First Capital Days

Ottawa is the capital of Canada – now.  But it has not always been that way.  In 1841, the Act of Union officially united the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada to form the Province of Canada, with Kingston as its capital city.  The capital was moved to Montreal in 1844 and from there to Toronto and then Quebec City until finally being established in Ottawa in 1866.

Each year, Kingston celebrates its role as the first capital.  This year, on Wednesday June 15th, the city will mark the 175th anniversary, with on-going activities in City Park (9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) that will give visitors a taste of life in 1841.

Things were very different then.  For most people, life revolved around providing the basic necessities of existence – food, shelter and clothing.

Clothing, bedding and household linens were of vital importance to the early settlers.  City and town dwellers were often able to purchase material from a general store.  But those who lived in the rural area had to make their own.  So a large home textile industry flourished. 

Kingston Handloom Weavers and Spinners members will be present at First Capital Day to demonstrate the skills of spinning and weaving – the basic building blocks of textile production.  Visitors will have an opportunity to participate in fleece preparation, spinning on a spindle and weaving on a small loom. 

Look for KHWS also at Arts Fest (July 1st weekend) and the Sheep Dog Trials (Aug.5th-7th).