Remembering the 1918 Armistice: November 11: Snapshots in History

November 11, 2018 | John P.

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The fighting in the First World War came to an end on November 11, 1918. So what would Torontonians have read in the newspapers on November 11, 1918? Why not take a look at some of the content in the Toronto Daily Star and of the Globe (one of the predecessor newspapers to the current Globe and Mail) that was published on that date?

Consider the article entitled “Toronto Wakes to Greet Peace: Scenes of Tense Enthsuiasm [sic - Enthusiasm] Precede the Dawn of Day” on page 1 of the November 11, 1918 issue of the Globe newspaper. Here is an excerpt from that article:

“Toronto was awakened from its slumbers at 2.55 o’clock this morning. The first flash bulletin that armistice had been signed came through over the Associated Press wires to the newspapers at that hour. Within a few minutes many whistles in all parts of the city were blasting full blast. Eaton’s big “wildcat” siren awakened the whole city…At a little after 3 o’clock a procession, mostly of women munition workers, paraded Yonge street, cheering, wildly, beating tin pans, and blowing whistles. By this time a crowd began to gather all along Yonge street, motor cars came tearing down street, reckless of all the speed laws, tooting their horns and awakening the entire city…” 

The article entitled “Over $60,000,000 From Toronto: Ontario Subscriptions Closely Approach Total of $160,000,000” on page 2 of the Globe’s November 11, 2018 issue might leave the twenty-first century reader somewhat puzzled until one learns that the money raised was in regard to the Victory Loan Drive. Here is an excerpt from that article:

“”Home Stretch and Double-up Week” of the Toronto Victory Loan drive opens with large promise…According to figures announced last night the situation generally warrants high optimism. Toronto started out to raise $80,000,000, and last week the Executive, to show that it was possible to exceed that amount, decided to make the goal $100,000,000, of which it turned in $61,701,500, compared with $40,000,000 for the same period a year ago…”

(Please visit the following Toronto Public Library blog post NoVember is for Victory Bonds for additional information on the Victory Loan campaign during the First World War.)

To view these articles in full, please access the Globe and Mail Historical Newspaper Archive database with a valid Toronto Public Library card.

In a sign that some people were already thinking about their post-war future, consider the article entitled “Veterans Now Want Plans Made for Peace: Take the View That There are Many Vital Problems That Must Be Solved” that was published in the Extra Edition of the November 11, 2018 issue of the Toronto Daily Star on page A2. Here is an excerpt from that article:

“”The war has been won by democracy and now democracy must be made safe and sure for a sorely-stricken world,’ was the statement made to The Star this morning by W. E. Turley, the Provincial secretary of the Great war Veterans’ Association…’Canada may have been partially prepared for war, but there is very little to show that she has even partially prepared for peace. A committee to consider the problems of reconstruction was organized some months ago, but their plans have apparently been kept a deep secret…The Federal Government should immediately acquaint the people of Canada with the methods they intend to use to meet the situation,’…’Canadians want to know and ought to know just how they can do their part in saving civilization for the rack and ruin of the social industrial confusion that is now upon us.’…”

In another article of interest to those researching Victory Loans, page 2 of the Extra Edition of the Toronto Daily Star on November 11, 2018 carried the following article entitled “3,500 Canvassers for the Loan in Ontario…”. Here is an excerpt from that article:

“Ontario’s Victory Loan Organization with headquarters in Toronto is a veritable network of efficiency. The Province is divided into 66 recording units, of which in most cases the county towns are the centres. There are over 3,500 canvassers working in the Province and altogether about 15,000 people helping the Victory Loan throughout Ontario to success…”

In a sad and personal tone on Armistice Day, also on page 2 of the Extra Edition of the November 11, 2018 issue of the Toronto Daily Star, readers learned that word had been received two days before on November 9, 1918 that Riverdale resident Private William Hodge had been killed in action on October 11, 1918, according to official notification from Ottawa. To view further, please look for the article entitled “Pte. Wm. Hodge Killed: Only Son in Family Falls in Action: Went Overseas Last January.”

To view these articles in full, please access the Toronto Star Historical Newspaper Archive database with a valid Toronto Public Library card

Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:




The greatest victory Canada's one hundred days  1918

The last battle victory  defeat  and the end of World War I

Peace at Last A Portrait of Armistice Day  11 November 1918

Eleventh month  eleventh day  eleventh hour Armistice Day  1918 World War I and its violent climax

Veterans with a vision Canada's war blinded in peace and war

Winning the second battle Canadian veterans and the return to civilian life  1915-1930