Guest Post by SS from the Archives

In French Canada you had babies because it was your duty to God and the French community. In English Canada you had babies because you could win money in a contest. Catholicism vs Protestantism!

From the Toronto city archives:

Is it true there was once a contest to reward the Toronto woman who had the most children?

In fact, there were several.

The first “stork derby” was begun by Charles Vance Millar, an eccentric and wealthy Toronto lawyer who died on October 31, 1926. In his will, Millar left most of his estate “to the Mother who has since my death given birth in Toronto to the greatest number of children.” Ten years later, four women, who had each given birth to nine children in the allotted time period, shared the $750,000 prize.

Mayor Thomas Foster, who died on December 10, 1945, mimicked the first race. The prizes were $1,250 for first, $800 for second, and $450 for third. Four ten-years periods began and ended on his death date, and ran from 1945-55, 1948-58, 1951-61, and 1954-64.

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