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General History of Canada


In this section of the site we aim to bring you general histories of Canada and the individual Provinces. We also hope to bring you some information on the history of the various ethnic groups in Canada of which there are many.  We are mainly making use of antiquarian resources to tell this story and so should anyone visiting this site have any information to contribute we'd love to hear from you. 

Under each Province we will try to bring you a general history of the Province but as we get the time we'll also try to provide some individual histories of parts of each Province as well.

Some Quick Facts about Canada
A Profile of Canada by the BBC [External Link]
The Canadian Red Book
A Handbook of the Dominion of Canada (pdf)

History of Canada
This is where we've added an abridged history of Canada in one volume. It essentially gives the main highlights of the History of Canada from the earliest days. We will likely bring you a larger history as well but thought this would make a good start.
Popular History of the Dominion of Canada
From the Discovery of America to the Present Time including a History of the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Manitoba; of the North-West Territory, and of the Island of NewFoundland revised and extended edition brought doen to 1884 by the Rev. William H. Withrow, DD., F.R.S.C. (1885) (pdf)
Canada and its Provinces
A History of the Canadian People and their Institutions by one hundred Associates. General Editors: Adam Shorty and Arthur G. Doughty. Edinburgh Edition (1914) in 23 volumes.
The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs
British North America
This is an account of Canada given as a series of lectures in 1898. Some very prominent people gave these lectures and hence they are of interest in tracing Canadian history. None of them are very long and so this will give you a quick introduction to the old history of the various Provinces of Canada.
A Canadian History for Boys and Girls (pdf)
By Emily P Weaver (1903). I found this book and felt it was an easy book to read with lots of illustrations. Each chapter is quite small and so makes an easy read.  I decided to make this book available as a pdf file to make it easy to print out bits from it.
Canadian Historical Articles
This section is intended to be used to add a variety of historical articles about Canada and Canadians as we find them from various sources.
The Prairie Provinces
A short history of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta by D. M. Duncan, M.A.
A chronology of key events in Canada
A short summary of the major topics from discovery to current day.
Chronicles of Canada
I discovered this excellent collection and have been able to find all but 1 volume. I note that due to the tight binding that the first several pages of each volume have cut out the first or last letter or two of the word so is a touch challenging to read but as you progress the problem mostly goes away.

History of Canadian Provinces

History of Alberta
History of British Columbia
History of Manitoba
History of New Brunswick
History of Newfoundland and Labrador
History of Northwest Territories
History of Nova Scotia
History of Nunavut
History of Ontario
History of Prince Edward Island
History of Quebec
History of Saskatchewan
History of Yukon
and
History of The First Nations

Acadia

Ethnic Histories

Canada is a multicultural country with a total population of around 35 million, or around 0.5% of the world's population. The most populous province is Ontario, with 13 million people, followed by Quebec, with 8 million, and British Columbia, with 4.6 million. The largest city in Canada is Toronto, followed by Montreal. Most people living in Canada self-identify as "Canadian". However, Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, and responses to ethnic origin surveys are incredibly diverse. The following is a list of the ethnicities that the largest number of Canadians self-identify as. All numbers are pulled from the 2016 Census.

Canadians - 32.32%
Although all citizens of Canada are considered Canadians, many Canadians also feel that is the term that best represents their ethnicity. Canadian is the largest self-identified ethnic group in Canada. Prior to European arrival, indigenous peoples (Inuit, Metis, and First Nations) lived in Canada. By the late 1850s, Canada had received many immigrants with origins including English, French, Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, and Chinese. People from a diverse set of ethnic backgrounds can identity as "Canadian".

English - 18.34%
Also called Anglo-Canadians, people who identify with English ancestry make up the second largest self-identified ethnicity in Canada. The history of the English Canadians dates back to settlements made in Newfoundland during the 16th century. Today, immigration from England still often occurs, due to relax immigration laws between Commonwealth countries.

Scottish - 13.93%
Scottish is third most common ethnicity that Canadians identify with. The province of Nova Scotia, which translate to “New Scotland” from Latin, was named for its Scottish influence. Dalhousie University in Halifax, McGill University in Quebec, and Queens University are universities in Canada that have Scottish roots.

French - 13.55%
French closely follows Scottish as one of the most commonly cited ethnic backgrounds in Canada. Their history in Canada dates back when the French colonized regions of North America during the 18th century. Quebec has the largest population of French Canadians. Canadians who speak French are considered French Canadians although some do not speak the language but are of French ancestry. The majority of people in Quebec speak French as their primary language.

Irish - 13.43%
Irish history in Canada dates back to 1536 when anglers from Cork arrived in Newfoundland. The Irish Canadians have been divided in two based on their beliefs, and these include the Roman Catholic and the Protestant Irish.

German - 9.64%
German is another commonly cited ethnic background for Canadians. Toronto has the leading number of German speaking Canadians followed by Vancouver. Alexander von Humboldt School Montréal and German International School Toronto are examples of two schools in Canada where German is the primary language.

Italian - 4.61%
Italian Canadians are another common ethnic group within Canada. Most major cities in Canada, including Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, have prominent Italian communities whose populations grew throughout the mid-20th century.

First Nations - 4.43%
Approximately 1,525,565 Canadians, or 4.43% of the total population, identifies themselves as First Nations. First Nations are part of the community of indigenous Canadians who were living in the area of what is now Canada prior to European arrival. There are 634 different First Nations bands that are recognized across Canada, from coast to coast.

Adrienne Clarkson: Becoming Canadian
How have people like Naheed Nenshi and Andy Barrie changed Canada? Adrienne Clarkson says Canada's strength lies in its inclusion of immigrants. She sits down with Steve Paikin to say why there is room for all of us.

African Canadians
Albanians in Canada
Czechs in Canada
Chinese in Canada
Dutch in Canada
English in Canada
Filipinos in Canada
Gael in Canada

Germans in Canada
Greeks in Canada
Hindu in Canada
Iranians in Canada
Irish in Canada
Italians in Canada
Jamaicans in Canada
Jews in Canada
Macedonians in Canada
Maltese in Canada
Mennonites and Hutterites in Canada
Polish Canadians
Russians in Canada
Scandinavians in Canada
Scots in Canada
Ukrainians in Canada
Vietnamese in Canada

Settling the West: Immigration to the Prairies from 1867 to 1914
By Erica Gagnon, Collections Researcher
 

General Histories

The Intellectual Development of the Canadian People
History of the Orange Order
Road to Canada's Confederation
This a great video that uses both video clips from "Canada: A People's History" as well as summaries directly from multiple Ontario Grade 8 History textbooks. It pertains specifically to the Ontario Social Studies Curriculum. It a great learning resource for both teachers and students! Enjoy!
Colonial Question - Canada
A four part article from Tait's Edinburgh Magazine 1849 (pdf)
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Canada’s TRC is unique from other commissions around the world in that its scope is primarily focussed on the experiences of children. Its focus of research spans more than 150 years, one of the longest durations ever examined. It is also the first court-ordered truth commission to be established. As such, the court plays an ongoing role in the implementation and supervision of the commission. [External Link]
Canadian Archeology
An Essay by William Kingsford (1886) (pdf)
A Pioneer of Imperial Federation in Canada
By Sir Frederick Young, K.C.M.G. (1902) (pdf)
Handbook of Information of the Dominion of Canada (pdf)
Caricature History of Canadian Politics
Events from the Union of 1841, as from "Grip," and various other sources by J. W. Bengough, with an Introduction by Rev. Principal Grant, D.D., of Queen's University, Kingston. (1886)
Sketches of Upper Canada
Domestic, Local, and Characteristic, by John Howison (Third Edition)
Great Lone Land
A Tale of Travel and Adventure in the North-West of America by Lieut.-General Sir William Francis Butler G.C.B (1910)
On Stone Implements from Nova Scotia and Canada
By Professor Duns, D.D. (pdf)
The Women's Canadian Historical Society

Canadian Historical Review
Three Years under the Canadian Flag as a Cavalry Soldier
A Peep behind the scenes of Political, Municipal, Military, and Social Life in Canada
Canada
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Other British Provinces in North America with a Plan of National Colonization by James S. Buckingham (pdf)
In Canada's Wonderful Northland
A story of Eight Months of Travel by Canoe, Motorboat, and Dog-Team on the Northern Rivers and along the New Quebec Coast of Hudson Bay by W. Tees Curran and H. A. Calkins, B.Sc. (1917)
In the Land of The Moose, The Bear, and The Beaver
Adventures in the forrests of the Athabasca by Achilles Daunt (1885) (pdf)
Canadian History Readings
Edited and Published by George U. Hay (1900)
The Manuscript Journals of Alexander Henry, Fur Trader of the Northwest Company and of David Thompson, Official Geographer and Explorer of the same Company.
Exploration and Adventure among the Indians on the Red, Saskatchewan, Missouri, and Columbia Rivers edited with copious critical commentary by Lliott Coues in three volumes (1897)
Volume 1 The Red River of the North
Volume 2 The Saskatchewan and the Columbia Rivers
Volume 3 Index and Maps
Pillars of Empire
Studies & Impressions by W. L. & J. E. Courtney (1918) (pdf)
Dent's Canadian History Readers
Edited by D. J. Dickie.  These books are intended for young readers.
Canada's History
A bi-monthly publication - Aug/Sept 2016 (pdf)
Heroines of Canadian History
By W. S. Herrington (1910) (pdf)
The Real Canadian
By J. A. T. Lloyd (1913) (pdf) An estimate of the Canadian people as a whole, regarded, as they must always be regarded as a powerful and self-conscious nation.
Canadian History Notes
Lots of wee stories (pdf)
A True Description of the Lake Superior Country
It's Rivers, Coasts, Bays, Harbours, Islands and Commerce and also a minute account of the Copper Mines and Working Companies by John R. St. John (1846) (pdf)
Wacousta or The Prophecy
In three volumes
The Canadian Portrait Gallery
By John Charles Dent (1880)
Views of Canada and the Colonists
Embracing the experience of a residence; views of the present state of progress, and prospects of the colony; with detailed and practical information for intending emigrants by a four year resident. (1844) (pdf)
The Story of the Canadian People
By David M. Duncan, B.A. (Tor.) Authorised for use in the Provinces of Manitoba, Ontario an d British Columbia (1907) (pdf)
Prairie and Rocky Mountain Adventures
Or Life in the West to which will be added a View of the States and Territorial Regions of our Western Empire embracing History, Statistics and Geography and Descriptions of the Chief Cities of the West by John C. Van Tramp (1866) (pdf)
MacKenzie and his Voyageurs
By Canoe to the Arctic and the Pacific 1789-93 By Arthur P. Woollacott (1927) (pdf)
Canada under British Rule 1760 - 1905
By Sir John C. Bournot (1909) (pdf)
Journal of a Voyage for the Discovery of a North-Wes Passage
From the Atlantic to the Pacific Performed in the years 1819-20 in His Majesty's Ships Hecla and Griper under the Orders of William Edward Parry, R.N., F.R.S. and Commander of the Expedition with an Appendix, containing the Scientific and other Observation (1821) (pdf)
The Great North-West and the Great Lake Region of North America
By Paul Fountain (1904) (pdf)
Canadian Life in Town & Country
By Henry J. Morgan and Lawrence J. Burpee (1905) (pdf)
Minnesota and the Far West
By Laurence Oliphant, Esq., Late Civil Secretary and superintendent-General of Indian Affairs in Canada (1855) (pdf)
Alexander Henry's Travels and Adventures
In the Years 1760- 1776 edited with Historical Introduction and Notes by Milo Milton Quaife (1921) (pdf)
Travels through Canada
By George Heriot, deputy postmaster general of British North America (1807) (pdf)
The Significance for Canadian History of the Work of The Board of Historical Publications
By Adam Shortt, LL.D., C.M.G., F.R.S.C. (1919) (pdf)
Voyages from Montreal through the Continent of North America
To the Frozen and Pacific Oceans in 1789 and 1793 with an Account of the Rise and State of the Fur Trade by Alexander MacKenzie in two volumes (1903)
The Annals of Canada
Compiled by Lieut.-Col Wm. White, C.M.G., Deputy Postmaster General of Canada (1875) (pdf)
My Canadian Journal 1872-8
Extracts from my Letters home written while Lord Dufferin was Governor-General by the Marchioness of Dufferin & Ava (1891) (pdf)
The Conspiracy of Pontiac
And the Indian War after the conquest of Canada by Francis Parkman (sixth edition) (1870) in two volumes.
The Dominion Annual Register and Review

The Place British Americans have won in History.
A Lecture delivered at Aylmer, L. C. on Thursday Evening, 22nd February 1866 by Henry J. Morgan, Corresponding member of the New York Historical Society (pdf)
Wentworth Historical Society

3800 Miles Across Canada
By J. W. C. Haldane (1900) (pdf)
Connecting Communities
Historical and Personal Reflections
Ethnic Canada
The 1986 Census of Canada provided, as did all the previous censuses, a rich source of information on individual, family and household characteristics of Canadian (pdf)
Interview on CBC with the British High Commissioner to Canada

May 23rd, 2019


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