Home PageSite MapSite IndexHow to Use This SiteGlossaryContact Us Acknowledgements Image
Canada in the Making
Canada in the MakingAboriginals: Treaties & Relations
Primary Sources
Teachers' Resources
Quick Reference
Specific Events & Topics
Maps & Images
Français
Image
Image
Themes:
Constitutional History
Image
Aboriginals: Treaties & Relations
Image
Pionniers et Immigrants

1497 - 1760
1608 - 1763
1775 - 1812
1811 - 1870
1814 - 1830
1830 - 1867
1842 - 1903
1851 - 1885
1870 - 1896
1896 - 1914
Sources
Image
Image

Painting: Battle of Queenston Heights, 1813 - National Archives of Canada / C-000273
Copyright/Source

Post-Loyalist Settlement I (1814 - 1830)

The War of 1812 between Britain and the United States briefly paused immigration to Upper and Lower Canada and the Maritimes. When settlement resumed after the war, however, much of the land would now go to British military officers who'd served in the War of 1812 and Napoleonic War. Virtually no settlers would come from the United States as a result of cooled relations between the two countries. More immigrants would arrive from Britain, instead.

Topics in this section:

Treaty of Ghent, 1814
War Veterans, 1816
Clergy Reserves
Crown Reserves
The Canada Company, 1825
Other Important or Interesting Documents

Treaty of Ghent, 1814

Under the Treaty of Ghent, 1814, the old borders between British North America and the United States were restored to where they were before the War of 1812. However, as a consequence of the war, Britain decided to prevent American citizens from buying land in British North America. Americans had to have been already living in any North American British colony for at least seven years before they were allowed to purchase any land.

This would stop most migration from the United States, and encourage more people from Britain to settle in Canada. In fact, by the early 1820s, Upper Canada was actively attracting poor weavers from Scotland to immigrate here.

War Veterans, 1816

Painting: Barracks at Queenston and camp on the mountain - National Archives of Canada / C-013919
Canada, 1867

As a reward for their service, the British Crown gave its war veterans stationed in Canada after the War of 1812 free land grants. These veterans usually received land between the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers in Upper Canada, and the size of the plots they received depended on their rank. All were given eight months worth of food rations, so they'd have enough to eat until they were able to set up sustainable farms.

Out-of-work British soldiers and naval officers who had fought during the Napoleonic Wars in Europe also were allowed to settle here as well. The British government aggressively encouraged these veterans to settle its North American colonies, as many of them would otherwise be returning to lives of utter poverty in Britain.

Britain benefited enormously by sending these veterans to British North America:

  • It allowed Britain to sidestep a costly social problem (i.e. having to provide money to support thousands of soldiers stricken with poverty and disease in the United Kingdom).

  • The British colonies would become full of upstanding military veterans who would be more likely to take active leadership roles in burgeoning communities.

The policy of giving free land to soldiers and sailors would last until 1833. A deadly outbreak of cholera in Britain caused the discontinuation of this policy.

Image
 

Information for the use of Military and Naval Officers proposing to settle in the British Colonies, 1834

READ the summary
Image

 

Did you know?

English immigration to the towns of Montréal and Québec within Lower Canada would rise heavily during this period. Up to 40 per cent of those living in Québec would be anglophone, and about a third living in Montréal would be English-speaking as well. However, French populations skyrocketed in rural areas of the province.


Clergy Reserves

Clergy Reserves were created under the Constitution Act of 1791. Under this act, one-seventh of all land granted had to go to the Church of England (also known as the Anglican Church). If it wanted to, the Church of England could then lease the land to settlers for a profit.

This act naturally upset many non-Anglican Protestants living in Upper Canada, particularly those involved with the Scottish Presbyterian Church (also known as the Church of Scotland). Scots wanted their churches to receive this land and the potential cash crop in land sale or rent revenues that would go along with it.

However, most of this land would sit vacant and undeveloped. There was still far more than enough free land to go around for settlement purposes in the early 1800s. Only when some of this land finally seemed destined to be sold to land grant companies - like the newly formed Canada Company (1825) - did these reserves once again become a major cause of concern among settlers wanting reform

Clergy reserves were finally secularized in 1854, thus ending years of debate about their usage.

Image
 

The Constitution Act, 1791

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

Address of Assembly, 2 July 1819, and Reply, 5 July 1819 (Question posed by the Upper Canada elected assembly about Clergy reserves and reply.)

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

Opinion of Crown Law Officers, 1819

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

Clergy Reserves: James Stephen's Opinion, 1829

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

Resolution of Assembly, Upper Canada, 1824; Clergy Reserves and the Church of Scotland

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

An Act for the distribution of funds from the sale of clergy lands to the Church of Scotland, Lower Canada, 1824 /Acte pour la distribution des fonds provenant de la vente des réserves du clergé à l'Église d'Écosse, Bas-Canada, 1824 (bilingual)

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

An Act for the relief of Religious Societies, March 25, 1828 (Regarding church land for Quakers, Mennonites, Lutherans, etc. in Upper Canada.)

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

Report of Committee to House of Commons, 1828 (Examines Lower Canada and makes recommendations for changes in law.)

READ the summary
Image

 

Crown Reserves

Crown reserves were reserves of uninhabited land rich in minerals, timber and other resources that the colonial governments owned, similar to current-day Crown land owned by the federal or provincial governments. The idea was the Crown would own valuable land to create revenue from its future residential or industrial usage.

These reserves were a source of discontent amongst settlers worried about their property values. Because the cost of building and repairing roads fell squarely on individual farmers who owned the land, and because large swaths of uninhabited Crown land often lay between neighbouring farms, building a road to one's neighbours became particularly work-intensive or expensive for farmers in Upper Canada.

This kept close communities from forming in Upper Canada, which in turn kept property values lower than their U.S. counterparts. American farmers were more apt to able to work together and tended to form small, tightly-knit and more efficiently run communities, which eventually made their land more valuable as time went on.

Because of this, some farmers in Upper Canada - namely, the so-called American "late Loyalists" who'd come to Upper Canada after 1791 and weren't particularly loyal to the British Crown - argued that British North America should become a republic just like the United States. They hoped that in turning to a more American system, their land might become much more valuable. In fact, a Scottish pollster named Robert Goulay became something of a political folk hero in 1804 when the British government expelled him from Upper Canada, out of fear that he was stirring up republican sentiment in the province over Crown reserves.

Following the War of 1812, Crown reserves came under control of wealthy owners in the Family Compact. By 1825, these lands were being sold to land grant companies like the Canada Company for the purposes of settlement, which brought the issue of Crown reserves back to the forefront among those agitating for more responsible government.

 

Image
 

Report of Executive Council Respecting Crown Lands, Lower Canada, 4 February 1792

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

Proclamation about settlement of Crown lands in Lower Canada, 1792

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

Simcoe to Portland, January 22, 1795 (Regarding his opinion to Britain about renting Crown lands to Loyalist settlers, as opposed to selling them.)

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

Portland to Simcoe, 20th May 1795 (Feels no special limits should be placed by Britain on what Crown reserves can be used for.)

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

An address of the Legislative Assembly relative to grants relative to reward or otherwise, and also to the sales of uncultivated Crown Lands in Lower Canada.

 
Image

Image
 

Correspondence regarding British emigration to Lower and Upper Canada, among other British colonies in Australia, 1834 (Refers to proposed new regulations for granting Crown Lands in Lower Canada in the 1830s)

 
Image

The Canada Company, 1825 - 1953

 

Painting: The Settlement of Coldwater - National Archives of Canada / C-115022
Copyright/Source


The Canada Company was a private firm, the brainchild of John Galt, whose sole purpose was to sell land to settlers. The formation of this company marked a major shift in land granting policy. Now, private companies, not the government, would be in charge of land administration in Upper Canada.

The Company drew the ire of Reformers, however. They felt the Company:

  • was poorly managed;

  • treated farmers and lower class settlers unfairly;

  • was too closely linked to the Tory government and its wealthy friends.

 

This situation helped fuel the mass anti-government sentiment that led to the 1837 Rebellion in Upper Canada.

The Canada Company's problems finally died down in the early 1840s. Management and administrative changes were made to make the business run in a smoother and fairer manner.

The company ran this way, more or less, until 1951, when it announced it was selling off all its lands and going out of business. It finally closed down in 1953.

Did you know?

Lesser-known land companies sprang up in other colonies. These included the British American Land Company in Lower Canada in 1825 and the New Brunswick Land Company in 1831.

 

Image
 

An Act To Create the Canada Company, 1825

READ the summary
Image

Image
 

Minutes of the Intended Arrangements between Earl Bathurst, Her Majesty's Secretary of State, and the Canada Company, 1825:

 
Image

 

For more information on the Canada Company and Crown/Clergy reserves, please visit The Canadian Encyclopedia online.


Other Important or Interesting Documents


Previous page

Image
Image
  ImageTop of Page Image
Image Image
Image