Dominion Provincial Youth Training Centre

1980s: Timeline

This time line consists of local, national, and international events relevant to the Canadian experience. It serves to contextualize the growth and evolution of VIU.
Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online


  • On April 12, Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope in St. John's, NL to raise money for cancer research.
  • Mount St. Helens erupted for the first time since 1857, devastating an area of 400 sq kms on May 18.
  • Former Beatle John Lennon was shot and killed on December 8 by Mark David Chapman.


  • The census recorded the population of Canada as 21,963,000.


  • The Ocean Ranger drill rig capsized and sank on February 15 in a storm off the coast of Newfoundland; all 84 crew members were lost.
  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect on April 17, guaranteeing all Canadians fundamental political and civil rights.


  • Swy-a-Lana Lagoon Park opened, August 28, at Nanaimo's downtown waterfront.


  • March 20, wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen left Vancouver on his around the world Man in Motion tour to raise money for spinal cord research.
  • Air India Flight 182, which departed Toronto, crashed into the Atlantic off the coast of Ireland on June 23, killing all 329 on board.


  • A full-scale nuclear meltdown occurred in Chernobyl, Ukraine on April 26.
  • On May 2, Expo '86 opened in Vancouver, BC.


  • The Winter Olympics were held in Calgary, AB.


  • The Exxon Valdez hit a reed off the coast of Alaska, March 24, and leaked millions of gallons of crude oil, contaminating 1100 miles of Pacific coastline.
  • East Germans started to tear down the Berlin Wall on November 11; it fell entirely by the end of 1990.
  • On December 6, 14 women were killed at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique by anti-feminist Marc Lepine. The anniversary of the massacre has been designated the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.