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Photo: Women's Christian Temperance Union's display booth for the Canadian National Exhibition, in Toronto, [between 1878 and 1991]
Click to see a larger image (86K)

Women's Christian Temperance Union's display
booth for the Canadian National Exhibition, in
Toronto, [ca. 1945]
Photographer Unknown
Women's Christian Temperance Union fonds
Black and white print
Reference Code: F 885-8
Archives of Ontario, I0006739

Administrative History


Photo: Women's Chrisitan Temperance Union Hall at Owen Sound, [between 1878 and 1991]

Click to see a larger image (119K)
Women's Christian Temperance Union Hall
at Owen Sound, [between 1878 and 1991]
James Photo Studio
Black and white print
Reference Code: F 885-8
Archives of Ontario, I0006720

The first temperance organization in Canada, the "Prohibition Women's League", was formed by Mrs. William Doyle in Owen Sound, Ontario May 24, 1874. The first effort of this union was to have liquor licenses revoked from grocery stores because of the menace to family life.

On 25 October 1875 the first Women's Christian Temperance Union in Toronto organized. By 1877 the Ontario Provincial Union was established, consisting of the local Ontario unions.

The Ontario Union modelled itself after the U.S.A. Union, promoting the causes of temperance, social purity and the enfranchisement of women. Other local and immediate issues were also promoted such as dress reform, Christian socialism, Christianity and labour reform for children. It was one of the unions which was very active in expanding the role of women in society by pushing for woman's suffrage.

Photo: Group of campers, counsellors, and leaders ready to go home at the end of the Women's Christian Temperance Union's Y.T.C. girls' camp, 1947
Click to see a larger image (171K)

Group of campers, counsellors, and leaders ready
to go home at the end of the Women's Christian
Temperance Union's Y.T.C. girls' camp, 1947
Photographer Unknown
Women's Christian Temperance Union fonds
Black and white print
Reference Code: F 885-8
Archives of Ontario, I0006738

The W.C.T.U. continued to be active as they formed unions from coast to coast advocating social reform and produced periodicals, newsletters, handbills, leaflets, pamphlets and posters to inform the public about their aims and achievements.

In 1927 the Ontario Temperance Act (1916) was replaced by the Liquor Control Act. The passage of this act greatly reduced the influence the W.C.T.U. had with the general populace because the sale of liquor became sanctioned by the government. This trend occurred throughout Canada. Even though the government and public attitudes to liquor had changed, the W.C.T.U. felt that its role was increasingly important and continued to emphasize the great need for people to live lives of temperance, publish literature on the dangers of smoking and drug use, and push for social reforms.

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The Canadian and Ontario unions worked closely with each other from the time they were formed. In the early 1980's the W.C.T.U. was faced with financial problems, declining membership and the advanced ages of most of the members. The Canadian Union and Ontario Union have continued to be the most active unions in Canada, though also encountering financial difficulties.

The W.C.T.U. has continued to promote the principle of voluntary abstinence from alcoholic beverages and from the use of non-prescription drugs. They persist in challenging people to higher standards of morality and continue to promote the ideology that substance abuse will lead to the demise of higher moral standards. They believe the human body is considered a temple of God and the intake of alcohol and drugs poisons this temple. Thus, the W.C.T.U. petitions all levels of government for the legislation in areas of social reform including the banning of alcohol advertisements and to ban the opening of local grocery store liquor outlets.

The microfilm consists of periodicals of the W.C.T.U. over the period , 1885-1988.

The Woman's Journal


The Woman's Journal was the first nationally recognized publication of the Dominion W.C.T.U. and ran till 1903. The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings was created and started publication in 1904. It was published by the Ontario Provincial Union but one third of its space was devoted to the Dominion W.C.T.U.'s issues and happenings. The periodical also solicited articles from the various provincial unions and so became the national voice of the Canadian W.C.T.U.

The Woman's Journal

Description Years Microfilm
Reference
The Woman's Journal Jan. 1885-June 1,1899 MS 883 reel 1
The Woman's Journal June 15,1899- Feb. 1903 MS 883 reel 2

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The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings


The Dominion Union decided to publish its own official paper and by 1910 was publishing Canada's White Ribbon Bulletin. By 1920, financial stresses were being felt by the two official papers of the Canadian W.C.T.U. membership and The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings and Canada's White Ribbon Bulletin amalgamated to form the new Canadian White Ribbon Tidings. It was to be published jointly by the Dominion and Ontario unions and continues to be published today.

The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings

Description Years Microfilm
Reference
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings Jan. 15,1904-May 1,1906 MS 885 reel 1
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings May 15,1906-June 15,1908 MS 885 reel 2
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings July 15,1908-Feb.1,1911 MS 885 reel 3
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings Mar. 1,1911-Apr. 1,1913 MS 885 reel 4
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings May 1, 1913-June 1915 MS 885 reel 5
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings July 1,1915-Aug. 1,1917 MS 885 reel 6
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings Apr. 1,1917-Aug. 1921 MS 885 reel 7
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings Sept. 1921-May 1926 MS 885 reel 8
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings June 1926-Dec. 1930 MS 885 reel 9
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings Jan. 1931-June 1935 MS 885 reel 10
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings July/Aug.1935-Jan. 1941 MS 885 reel 11
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings Feb. 1941-Oct. 1946 MS 885 reel 12
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings Oct. 1946-May 1952 MS 885 reel 13
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings June 1952-May 1959 MS 885 reel 14
The Canadian White Ribbon Tidings May 1959-Dec. 1968 MS 885 reel 15


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