Skip to main content

Celebrating progress: 150th anniversary of Toronto & York Region Labour Council kicks off

Publish date: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 update

Labour Council 150 and AMAPCEO logo over image of women workers from 150 years ago

“The learnings from this journey are more than just history. They can provide a guide for those working for a more just society today and tomorrow.” 

So begins a short essay on the history of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council’s 150-year journey, published as part of their year-long anniversary celebrations, which kicked off Monday. 

On April 12, 1871, a small group of working people—barrel-makers, shoemakers, printers, bakers, cigar-makers, and metalworkers—founded the Toronto Trades Assembly, the precursor to today’s Labour Council. 

Today, the Labour Council is more than 220,000 members strong. 

As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Labour Council has launched a special website,, which includes stories, photos, videos, and resources about the critical—and sometimes surprising—role that unions and workers have played in what is now Canada’s largest city and the surrounding regions. 

AMAPCEO is a proud supporter of the Labour Council’s anniversary celebrations. 

“The labour movement has made an indelible mark on the history of this country, and the Toronto & York Region Labour Council has been instrumental in that,” AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer said. “And much of the story is yet to be written—there are still injustices for workers in this world.” 

“There is nothing stronger than the collective power that comes from being a union member, from standing shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with others, and from working together with common cause,” Bulmer said. “And we’re going to use that collective power to continue to make progress on delivering fairness and justice for all.”

The Labour Council plans to release a commemorative book later this year, which will feature an essay chronicling the history of AMAPCEO. An early release of that essay is now available on the Labour Council’s 150th Anniversary website. 

Follow AMAPCEO on Facebook and Twitter for more details on the Toronto & York Region Labour Council’s celebrations, or visit AMAPCEO will also include more details in future editions of Member News and on the union’s website

More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in 12 cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council; Ontario Health (Quality Unit); Public Health Ontario; the Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; and in the former Offices of the Ontario Child Advocate and the French Language Services Commissioner (now part of the Ontario Ombudsman).