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Canada History Timeline

Canada's Information

Flag of Canada
Land Area 9,093,507 km2
Water Area 891,163 km2
Total Area 9,984,670 km2
Population 35,362,905
Population Density 3.54 / km2
Government Type Federal Parliamentary Democracy (Parliament Of Canada) Under A Constitutional Monarchy; A Commonwealth Realm
GDP (PPP) $1,670.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $46,200
Currency Dollar (CAD)
Largest Cities
  • Toronto (2,600,000)
  • Vancouver (1,837,969)
  • Montreal (1,649,519)
  • Calgary (1,019,942)
  • Ottawa (812,129)
  • Edmonton (712,391)
  • Mississauga (668,549)
  • North York (636,000)
  • Winnipeg (632,063)
  • Scarborough (600,000)
1000's - 1400's
  • (1000) Leif Ericson and crew (Vikings) visited the coastline of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • (1497) Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) claimed Newfoundland for England
  • (1497-1498) Sebastian and John Cabot explored east coast of North America for England
  • (1498) John Cabot traveled coast of Labrador, New Brunswick; traded furs with Micmac Indians
  • (1506) First known fishing voyage to Newfoundland made by Normans
  • (1521 - 1526) João Álvares Fagundes established first European colony in North America at Cape Breton Island (later abandoned)
  • (1534) Jacques Cartier explored St. Lawrence River, claimed shores of Gulf of St. Lawrence for France
  • (1535) Name of Canada originated from Jacques Cartier; he misunderstood Aboriginal word Kannata, which meant collection of huts
  • (1540) Jean-Francois de la Rocque de Roberval appointed viceroy of Canada, Newfoundland, Labrador
  • (1541) Jacques Cartier, Sieur de Roberval founded first French settlement in North America in Quebec - Charlesbourg-Royal
  • (1542) Charlesbourg-Royal was abandoned
  • (1576) Martin Frobisher of England made first attempt to find Northwest Passage
  • (1583) Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland as England's first overseas colony
  • (1598) Roberval received fur-trading monopoly to New France; led party of 40 colonists
  • (1600) King Henry IV of France granted fur trading rights to group of merchants for Gulf of St. Lawrence
  • (1605) Samuel de Champlain founded Port Royal in present day Nova Scotia
  • (1608) First permanent European settlement (Quebec City) founded by Champlain
  • (1609) Champlain and French forces battled Iroquois on Lake Champlain
  • (1610) Henry Hudson explored Hudson Bay; Manhattan Indians attacked his ship
  • (1612) Champlain named Governor of New France
  • (1613) Beothuk of Newfoundland killed 37 French fisherman, French armed Micmac in retaliation, Beothuk exterminated; Port Royal sacked; St. John's, Newfoundland founded
  • (1621) James I of England granted Acadia to Sir William Alexander, renamed it New Scotland
  • (1628) Eight-year old Olivier Le Jeune of Madagascar arrived in Quebec; he was the first recorded slave purchase in the vast New France area
  • (1629) English, led by David Kirke, captured Quebec City; Champlain taken to England as prisoner
  • (1632) Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye with England returned Quebec to France
  • (1639) Smallpox epidemic killed half of Huron Indians; coal discovered at Grand Lake
  • (1640) Lake Erie discovered
  • (1642) Montreal founded by Sieur de Maisonneuve
  • (1663) Louis XIV assumed control of New France; Quebec became royal province
  • (1670) Hudson Bay Company chartered by Charles II of England
  • (1689) Iroquois killed scores of French settlers
  • (1690) Sir William Phips captured most of French possessions in Acadia
  • (1697) Acadia returned to France in Treaty of Ryswick between France and England


  • (1701) Iroquois, French, English signed peace treaty
  • (1702 - 1713) Queen Anne's War, France and England
  • (1704) English settlement of Bonavista, Newfoundland, destroyed by French forces
  • (1707) English from Massachusetts attacked Port Royal
  • (1709) Slavery made legal in New France
  • (1710) English captured Port Royal, renamed it Annapolis Royal
  • (1713) French Acadia, Newfoundland and Hudson Bay lands ceded to England by Treaty of Utrecht; Queen Anne's War ended
  • (1734) Marie-Joseph Angelique set fire to mistress' home to avoid being sold; half of Montreal is damaged; she was later tortured, then hung
  • (1736) 19 French voyageurs, including Father Jean-Pierre Aulneau and Jean Baptiste de La Verendrye massacred by Sioux warriors at Lake of the Woods
  • (1744) France declared war on England
  • (1745) After six-week siege, Louisbourg surrendered to English
  • (1748) Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle returned Louisbourg, Ile Royale and Ile Saint-Jean to France
  • (1749) Halifax founded by British
  • (1752 - 1759) Seven Years' War (King George's War)
  • (1755) The Great Expulsion - French Acadians forced onto ships and deposited along southern coasts, hundreds died
  • (1759) British troops led by Wolfe defeated French led by Montcalm at Quebec, both generals killed; British took possession of Quebec
  • (1760) British destroyed Louisbourg
  • (1763) In Treaty of Paris, France ceded most of its North American possessions to Britain
  • (1774) Quebec Act passed, established French civil law, British criminal law, freedom of worship for Roman Catholics, government by appointed council
  • (1776) American Revolution began; Quebec withstood American attack
  • (1783) Americans given fishing rights off Newfoundland; border between Canada and United States established
  • (1785) New Brunswick separated from Nova Scotia
  • (1791) Constitutional Act of 1791 divided Quebec into Lower Canada (mostly French) and Upper Canada (mostly English)
  • (1793) Upper Canada passed Act Against Slavery, stopped slaves being brought in, freed slaves 25-years and older
  • (1812) War of 1812 between British and U.S.; General William Hull led American forces in invasion of Canada; General Isaac Brock and 200 soldiers defeated American force at Queenston Heights; Red River settlement founded by Hudson Bay Company
  • (1817) Poor post-war economy caused famine in Newfoundland
  • (1818) 49th parallel accepted as border between United States and Canada from Lake of the Woods to Rocky Mountains
  • (1821) Hudson Bay Company merged with North West Company
  • (1825) Parliament House at Toronto burned; fire destroyed over 80 buildings in Montreal
  • (1830) Canada divided into counties
  • (1832) 7,800 French-Canadians killed by cholera epidemic
  • (1836) Canada's first rail line opened from St. Johns to La Prairie
  • (1837) Rebellions against ruling elites, poverty, social divisions held in Upper and Lower Canada

1800's cont.

  • (1841) Act of Union united Upper and Lower Canada
  • (1847) Telegraph line from London to Canada West completed; 65 immigrants died in Montreal; St. Lawrence canal system completed; typhus outbreak occurred as immigrants arrived in Ottawa
  • (1849) Fire engulfed downtown Toronto, destroyed numerous buildings, including St. James Cathedral; 49th parallel boundary extended to Pacific Ocean
  • (1850) Gold discovered in British Columbia; coal discovered on Vancouver Island
  • (1852) Fire destroyed 11,000 homes in Montreal
  • (1854) Great Western Railway opened, linked Toronto, Hamilton, Windsor; passenger train collided with gravel train at Baptiste Creek, killed 52
  • (1857) Queen Victoria named Ottawa capital of Province of Canada; bridge over Desjardins Canal collapsed under passenger train, 60 killed
  • (1858) Toronto Islands created after storm detached them from mainland
  • (1862) Smallpox epidemic killed approximately 200,000 Indians
  • (1867) Canada became sovereign nation by passage of British North America Act, colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick became one federal union
  • (1868) Hudson Bay Company turned Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory over to Canada; Federal Militia passed, Canadian army created
  • (1869) Newfoundland rejected Confederation with Canada; Red River Rebellion began; smallpox epidemic struck Canadian Plains tribes
  • (1871) Treaty of Washington established fishing rights, Great Lakes trade between Canada, U.S.; last of British army left Canada; metric system legalized by Parliament
  • (1873) Pacific Scandal occurred, Prime Minister Sir John Macdonald resigned; 60 killed in coal mine explosion in Nova Scotia; cyclone struck Cape Breton Island, killed 500; Canadian Labour Union founded
  • (1881) Victoria steamer capsized on Thames River, killed 182 people
  • (1883) Nickel-copper ore discovered at Murray Mine
  • (1885) North-West Rebellion occurred; transcontinental railway completed; head tax on Chinese immigrants imposed; Banff National Park established
  • (1887) U. S. imposed Fisheries Retaliation Act, created limits on Canadian fishermen and traders; 148 coal miners killed in mine explosion near Nanaimo, B.C.
  • (1892) Fire destroyed two-thirds of St. Johns, Newfoundland
  • (1896) Bridge collapse in Victoria, B.C. killed 55; gold discovered in Yukon, Klondike gold rush began
  • (1899) First Canadian troops sent to overseas war (Boer War); rock slide in Quebec City killed 45
  • (1903) U.S. side of Niagara Falls ran short of water due to drought; Alaska Boundary Dispute settled in favor of U.S.; Frank Slide (landslide) killed 70; Raymond Stampede rodeo arena, grandstands built in Raymond, Alberta - first in the world
  • (1904) Much of Toronto's downtown destroyed by fire; American, Bill Miner, staged Canada's first train robbery: Henry Ford opened auto manufacturing plant in Windsor
  • (1907) Anti-Asian riots attacked Vancouver's Chinatown; Quebec Bridge collapsed during construction, 75 workers killed, 11 injured
  • (1908) Royal Canadian Mint opened
  • (1912) Amherst automobile manufactured in Calgary; Circular No. 17 banned teaching French language in Ontario schools; first Calgary Stampede held
  • (1914) Oil discovered in western Canada; Ocean liner, Empress of Ireland, sunk in Gulf of St. Lawrence, 1024 killed; 189 miners killed in coal mine explosion in Hillcrest, Alberta; World War I - 33,000 troops departed for Europe

1900's cont.

  • (1916) Anti-German riot occurred in Calgary; Canadian forces forced to retreat in Battle of Messines due to intensive German onslaught; Order-in-Council authorized increasing troops to 500,000 in World War I; 25,000 Canadians, Newfoundlanders killed at Battle of the Somme; Montreal Canadiens won first Stanley Cup
  • (1917) Temporary income tax introduced to cover wartime expenses; Halifax Explosion killed 1,900, injured 9,000
  • (1918) Famed Red Baron shot down by Canadian, Roy Brown; Canadian forces arrived in northern Russia to assist with White Russians battle against Bolsheviks; Canadian forces sent to Siberia; World War I ended, over 600,000 Canadians fought, 60,000 killed, 173,000 wounded; Canada received right to participate in League of Nations and Versailles Peace Conference
  • (1920) Canada founding member of League of Nations; Ottawa Senators won Stanley Cup; women became eligible to sit in House of Commons
  • (1922) World's first insulin treatment made at Toronto General Hospital; France gave land around Vimy Ridge to Canada as thank you for support of Canadian troops during World War I
  • (1929) Series of explosions in Ottawa's sewer system; women became eligible to be senators; New York Stock Exchange crashed, Great Depression began
  • (1932) Seven-month miners strike occurred at Crowsnest Pass; Toronto Maple Leafs won Stanley Cup
  • (1933) Race riot at Christie Pits, Toronto; earthquake at Baffin Bay, Nunavut; due to financial difficulties, Newfoundland's independence revoked
  • (1939) World War II began; Canada followed England and declared war on Germany
  • (1940) Canada declared war on Italy; 80 Canadian pilots participated in Battle of Britain
  • (1941) Canada declared war on Japan due to Pearl Harbor Attack; Canada declared war on Romania, Hungary, Finland; Canadian government impounded all fishing boats owned by Japanese-Canadians; all Japanese language schools, newspapers shut down
  • (1942) Estevan Point in B.C. shelled by Japanese Submarine; Ferry SS Caribou sunk by German U-boat, 137 killed; fire at Knights of Columbus Hall in St. John's Newfoundland killed 99
  • (1945) World War II ended; one million Canadians fought, 48,000 killed; Soviet spy ring discovered in Canada; Ford Motor employees on strike
  • (1949) Canada joined North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
  • (1950) Canada joined United Nations force to fight in Korean War; railworkers strike shut down much of Canadian economy
  • (1951) Canadians held off Chinese at Battle of Kapyong during Korean War; formal peace agreement between Germany and Canada signed
  • (1953) Korean War ended, 314 Canadians killed, 1,211 injured
  • (1957) Canadian peacekeepers go to Egypt after Suez Crisis; lengthy Murdochville strike began
  • (1959) St. Lawrence Seaway opened
  • (1960) Montreal Canadiens won Stanley Cup; seven-year-old, Roger Woodward, first person to accidentally fall over Horseshoe Falls and survive
  • (1962) Trans-Canada Highway opened; last three hangings in Canada occurred
  • (1963) Good Friday Earthquake in Alaska caused tsunamis in British Columbia, over $10 million in damages; Toronto Maple Leafs won Stanley Cup
  • (1965) Trans-Canada Airlines renamed Air Canada; Maple leaf became National Flag of Canada; failure at Ontario power station caused blackout from Florida to Chicago, and all of southern Ontario
  • (1967) International Expo held in Montreal
  • (1968) Separatists rioted in Montreal; Canada postal workers went on strike
  • (1969) Students at Sir George Williams University staged computer riot to protest racism on campus; terrorists bombed Montreal Stock Exchange; Quebec teachers ended 18-month strike; French and English became equal languages in Canada
  • (1970) Major oil spill when oil tanker ran aground at Chedabucto Bay, Nova Scotia; phosphates in laundry detergent banned; federal voting age lowered to 18 from 21; tornado struck Sudbury, Ontario, killed six, injured 200, caused $17 million in damages - all in less than five minutes; Quebec Minister of Labour, Pierre Laporte, kidnapped, killed by FLQ; FLQ kidnappers caught
  • (1971) Prisoners at Kingston Penitentiary seized control, four-day riot occurred; sinkhole destroyed most of Saint-Jean-Vianney, Quebec; Air Canada plane hijacked, flown to Cuba
  • (1974) Mikhail Baryshnikov, Soviet ballet dancer, defected in Toronto
  • (1976) Summer Olympics held in Montreal; over one million workers staged one-day strike, protested wage and price controls
  • (1979) Nine-month strike at Inco mining plant ended; train carrying explosives and poisonous chemicals derailed in Mississauga, Ontario - over 200,000 people evacuated; Montreal Canadiens won Stanley Cup
  • (1985) Armenian terrorists stormed Turkish Embassy in Ottawa, killed one, held dozen people hostage; Air India flight exploded en route from Toronto to London; wreck of the Titanic found off coast of Newfoundland
  • (1986) World Expo held in Vancouver; Montreal Canadiens won Stanley Cup
  • (1987) Quebec City first city in North America to become UNESCO World Heritage Site; tornado in Edmonton, Alberta killed 27; Canadian-American Free Trade Agreement is negotiated
  • (1989) Canadian-American Free Trade Agreement went into effect; Calgary Flames won Stanley Cup; 14 women murdered at Universite de Montreal
  • (1990) Fishery Products International closed three plants, 1300 jobs lost; Sault St. Marie city council declared city "English-only"; tire fire near Hagersville took 15 days to extinguish; Edmonton Oilers won Stanley Cup
  • (1991) Canadian forces initiated their participation in the Persian Gulf War
  • (1992) Dr. Roberta Bondar became first Canadian woman in space; Toronto Blue Jays won World Series
  • (1993) Kim Campbell became prime minister, first woman to be Canada's government head; Toronto Blue Jays won World Series
  • (1996) Serious riots in Quebec City
  • (1998) Three avalanches in B.C. killed nine; El Nino caused ice storm in southern Ontario and Quebec, widespread power failures, several deaths and severe damage to forests; federal government issued formal apology for past mistreatment of First Nations; forest fires in Salmon Arm, B.C. forced 8,000 to evacuate; Supreme Court of Canada ruled Quebec could not secede from Canada without federal government approval; Air Canada pilots launched strike; first diamond mine opened in Northwest Territories
  • (2001) Canada became first country in world to legalize medical marijuana; Canada's border with U.S. on high alert after September 11 terrorist attacks
  • (2002) Ford Motor Co. closed truck assembly plan in Oakville, Ontario; federal government allowed stem cell research using human embryos
  • (2003) Avalanches in British Columbia killed eight skiers and seven children; Scarborough's Grace Hospital closed as a result of SARS; Ontario declared public health emergency as a result of SARS
  • (2004) 19 million British Columbia poultry slaughtered due to avian influenza; women's ice hockey team won World Ice Hockey Championships
  • (2005) Education strike in British Columbia closed down 40,000 schools for two weeks
  • (2006) 400 police officers raided homes in Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario, arrested 15 people who were part of terrorist cell
  • (2008) Industrial plant explosions in Toronto killed two, forced thousands to evacuate homes; parliamentary dispute resulted in delay of change of government until new session in 2009

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