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Archives of Ontario Shares First World War Love Letters

News Release

Archives of Ontario Shares First World War Love Letters

Online and In-person Exhibits to Commemorate Beginning of WWI

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

The Archives of Ontario is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War with a series of exhibits that show the impact the war had on the people of Ontario.

A new online exhibit starts the series by showcasing the letters that office worker Sadie Arbuckle and soldier Harry Mason wrote to each other before and during the war until Mason was killed in action in 1917. Harry's letters about life as a soldier and Sadie's letters about life at home provide a detailed and emotional contrast between their experiences.

A travelling exhibit will also be featured at museums and cultural centres across Ontario starting in June followed by a final exhibit at the Archives of Ontario in the fall. Exhibits will feature donated items such as diaries, letters and photographs as well as posters and art. Dates and locations will be posted on the Archives of Ontario website.

Quick Facts

  • The First World War began on July 28, 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918.
  • More than 628,000 Canadians served in the First World War, which left 66,573 Canadians dead and 138,166 wounded.
  • Since 1903, the Archives of Ontario has been the premier source of information about the history of the province and its people.

Additional Resources


“The Archives of Ontario online exhibit gives us an informative, interesting and interactive look into the impact that the First World War had on Ontario and its people.”

John Milloy

Minister of Government Services

Michael Chan

“These online and in-person exhibits present an important opportunity for us to reflect on the personal struggles and sacrifices of our past generations while educating the people of Ontario. Commemorating the beginning of the First World War allows us to honour the events that have shaped our shared history and collective identity - as a people, as a province and as a nation.”

Michael Chan

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

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