M.P. Carmichael Wishes All Residents of Don Valley West a Happy and Safe Simcoe Day!
The first Monday in August is a Civic Holiday in much of Canada, but it goes under different names in different parts of the country. Here in Toronto it is known as Simcoe Day, and in 2012 Simcoe Day is Monday August 6th.
Although now an almost nation-wide affair, the August Civic Holiday began in Toronto in the late 1800′s when our city council thought people could use another “day of relaxation” in the summer months. But it was the city council sitting in 1968 that decided to name the Civic Holiday Simcoe Day after the very late John Graves Simcoe.
Simcoe came to what is now Ontario in 1792 as the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. Because of health problems he only stayed in Canada until 1796, but in the intervening years he organized the governments in both Upper Canada and Quebec, began building roads, and founded the town of York, which would eventually become the City of Toronto. Simcoe’s greatest legacy though is that he supported legislation to ban future slavery. Other British territories would eventually follow suit, and Canada would become a haven for escaped slaves via the underground railroad.