• Fireworks display in Montreal. (Photo: Michael Vesia)

Those worried that the calendar would break down this year can put their concerns to rest — it did indeed work once more. As people across the country decide on resolutions for 2014, we look back at a few important events that happened on New Year’s Day.


The first movie theatre in Canada dedicated exclusively to showing movies opens in Montreal. The Ouimetoscope was converted from a cabaret. The owner, Leo-Ernest Ouimet, reportedly earned $100 in the first week of business.


Driving in British Columbia switched lanes as all drivers from that point on had to drive on the right hand side of the road. Although it doesn’t seem like a great idea to institute the shift in the wee hours of the morning, there were apparently no accidents during the shift.


The first official “Canadian citizens” came into existence under the Liberal government of William Lyon Mackenzie King. The Canadian Citizenship Act officially separated Canadian citizenship from British nationality. Regulations were defined based on birth to a Canadian parent, birth on Canadian soil or Brits who had spent five years in Canada as landed immigrants, among other things.


The Goods and Services Tax came into effect. The seven per cent tax replaced a 13.5 per cent federal manufacturer’s tax. It remained at seven per cent until Jan. 1, 2008, when one per cent was knocked off, bringing the tax down to six per cent.


The Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement was superseded by the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was broadened to include Mexico. The trilateral agreement was ostensibly focused on the goal of improving the standard of living for people in the three countries.


A ban on incandescent light bulbs comes into effect today. Although the plan has been floating around since 2007, it isn’t until this year that Canadians will have to purchase more expensive alternatives like compact fluorescent bulbs.