Monday, August 6, 2012

I Stand Corrected!

For the last few days on the blog, I have been referring to our long weekend, as our Civic Holiday! My good friend Gerard, corrected me on this, indicating the Province of Ontario has changed the name of this Holiday! Wow... where have I been living???

The first weekend in August is now known as John Graves Simcoe Day! To clarify what a holiday weekend in Ontario is for our American readers, the first Monday in August is a statutory holiday. This means people do not have to work on this day, and are also paid for not showing up to work to boot! Perfect!

So, who was John Graves Simcoe? Glad you asked! J. G. Simcoe, 1752 - 1806, was a British Army Officer, and became the first Lieutenant Govenor of Upper Canada in 1791. He also founded York, which is now known as Toronto! This is not all he did...

Simcoe also introduced our courts system into Upper Canada, along with "Trial by Jury", and English Common Law. He also introduced "Freehold Land Tenure", which we still enjoy here in Ontario today.

Toronto is below, formally called York by Simcoe.

Probably one of the biggest things he did was to abolish slavery, and by 1810 there were no more slaves in Upper Canada! This was done long before slavery was abolished in the British Empire as a whole.

Also in his Legacy, he named the current City of London, Ontario, just up the road from us, along with naming the River Thames. He named Lake Simcoe in Ontario, after his Father.

There are many, many places and Schools in Ontario named after him.

There were even two places name after Simcoe using the name "Lord". Lord Simcoe Drive in Brampton, Ontario, and the Lord Simcoe Hotel. The problem with these places, is that Simcoe was never made a "Lord" in his lifetime! Oh well...

Well, you have had your history lesson for today! Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday!

We awoke at the cottage this morning, enjoyed a great breakfast with the gang, watched some Olympic coverage, and then headed home! We arrived at about 4:00 p.m. this afternoon.

Thanks to Deb and Gerard for hosting another great weekend for us all! We enjoyed it!

Till tomorrow...



  1. A holiday by any other name is still a holiday!! Interesting history lesson though. Glad you had a fun weekend.

  2. interesting. Thanks for the heads up on your "holiday." I am with Donna...a holiday is a holiday. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. in British Columbia we call it BC Day!!!

  4. Thanks for a great history lesson, John. We have a Simcoe Street in Victoria, so now I know why.

    He sounds like he was a pretty decent type.

  5. Love the history lesson. Any day off of work with pay is a great day.