DST in Canada through early 1916

Paul Eggert eggert at twinsun.com
Sun Jul 27 20:39:44 UTC 2003

[Forwarded with permission from Mark Brader.]

Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2003 19:18:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: msb at vex.net (Mark Brader)

I spent some time at the Toronto Reference Library today.  On May 31
I wrote (to Paul and Tom):

> The library now has access to a computerized archive of the Toronto
> Star back to its founding; I may do a search on DST sometime, but as
> I said, I was there for other reasons today, and I didn't want to take
> any more time on this.

The archive, called "Pages of the Past", contains a scanned image
of every page; you can request a particular date and page, or locate
pages of possible interest by full-text searches.  The search has
four options: "exact phrase", "any of these words", "all of these
words", "boolean".  However, there doesn't seem to be a way to ask
for "any of these exact phrases"; at least, the obvious things to
try didn't work.

Although any library user can access the archive, it's not available
on the WWW; you have to go to the library, and access to their computers
may be limited if other people are waiting.  In this case other people
weren't waiting and I was able to get a couple of hours continuously.
But again I was there for another reason -- subway history is more
interesting than time zone history, after all -- and I didn't want
to spend all my time doing this.

I chose to search on the exact phrase "daylight saving" (rather than
"daylight savings" or "summer time"), and to search forward from the
founding of the paper in 1894 until I got to some interesting stuff.
Everything below is in my own words.  Dates in parentheses are dates
of the newspaper articles rather than the events.

The very first hit was on (1908-07-09), a one-paragraph item to the
effect that New York financiers were alarmed at the popularity of
a DST bill in England.  Tea time at 5:00, they said, already subtracts
too much from business hours.

On 1909-03-12 (-13) E.N. Lewis, MP, introduced a bill calling for DST
on a national basis for a 2-month period.  This was not taken very
seriously by the parliamentarians, but it survived to a second
reading on 1909-03-29 (-30), when it was referred to committee.
On (1914-01-15) it was reported that Lewis was again preparing to
introduce his bill -- this time the Star said it called for the clocks
to be turned BACK an hour during the summer months!

The first actual adoption of DST in Canada was at the municipal level.
As the Star put it (1912-06-07), "While people elsewhere have long
been talking of legislation to save daylight, the city of Moose Jaw
[Saskatchewan] has acted on its own hook."  DST in Moose Jaw began
on Saturday, 1912-06-01 (no time mentioned: presumably late evening,
as below), and would run until "the end of the summer".  The discrepancy
between municipal time and railroad time was noted.

Orillia, Ontario, adopted DST effective Saturday, 1912-06-22, 22:00;
the article mentions that Port Arthur (now part of Thunder Bay,
Ontario) as well as Moose Jaw have already done so.  In Orillia DST
was to run until Saturday, 1912-08-31 (no time mentioned), but it
was met with considerable hostility from certain segments of the
public, and was revoked after only two weeks -- I copied it as
Saturday, 1912-07-07, 22:00, but presumably that should be -07-06.
(1912-06-19, -07-12; also letters earlier in June).

Kenora, Ontario, was to abandon DST on 1914-06-01 (-05-21).

Winnipeg, Manitoba, was noted on (1916-02-29) as having adopted DST.

On (1916-05-04) it was noted that there was now little doubt that
Britain would follow Holland's example and adopt DST.

There were many more hits in 1916, and at this point I stopped searching.

Feel free to forward this to tz, or better yet, just the interesting bits;
or not to, as you wish.
Mark Brader, Toronto, msb at vex.net
     "No, no, Oscar, you forget.  When you and I are together, we
      never talk about anything except me."   --James MacNeill Whistler
     "It is true, Jimmy, we were talking about you, but I was
      thinking of myself."                                --Oscar Wilde

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