Timeline

Maude Abbott - medicine: pathologist

Women Changing the World

Maude Abbott
Maude Abbott

Maude Abbott worked at a medical museum, where she studied the hearts of people who died.

She used her findings to write the Atlas of Congenital Heart Disease, a book surgeons used in the 1930s to create the techniques of cardiac surgery.

1860 - Canada's first sewing machine factory

Canadian Life

1870s, Canada Science and Technology Museum, L34935
1870s, Canada Science and Technology Museum, L34935

In 1860, Richard Mott Wanzer establishes Canada's first sewing machine factory in Hamilton, Ontario. During the period 1861 to 1881, 1.5 million sewing machines were produced at the Wanzer factory.

1867 - A Nation is Born

Canadian Life

Sir John A. MacDonald
Sir John A. MacDonald

In 1867, the Dominion of Canada is created through the British North America Act. The act unites New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada, which was comprised of Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario). Sir John A. Macdonald was chosen to be the new country's first prime minister.

1867 - Canada's first automobile

Science & Technology Milestones

1867, Stanstead Historical Society
1867, Stanstead Historical Society

In 1867, Henry Seth Taylor unveiled Canada's first automobile: his Steam Buggy. The Steam Buggy took five years for Taylor, a jeweller and clockmaker, to design and two years to build.

1885 - The beginning of the motorcycle

Science & Technology Milestones

2006, Daimler AG, A90F350
2006, Daimler AG, A90F350

In 1885-1886, Gottleib Daimler and Wilhem Maybach invented the first gas-powered engine with a spark ignition. They used it on a motorcycle.

Harriet Brooks Pitcher - nuclear physicist

Women Changing the World

Harriet Brooks Pitcher
Harriet Brooks Pitcher

Harriet Brooks Pitcher's work helped early researchers understand radioactivity and the structure of the atom (the smallest unit of matter in the universe).

In the early 1900's, married women were expected to give up their careers, so Harriet left physics entirely after she got married.

1885 - Canada finally connected!

Science & Technology Milestones

Hon. Donald A. Smith
Hon. Donald A. Smith

In 1885, workers complete the Canadian Pacific Railway, connecting Canada's East coast with its West coast. British Columbia joined Confederation in 1871 but only with the promise that the federal government would build a transcontinental railway to the west coast within ten years. The Canadian Pacific Railway became Canada's first major land transportation system.

1870's - Come join Canada!

Canadian Life

Canada in 1870.
Canada in 1870.

The Canadian Confederation expands west and east during the early 1870s. Manitoba became a province of Canada in 1870, British Columbia in 1871, and Prince Edward Island in 1873.

Frances Gertrude McGill - medicine: pathologist

Women Changing the World

Frances Gertrude McGill
Frances Gertrude McGill

Frances Gertrude McGill was Saskatchewan's provincial pathologist, a scientist who studies diseases. She travelled the province by dogsled, snowmobile, and plane to investigate suspicious deaths.

She also taught her method of pathology to the Regina Police Academy.

1886 - Canada's first gas-powered car

Science & Technology Milestones

George Foss
George Foss

In 1896, George Foote Foss from Sherbrooke, Quebec builds the first successful gasoline-powered automobile in Canada.

1880 - Sing your heart out, Canada!

Canadian Life

Calixa Lavallée
Calixa Lavallée

In 1880, Calixa Lavallée writes the music of O Canada. He wrote music to a poem by Judge Adolphe-Basil Routhier, on the occasion of the 'Congrès national des Canadiens-Français'. Though the lyrics have changed several times over the years, Calixa Lavallée's music has changed little from his original composition.

Alice Wilson - geologist

Women Changing the World

Alice Wilson
Alice Wilson

Alice Wilson, a geologist, worked for the Geological Survey of Canada. She did her fieldwork alone and travelled alone, because in her time, women were not supposed to work with men.

She retired in 1946, but she continued to teach and wrote a children's book on geology.

1881 - The first mail order catalogue

Canadian Life

Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company

In 1881, the Hudson's Bay Company launches its first mail order catalogue. People could choose items for purchase using the catalogue, pay for them, and then receive them by mail.

1890 - All aboard the streetcar!

Science & Technology Milestones

Thomas Ahearn
Thomas Ahearn

In 1890, Thomas Ahearn, President and Founder of the Ottawa Electric Railway Company, invents the first electric heater intended for use on street cars. Ahearn also designed and patented a high-speed sweeper for the front of the streetcars to clear snow away from the tracks.

Margaret Newton - biologist

Women Changing the World

Margaret Newton
Margaret Newton

Margaret Newton was the senior plant pathologist for the Federal Department of Agriculture. Her research led to the development of stronger types of wheat that could grow anywhere. Because of this research, she represented Canada at international scientific conventions in Europe, US, and Russia.

1883 - What time is it?

Canadian Life

Dispatcher
Dispatcher

In 1883, railways introduce time zones to coordinate and standardize their operations. Time zones, based on "Standard Time", were first proposed in 1879 by the Canadian railway planner and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming. Standard time continues to be used today to help coordinate work and travel schedules across provinces, territories, and states.

1893 - Canada's first electric car

Science & Technology Milestones

Electric Car
Electric Car

In 1893, William Still and Frederick B. Featherstonehaugh design and build Canada's first electric vehicle in Toronto. Dixon Carriage Works of Toronto was then commissioned to build the 317 kg (700 lb) two-seater runabout that could reach speeds of 25 km/h, or 15 mph.

Carrie Derick - scientist-genetics-botany

Women Changing the World

Carrie Derick
Carrie Derick

Carrie Derick was the first professor to teach evolution and genetics at McGill University, where she worked 1912-1929.

Her research on heredity was recognized around the world and kick-started the study of genetics.

Elsie MacGill - aeronautical engineer

Women Changing the World

Elsie MacGill
Elsie MacGill

Elsie MacGill was the first woman aircraft designer in the world.

She is best known for modifying a World War II plane so it could be used in cold weather.

1900's - Technology in your home!

Science & Technology Milestones

Washing Machine
Washing Machine

In the 1900s, the first electric dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines designed for domestic use are made available. Their high price tag means that only affluent families can afford to buy them.

Helen Sawyer Hogg - astronomer

Women Changing the World

Helen Sawyer Hogg
Helen Sawyer Hogg

Helen Sawyer Hogg developed a technique for measuring the distance of galaxies beyond the Milky Way.

Her observations are in catalogues that are still in use today.

1903 - A great year for children of all ages!

Canadian Life

Toys
Toys

In 1903, children start playing with teddy bears and Crayola® coloured crayons.

1911 - A woman of science

Science & Technology Milestones

Radiation
Radiation

In 1911, physicist and chemist Marie Curie receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of radium. Along with her earlier shared Nobel Prize in Physics, she becomes not only the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, but the first person to win two of the prizes, as well as the only person to win in two different sciences.

Ursula Franklin - metallurgist & physicist, materials science engineer

Women Changing the World

Ursula Franklin
Ursula Franklin

Dr. Ursula Franklin invented a technique called archaeometry, which she used to analyze the level of radioactivity present in children's teeth after nuclear weapons testing.

Her work influenced US government discussions to stop nuclear testing in the atmosphere.

She advocated for peace and for the promotion of women in science her entire career.

15 April 1912 - EXTRA! EXTRA! The Unsinkable Ship Sinks!

Science & Technology Milestones

Titanic
Titanic

On 15 April 1912, the RMS Titanic, the world's largest passenger steamship, sinks off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The outcry following the sinking leads to new safety measures, minimizing the chances of a similar disaster.

1909 - Good Morning!

Canadian Life

Toaster
Toaster

In 1909, North Americans wake up to a new electronic device – the toaster.

Monique Frize - medical engineering

Women Changing the World

Dr. Monique Frize
Dr. Monique Frize

Dr. Monique Frize specializes in medical instrumentation for critical care patients.

Her research is used in decision-making tools that aid in the care of premature babies. It has also helped develop cameras to measure temperature and pain in babies.

21 October 1915 - Can you hear me now?

Science & Technology Milestones

Radio-telephone
Radio-telephone

On 21 October 1915, the first direct radio-telephone call is made between North America and Europe.

1917 - Women can vote!

Canadian Life

Voting
Voting

The 1917 federal election allows some Canadian women the right to vote.

1930 - A sticky situation

Science & Technology Milestones

Scotch® tape
Scotch® tape

In 1930, a young scientist at 3M invents Scotch® tape.

6 October 1927 - Movies with sound!

Canadian Life

Movies with sound
Movies with sound

On 6 October 1927, the first full-length film with sound, The Jazz Singer, is released.

Alice Virginia Payne - mineral engineering

Women Changing the World

Alice Virginia Payne
Alice Virginia Payne

Alice Virginia Payne is a mineral engineer.

She created a new way to search for oil and gas. In 1996, she started her own company, Arctic Enterprises Limited.

1928 - Women at the Olympics

Canadian Life

Women at the olympics
Women at the olympics

At the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, women compete in track and field events for the first time.

1913 - Keep things cool

Science & Technology Milestones

Electric refrigerator
Electric refrigerator

In 1913, North Americans bring the first electric refrigerators into their homes.

1930 - The best invention since...

Canadian Life

Sliced bread
Sliced bread

In 1930, sliced bread and packaged frozen food are introduced to the North American market.

Brenda Milner - cognitive neuroscience

Women Changing the World

Brenda Milner
Brenda Milner

Brenda Milner's work changed our understanding of how our brain processes memory and language.

In 1950, she studied how an epileptic patient could regain some motor learning, even though part of his brain had been removed.

Her research proved that the brain has more than one memory system.

Elizabeth Cannon - geomatics engineering

Women Changing the World

Elizabeth Cannon
Elizabeth Cannon

Elizabeth Cannon is a geomatics engineer.

Her research includes new satellite navigation methods and systems. Elizabeth's research is applied to areas such as navigation, farming and aircraft inspection.

July 20th, 1969 - Man on the moon

Canadian Life

NASA Engineers
NASA Engineers

On July 20th, 1969, Apollo 11 lands the first humans on the moon. From 1969 to 1972, there are five more lunar missions under the Apollo program.

6 August 1945 - The power of atomic energy

Science & Technology Milestones

Atomic bomb
Atomic bomb

On 6 August 1945, an American Boeing B-29 bomber drops the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Since the Second World War, atomic energy has been put to more positive use by power companies in many countries (including Canada) to produce electricity.

Roberta Bondar - neurologist and astronaut

Women Changing the World

Dr. Roberta Bondar
Dr. Roberta Bondar

Dr. Roberta Bondar was the world's first neurologist in space, and Canada's first woman astronaut in space.

She studied how the brain responds to unfamiliar environments, like the zero gravity environment of space.

Her study showed links between the recovery of returning astronauts and patients suffering from neurological illnesses such as stroke and Parkinson's disease.

1948 - The world's first computer

Science & Technology Milestones

Photo of the Baby computer
Photo of the Baby computer

In 1948, researchers at Victoria University in Manchester, England, build the Small-Scale Experimental Machine, or "The Baby," which is believed to be the first operable electronic digital computer that stored its programs internally.

Julie Payette - electrical engineer & astronaut

Women Changing the World

Julie Payette
Julie Payette

Julie Payette became the first Canadian onboard the International Space Station.

She has extensive experience as an electrical and computer engineer, researcher, and pilot.

Her research studied computer systems, natural language processing, automatic speech recognition, and how interactive technology can be used in space.

1950 - Canada's first mall

Canadian Life

Canada's first shopping mall
Canada's first shopping mall

In 1950, Park Royal Shopping Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, becomes Canada's first park-and-shop mall. Shopping malls, designed with cars in mind, quickly become a staple of urban living in Canada. Only six years later, Canadians are shopping at 64 malls across the country.

1952 - The start of CBC television

Science & Technology Milestones

Crew at CBC TV Vancouver
Crew at CBC TV Vancouver

In September 1952, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation transmits its first television broadcast from a station in Montreal, Quebec.

15 December 1964 - Show your pride, Canada!

Canadian Life

Lester Pearson's preferred flag
Lester Pearson's preferred flag

Canada used different flags from its founding through to the first half of the 20th century, most of which reflected the country's British Heritage. But on December 15, 1964, the government adopts a new design – the red and white maple leaf we still use today.

31 March 1954 - Canada's first subway system

Science & Technology Milestones

Excavation
Excavation

On March 31, 1954, the City of Toronto opens Canada's first subway system. The first line is built under Yonge Street and includes only 12 stops. Since then, the Toronto Transit Commission has expanded to become Canada's largest subway network. In 2008, it had the largest ridership in Canada, averaging 2.4 million passengers a day.

Dr. Milica Radisic - chemical engineering and tissue engineering

Women Changing the World

Milica Radisic
Milica Radisic

Dr. Milica Radisic found a way of growing new heart tissue to patch damaged heart tissue.

An advocate for women in engineering, she has participated in outreach activities to promote opportunities and to inspire the next generation of engineers.

1957 - Lights! Camera! Actions!

Canadian Life

Elgin Street theatre
Elgin Street theatre

In 1957, Canada becomes the first country in the world to have a movie theatre with more than one screen. Ottawa patrons of the Elgin Street Theatre choose from two different movies in the same theatre. Owner Nat Taylor goes on to invent the "Cineplex" or "multiplex" theatres.

1959 - A new life saving device: the seatbelt!

Science & Technology Milestones

Nils Bohn
Nils Bohn

In 1959, Volvo introduces seatbelts to the world. They quickly realize the life-saving importance of this invention, and release the patent to all automobile manufacturers.

Anna Dunets Wills - municipal engineering

Women Changing the World

Anna Dunets Wills
Anna Dunets Wills

Anna Dunets Wills has been improving living conditions around the world for over 30 years.

As a civil engineering student, Anna volunteered to oversee the construction of houses for aboriginal communities in British Columbia and Alberta.

After graduation, she used her skills to help design roads, drainage, sanitation, and water supply systems in Africa.

1972 - The first woman as Speaker of the Senate

Canadian Life

Muriel McQueen Fergusson
Muriel McQueen Fergusson

In 1972, Muriel Fergusson is appointed the first female Speaker of the Senate. Muriel McQueen Fergusson was born in New Brunswick, and was a pioneer of women's rights. In 1976, she is made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

1972 - A little brother in space

Science & Technology Milestones

Satellite
Satellite

In 1972, Telesat Canada, in cooperation with the US space program, launches the Anik A satellite. Canada becomes the first country in the world to put a satellite into orbit for non-military purposes. "Anik" means "Little Brother" in Inuktitut.

1976 - The only Summer Olympics ever held in Canada

Canadian Life

Montreal Olympic Stadium
Montreal Olympic Stadium

In 1976, Montreal hosts the Summer Olympics. It is the first and so far only time that Canada has hosted the Summer Games. It is also the first time that women compete in basketball, rowing, and handball.

Elizabeth Croft - mechanical engineering

Women Changing the World

Elizabeth Croft
Elizabeth Croft

Elizabeth Croft researches how people work with robots and how the robots can be adapted to help them. Her work has applications for healthcare and assistive technology, and for manufacturing.

Elizabeth launched the University of British Columbia's engineering mentoring program, which connects students with engineering professionals.

Rui Song - Bioengineering

Women Changing the World

Rui Song
Rui Song

At 16 years old, Rui Song won an international competition for engineering a more nutritious lentil.

The most-widely grown lentils are disease resistant and high-yielding, but have low nutritional value. Other lentils are more nutritious, but don't grow as well.

Rui is currently studying a way to combine the best qualities of both types of lentils to create crops that are more nutritious.

1991 - A new invention: the World Wide Web

Science & Technology Milestones

Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee

In 1991, the CERN— the European Organisation for Nuclear Research — launches the World Wide Web project. Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist working at CERN, proposes to network websites and make them searchable using Hypertext Transfer Protocols (http). After its first year of operation, the new worldwide web comprises only 50 websites.

1981 - Running for a cause

Canadian Life

Terry Fox
Terry Fox

In 1981, Terry Fox succumbs to cancer before completing his Marathon of Hope. In 1977, Terry Fox had his right leg amputated due to osteosarcoma. To raise money and awareness for cancer research, he runs for 143 days, and completes 5,373 kilometres on an artificial leg.

1996 - One sheep, two sheep

Science & Technology Milestones

Dolly
Dolly

In 1996, Dolly the sheep is the first clone of a mammal to survive past infancy. After 277 tries, scientists at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland, clone Dolly from the mammary gland cells of an adult sheep. Dolly lives until she is six years old. The cloning of Dolly opens the door to more intensive genetic engineering.

Larissa Vingilis-Jaremko - psychologist, biologist & science activist

Women Changing the World

Larissa Vingilis-Jaremko
Larissa Vingilis-Jaremko

Larissa Vingilis-Jaremko was nine when she started an organization designed to spark girls' interest in science (The Canadian Association for Girls in Science). It was the first organization of its kind in Canada and now has over 3000 members across Canada.

Larissa is also the author of several books targeted to girls, in which the young heroines solve mysteries using their science skills.

2006 - The busiest highway in North America

Science & Technology Milestones

The 401
The 401

In 2006, North America's busiest highway is the "401" in Ontario, Canada. An average of 500,000 or more vehicles use the 401 each day in areas near Toronto.

1997 - The longest bridge in the world

Science & Technology Milestones

The Confederation Bridge
The Confederation Bridge

In 1997, the Confederation Bridge opens, linking Prince Edward Island with the mainland. At 12.9 kilometres long, the Confederation Bridge is the longest bridge in the world to span ice-covered waters. The construction of this bridge allows direct ground access to the island, and increases tourism and trade.

1984 - The first female Governor General

Canadian Life

Jeanne Sauvé
Jeanne Sauvé

In 1984, Jeanne Sauvé becomes Canada's first female Governor General. Madame Sauvé is only the second woman in the Commonwealth to be appointed to the office. Elected to the House of Commons in 1972, she served as cabinet minister before becoming Speaker of the House in 1980.

Amrita Roy - medicine: public health

Women Changing the World

Amrita Roy
Amrita Roy

Amrita Roy studies how depression can affect pregnant aboriginal women and their unborn babies. Amrita looks for links between depression and stress hormones, and babies' health and growth.

Her goal is to better understand depression in these communities so that better detection, intervention, and prevention strategies are developed.

1999 - A brand new territory for Canada

Canadian Life

Nunavut
Nunavut

In 1999, Nunavut officially becomes a new territory of Canada. After a long series of land claim negotiations dating back to 1970s, an agreement was reached with the federal government in 1992. By 1999, the creation of the new territory of Nunavut was complete.

Carolyn Van Toen - mechanical engineering

Women Changing the World

Carolyn Van Toen
Carolyn Van Toen

Carolyn Van Toen's research helps improve our ability to predict what factors might signal possible spinal cord injuries in different situations.

Van Toen's research could lead to new, safer designs for helmets, swimming pools, or car air bags. It could also improve treatments for spinal cord injuries.

1998 - The return of the hybrid car!

Science & Technology Milestones

Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius

In 1998, the first hybrid Toyota Prius goes on sale in Japan, though it had already been imported privately to the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. By 2001, it is available in North America.

1993 - The first woman prime minister of Canada

Canadian Life

Kim Campbell
Kim Campbell

In 1993, Kim Campbell becomes the first woman prime minister of Canada. While Kim Campbell was not elected, and her term as prime minister lasted only four months, she had an approval rating of 51%, the highest of any prime minister in 30 years.

Veronique Morin - civil engineer: disaster preparedness

Women Changing the World

Veronique Morin
Veronique Morin

Veronique Morin researches the effects that cyclones, flooding, wind, and water have on population.

Her studies in disaster research have taken her to the Caribbean and to southeast Asia, both areas that are very vulnerable to natural disasters.

Her research deepens our understanding of the effects of natural disasters on communities.

1987 - Seatbelts are the law!

Canadian Life

Seat belt
Seat belt

In 1987, Alberta becomes the last province to make seatbelt use mandatory. Ontario and Quebec were the first jurisdictions to enact laws making seatbelt use compulsory in 1976.

2000 - Modern day treasure hunt

Science & Technology Milestones

GPS
GPS

In 2000, Global Positioning System (GPS) signals are made available to the public. The GPS is a satellite-based system that provides reliable location data to holders of a GPS receiver. It is now a common feature in many automobiles, and is a key piece of equipment in today's version of the "treasure hunt": geo-caching.

1989 - The new look of money

Canadian Life

One dollar bill
One dollar bill

In 1989, the Royal Canadian Mint issues a coin – the Loonie – to replace the one-dollar bill. In 1996, the Mint introduced a second coin, this time to replace the two-dollar bill. The "Toonie" is intended to last 20 years, while a two-dollar bill would be expected to last only one year.

Sara Ehrhardt - systems engineer

Women Changing the World

Sara Ehrhardt
Sara Ehrhardt

Sara Ehrhardt's experiences with robotics led her to study engineering.

As a co-op student, she volunteered in Guyana, assisting with community development. The experience showed her how engineering can improve the quality of people's lives. When she returned to Canada, she became involved in Engineers Without Borders (EWB), and developed their student internship program.