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 Canada - MONTREAL - Rue Ste. Catherine Quest. (St. Catherine Street West.)

The name "Canada" likely comes from the Huron-Iroquois word "kanata," meaning "village" or "settlement." In 1535, two Aboriginal youths told French explorer Jacques Cartier about the route to kanata; they were actually referring to the village of Stadacona, the site of the present-day City of Québec. For lack of another name, Cartier used the word "Canada" to describe not only the village, but the entire area controlled by its chief, Donnacona.

The name was soon applied to a much larger area; maps in 1547 designated everything north of the St. Lawrence River as Canada. Cartier also called the St. Lawrence River the "rivière du Canada," a name used until the early 1600s. By 1616, although the entire region was known as New France, the area along the great river of Canada and the Gulf of St. Lawrence was still called Canada.

Soon explorers and fur traders opened up territory to the west and to the south, and the area known as Canada grew. In the early 1700s, the name referred to all French lands in what is now the American Midwest and as far south as present-day Louisiana.

The first use of Canada as an official name came in 1791, when the Province of Quebec was divided into the colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. In 1841, the two colonies were united under one name, the Province of Canada.

Fun fact: In the Eastern part of Canada, there is a birthday tradition involving spreading butter on the birthday person's nose. This is for good luck.

The day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day. It is a day for servants to receive a Christmas box.

There is MUCH more to discover about Canada. Read on!

Canada Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards


MONTREAL - Rue Ste. Catherine Quest. (St. Catherine Street West.)


Rue De La Fabrique, Quebec


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St. Mary's R.C. Church, Calgary, Alta.


Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada
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Discover Canada: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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  • 1534 - June 9 - Jacques Cartier Sailed Up the St. Lawrence River
    When French navigator Jacques Cartier left France by boat in April 1534, the king ordered him to find gold, spices (which were valuable at that time), and a water passage from France to Asia. Two months later, on June 9, Cartier sailed into the waters of the St. Lawrence River in eastern Canada. Although he couldn't travel up the river all the way to Asia, Cartier had in fact discovered an important waterway into the vast areas of Canada.
    June 9, 1534
  • 1535 - French explorer, Jacques Cartier, gave Canada its name when he mistook the Aboriginal word Kannata, meaning a collection of huts, for the name of the country.
    France’s earliest attempt to stake a claim in the new world occurred in 1534 when French sailor Jacques Cartier arrived in Chaleur Bay off the Gaspé peninsula. Disembarking, Cartier planted a 30-foot wooden cross to which he attached a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis and upon which he carved the words Vive le Roy de France, thus claiming the land for France. Cartier promptly returned home, but, in two later trips, he explored and claimed the St. Lawrence River and the present Maritimes area for his country. Although fishing and fur trading expeditions were successful, France made no serious attempt to colonize “New France” until the 17th century.
    New France: Historical Background in Brief ( perrault/ perr1/ newfrance/)
  • 1576 - Martin Frobisher of England makes the first of three attempts to find a Northwest Passage, sailing as far as Hudson Strait. What he thought was gold discovered on his journey was later proven worthless.
  • During the sixteenth century, following the discovery of the rich fishing banks off Newfoundland France became the first European nation active in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence.
    In 1604, France created a permanent settlement there, laying the foundations of a country that would develop its own culture, a blend of French roots, Aboriginal customs and adaptations to the new land. Within two generations, the French settlers in the St. Lawrence Valley had become ‘Canadianised’, blending their European heritage with traits borrowed from the Aboriginal world. Aware that they enjoyed far more freedom than their counterparts in France, they referred to themselves as habitants rather than paysans. Driven by a spirit of egalitarianism, they usually proved resistant to the social constraints of hierarchy. They were commonly called ‘Canadians’ to distinguish them from French sojourners in the colony who had not joined settler society. The French colonial authorities, civilian, military and religious alike, complained regularly of the rebellious spirit of the Canadians. 2010/ 10/ canada-context.html
  • 1610 - Etienne Brûlé goes to live among the Huron and eventually becomes the first European to see Lakes Ontario, Huron and Superior. Henry Hudson explores Hudson Bay in spite of a mutinous crew.
  • In 1627, there were fewer than one hundred Europeans living in Québec.
    That year the Compagnie des Cent-Associés was created by Cardinal Richelieu to capitalize on the growing fur trade and colonize and manage the area. The company had one hundred associates or partners, made up mainly of trade leaders. As organized, it was to own and exploit the vast regions of New France with a perpetual monopoly on the fur trade and a monopoly on all other trades for fifteen years. In return, the company was required to send two or three hundred settlers yearly from France to the new colony, to support each new colonist for three years in return for his labor, and to provide each settlement with three priests.

    In early 1628, the Compagnie des Cent-Associés sent out its first group of two hundred settlers from the port of Dieppe in more than a dozen ships. However, the flotilla was intercepted at the mouth of the St. Lawrence by the Kirke Brothers, who had claimed the area for England. With three armed ships and two hundred men, the Kirkes won a fierce battle, as a... Read MORE...

  • 1627 - Seigneurial system introduced by King Louis XIV of France, forbade settlement in New France by anyone other than Roman Catholics. (
    The Compagnie des Cent-Associés owned all the land and had the right to grant estates to seigneurs under the feudal laws of France. Many such grants were made, some to religious orders of priests and nuns, mostly to lay seigneurs who, it was hoped, would settle on their estates and gather about them a community under feudal rule. The seigneurity was essentially a large farm with tenants who supported themselves by working on the farm and was based on the medieval principle of ‘no land without its lord’. The plan in New France was to give land parcels to entrepreneurs who would develop the land by employing peasants as laborers to make the land suitable for habitation. The seigneur had complete and total control over everything on the seigneurity including education, policing, medical matters, marriage, food and shelter. He built the seigneurity’s flour milling facilities and other public buildings as required. In return, he collected rent from his tenants.

    New France: Historical Background in Brief ( perrault/ perr1/ newfrance/)
  • 1634-40 - The Huron nation is reduced by half from European diseases (smallpox epidemic, 1639).
  • Between 1634 and August 1663, while the colony was governed by the Compagnie des Cent-Associés, about 262 women of marriageable age (Filles à marier) were recruited
    by individuals or by private religious groups who paid their travel expenses and provided for their lodging until they were married.
    But individual recruiters and private organizations had little success in enticing single women to emigrate to New France.
    New France: Historical Background in Brief ( perrault/ perr1/ newfrance/)
  • Around 1637, to encourage French immigrants to settle in the St. Lawrence Valley, then known as ‘Canada’, the king implemented the seigneurial system, by distributing large tracts of land to settlement agents called ‘seigneurs’.
    These agents had to subdivide the tracts of land into lots or censives each measuring approximately three arpents of frontage by 30 arpents in depth (180 by 1,800 metres). These lots were granted at no cost to new arrivals. In return for this ‘free’ land, a habitant was required to pay certain annual fees that constituted a form of the income and consumption taxes. 2010/ 10/ seigneurial-system-and-settlement.html
  • 1641 - Beginning of French and Iroquois Wars
    Also known as the Beaver Wars.

    Encouraged and armed by their Dutch and English trading partners, the Iroquois sought to expand their territory and monopolize the fur trade and the trade between European markets and the tribes of the western Great Lakes region. The conflict pitted the nations of the Iroquois Confederation, led by the dominant Mohawk, against the French-backed and largely Algonquian-speaking tribes of the Great Lakes region.

    The wars were brutal and are considered one of the bloodiest series of conflicts in the history of North America. As the Iroquois succeeded in the war and enlarged their territory, they realigned the tribal geography of North America, and destroyed several large tribal confederacies—including the Huron, Neutral, Erie, Susquehannock, and Shawnee—and pushed some eastern tribes west of the Mississippi River, or southward into the Carolinas.
  • 1648-49 The Iroquois disperse the Huron nation.
  • Histoire du Québec 6 - Les Filles du Roi (in French)

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  • 1663 - Québec becomes a royal province. The first Filles du roi (Kings Daughters) arrive in New France during the summer
    In 1663, the King Louis XIV took over direct control of the government of New France, making it a Crown colony with Québec becoming a Royal Province. Royal governors and other officials replaced private commercial interests in governing Québec. At the same time, the French government initiated an organized system of recruiting and transporting marriageable women to the colony.

    Between 1663 and 1673, 768 Filles du Roi or “King’s Daughters” emigrated to New France under the sponsorship of the French government as part of the overall strategy of strengthening the colony until it could stand on its own without economic and military dependence on France.

    New France: Historical Background in Brief ( perrault/ perr1/ newfrance/ )

  • 1666 Census - Altogether the white population of Canada, including the settlers and laborers arriving during the summer of 1665, numbered only 3215. Yet the colony had been in existence for fifty-seven years!
    2034 males and 1181 females.

    The married people numbered 1109, and there were 528 families.

    Elderly people were but few in number, 95 only being from fifty-one to sixty years old, 43 from sixty-one to seventy, 10 from seventy-one to eighty, and 4 from eighty-one to ninety.

    In regard to professions and occupations, there were then in New France:
    3 notaries, 5 surgeons, 18 merchants, 4 bailiffs, 3 schoolmasters, 36 carpenters, 27 joiners, 30 tailors, 8 coopers, 5 bakers, 9 millers, 3 locksmiths.

    The census did not include the king's troops, which formed a body of 1200 men. The clergy consisted of the bishop, 18 Priests and aspirants to the priesthood, and 35 Jesuit fathers. There were also 19 Ursulines, 23 Hospitalieres, and 4 Sisters of the Congregation. chronicles/ new_france.htm
  • Beginning in 1670, tenants under the seigneurial system were required to remit a tithe to the Church.
    The tithe, equal to a twenty-sixth of the wheat crop, was used to maintain the religious buildings and property that the tenants used, such as the chapel, the rectory and the cemetery. Finally, the obligation to provide days of unpaid labour or corvée, dating back to the medieval period, remained in effect. A habitant was required to provide three to five days of unpaid labour each year for the maintenance of bridges and roads and for the construction of various buildings or structures, such as the manor house, the mill, barns, stables and fences. In return, the habitant had access to the seigneury’s services and benefited from the security it provided. The seigneurial system was central to France’s colonisation policy and came to play a major role in traditional Québec society. Despite the attractions of city life and the fur trade, 75-80% of the population lived on seigneurial land until the mid-nineteenth century. The roughly 200 seigneuries granted during the French regime covered ... Read MORE...

  • 1670 - The Hudson's Bay Company is founded by royal charter and, underwritten by a group of English merchants, is granted trade rights over Rupert's Land -- i.e., all territory draining into Hudson Bay (May 2).
  • 1672 - Comte de Frontenac becomes governor general of New France, later quarrelling frequently with the intendant and the bishop.
  • 1673 - Frontenac sends Marquette and Jolliet to explore the Missippi.
  • 1686 - De Troyes and D'Iberville capture three English posts on James Bay (June-July).
  • 1763 - France cedes its North American posessions to Britain by the Treaty of Paris, ending the Seven Years War (French and Indian War). Quebec City French-speaking Catholics were now under the rule of Protestant Britain.
    In 1763, England was convinced, mistakenly, that it was inheriting a French society but the new colonial authorities did not fully understand the reality. The former subjects of the king of France already formed a distinct people, more North American than European and they wanted to remain that way. 2010/ 10/ canada-context.html
  • At the beginning of the American Revolution in 1775, American rebels invade Canada
    but despite the efforts of rebel spies to entice Quebec to join the revolution, les Canadiens refuse to take up arms against British rule, and the invasion ultimately fails. The mass migration of Loyalists that follows - more than 40,000 people in all - creates an English-speaking Canada virtually overnight.
    Canada: A People's History ( history/)
  • 1775 - The Battle of Québec was fought on December 31 between the American Continental Army and British defenders of Québec City. It was the first major defeat for the Americans in the Revolutionary War.
    On December 31, 1775, during the American Revolutionary War (1775-83), Patriot forces under Colonel Benedict Arnold (1741-1801) and General Richard Montgomery (1738-75) attempted to capture the British-occupied city of Quebec and with it win support for the American cause in Canada. The attack failed, and the effort cost Montgomery his life. The Battle of Quebec was the first major defeat of the Revolutionary War for the Americans. topics/ american-revolution/ battle-of-quebec-1775
  • 1790--Population of Canada : 161,311.
  • 1791 - The Constitutional Act divides Québec into Upper and Lower Canada
    The Constitutional Act of 1791 was an Act of the British Parliament creating Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Although it was a first step towards Canadian Confederation, its rigid colonial structures also set the stage for rebellion in the two Canadas.

    The Constitutional Act was passed in order to meet the demands of the Loyalists and give the inhabitants of Québec the same rights as other British subjects in North America.

    In Lower Canada, dual systems developed. British criminal law took a place beside French civil law; land was granted in freehold outside the seigneuries; an elected assembly was established while maintaining the power of the Catholic Church and seigneurial elite. citm/ themes/ constitution/ constitution8_e.html
  • 1800 - Population of Canada (Upper and Lower) (British Empire) - 300,000

  • 1812 - War of 1812 - second invasion of Canada by Americans (
    At the outbreak of hostilities, the U.S. Army was a poorly equipped force of fewer than 7,000 men, many of them "complete amateurs with virtually no training or discipline," said historian Alan Taylor. It didn't help that the initial offensive was led by the aging Gen. William Hull, later damned by a subordinate as an "imbesile" [sic]. After an abortive foray across the Detroit River into Canada, Hull fell for a bogus report that a vast Indian war party was heading his way and surrendered his 2,500 troops to a much smaller force. With the war only a few months old, the entire Michigan territory had fallen into British hands. articles/ 473482/ americas-invasion-canada-brief-history
  • When the next American invaders arrive in 1812, they are fought to a stand-still at the battles of Queenston Heights, Chateauguay and Lundy's Lane, setting boundaries that remain today.

    Canada: A People's History ( history/)
  • 1818 - Canada's border is defined as the 49th Parallel from Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains.
  • By 1830, the struggle for democratic government in the colonies of British North America has reached fever pitch.
    As the colonies grow in wealth and population, a generation of charismatic reformers -- Joseph Howe in Nova Scotia, Louis-Joseph Papineau in Lower Canada and William Lyon Mackenzie in Upper Canada - confront the appointed governors and their local favourites with one demand: let the citizens' elected representatives run their own affairs. In the Canadas, the struggle leads to bloody rebellion and disastrous defeat for the rebels. Yet within 10 years, the prize of self-government is won, thanks in part to an unexpected alliance between the French and English-speaking forces of reform.
    Canada: A People's History ( history/)
  • 1836 - Opening of the first railway in Canada from La Prairie to St. Jean, Quebec
    On July 21, 1836, cheers filled the air as a wood-burning steam locomotive chugged out of La Prairie, Quebec, pulling the first train on the first public railroad in Canada...

    Construction for the twenty-five-kilometre line began January 1835 and ran between La Prairie on the St. Lawrence River and Saint-Jean (then called St. John) on the Richelieu River. It served as a way for those travelling between Montreal and New York to avoid a bumpy stagecoach journey that bypassed a series of difficult rapids on the Richelieu. At Saint-Jean, passengers transferred to a steamer that carried them south to New York City via Lake Champlain and the Hudson River...

    Its first official run was held with great fanfare. The locomotive pulled two first-class coaches carrying thirty-two dignitaries, including Lord Gosford, the governor general of Lower Canada. A second train pulled by a team of horses followed close behind. Two hours later, the trains arrived in St. John to a rousing... Read MORE...

  • 1837 - After an unsuccessful rebellion, the leaders escape to the U.S.
    Along with a general feeling that the government was not democratic, the failure of the executive committee to maintain the confidence of the elected officials leads to violent but unsuccessful rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada. The leaders, W.L. Mackenzie (Reformers) and Louis-Joseph Papineau (Patriotes), both escape to the U.S.
  • 1838 - Levels of illiteracy among the French-speaking people were about 73% in 1838 but reached 88% in the countryside.
    This reflected not only inconsistencies in the provision of schooling in Lower Canada and a lack of interest by government but also habitant resistance to education. 2010/ 10/ seigneurial-system-and-settlement.html
  • 1841 - February 11 – Act of Union - The two colonies of The Canadas are merged into the United Province of Canada.
    1841: The Act of Union established a single combined legislature for Lower Canada (to be called Canada East, later Quebec) and for Upper Canada (called Canada West in 1841 and later called Ontario).
  • 1842 - August 9 – The Webster–Ashburton Treaty is signed, establishing the United States–Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains. (Wikipedia)
    Webster–Ashburton Treaty, (1842), treaty between the U.S. and Great Britain establishing the northeastern boundary of the U.S. and providing for Anglo–U.S. cooperation in the suppression of the slave trade. The treaty established the present boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, granted the U.S. navigation rights on the St. John River, provided for extradition in enumerated nonpolitical criminal cases, and established a joint naval system for suppressing the slave trade off the African coast. The treaty was negotiated by Daniel Webster, at that time secretary of state, and Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton.
    Enclycolpedia Britannica (
  • 1847 - Canada overwhelmed with over 100,000 immigrants escaping Irish Potato Famine, many suffered from typhus, 1700 deaths occurred
  • 1849 - The boundary of the 49th Parallel is extended to the Pacific Ocean. An Act of Amnesty provides for W.L. Mackenzie's return from exile in the U.S.
  • Despite diversification of the rural economy, more than 80% of French Canadians were employed in farming in 1850. 2010/ 10/ seigneurial-system-and-settlement.html
  • 1852-53 - The Grand Trunk Railway receives its charter.
  • 1854 - The French seigneurial system of land tenancy is finally abolished in Canada East

  • 1857 - Ottawa chosen by Queen Victoria as the capital of the united colony of Canada

  • 1858 - The Halifax-Truro line begins rail service. Chinese immigrants from California arrive in British Columbia, attracted by the Fraser River Gold Rush.
  • 1864 - Quebec Conference of 1864 held to discuss Canadian Confederation which will lead to the creation of the Dominion of Canada.
  • 1866 - The Fenians, a group of radical Irish-Americans organized in New York in 1859 to oppose British presence in Ireland, begin a series of raids on Canadian territory
    in the hopes of diverting British troops from the homeland. The most serious of these was the Battle of Ridgeway (June 2), which lent a special urgency to the Confederation movement. The London Conference (Dec. 4) passes resolutions which are redrafted as the British North America Act.
  • 1867 - Canada becomes a sovereign nation by an act of the British Parliament (the British North America Act). Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick are united as the Dominion of Canada. Sir John A. Macdonald becomes the first prime minister
    The Dominion of Canada was created, uniting the four provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario.
  • News  1868 - Jefferson Davis and wife have gone to Canada, there to await the next call for his trial.

    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    April 18, 1868
  • 1868 - The forest fires in Canada are driving out bears from their retreats.

    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    September 5, 1868
  • Canada blunders catastrophically in seeking to take over the west without the consent of its inhabitants, especially the Métis of Red River and their leader, the charismatic, troubled Louis Riel.
    The resistance of 1869-70 lays the groundwork for Manitoba to join Canada, but it also sets the stage for decades of conflict over the rights of French and English, Catholic and Protestant in the new territories. Thanks to an audacious promise of a transcontinental railway in 10 years, the settlers of British Columbia are more easily convinced of the merits of union; by 1873 Prince Edward Island has joined as well, and Canada can boast a dominion that extends from sea to sea.
    Canada: A People's History ( history/)
  • News  1869 - A Christmas goose, sent to two prisoners in a Canada jail, was stuffed with files and steel saws. They appreciated the stuffing.

    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    January 30, 1869
  • The 1870s and 1880s are a time of trial for the young Dominion of Canada.
    The country's first Prime Minister, John A. Macdonald, faces economic depression in the fast-growing factories of the east and a new revolt in the west, led by his old nemesis, Louis Riel. The suppression of the Northwest Rebellion and Macdonald's single-minded insistence that the French-speaking Catholic Riel must hang for treason threatens to tear apart the fragile bond between Quebec and English Canada. During this same era, debates over provincial powers and the Manitoba Schools Question rage, and a dream is realized: the Canadian Pacific Railway links the country and opens the prairies to new floods of immigration.
    Canada: A People's History ( history/)
  • 1873
    The Dominion of Canada
    A Federal Union of Provinces and Territories, comprising all the British possessions in North America, except the Island of Newfoundland. It is bounded E. by the Atlantic Ocean, Davis's Strait, and Baffin's Bay; W. by Alaska, the Pacific Ocean and Queen Charlotte's Sound; N. by the Arctic Ocean; and S., S.E., and S.W. by the United States. Area 3,330,1 G2 square miles, - 393,996 square miles larger than the United States. Of this immense area, nearly equaling in extent the continent of Europe, about 700,000 square miles are covered with water.

    Face of the country. - It is but natural to suppose that in such a vast extent of country there is every variety of surface - mountain, plateau and valley. Beginning at the Atlantic frontier of Nova Scotia a range of highlands skirts the seaboard and extends inland for 15 or 20 miles. This dislocated range of metamorphic hills nowhere assumes the height of mountains. Sixty miles in-land from this seaboard, and nearly... Read MORE...

  • 1876: The Intercontinental Railway was completed.
  • 1880-84 - The Canadian Pacific Railway recruits thousands of underpaid Chinese Labourers.
    The Canadian Pacific Railway was Canada's first transcontinental railroad, founded in 1881, originally connecting Eastern Canada and B.C. Construction began in 1881 following B.C.'s entrance into Confederation in 1871, which promised the railway would be built. The Canadian Pacific Railway was founded because of political promises to connect B.C. to Eastern Canada under the Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald who wanted to unify the country. A bribery scandal removed the Prime Minister from power and Alexander Mackenzie replaced him. Construction of the railway began in 1881 and it took four years to reach its completion, in 1885.
  • 1885 - November 7 - Canadian Pacific railroad completed (Montreal to Vancouver)
    The last spike of the transcontinental railway is put in place in the Eagle Pass, B.C. (Nov. 7).
    November 7, 1885
  • 1885 - Louis Riel executed on a charge of high treason
    Louis David Riel (22 October 1844 – 16 November 1885) was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and a political and spiritual leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies. He led two resistance movements against the Canadian government and its first post-Confederation prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Riel sought to preserve Métis rights and culture as their homelands in the Northwest came progressively under the Canadian sphere of influence. He is regarded by many today as a Canadian folk hero.

    "As the Métis leader of the Red River Resistance of 1869-70, he was instrumental in drafting the List of Rights that formed the basis of the Manitoba Act, passed by the Parliament of Canada in the spring of 1870, which brought the new province of Manitoba into Confederation." chc/ louis_riel/
  • News  1887 - June 23 – The Rocky Mountains Park Act becomes law in Canada, creating that nation's first national park, Banff National Park.
    June 23, 1887
  • 1889 - The first Canadian troops sent overseas participate in the Boer War in South Africa (Oct. 30).
  • Massive waves of immigration, a headlong economic boom with the growth of prairie agriculture and urban industry transform Canada between 1896 and 1915.
    Those who shape the new society include peasants from Eastern Europe, in search of free land; socialists who try to mobilize an emerging urban working class; and campaigners for temperance and women's suffrage. The dizzying pace of change also brings ethnic intolerance and racism, particularly against Asian immigrants.
    Canada: A People's History ( history/)
  • 1899 - Winter in Canada
    Canada is so far north of our country that you might think of the winter as exceedingly cold and severe, and picture the Canadians shivering before great logs blazing in their open fireplaces. But such is not the case.

    It is true the weather is at times intensely cold ; the thermometer falls to points so far below zero, as almost to frighten a citizen of the United States. But the skies are clear and blue ; the air is dry ; and the cold is so bracing that one is inspired to unusual outdoor exertions.

    Here there are no fogs, sleet, slush, or east winds, such as make winter in some regions of the United States very unpleasant. There are rarely any sudden changes of weather. When the snow comes, it comes to stay ; and the Canadian boy, looking out at the first shining snowstorm of the season , realizes that three de lightful months of uninterrupted pleasure lie before him .

    Winter in Canada begins in December. Christmas Day always finds the earth clad in its mantle of snow.... Read MORE...

  • 1900 - Population of Canada - 5,301,000

  • 1903 - Canada loses the Alaska boundary dispute when British tribunal representative Lord Alverstone sides with the U.S. (Oct. 20).
  • 1907 - The Quebec Bridge, under construction, collapses

  • News  1914 - May 29 – The ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sinks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence; 1,012 lives are lost.

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  • Canada's heavy military role in World War I (60,000 dead in a population of 8 million) transforms its society, its politics and its place in the world.
    The horror, bravery and sacrifice of trench warfare are evoked in Canada's great battles: Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Courcelette and Passchendaele. The domestic consequences of Canada's war effort are also wrenching - the conscription crisis of 1917 marks a low point in English-French relations. After the war ends, labour revolts in Winnipeg and across the country raise fears of a Bolshevik insurrection.
    Canada: A People's History ( history/)
  • 1917 - Income tax is introduced in Canada as a temporary wartime measure.

  • 1917 - Canadian Government enforced conscription, rioting occurred
    August 29 – WWI: The Military Service Act is passed in the Canadian House of Commons, giving the Government of Canada the right to conscript men into the army.
    August 29, 1917
  • 1918 - Women win the right to vote in Canadian federal elections. All provinces follow suit by 1922 except Quebec, which does not give women the right to vote in provincial elections until 1940.

  • 1920 - Canada joins the League of Nations at its inception.

  • 1928 - The Supreme Court of Canada rules that the BNA Act does not define women as "persons" and are therefore not eligible to hold public office.
  • The return to stability in the mid-1920s lasts only briefly as the crash of 1929 plunges the country into economic chaos.

    Canada: A People's History ( history/)
  • 1929 - The British Privy Council reverses the Supreme Court decision of 1928, and women are legally declared "persons" (Oct. 18). The Great Depression begins. the Workers' Unity League is formed.
  • Canada's economy collapses during the 1930s, creating a prolonged political and social crisis.
    In the context of the Dust Bowl, the relief camps and the Regina Riot, political leaders such as William Aberhart, Maurice Duplessis, and Mitchell Hepburn capture national attention. Meanwhile, an increasingly menacing international climate sees the rise of fascism and mounting likelihood of another world war. When war does arrive, Canada finds itself fighting virtually alone at Britain's side.
    Canada: A People's History ( history/)
  • 1931 - The Statute of Westminster (Dec. 11) authorizes the Balfour Report (1926), granting Canada full legislative authority in both internal and external affairs. The Governor General becomes a representative of the Crown.
  • 1934 - The Bank of Canada is formed.
  • 1934 - The Bank of Canada is formed.
  • 1936 - Canadian government began printing bilingual currency
  • 1939 - Canada began participation in World War II
    Canada declares war on Germany (Sept. 10) after remaining neutral for a week following the British declaration. Premier Duplessis opposes Québec's participation but is defeated by the Liberals on the issue (Oct. 26).
  • 1939 - Québec adopts the motto Je me souviens (I remember)

  • Canada comes of age in the anguish of World War II, with soldiers on the beaches at Dieppe and women in the industrial work force back home.
    The country's military role and the domestic social and political consequences of the war are traced through poignant stories of Canadians on both sides of the Atlantic. The horrific global conflict steals the innocence of a generation... but brings hope for a new future.
    Canada: A People's History ( history/)
  • 1942 - About 22000 Canadians of Japanese descent are stripped of non- portable possessions, interned and evacuated as security risks (Feb. 26).
  • 1945 - Canada joins the United Nations (June 26).
  • The end of World War II signals the end of fifteen years of social, political and economic upheaval.
    The post-war baby boom and government economic and social policies give rise to unprecedented prosperity and growth for Canadian communities. Television becomes a powerful new tool with social and political consequences. But in the midst of plenty, growing fears of the Cold War and nuclear conflict create an unsettled atmosphere.
    Canada: A People's History ( history/)
  • 1947: Canadian citizenship was established separate from British.
  • 1950 - Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and P.E.I. signed agreement to build Trans-Canada highway
  • 1952 - Radio-Canada (television station) begins broadcasting

  • 1963 - Voting age in Canada lowered from 21 to 18 years
  • 1965 - Canada adopts the maple leaf flag
    Queen Elizabeth II officially recognizes the new Canadian flag. (The old Red Ensign was never actually authorized as the national flag, although it had been approved for use on federal buildings outside Canada since 1924 and within Canada since 1945. Similarly, the maple leaf was never an official Canadian emblem, although it had been used in more or less that capacity since at least 1834.)
  • 1969 - The Union Nationale government of Jean-Jacques Bertrand passes Bill 63 which confirms the status quo on the language of instruction in the public schools (Parents can choose English or French).
  • 1971 - Trans-Canada highway completed
  • 1972 - 200,000 public service workers struck, largest strike in Canadian history
  • 1976 - The death penalty is abolished (July 14) in Canada.
  • 1977 - On August 26, the Quebec Charter of the French Language (Bill 101) becomes law. The exodus of unilingual English speaking workers and businessmen, started with the economic boom of Toronto and the West, accelerates.
    Over the next decade, more than 300,000 English-speaking Canadians leave the province. Most settled in Ontario. An equally high number of Canadians moved from other provinces to settle in Ontario, where Toronto is booming, replacing Montréal as the metropolis of Canada since the end of the second world war.
  • 1977 - Highway signs are changed to the metric system in Canada (Sept. 6).

  • 2023 - Canada has something to offer for everyone. Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Canada:
    1. Explore the Rocky Mountains in Alberta:

    Visit Banff and Jasper National Parks for stunning mountain landscapes, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

    Take a ride on the Banff Gondola for panoramic views of the Rockies.

    2. Experience the Northern Lights in Yukon:

    Head to Whitehorse for a chance to witness the mesmerizing Aurora Borealis.

    Enjoy dog sledding and snowshoeing in the pristine wilderness.

    3. Discover the vibrant culture of Montreal, Quebec:

    Explore the historic Old Montreal with its cobblestone streets and European charm.

    Savor delicious French cuisine and attend the Montreal Jazz Festival in summer.

    4. Visit the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario:

    Take an elevator ride to the top for breathtaking views of the city.

    Explore the diverse neighborhoods of Toronto, including Chinatown and Kensington Market.

    5. Explore the Maritime Provinces:

    Visit Prince Edward Island for its beautiful beaches and the birthplace of Anne of Green Gables.

    Explore the ...

Discover Your Roots: Canada Ancestry

Genealogy Resources for Canada

1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: Library and Archives Canada. Census of 1851 (Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia). Ottawa, Canada: Library and Archives Canada.

1881 Canadian Census

1901 Canadian Census canada/history&people/ history_timeline.html

Title Picturesque Canada: The Country as it was and is Lucius Richard O'Brien, Publisher - J. Clarke, 1882

1891 Canadian Census

1861 Canadian Census

1871 Canadian Census

1911 Census of Canada

1921 Canadian Census Canada Births and Baptisms, 1661-1959 [database on-line] Canada Deaths and Burials, 1664-1955

Canada Marriages, 1661-1949 Dictionary of Canadian Biography, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003

The Pocket Atlas and Gazetteer of the Dominion of Canada John George Bartholomew John Murdoch Harper January 1, 1890 London : J. Walker

The Eastern Townships Gazetteer and General Business Directory: A Commercial Directory and Guide to the Eastern Townships of Canada, Containing Also Much Useful Information of a Miscellaneous Character ... January 1, 1867 Smith & Company

Canadian participants in the American Revolution, an index, by Virginia DeMarce -

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