Sunnyside Amusement Park
Sunnyside Amusement Park was a popular amusement park in Toronto, Canada that ran from 1922 to 1955, demolished in 1955 to facilitate the building of the Metro Toronto Gardiner Expressway project. It was located on the Lake Ontario waterfront at the foot of Roncesvalles Avenue, west of downtown Toronto; the name'Sunnyside' was the name of a local farm owned by John George Howard, situated just to the north, on the location of the current St. Joseph's Medical Centre. Sunnyside Avenue runs north-south from that location north to Howard Park Avenue today. John Howard is famous as the original landowner of the nearby High Park. Prior to the construction of the park, the shoreline was a narrow stretch to the south of the 1850s era rail lines. There was enough area for a restaurant and a small fenced off area was provided for changing into swimwear. To the east, the club-house of the Parkdale Canoe Club jutted out into the lake. A plan was developed in 1913 by the new Toronto Harbour Commission to improve the shore lands from the foot of Bathurst Street to the Humber River.
The plan, which included four miles of breakwater, infilling of land, the construction of the Lake Shore Boulevard, cost $13 million, was paid for by the federal government. A boardwalk along the south side of Lake Shore Boulevard was built, from the Humber River east to Wilson Park Avenue, 24 feet in width using white pine planks; this corresponded to the length of shoreline, extended out into the lake. This boardwalk became the site of annual Easter Parades until 1953, it was paved using asphalt in the 1960s. The Amusement Park lands themselves were created from sand dredged from the bottom of the bay and top soil from a farm in Pickering, Ontario; the original shoreline was extended into the lake by 100 metres, from the foot of Wilson Park Avenue west to the Humber River, a distance of about 1 kilometre. Only a small length of the original shoreline and beach exists today, located between the Boulevard Club and the Canadian Legion building at the intersection of Dowling Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard.
One of the first new buildings was the Sunnyside Pavilion, a curved structure providing a restaurant with views of the lake. It was located just to the east of Parkside Drive at the shoreline. Following this, the Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion and Dean's Sunnyside Pleasure Boats buildings were constructed. Soon after, concessions were granted to operate amusements on the lands. Sunnyside Amusement Park opened in 1922. At the time, there was an existing amusement park on the Toronto Islands at Hanlan's Point, it only operated a few more years until 1927 when a baseball stadium at the foot of Bathurst Street was built, replacing the stadium on the Island. Another amusement park, the Scarborough Beach Amusement Park was built in Scarborough, Ontario, to the east of Toronto; the park was popular for its large roller coaster, known as the'Flyer', several merry-go-rounds, the Derby Racer steeplechase ride and numerous smaller attractions. It hosted several'stunt events' including flagpole sitting, famous boat burnings in Lake Ontario and fireworks displays.
Other popular attractions included outdoor and indoor musical concerts, night clubs, restaurants and walking along the boardwalk. By the 1920s, swimming at the foot of Roncesvalles had been popular for over thirty years, as there was a swimming area near a pumping station; this changed in 1913 when the pumping station was demolished to make way for the bridge connecting Lakeshore Road and the King/Queen/Roncesvalles intersection. A staircase was built for pedestrians to walk down to the shoreline. A slide was installed for bathers to slide down into the water. By 1920, this area was filled in and the beach was moved further to the south. On June 28, 1922, Toronto Mayor Alfred Maguire opened the Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion to help bathers change for the swim in the lake; the building, constructed of concrete, cost $300,000. Each wing held an outdoor changing area and showers, the women's side on the east, men's side on the west, it offered over 7700 lockers for patrons, a roof garden for 400. Admission fees were 25¢ for adults and 15¢ for children, bathing suits and towels could be rented.
In the center was a staircase leading to an upper terrace which overlooked the change areas leading to a rear terrace which ran the full length of the building and overlooked the beach. On July 29, 1925, due to coldness of the lake during the preceding two summers, the Sunnyside Pool, nicknamed the'Tank', was opened beside the Bathing Pavilion to the east, it could accommodate 2,000 swimmers. At the time of construction, the pool was considered the largest outdoor swimming pool in the world. Admission fees were 35 ¢ for 10 ¢ for children. Sunnyside Pavilion provided a tea garden facing the lakeshore, it was curved into a crescent with the tea garden positioned within the semicircle. It was designed by the same architects and was in the same style as the Bathing Pavilion to the west, it was built in 1917 on the south side of Lakeshore Road. When built, its south side was on the lakeshore; as infill proceeded it ended up about 50 metres from shore, on the north side of the new Lake Shore Boulevard.
In 1920, the building was enlarged and a new south entrance was built facing the lake. The restaurant had the Blue Room for 400 diners/175 dancing couples, the Rose Room for a further 300 diners/150 couples. Dancing followed supper, with music provided by the Joe DeCourcy live orchestra. In 1936, the Pavilion was renovated and became known as the Club Esquire supper club, with stage shows and dancing
Canadian National Exhibition
The Canadian National Exhibition known as The Exhibition or The Ex, is an annual event that takes place at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Canada, during the 18 days leading up to and including Canadian Labour Day, the first Monday in September. With 1.5 million visitors each year, the CNE is Canada's largest annual fair and the fifth largest in North America. The first Canadian National Exhibition took place in 1879 to promote agriculture and technology in Canada. Agriculturists and scientists exhibited their discoveries and inventions at the CNE to showcase the work and talent of the nation; as Canada has grown as a nation, the CNE has changed over time, reflecting the growth in diversity and innovation, though agriculture and technology remain a large part of the CNE today. To many people in the Greater Toronto Area and the surrounding communities, the CNE is an annual family tradition; the CNE is held at Exhibition Place, a 192 acres site located along Toronto's waterfront on the shores of Lake Ontario and just west of downtown Toronto.
The site features several buildings and structures, many of which have been named as significant under the Ontario Heritage Act. There are several outdoor live music venues on-site including the permanent CNE Bandshell. All of the roads are named after the Canadian territories; the site includes a football stadium, fountains, plazas, a rose garden and parking lots. The site was reserve lands for British and Canadian military and was the site of an 18th-century French fort; the area was cleared of forest in the early 19th century for use by the Toronto Garrison of Fort York. The Exhibition received permission to use part of the site in the 1870s and expanded to use the whole site by the 1920s. In the 1950s, the site was expanded south of Lake Shore Boulevard by landfill, reduced in size on its northern boundary by the construction of the Gardiner Expressway; the 18-day fair itself consists of a mix of shopping areas, live entertainment, agricultural displays, sports events, a large carnival midway with rides and food.
The Canadian International Air Show on Labour Day weekend has been a feature of the fair since 1949. Several buildings house exhibits and displays from vendors, government agencies and various industry associations; these include the International Pavilion of products from around the world, the Arts and Hobbies Building of crafts and unusual items. The Evercare Centre complex holds the international pavilion, a garden show, the SuperDogs performances and a sand-sculpting competition, it has exhibit space used for agricultural or industrial displays and a live stage. The Food Building houses a large number of vendors of food from many cultures, reflecting Toronto's multicultural population; the Better Living Centre building is used for a casino on one side, a farming display on the other. The CNE continues its tradition of agricultural produce competition and the winners are displayed in the Better Living Centre, along with a butter sculpting competition. Other exhibit areas are used differently in different years.
There are a large number of vendors outside along the streets of the fair offering discount and unusual products. Some exhibits are only held for a few days such as the cat show; the 1792 "Scadding Cabin" log cabin display dates back to the first year of the fair and is the only time the cabin is open for display. The carnival midway has a large children's area in the northwest corner of the park, with smaller rides suitable for children under 12; the main area is situated west of the EnerCare Centre and has several dozen rides, including thrill rides, roller coasters, swing rides and a log plume ride. Along several pathways of the midway area are games of "skill", games of chance and many carnival food vendors; the CNE operates a "sky ride", with chairs similar to ski-lift chairs, to carry riders from one end of the midway to the other. The Coliseum building is used for live shows; these have included high-wire acts, the RCMP Musical Ride in the past. Outdoors, the Bandshell is used for nightly headliners.
Additionally, areas are set up at various points around the fair for outdoor entertainment. These include such things as beer gardens, musical acts, acrobatic acts, parkour displays, circus acts, children's shows and educational displays. There are two major parades at the CNE, the Warrior's Day Parade of veterans and the Labour Day Parade of workers; every evening a "Mardi Gras" parade is held. The CNE is home to BMO Field, a large multi-purpose facility located in the centre of the fair grounds; the stadium is used by two professional sports teams based in Toronto, the Toronto Argonauts Canadian football team and the Toronto FC soccer team. In Coronation Park, located across Lake Shore Boulevard, opposite the Princes' Gates, the CNE holds a youth peewee baseball tournament and a women's fastball tournament; the 2013 and 2014 CNEs featured a zip line ride. Operated by Ziptrek Ecotours, the CNE zip line was the highest and longest temporary zip line in the world; the launch tower, positioned southeast of the Food Building, measured 180 ft high.
The landing tower, southwest of the Direct Energy Centre, was 60 ft. The zip line ride consisted of four lines, each measuring nearly 1,100 ft. Zip line riders travelled at 65 km/hour. Food is considered by many visitors to be a key part of the CNE experience. Many options are available across the 192-acre site during the 18 days of the fair. A major destination for CNE visitors, the Food Building offers a wide variety of food options ranging from classic fair favourites, such as Beaver Tail
Hockey Hall of Fame
The Hockey Hall of Fame is an ice hockey museum located in Toronto, Canada. Dedicated to the history of ice hockey, it is a hall of fame, it holds exhibits about players, National Hockey League records, memorabilia and NHL trophies, including the Stanley Cup. Founded in Kingston, the Hockey Hall of Fame was established in 1943 under the leadership of James T. Sutherland; the first class of honoured members was inducted in 1945, before the Hall of Fame had a permanent location. It moved to Toronto in 1958 after the NHL withdrew its support for the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston, Ontario, its first permanent building opened at Exhibition Place in 1961. The hall was relocated in 1993, is now in downtown Toronto, inside Brookfield Place, a historic Bank of Montreal building. An 18-person committee of players and others meets annually in June to select new honourees, who are inducted as players, builders or on-ice officials. In 2010, a subcategory was established for female players; the builders' category includes coaches, general managers, team owners and others who have helped build the game.
Honoured members are inducted into the Hall of Fame in an annual ceremony held at the Hall of Fame building in November, followed by a special "Hockey Hall of Fame Game" between the Toronto Maple Leafs and a visiting team. As of 2018, 280 players, 109 builders and 16 on-ice officials have been inducted into the Hall of Fame; the Hall of Fame has been criticized for focusing on players from the National Hockey League and ignoring players from other North American and international leagues. The Hockey Hall of Fame was established through the efforts of James T. Sutherland, a former President of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. Sutherland sought to establish it in Kingston, Ontario as he believed that the city was the birthplace of hockey. In 1943, the NHL and CAHA reached an agreement. Called the "International Hockey Hall of Fame", its mandate was to honour great hockey players and to raise funds for a permanent location; the first nine "honoured members" were inducted on April 30, 1945, although the Hall of Fame still did not have a permanent home.
The first board of governors consisted of Red Dutton, Art Ross, Frank Sargent, Lester Patrick, Abbie E. H. Coo, Wes McKnight, Basil E. O'Meara, J. P. Fitzgerald and W. A. Hewitt. Kingston lost its most influential advocate as permanent site of the Hockey Hall of Fame when Sutherland died in 1955. By 1958, the Hockey Hall of Fame had still not raised sufficient funds to construct a permanent building in Kingston. Clarence Campbell President of the NHL, grew tired of waiting for the construction to begin and withdrew the NHL's support to situate the hall in Kingston. In the same year, the NHL and the Canadian National Exhibition reached an agreement to establish a new Hall of Fame building in Toronto, in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame located at Exhibition Place; the temporary Hockey Hall of Fame opened as an exhibit within the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in August 1958, 350,000 people visited it during the 1958 CNE fair. Due to the success of the exhibit, NHL and CNE decided that a permanent home in the Exhibition Place was needed.
The NHL agreed to fund the building of the new facility on the grounds of Exhibition Place, construction began in 1960. The first permanent Hockey Hall of Fame, which shared a building with the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, was opened on August 26, 1961, by Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Over 750,000 people visited the Hall in its inaugural year. Admission to the Hockey Hall of Fame was free until 1980, when the Hockey Hall of Fame facilities underwent expansion. By 1986, the Hall of Fame was running out of room in its existing facilities and the Board of Directors decided that a new home was needed; the Hall vacated the Exhibition Place building in 1992, its half was taken over by the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. (The building was demolished. Development of the new location in the BCE Place complex, featuring the former Bank of Montreal at the corner of Yonge and Front Streets in Toronto, began soon after; the design was by S. George Curry; the new Hockey Hall of Fame opened on June 18, 1993.
The new location has 4,700 m2 of exhibition space, seven times larger. The Hockey Hall of Fame now hosts more than 300,000 visitors each year; the first curator of the new Hall of Fame was Bobby Hewitson. Following Hewitson's retirement in 1967, Lefty Reid was appointed to the position. Reid was curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame for the next 25 years, retiring in 1992. Following Reid's retirement, former NHL referee-in-chief Scotty Morrison, the president of the Hockey Hall of Fame since 1986, was appointed curator. Morrison supervised the relocation of the Hall of its exhibits; the current curator is Phil Pritchard. The Hockey Hall of Fame is led by Lanny McDonald, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Denommé, it is operated as a non-profit business called the "Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum", independent of the National Hockey League. The Hall of Fame was sponsored by the NHL and Hockey Canada and revenue is generated through admissions; the Hockey Hall of Fame has 15 exhibit areas covering 60,000 square feet.
Visitors can view tr
Emanuel Otto Hahn was a German-born Canadian sculptor and coin designer. He taught and married Elizabeth Wyn Wood, he was the first president of the Sculptors' Society of Canada. Hahn was moved to Toronto in 1888 with his family, he studied modelling and commercial design at the Toronto Technical School and Ontario College of Art as well as Industrial Design from 1899-1903. In 1901, he was hired by the McIntosh Marble and Granite Company where he created the bronze reliefs on various monuments. Hahn went on to study in Stuttgart, Germany in 1903, he pursued art and design at the local school of art and design and the Polytechnical School, apprenticed in the studio of a sculptor teaching at the academy. From 1908 to 1912 Hahn was a studio assistant to sculptor Walter Seymour Allward, helping in the construction of Allward's South African War Memorial, the Alexander Graham Bell Telephone Memorial of Brantford, the Baldwin-Lafontaine Monument on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. In 1912 he was hired as a modeling instructor at the Ontario College of Art heading the sculpture department until his retirement in 1951.
He was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Hahn married his former student Elizabeth Wyn Wood in 1926; the couple lived in Toronto at 159 Glen Road. In 1916, a monument designed by Salvation Army Major Gideon Miller, sculpted by Emanuel Hahn was dedicated to Salvationists who lost their lives in the sinking of the RMS Empress of Ireland 29 May 1914, was unveiled; every year, the church holds a special service of remembrance at the memorial in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto on the Sunday closest to 29 May. Hahn's statue of a grieving soldier for the War Memorial, Nova Scotia was replicated for several other monuments, including the cenotaph in Gaspé, Quebec. After the First World War Hahn gained fame for his war memorial designs as communities sought to honour their veterans with cenotaphs and memorial sculptures, he designed a monument on the theme of a realistic soldier figure "going over the top" in Saint-Lambert, Quebec and a meditating figure of Tommy in his Greatcoat in Lindsay, Ontario.
Hahn's winning proposal for the city of Winnipeg's war memorial caused a national controversy when the sculptor's German ancestry was revealed in 1925. Hahn was forced to relinquish the commission. Controversy erupted again when the competition was reopened and his wife Elizabeth Wyn Wood won the contract for the memorial. Critics condemned Wood for using her maiden name in the competition and accused her of copying her husband's design, she was forced to withdraw from the contract and the memorial was awarded to the third-place winner. Hahn’s career was not harmed, since he received wide press coverage, some of which condemned the city of Winnipeg because Hahn was a naturalized Canadian citizen; the following year he was awarded the contract for the Edward Hanlan monument, erected on the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, moved to the Toronto Islands in 2004. In 1929 he won the competition for a memorial to Sir Adam Beck, his most important and largest monumental project, unveiled in 1934 on University Avenue, Toronto.
Hahn was a member of The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto and served as the first President of the Sculptors' Society of Canada, which he established with Frances Loring, Florence Wyle and Elizabeth Wyn Wood in 1928. Membership in the sculptors' society permitted Hahn to exhibit smaller sculptures independently of museums and galleries; the Ontario Heritage Foundation plaque for the South African War Memorial erroneously states that Walter Seymour Allward studied under Emanuel Hahn, when in fact it was the contrary. James Saull, who constructed the Oak Bay, British Columbia Cenotaph in 1948, studied under Emanuel Hahn. Hanh's last work is the Robert H. Saunders Memorial, a bas relief marker located on University Avenue south of College Street in 1957. Among the coins of Canada, Hahn designed the famous Voyageur Dollar, which depicts a fur-trapper from the Hudson's Bay Company and an Inuit man in a canoe with the Northern Lights in the background. Hahn was the subject of a larger than life-size bust by his former student Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook entitled Head of Emanuel Hahn.
The sculpture was purchased by the National Gallery of Canada in 1962 for its permanent collection. The bust in the National Gallery is the only bronze cast. Bell Telephone Memorial Citations BibliographyBaker, Victoria. Emmanuel Hahn and Elizabeth Wyn Wood: Tradition and Innovation in Canadian Sculpture. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1997. ISBN 0-88884-670-3 Emanuel Hahn at The Canadian Encyclopedia Emanuel Hahn's Artist's Gallery at the National Gallery of Canada. Mount Pleasant Cemetery group, monument to Empress of Ireland Salvation Army people who died May 29 1914. Written by Toronto Historian Mike Filey
High Park is a municipal park in Toronto, Canada. It spans 161 hectares, is a mixed recreational and natural park, with sporting facilities, cultural facilities, educational facilities, playgrounds and a zoo. One third of the park remains with a rare oak savannah ecology. High Park was opened to the public in 1876 and is based on a bequest of land from John George Howard to the City of Toronto. While Rouge Park is the city's largest park, High Park is the largest park within the city, as Rouge Park extends into the neighbouring cities of Markham and Pickering. High Park is located to the west of Downtown Toronto, north of Humber Bay, is maintained by the City of Toronto, it stretches south from Bloor Street West to The Queensway, just north of Lake Ontario. It is bounded on the west on the east by Parkside Drive; the landscape in the park is hilly, with two deep ravines extending the full north-south distance of the park. Significant natural parts of the park are classified as a provincial Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest.
The eastern ravine is a north-south ravine occupying the eastern half of the park along a small creek and several ponds. A forested area begins at Bloor and Keele Streets; the creek begins at spring-fed ponds, Howard Pond, Ridout Pond and flows south through the ravine along Spring Creek Road. Halfway to the southern boundary of the park, the ravine is less forested with picnic areas, the adventure playground, the zoo. Upper Duck Pond, just to the west of the adventure playground has several species of ducks, including wood ducks to be seen; the pond was one of the first locations, marked by a plaque. Great blue herons can sometimes be seen there and at Lower Duck Pond, just north of The Queensway, where the water drains in pipes south to Lake Ontario; the eastern ravine lies over a buried river. In 2003, city workers found strong evidence of the pre-ice age Laurentian River when capping two artesian wells at the pond at the north-east corner of the Park; the wells began spewing a plume of water, sand and gravel 15 metres into the air.
With this discovery, geologists pinpointed the southern terminus of this ancient river system whose southerly flow begins near Georgian Bay. The watercourse, flowing 50 metres below the surface in pure bedrock, has remained undisturbed for thousands of years; the central section is a large plain encompassing most of the northern boundary narrowing to a point overlooking the lake, the location of Colborne Lodge. While most of the plain is developed for picnicking and sports fields, it has a stretch of open habitat called oak savannah, of which there are few other examples in Ontario; the towering black oak trees found throughout High Park are a characteristic of this habitat. Many of the trees are over 150 years old; the savannah is under the special care of the volunteer conservationists. Forested areas of High Park are maintained to mimic natural conditions, with downed trees left to decay. Regular controlled burns are done to mimic their beneficial effects for oaks. Non-native plants outside the ornamental gardens are weeded out by volunteers.
There is, however, no shortage of non-native trees including Colorado spruce, Scots pine and Northern catalpa. Grenadier Pond is a large body of water 14.2 hectares. It is named after the local Town of York garrison of the 1800s and their use of the pond for fishing. There are two local myths circulating about the pond. One is that British Grenadiers fell through its thin ice when crossing to defend the city in the War of 1812; however the Grenadier Guards were not station at Fort York at this time, but rather the 8th Regiment of Foot which are not linked to the Grenadier name. Other myths include that the pond is'bottomless', that is, its depth cannot be measured due to the amount of mud. Fishing remains a popular pastime. Largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, brown bullhead and carp sport fish are present in the pond. Fish caught in the pond are safe to eat, fishing derbies and casting contests have been held there. Initiatives have been made to improve the pond's environment.
Grenadier Pond receives some of its water from Wendigo Creek to Wendigo Pond and underground streams feeding it from the north. The northern end of the Pond was naturalized, building a wetland to filter the waters the Pond receives from the stream; the southern and south-western shore of the pond was naturalized, removing the manicured lawn and concrete bank to improve the Pond's health and discourage Canada geese. Signs now ask people not to feed the waterfowl. Grenadier Pond is home to multiple species of marsh wildlife; the pond exits out to Lake Ontario via pipes near Sir Casimir Gzowski Park, replacing the natural sandbar that existed for Wendigo Creek. Alongside its eastern shore are to be found High Park's hillside gardens and grove of cherry trees. At its northern end is a remnant of Wendigo Creek, Wendigo Pond and a children's playground; the creek and Wendigo Way are named after the wendigo, mythical cannibalistic creatures of Algonquian mythology. Algonquins did not have a settlement in the park, but are believed to have used it for hunting and fishing and cultivating corn on the sandy uplands of the park.
The ravine extending north along the creek at one time extended north of the park, past Bloor Street. The ravine was filled in to provide for an extension of Bloor Street, for housing develop
In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, its half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodist, the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked. Ideologically, the Victorian era witnessed resistance to the rationalism that defined the Georgian period and an increasing turn towards romanticism and mysticism with regard to religion, social values, arts.
Domestically, the political agenda was liberal, with a number of shifts in the direction of gradual political reform, industrial reform, the widening of the franchise. There were unprecedented demographic changes: the population of England and Wales doubled from 16.8 million in 1851 to 30.5 million in 1901, Scotland's population rose from 2.8 million in 1851 to 4.4 million in 1901. However, Ireland's population decreased from 8.2 million in 1841 to less than 4.5 million in 1901 due to emigration and the Great Famine. Between 1837 and 1901 about 15 million emigrated from Great Britain to the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia; the two main political parties during the era remained the Conservatives. These parties were led by such prominent statesmen as Lord Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Derby, Lord Palmerston, Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, Lord Salisbury; the unsolved problems relating to Irish Home Rule played a great part in politics in the Victorian era in view of Gladstone's determination to achieve a political settlement in Ireland.
In the strictest sense, the Victorian era covers the duration of Victoria's reign as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from her accession on 20 June 1837—after the death of her uncle, William IV—until her death on 22 January 1901, after which she was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII. Her reign lasted for seven months, a longer period than any of her predecessors; the term'Victorian' was in contemporaneous usage to describe the era. The era has been understood in a more extensive sense as a period that possessed sensibilities and characteristics distinct from the periods adjacent to it, in which case it is sometimes dated to begin before Victoria's accession—typically from the passage of or agitation for the Reform Act 1832, which introduced a wide-ranging change to the electoral system of England and Wales. Definitions that purport a distinct sensibility or politics to the era have created scepticism about the worth of the label "Victorian", though there have been defences of it.
Michael Sadleir was insistent that "in truth the Victorian period is three periods, not one". He distinguished early Victorianism – the and politically unsettled period from 1837 to 1850 – and late Victorianism, with its new waves of aestheticism and imperialism, from the Victorian heyday: mid-Victorianism, 1851 to 1879, he saw the latter period as characterised by a distinctive mixture of prosperity, domestic prudery, complacency – what G. M. Trevelyan called the "mid-Victorian decades of quiet politics and roaring prosperity". In 1832, after much political agitation, the Reform Act was passed on the third attempt; the Act abolished many borough seats and created others in their place, as well as expanding the franchise in England and Wales. Minor reforms followed in 1835 and 1836. On 20 June 1837, Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom on the death of her uncle, William IV, her government was led by the Whig prime minister Lord Melbourne, but within two years he had resigned, the Tory politician Sir Robert Peel attempted to form a new ministry.
In the same year, a seizure of British opium exports to China prompted the First Opium War against the Qing dynasty, British imperial India initiated the First Anglo-Afghan War—one of the first major conflicts of the Great Game between Britain and Russia. In 1840, Queen Victoria married her German cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield, it proved a happy marriage, whose children were much sought after by royal families across Europe. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand; the signing of the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 ended the First Opium War and gave Britain control over Hong Kong Island. However, a disastrous retreat from Kabul in the same year led to the annihilation of a British army column in Afghanistan. In 1845, the Great Famine began to cause mass starvation and death in Ireland, sparking large-scale emigration. Peel was replaced by the Whig ministry of Lord John Russell. In 1853, Britain fought alongside France in the Crimean War against Russia.
The goal was to ensure that Russia could not benefit from the declining status