46 Armenian Orphans Arrived in Georgetown on Canada Day 90 Years Ago

July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013, marks Canada‚Äôs 146th birthday and the 90th anniversary of the arrival of the first 46 Armenian genocide orphans at Georgetown, Ontario. A group of 50 were collected from the London, UK-based Armenian Refugees (Lord Mayor’s) Fund Orphanage in Corfu, Greece, and traveled via Marseilles to Cherbourg, France. Four were held back for several weeks, with the rest continuing on to Quebec City. Taking a train through Quebec and Ontario, they finally arrived at Georgetown on what was then called Dominion Day. The project was a milestone in the history of a country that has prided itself for its humanitarian record.

As summer school classes begin on July 2, we encourage teachers to take some time to discuss this history with their students. Topics such as immigration, humanitarianism, human rights, and genocide are relevant to many courses and are curricular expectations in many Canadian, World Studies, and Humanities courses. Questions educators may wish to explore can include, how do we accept new immigrants in our classroom? What are our attitudes towards those in need? How might these boys have felt as they arrived in a country they knew nothing about?

Please take a moment to visit our page dedicated to this anniversary. You can also access two documentaries in our Media Resources section, and a new text resource in our Reference section. The latter was published by the Ontario Heritage Trust on the occasion of the unveiling of a commemorative plaque at Cedarvale Community Centre, the name by which the Armenian Boys’ Farm Home is known today. This document provides an informative overview of the history and is perfect to use as a class reading. 

To book a classroom visit for your summer school students, click here