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Canadian History Timeline

By wrc
  • Apr 20, 1534

    Beginning of fur trade

    Beginning of fur trade
    Jacques Cartier started his voyage to North America. When he was exploring he met the natives and began the fur trade. The area colonized by France in North America was called New France.
  • Period: Apr 20, 1534 to

    Canada's Fur Trade

    Info on the Canada's Fur Trade
  • Founding of Quebec City

    Founding of Quebec City
    Samuel de Champlain landed at the "point of Quebec" and started building a settlement.
  • New England was officially sanctioned

    New England was officially sanctioned
    A permanent settlement was established at present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts by the Pilgrims.
  • Two ships left England for Hudson Bay

    Two ships left England for Hudson Bay
    The expedition of two French traders, Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers, led to the creation of the Hudson's Bay Company.
  • The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) was founded

    The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) was founded
    The most famous trading company in North America was incorporated with a royal charter from King Charles II.
  • French captured HBC's posts

    France and Britain struggled to expand their fur-trading territories. The French sent a raiding party under the Chevalier des Troyes over 1,300 km (810 mi) to capture the company's posts along James Bay.
  • King William's War (1688-1697)

    King William's War (1688-1697)
    After 1688 Britain and France were officially at war. This was the first of six colonial wars between New France and New England.
  • Britain defeated France in North America

    Britain defeated France in North America
    France formally New France to the British in the Treaty of Paris.
  • Creation of North West Company

    Creation of North West Company
    The North West Company (NWC) was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal. It was led by Benjamin Frobisher, his brother Joseph, and Simon McTavish.
  • Merger of HBC and NWC

    Merger of HBC and NWC
    As a result of intensified competition, a merger agreement was signed with the HBC. It would operate under the Hudson's Bay Company name.
  • Fort Langley

    Fort Langley
    Fort Langley is the first trading post that was built in BC.
  • SS Beaver arrived

    SS Beaver arrived
    First steamship in the Pacific which served for the HBC.
  • The Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad

    The Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad
    The first Canadian railway linking Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence river. The 26 km long railway was financed by John Molson. Its first locomotive was the Dorchester.
  • Period: to

    Canada's Railroads

    Info on Canada's Railways
  • The end of fur trade

    Fur trade had a steep decline.
  • Grand Trunk Railway

    Grand Trunk Railway
    The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada was proposed in 1851 as the main trunk line through the United Province of Canada. It was formally incorporated in 1852 to build a railway from Toronto to Montreal.
  • Biggining of the Cariboo Gold Rush

    Biggining of the Cariboo Gold Rush
    The first major gold strike of the Fraser River valley was made in March, 1858 at Hill's Bar. The news spread quickly. By July of that year, approximately 33,000 miners arrived, far exceeding British Columbia’s pre-Gold Rush total population of 7,000 people. Gold deposits were discovered farther northward until reaching the fields of the Cariboo.
  • Period: to

    Cariboo Gold Rush

    Info on the Cariboo Gold Rush.
  • Grand Trunk Railway extention

    Grand Trunk Railway extention
    The railway was extended from Monteal to Sarnia. The railway enabled the forming of the Canadian Confederation.
  • Cariboo Wagon Road

    Cariboo Wagon Road
    The Cariboo Wagon Road was an immense infrastructure burden for the colony but needed to be built to enable access to the Cariboo gold fields. The boom in the Cariboo gold fields was the impetus for the construction of the Cariboo Wagon.
  • Billy Barker

    Billy Barker
    People said Barker was foolish when he chose a spot downriver from everybody else, near Stouts Gulch, and started digging the deepest mine-shaft around. But he and his seven partners struck gold, and within 48 hours they pulled out over 60 ounces (1700g) of gold, then worth roughly $1000. The boom town of Barkerville soon sprang up around Barker's find, named after him of course.
  • Barkerville

    Barkerville sprung up overnight in 1862. Barker struck gold on Williams Creek, making a fabulous claim which made him and his partners rich - Barker eventually made $500,000! Lots of other miners rushed to look for claims as good as Barker's, and the town of Barkerville was born.
  • Ontario

    Ontario joined Canada.
  • Nova Scotia

    Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia joined Canada.
  • Quebec

    Quebec joined Canada.
  • New Brunswick

    New Brunswick
    New Brunswick joined Canada.
  • British North America Act of 1867

    British North America Act of 1867
    Four provinces joined the new Confederation: the Province of Canada (which later became Ontario and Québec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The British North America Act was intended to balance the forces that were pushing the old Province of Canada apart.
  • Period: to

    Canadian Confederation

    Info on the Canadian Confederation.
  • Barkerville fire

    Barkerville fire
    A fire broke out in Barkerville and nine tenths of the town were destroyed. Scotts Saloon was saved in the march of the fire but it is stripped to a shell. A few houses in Chinatown and at the other end of Barkerville were saved. A quantity of provisions and goods are destroyed and prices had already risen. All of Barkerville's hotels got burned down but somehow HBC's new store survived.
  • Manitoba

    Manitoba joined Canada.
  • Northwest Territories

    Northwest Territories
    Northwest Territories joined Canada.
  • British Columbia

    British Columbia
    British Columbia joined Canada.
  • Intercolonial Railway

    Intercolonial Railway
    The first section linking Truro to Moncton opened. The project was headed by Sandford Fleming. The Maritime provinces joined Canadian Confederation because of this Intercolonial Railway.
  • Prince Edward Island

    Prince Edward Island
    Prince Edward Island joined Canada.
  • End of the gold rush

    End of the gold rush
    Most of the gold was dug up and gold prospectors started leaving Only the big companies could continue. Soon the gold rush was over, all the gold was dup up and Barkerville is then almost empty.
  • Canadian Pacific Railway

    Canadian Pacific Railway
    The railroad was Canada's first transcontinental railroad, from Montreal to Vancouver. BC joined the Canadian Confederation with a promise of this railway.
  • Yukon

    Yukon joined Canada.
  • Canadian Northern Railway

    Canadian Northern Railway
    The Canadian Northern Railway was established by William Mackenzie and Donald Mann. CNoR's first step toward competing directly with CPR was the decision to build a line linking the Prairie Provinces with Lake Superior at the harbour in Port Arthur-Fort William (modern Thunder Bay, Ontario). It became Canada's second transcontinental railroad.
  • Saskatchewan

    Saskatchewan joined Canada.
  • Alberta

    Alberta joined Canada.
  • Grand Trunk Pacific Railway: The Last Spike

    Grand Trunk Pacific Railway: The Last Spike
    The spike was the completion of Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. GTPR and National Transcontinental Railway (NTR) formed the third transcontinental railroad in Canada.
  • Canadian National Railway

    Canadian National Railway
    CNR is a railway company owned by the Canadian Government by taking over near bankrupt railways and combining them. CNoR, Intercolonial Railway and NTR were among the railways merged into CNR. It is currently the largest railway in Canada.
  • GTPR merged into CNR

    GTPR merged into CNR
    With the enormous cost of building the GTPR, GTR defaulted on loan payments to the federal government in 1919. GTPR was nationalized on March 7 of that year, being operated under a federal government Board of Management until finally being placed under the control of Canadian National Railways (CNR).
  • GTR was absorbed into CNR

    GTR was absorbed into CNR
    At the time the Grand Trunk system had approximately 125 smaller railway companies.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador

    Newfoundland and Labrador
    Newfoundland and Labrador joined Canada.
  • The Constitution Act of 1982

    The Constitution Act of 1982
    The Constitution Act, 1982, is a law that has a profound effect on the lives of Aboriginal peoples. For the first time in Canadian history, their rights were clearly defined. Because of this, courts were given a much greater say in government and can now disallow legislation on the basis of violations against the Charter of Rights.
  • Via Rail

    Via Rail
    Vai Rail took over all national passenger sevice in Canada. Via Rail took possession of CN and CP passenger cars and locomotives.
  • Nunavut

    Nunavut joined Canada.