2025 — Anniversaries of significance in Canada

25th anniversary of the Modernization of the Benefits and Obligations Act which extended benefits to same‑sex couples

The Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act gives lesbians, gays and heterosexuals living in common-law relationships legal responsibilities and benefits in areas such as income tax, pensions and employment insurance.

25th anniversary of the repatriation of Canada’s Unknown Soldier

After the First World War, an unknown soldier was laid to rest in London’s Westminster Abbey. These remains represented all unidentified fallen soldiers of Great Britain and Commonwealth states, including Canada. In May 2000, a set of remains which could be identified as Canadian was transported from France to Ottawa for a burial ceremony at the National War Memorial.

For more information: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

50th anniversary of Parliament naming the beaver as an official symbol of Canada

Already an important cultural figure for many Indigenous groups, the beaver has been recognized as a symbol representing Canada since the early 17th century, when beaver pelts were a fundamental part of the economy of New France. On March 24, 1975, it was designated by Parliament as an official symbol of the sovereignty of Canada.

50th anniversary of the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement

Considered to be the first modern treaty, the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) is an agreement between the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, Hydro-Québec, the Grand Council of the Cree’s of Quebec, the Northern Quebec Inuit Association, the Société de développement de la Baie James, and the Société d'énergie de la Baie James.

The agreement was the first comprehensive land claims agreement signed between the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, and Indigenous peoples. After 2 years of negotiations, the JBNQA recognized the land rights of the Cree and Inuit in committing 225 million dollars in compensation over 20 years and allowed the Government of Quebec to build its hydroelectric dams in the James Bay area.

75th anniversary of Inuit gaining the right to vote in federal elections

When the Constitution Act of 1867 created the Dominion of Canada, it did not include Inuit homelands and thus there were no references to Inuit. As Canada expanded north, Inuit did not have voting rights and in fact were specifically excluded from voting in 1934. In 1950, Inuit were given the right to vote in federal elections. By 1962, all Arctic communities had access to voting services.

100th anniversary of the birth of jazz pianist and composer Oscar Peterson

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, born August 15 1925, was a Canadian virtuoso jazz pianist, composer and educator. He released over 200 recordings, won 8 Grammy Awards (including one for lifetime achievement), one Juno Award, and was appointed to the Order of Canada. He remains well-known and respected internationally.

150th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 5

Seeking similar treaty provision offered to First Nations in the earlier Numbered Treaties process with the federal government in the early 1870s (Treaties 1 through 4) and concerned about the encroachment on their traditional lands by government surveyors and settlers, the Indigenous communities of the Lake Winnipeg area called on the Government of Canada to negotiate a treaty with them. Also known as the Lake Winnipeg Treaty, Treaty 5 covers much of present-day central and northern Manitoba, as well as portions of Saskatchewan and Ontario.

The Treaty was signed by the Government of Canada, the Ojibwe, and the Swampy Cree of Lake Winnipeg between 1875 and 1876. In 1908, the remaining areas of Northern Manitoba were brought into Treaty 5.

150th anniversary of the creation of the Supreme Court of Canada

Since its creation in 1875, the Supreme Court of Canada has evolved to reflect the diverse perspectives and experiences of Canadians. As the country’s final court of appeal, it serves Canadians by deciding legal issues of public importance. As the only bilingual and bijural apex court in the world, the Supreme Court is internationally recognized for its role in promoting the Rule of Law, the open court principle and judicial independence.

150th anniversary of the first woman accredited to practice medicine in Canada, Jennie Trout

Jennie Trout was the first female physician accredited to practice medicine in Canada. Trout received her medical license in 1875 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Trout was also the first woman to be accepted into medical school in Canada when she attended the Toronto School of Medicine for a qualifying year course in 1871 (she would later obtain an MD in 1875 from a medical school in the United States).

Emily Stowe is considered to be the first woman to practice medicine in Canada but did not gain accreditation to practice medicine by the College of Physicians and Surgeons until 1880.

150th anniversary of the first woman to receive a bachelor’s degree in Canada

In 1875, Grace Annie Lockhart was the first woman in the British Empire to receive a bachelor’s degree. She earned a degree in science and English literature from Mount Allison Wesleyan College (now Mount Allison University) in Sackville, New Brunswick.

250th anniversary of the Invasion of Québec during the American War of Independence

The Invasion of Québec in December 1775 (also called the Siege of Québec) represents a key moment in the American War of Independence that has shaped Canada’s geopolitical history. During this siege, 1800 British regular troops and Canadien Militia successfully defended the city of Québec from an invading American army (after the 1774 Quebec Act, the city was part of a greatly enlarged entity called the Province of Quebec, a British colony, also known simply as Canada or the Province of Canada).

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