Local History | The Heat Embargo | Back
A lightly edited transcription of a page 12 article in the 14 Feb 1918 Simcoe Reformer newspaper.

Last Saturday and Monday, stores and other business places, observed heatless days in Simcoe.

It is to be hoped that if the Fuel Controller ever feels it necessary to repeat the experiment, he will take warning from this experience and avoid some very unfortunate errors.

The indefiniteness and vacillation that characterized the instructions sent out from Ottawa, and the lack of harmony between the views of officers at Ottawa and Toronto wrought no little confusion.

It is generally considered that it was a mistake to include a Saturday among the closed days, and it should not be repeated.

The general opinion is, too, that discrimination between different sorts of fuel should not be continued. 

The object of the order was, of course, primarily, to conserve coal. Only coal was mentioned in the original proclamation. Places heating with wood or oil were not effected.

The following day, the order was amended to include oil and wood, with coal, in the embargo. But it was explicitly stated that towns heating exclusively with natural gas need not close.

This announcement came in Wednesday's papers and was responsible for the notice printed in The Reformer that Simcoe stores would not be closed.

We had in type at that time an announcement ready for printing notifying our readers that Simcoe stores would be closed Saturday to Monday. But under instructions of the leading advertising business men of the town, the notice that did appear was printed [last Thursday].

On Friday morning came the request from the authorities and from the Provincial retail Association, that even those towns which under a strict interpretation of the closing order had the legal right to stay open, should close.

An expression of opinion from the merchants of the town was then obtained, when a large majority declared for standing by the spirit instead of the letter of the order, and close up. Bills were printed and circulated quickly both in town and country, the result being three quiet days in town. 

Copyright 2015 John Cardiff