We’re celebrating a very special birthday this weekend! That’s right, Canada’s 150th anniversary is this Saturday! And to celebrate, Black Creek Pioneer Village is putting on one heck of a party!
(As a point of interest, it was my birthday yesterday, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Our Canada Day celebrations last from Saturday, July 1st until Monday, July 3rd. On July 1st, 2017— free admission for all! That’s right! Everyone! Marvel at magicians, tumblers, and jugglers, learn what was trending in 1867 (#Spiritualism? #PteriodomaniacLife?), and of course, experience the life as it was on that first day under the Constitution Act.
And of course, the Black Creek Brewery is celebrating as well! Drop by to taste a special birthday brew. Can’t wait until Saturday? Well, in honour of our 150th anniversary, here are 15 Interesting Facts about Beer from the last 150 Years
- The first brewery in Canada was Québec City’s La Brasseries due Roy, established in 1668 by New France Intendant Jean Talon.
- At the time of Confederation, Toronto had about 300 taverns and a population of ~45,000. That’s nearly 150 people per tavern! Today, Toronto has ~950 bars and a population of 2,615,000. That’s over 2750 people per bar! (It gets a little better when you factor in 6980 establishments recorded by DineSafe as “restaurants” or “cocktail bars”—more like 310 people per “establishment where one could theoretically order a drink”).
- Today, the only Canadian-owned major brewery is Moosehead, established in 1867.
- Canada’s northernmost microbrewery is NWT Brewing Co., in Yellowknife, NT.
- Ontario’s smallest microbrewery is…the Black Creek Brewery!
- The 1864 Dunkin Act gave townships in Ontario an option to vote on going dry. Toronto didn’t get around to holding a vote until 1877. It voted to stay wet.
- The Canada Malting Silos down by Harbourfront were built in 1928. According to Wikipedia, their “stark functionalism…was an early influence on modernist architecture.”
- In 1934, John Sackville Labatt (yes, son of that John Labatt) became an early Canadian kidnapping victim. His kidnappers held him captive for three days, demanding $150,000. They eventually panicked and released him, but sadly, Labatt remained a recluse for the rest of his life.
- In the 1880s, a hop picker was paid around 30 cents per box of hops (about 13 lbs of hops). A really good picker could harvest two boxes each day.
- Much early planning for the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion was done in John Doel’s brewery.
- The first free school in Toronto was built in 1848—by brewer Enoch Turner. You can still visit it today!
- At Confederation, roughly 10% of Toronto’s licensed tavern-keepers were female.
- The Industry Standard Bottle—also known as the “stubby”—was first adopted in 1962 and finally faded from use in 1984.
- There was no real legal drinking age in the 1800s. By the 1960s, it was 21 in Ontario. Then in 1971, it dropped to 18, before settling at 19 years of age in 1979.
- From 1867 to now, beer’s main ingredients have not changed: barley, hops, water, and yeast!
To Queen and Country!