Temperance & Prohibition in Canada Quick Timeline & Facts
1827. The first Canadian Temperance Society was founded in Montreal
1842. One person in ten was a member of a temperance organization.
1901. PEI goes dry and all of Canada has joined by the end of WWI.
1920s. Prohibition is widespread in Canada but alcohol can still be sold through the government for industrial, scientific, mechanical, artistic and medical uses, and often outside of province. Illegal drinking establishments, known as speakeasies, spring up everywhere. Prescription alcohol use for illness skyrockets.
1930. All of the provinces have gradually re-legalized alcohol, except PEI which remains dry until 1948.
The United States remains under strict prohibition until 1933, making conditions ripe for alcohol’s growing popularity and an underground economy of booze smuggling and rum running.
Today’s LCBO is one result of the passionate fight for and against temperance and prohibition in 19th century Ontario. The battle’s colourful characters along with a cast of bootleggers, brewers and bailiffs fill out this topical show. The exhibit presents a story of crime and smuggling, of action and danger, of humour and morality through interesting large-scale photo & story displays.
Also included are some bottles, an ad and other articles from Rudolph & Begg Brewers, one of two breweries that started in St. Thomas in the 1830s. (They serve to illustrate that Railway City Brewing Company was not St. Thomas’s first proud brewer of fine ales). The historic brewery items are from the collection of Steve Peters.