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Editorial

Editorial: William Lyon Mackenzie and the Rebellion in Upper Canada

At 8:00 p.m. on Monday, 4 December 1837, William Lyon Mackenzie set out by horse down Yonge Street to scout the route for his attack on Toronto. At the top of Gallows Hill (below St. Clair Ave.) he met Tory alderman John Powell, himself on patrol from the city. Mackenzie and his men took Powell prisoner. “Do you have a gun?” Mackenzie asked Powell. “No,” Powell replied. Mackenzie took his word as a gentleman and sent him back toward the rebel headquarters at Montgomery’s Tavern.

Article

Quebec Act, 1774

The Quebec Act received royal assent on 22 June 1774. It revoked the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which had aimed to assimilate the French-Canadian population under English rule. The Quebec Act was put into effect on 1 May 1775. It was passed to gain the loyalty of the French-speaking majority of the Province of Quebec. Based on recommendations from Governors James Murray and Guy Carleton, the Act guaranteed the freedom of worship and restored French property rights. However, the Act had dire consequences for Britain’s North American empire. Considered one of the five “Intolerable Acts” by the Thirteen American Colonies, the Quebec Act was one of the direct causes of the American Revolutionary War (1775–83). It was followed by the Constitutional Act in 1791.

This is the full-length entry about the Quebec Act of 1774. For a plain language summary, please see The Quebec Act, 1774 (Plain-Language Summary).

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Battle of the Plains of Abraham

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham (13 September 1759), also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal moment in the Seven Years’ War and in the history of Canada. A British invasion force led by General James Wolfe defeated French troops under the Marquis de Montcalm, leading to the surrender of Quebec to the British. Both commanding officers died from wounds sustained during the battle. The French never recaptured Quebec and effectively lost control of New France in 1760. At the end of the war in 1763 France surrendered many of its colonial possessions — including Canada — to the British.

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Upper Canada

Upper Canada was the predecessor of modern-day Ontario. It was created in 1791 by the division of the old Province of Quebec into Lower Canada in the east and Upper Canada in the west. Upper Canada was a wilderness society settled largely by Loyalists and land-hungry farmers moving north from the United States. Upper Canada endured the War of 1812 with America, William Lyon Mackenzie’s Rebellion of 1837, the colonial rule of the Family Compact and half a century of economic and political growing pains. With the Act of Union in 1841, it was renamed Canada West and merged with Lower Canada (Canada East) into the Province of Canada.

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Niagara River

The Niagara River, 58 km long, issues from Lake Erie and flows north over Niagara Falls to Lake Ontario. The river’s drainage area is about 684,000 km2, and its average flow at Queenston is 5,885 m3/s. The Niagara River forms part of the border between Canada and the United States.

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British Columbia and Confederation

The colony of British Columbia was founded in 1858 in response to the Fraser River Gold Rush. (See also The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Founding of British Columbia.) The colony established representative government in 1864 and merged with the colony of Vancouver Island in 1866. In May 1868, Amor De Cosmos formed the Confederation League to bring responsible government to BC and to join Confederation. In September 1868, the Confederation League passed 37 resolutions outlining the terms for a union with the Dominion of Canada. The terms were passed by both the BC assembly and the federal Parliament in 1871. The colony joined Canada as the country’s sixth province on 20 July 1871. The threat of American annexation, embodied by the Alaska purchase of 1867, and the promise of a railway linking BC to the rest of Canada, were decisive factors.

Article

Wasaga Beach

Wasaga Beach, ON, incorporated as a town in 1974, population 20,675 (2016 census), 17,537 (2011 census). The Town of Wasaga Beach is located on the shores of Georgian Bay at the mouth of the Nottawasaga River, about 40 km northwest of Barrie. Wasaga Beach is the world's longest freshwater beach. The name was derived from the Nottawasaga River.

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Barrie

Barrie, ON, incorporated as a city in 1959, population 141,434 (2016 census), 135,711 (2011 census). The City of Barrie is located at the head of Kempenfelt Bay on Lake Simcoe, 90 km north of Toronto. First Nations people used the site as the eastern end of a portage route to the Nottawasaga River, which flows into Georgian Bay. During the War of 1812, the portage became an important supply route linking York (Toronto) on Lake Ontario to British military posts on the upper Great Lakes. The name refers to Commodore Robert Barrie, a British naval officer on Lake Ontario.

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Bowmanville

Bowmanville, Ontario, population centre, population 39,371 (2016 census), 35,168 (2011 census). Bowmanville is located 25 km east of Toronto on Highway 401. Originally called Darlington Mills, it was renamed in the 1830s after Charles Bowman, the principal landowner. Bowmanville was incorporated as a village in 1852 and as a town in 1857. In January 1974, Bowmanville became part of the town of Newcastle (now Clarington) in the new Regional Municipality of Durham. Home of diverse manufacturers in the 19th century, Bowmanville now serves as a dormitory for Toronto and Oshawa.

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Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, incorporated as a town in 1792 and reincorporated in 1970, population 17,511 (2016 census), 15,400 (2011 census). The town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is located where the Niagara River enters Lake Ontario. In 1970, the old town of Niagara-on-the-Lake joined the Township of Niagara. The township included the villages of Virgil, Queenston, St. Davids, Homer and McNab. Together they became a regional town retaining the name Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Editorial

Vancouver Feature: Little Tramp Graces the Orpheum Stage

When a troupe of English Music Hall entertainers swept through Vancouver in 1911, the star was an acrobatic little comedian who would soon become one of the most famous people in the world: Charlie Chaplin. Another player would carve his own niche in entertainment history, too. Arthur Stanley Jefferson became a beloved star after he changed his name to Stan Laurel and teamed up on film with Oliver Hardy.

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History of Settlement in the Canadian Prairies

The Canadian Prairies were peopled in six great waves of migration, spanning from prehistory to the present. The migration from Asia, about 13,300 years ago, produced an Indigenous population of 20,000 to 50,000 by about 1640. Between 1640 and 1840, several thousand European and Canadian fur traders arrived, followed by several hundred British immigrants. They created dozens of small outposts and a settlement in the Red River Colony, where the Métis became the largest part of the population. The third wave, from the 1840s to the 1890s, consisted mainly but not solely of Canadians of British heritage. The fourth and by far the largest wave was drawn from many nations, mostly European. It occurred from 1897 to 1929, with a pause (1914–22) during and after the First World War. The fifth wave, drawn from other Canadian provinces and from Europe and elsewhere, commenced in the late 1940s. It lasted through the 1960s. The sixth wave, beginning in the 1970s, drew especially upon peoples of the southern hemisphere. It has continued, with fluctuations, to the present. Throughout the last century, the region has also steadily lost residents, as a result of migration to other parts of Canada, to the United States, and elsewhere.

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Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1886, population 631,486 (2016c), 603,502 (2011c). Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia and the third largest census metropolitan area in Canada. The City of Vancouver lies on a peninsula in the southwest corner of the province's mainland. Two surrounding waterways — Burrard Inlet and the Strait of Georgia — provide a sheltered deep-sea port and convenient access to the Pacific Ocean, while the Fraser River offers an easy route to the rich agricultural lands of the Fraser River Lowland and the interior. Railways and highways give easy access to the interior.

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