase life in Whitby in 1867. 


On July 1, 1867 Whitby celebrated Canada’s first birthday in style.  Local newspapers reported that close to 8000 people from the surrounding area took part in the festivities which included a mock battle by the 34th Regiment of Ontario County, games and races, a picnic, and a torch-lit procession through the streets.


Perhaps the most exciting event of the day was a 350-gun salute known as a feu de joie. Onlookers gathered in the fields at Rossland Road, just south of the Town limits, and watched as each soldier fired one after another in celebration of the newly formed Dominion of Canada.


The 1860s was a period of growth and prosperity in Whitby.  Steady immigration from the United Kingdom, a thriving import/export trade at the harbour, an abundance of wheat and lumber, local industries, and a savvy business class conspired to turn Whitby with a population of about 3000 into a choice community. 


On now in the Archives and Local History Gallery!