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Canada and the War
VE Day celebrations in Toronto, Ont., May 1945. Photo by Ronny Jaques. - Photo Credit: National Film Board 12525, CWM Reference Photo Collection
VE Day celebrations in Toronto, Ont., May 1945.
Photo : National Film Board

VE Day, 8 May 1945

On April 30, 1945, Hitler committed suicide. On May 5, German forces in North-West Europe surrendered. Victory in Europe, or VE, Day was officially celebrated three days later.

In Germany, where the Canadian Army fought right to the last day, soldiers were too relieved to celebrate very much. In Paris and London, Canadians joined people in the streets in an outpouring of emotion. In Toronto, thousands danced in the streets while three Mosquito aircraft dropped tickertape overhead.

Most Canadian cities and towns held religious services of thanksgiving. Frustrations built up after years of wartime controls and rationing led to riots and looting in some places, but nowhere else on the scale of those in Halifax ( see The Halifax VE Day Riots ). The war was not yet over - the war with Japan was still underway - but the major threat of Nazi Germany had ended.

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