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"Dear Sadie" Exhibit Chronicles Ontarian's First World War Experiences

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"Dear Sadie" Exhibit Chronicles Ontarian's First World War Experiences

Ontario Government Opens New Exhibit Commemorating 100th Anniversary of WWI

The Ontario government is marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War with a new exhibit curated by the Archives of Ontario.

Dear Sadie - Love, Lives, and Remembrance from Ontario's First World War tells the war-time stories of Ontarians whose lives were forever changed because of the conflict.  

The exhibit features stories told from:

  • Love letters between Sadie Arbuckle, an office worker, and Lieutenant Harry Mason, who wrote to each other until Mason was killed in action in 1917
  • Medical Corps records from Toronto surgeon Lawrence Bruce Robertson who chronicled stories from the men and women who tended to the injured and severely wounded
  • Diaries from Private John Mould as he struggled to make sense of the tragedy of war

Quick Facts

  • On Oct. 3, 1914, the first contingent of Canadian troops was deployed to England.
  • More than 650,000 Canadians served during the First World War, including nearly 243,000 Ontarians.
  • More than 66,000 Canadians gave their lives and over 172,000 were wounded over the course of the conflict.
  • Since 1903, the Archives of Ontario has been the premier source of information about the history of the province and its people, with vast collections of documents, photographs, films, maps, drawings and art.

Additional Resources


“This exhibit illustrates the significant impacts the First World War had on our province and how it greatly affected the lives of Ontario’s men, women and children in the early 20th century. The Archives of Ontario has done a remarkable job preserving these stories and Ontario’s heritage. I have no doubt this exhibit will engage and enlighten people of all ages, and help us to better understand the human elements of these conflicts.”

David Orazietti

Minister of Government and Consumer Services

“The Archives of Ontario is uniquely positioned to educate us about the impact the First World War had on our province. I encourage everyone to explore the exhibit and learn more about this important period in Ontario’s history.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

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