The First Canada Day


From the closing passages of Donald Creighton’s The Young Politician:

By nine o’clock, the public buildings and many large houses were illuminated all across Canada… When true darkness had at last fallen, the firework displays began; and simultaneously throughout the four provinces, the night was assaulted by minute explosions of coloured light, as the roman candles popped away, and the rockets raced up into the sky…

In Ottawa, long before this, Monck and Macdonald and the other ministers had quitted the Privy Council chamber; and Parliament Hill was crowded once again with people who had come to watch the last spectacle of the day. The Parliament buildings were illuminated. They stood out boldly against the sky; and far behind them, hidden in darkness, were the ridges of the Laurentians, stretching away, mile after mile, towards the north-west.


The First Canada Day

  1. Great passage Andrew. I’m sure the celebrations of a young Canada would have been very different from yesterday’s.

    The fireworks were fantastic and a day of celebration as well. I do feel for the young families however that, post-fireworks, negotiated the vomit, broken glass and groups of drunks to get home and rest soundly after another glorious Canada Day!

  2. The last few pages of the Creighton book are glorious… probably the best evocation of the new country that I’ve read. I love the last line, with its intimations of the Laurentian Hypothesis.

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