Shiners' Wars

Shiners' Wars, 1837-45, were violent outbreaks between IRISH and French Canadian lumbermen in the Ottawa Valley. After construction of the RIDEAU CANAL was completed the Irish moved to the Bytown [Ottawa] area and began displacing the French in the timber trade.

Shiners' Wars

Shiners' Wars, 1837-45, were violent outbreaks between IRISH and French Canadian lumbermen in the Ottawa Valley. After construction of the RIDEAU CANAL was completed the Irish moved to the Bytown [Ottawa] area and began displacing the French in the timber trade. Violence, primarily in the form of brawling, peaked in 1837, at the time of the highest annual Irish immigration to date and a time of financial crisis, rising prices, and increased unemployment in the lumber camps. Bytown's outraged citizens formed The Association of the Preservation of the Public Peace in Bytown, but terrorism continued until the late 1840s. The term "Shiners" may have come from the French word, cheneur ("oak-man"); from the shiny hats worn by newcomers to the region; or from the kind of coins paid to the lumbermen.