January 14, 1918 – Fort William



In Mayor Murphy’s inaugural address to the Fort William City Council, he acknowledges that their finances are in a “comparatively favourable condition” despite the “numerous extra calls for funds”. He warns that they will have to raise $40,000 (almost $560,000 in 2018 dollars) for the Patriotic Fund and $30,000 (almost $420,000 in 2018 dollars) for the Hospital because “both of these institutions are doing splendid work, and will need all the assistance we can give.” He reflects on the disasters and disease that have affected many “prosperous communities” in the past year and that Fort William has “not suffered in any extraordinary way except as a result of the dreadful war … Fort William has contributed its quota of wealth, has given up its sons and daughters – many of our best young men are alas, never to return, but altho we are paying the price yet we believe our cause is just and that right will prevail. Let us hope that this year will see the termination of the war and that the cause of freedom may once and for all time, reign throughout the world.”


January 14, 1918 – Port Arthur


Unfortunately, we do not have a transcript of Mayor Edward Blaquier’s inaugural address to Port Arthur City Council, but we do know that, among other issues, he was in support of the previous council’s push from November 1917 for a Vocational Training School and Military Hospital in the Lakehead to help the returning soldiers.


January 14, 1918 – Port Arthur


As seen in other months, the Cities were frequently asked to give utilities in kind to the local military. Here Port Arthur are being asked to supply telephones to the Armoury, a request which is being referred to the Finance Committee for review.

January 14, 1918 – Port Arthur



1917’s campaign to cultivate all the vacant lots in Port Arthur in order to free up food to send overseas was successful, and in 2018 the Department of Agriculture gets started a bit earlier, sending instruction pamphlets for Vacant Lot Gardening in January, as opposed to the demand for increased food production that was received in February 1917. Port Arthur City Council will forward the pamphlet on to the local press so they can published excerpts and will order 100 more copies.

January 14, 1918 – Port Arthur


The Duke of Devonshire was writing to the City of Port Arthur about the formation of a Navy League Branch, see January 28th below.

January 14, 1918 – Port Arthur



The City of Port Arthur had allowed the Great War Veterans Association to use the old Municipal Building at 242 Arthur St W, now Red River Road (this building no longer exists), as a meeting place in September 1917. Here, the City Engineer, Mr. Jones, had already allowed Sergeant Johnson the use of a room in the building to use as a recruiting office and it was being approved after the fact by City Council.

January 21, 1918 – Port Arthur



The Municipalities were expected to collect all taxes at this time, so taxes levied by other levels of government were collected by the municipality and then sent on to the proper authority. Here, the Ontario Treasury is asking for the moneys collected under the 1917 Ontario War Tax. The amount that Port Arthur had collected was $26,429.63, which is equivalent to almost $370,000 in today’s dollars.

January 21, 1918 – Port Arthur


Mr. F.H. Keefer was a barrister and also worked as the Port Arthur City Solicitor. He presumably had connections in the Government, so that he could use his influence on to ensure the Military Hospital and Vocational School would be built in the Lakehead.

January 28, 1918 – Port Arthur


The Food Controller of Canada had placed restrictions on food in order to provide enough food for the Canadian people while also feeding those overseas. Here Port Arthur City Council voices their support and co-operation for the restrictions and direction in “producingm [sic] conserving and maintaining reasonable prices for all food commodities.” The restrictions being introduced were “in the use of wheat flour, and of cured ham and bacon.” They were also going to form a joint committee of the Relief and Market Committees and make sure the press published their support in the local newspapers.


January 28, 1918 – Port Arthur



With the Food Controller’s restrictions came some panic due to misinterpretation, in this case over the sale of bran and shorts, both by-products of milling wheat for flour, which could be used for other food or to make livestock feed. The City Solicitor, Mr. Keefer, clarifies the new regulations to council to clear up the misconceptions and Port Arthur City Council will pass the clarification on to the press so they can inform the public.

January 28, 1918 – Port Arthur



The City of Port Arthur receives more information about the formation of a Branch of the Navy League, this time from the Board of Trade. The matter has been referred to the Finance Committee for consideration, presumably because there is a financial contribution expected from the City.


January 28, 1918 – Port Arthur



With the demands for local food production set by the Food Controller, the Market Committee and the Garden Club are teaming up again to ensure that as much land in Port Arthur is cultivated as possible. The Property Committee is being requested to give control of all vacant lands to the Market Committee so that they can make it easily available to the public. They are planning the Club’s awards for gardens early, likely to try and motivate people to plant a garden, with awards for soldiers’ wives and widows and by contacting the schools to organize the Children’s Gardens. Again, the City will provide ploughing services for vacant lots at $1.00/33 foot lot, and will grow cabbages and other plants in their green houses to provide some food that might not be able to be grown in this climate. They are also going to buy seed to give to Garden Club members at wholesale prices and citizens at cost. They did this in May 1917 with seed potatoes. They are also hoping to meet with the Farmers Club of McIntyre and the club in Oliver, to discuss the products that are deemed most in demand by citizens so that the farmers will grow them.