Abram Rownstein, a steerage passenger on the Titanic immigrating to North America from Russia, arrived in Berlin. He was rescued by the Carpathia from the frigid Atlantic Ocean.
A royal proclamation from King George V was read by Mayor W. H. Schmalz on the town hall steps, officially making Berlin a city.
A week-long festival took place during which thousands of people came to Berlin to help citizens celebrate its accession to becoming Ontario’s 9th city. The first-ever aeroplane seen here was the main attraction but other highlights included parades, concerts, a midway, sports events and a “Made in Berlin” exhibition.
Three new major factories opened or began construction. (i) Dominion Tire Company on Strange Street: 5 storeys high, 230 x 90 feet on 40 acres of land. (ii) Williams, Green and Rome Shirt and Collar Company on Benton Street (later known as the Arrow Shirt Factory). (iii) Buffalo Forge Company on Highland Rd. near Woodside Park which produced heavy machinery (later known as Canadian Blower and Forge).
Civic planning expert Charles Leavitt of New York unveils an innovative plan for Berlin and Waterloo and suggests creating a figure ‘8’ of the two communities by building more parks and parkways. While the Civic Improvement Association members were keen, the general public was not and none of his ideas were adopted.
Another of Berlin’s major companies, Breithaupt Leather, suffers a devastating fire which destroys several buildings. The firm quickly rebuilds at its Adam Street site.
A major Berlin company, Breithaupt Leather, suffered a devastating fire which destroyed several buildings. The firm quickly rebuilt at its Adam Street site.
At the Concordia Hall, a large crowd celebrated Kaiser Wilhelm II’s 55th birthday. Former mayor Schmalz noted that Berliners of German background, while fully Canadian, still cherished their “Fatherland’s” traditions and culture.
Queen Victoria’s youngest son, the Duke of Connaught (Canada’s Governor-General) made a brief visit to Berlin. During his tour he visited the two-year-old Victoria public school and Victoria Park where he admired the magnificent statue of his mother and planted a tree in her honor.
Just days after World War One was declared, three young Berlin men (Fred Bolton, Alan Smith and John Ferguson) toppled the bust of Kaiser Wilhelm I from the Friedensfest Denkmal (Peace Memorial) in Victoria Park and dumped it into the lake. It was recovered the next morning by three teens (brothers Clayton and Gordon Maier & Otto Knechtel) and given to the Concordia Society for safekeeping in its closed meeting hall.
Lee Nen opened one of Berlin’s first Chinese restaurants at 8 Queen North which featured 25c meals and “Private Rooms.”
Canadian Minister of Militia, Sir Sam Hughes visited Berlin and inspected the 108th militia unit. Two months later he authorized the creation of the 118th overseas battalion made up of local recruits.
Victoria Park’s wooden pavilion was half destroyed by an arsonist. The culprit was never caught and it was never determined if the fire was started as part of the tension within Berlin caused by the war.
During the time of World War I, the city's German heritage became the focus of considerable animosity from non-German residents within the city. Rioters in downtown Berlin trashed the Concordia Society meeting rooms, burned most of the contents and stole the Kaiser’s bust. The bust was never seen publicly again. This anti-German sentiment also prompted suggestions that the name of the city should be changed. Two referendums were held: citizens voted to change the name and selected “Kitchener” over five others. The name change became official on September 1st.
Fire destroyed a building on Gaukel St. (built in 1878 ) which was initially utilized as a skating/hockey rink until 1905 when the Queen St. Auditorium opened. The building subsequently housed several businesses including A.G. Schreiter Mattress Works and J. Walter Fibre Products.
Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton, initial plans for Kitchener’s second hospital, St Mary’s, are unveiled. St. Mary's opened its doors in October 1924.
During construction behind the Dominion Tire’s factory on Strange Street a number of skeletons were found. These were determined to be from natives who had lived in a village in that area in the 1600s.
Armand Schreiter, a Kitchener undertaker, returned to the city after serving as chairman of the mortuary committee in Halifax. At his own expense, he had rushed to Halifax following the tragic explosion of December 6. Kitchener council sent $10,000 to Halifax for relief use.
The funeral of Mrs Homer Watson (Roxanne Bechtel) was held at Doon where the couple had lived for most of their 40 years together. Homer Watson has been designated as a Person of National Historical Significance in Canada in recognition of his achievements in depicting Canadian landscapes in his paintings.
The Kitchener Hockey Club won the Allan Cup defeating the Toronto Dentals 7-4. George Hainsworth, Snoozer Trushinksi, George Hiller, Solly Solomon, Ernie Parkes, Albert Ferriman and George Karges made up the club’s roster.
Mayor David Gross received a letter from a representative of Berlin, New Hampshire regarding the city's experience in changing its name from Berlin to Kitchener. Gross’ reply that he felt the change was an error caused considerable criticism of him in the city. The New Hampshire town did not change its name but instead changed the pronunciation to rhyme with merlin.
Kitchener’s first Automobile Show took place at the Queen Street Auditorium and ran 5 days. Admission was 25c with a 2c war tax. Fred Krug's Orchestra entertained in the evenings while visitors looked at the latest in automobiles (50 styles shown), bicycles, motorcycles and accessories.
The Princess of Wales chapter of the Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire, presented 50 soldiers who returned to Kitchener during the previous month with $5 gold pieces. Mrs A. B. Pollock had the honor of making each presentation.
Dumart Brothers announces plans to build a $75,000 plant on Guelph Street (the most modern meat-packing plant at the time in Western Ontario). Later Dumart’s was purchased by Burns Ltd. The building still stands today housing many smaller businesses.