Business | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article

    The Disappearance of Ambrose Small

    On 2 December 1919, a day after completing a million-dollar business transaction in Toronto, entertainment tycoon Ambrose Small mysteriously disappeared. Despite an international search, no trace of him was ever found. Police suspected foul play and investigated Small’s wife and personal secretary. However, neither the police nor a private investigator uncovered any evidence connecting them to his disappearance. The Ambrose Small case remains one of Canada’s most perplexing and legendary unsolved mysteries.

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  • Article

    British American Land Company

    British American Land Company, chartered 20 March 1834 and promoted by John Galt, Canada Company founder; Edward Ellice, Lower Canada's largest absentee landowner; and others. It purchased 343 995 ha of crown land in the Eastern Townships (Qué) for £120 000.

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  • Article

    Fur Trade in Canada (Plain-Language Summary)

    The fur trade began in the 1600s in what is now Canada. It continued for more than 250 years. Europeans traded with Indigenous people for beaver pelts. The demand for felt hats in Europe drove this business. The fur trade was one of the main reasons that Europeans explored and colonized Canada. It built relationships between Europeans and Indigenous peoples. (This article is a plain-language summary of the fur trade. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, Fur Trade in Canada.)

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  • Article

    History of Commercial Fisheries

    Fisheries drew the first Europeans to what is now Canada, and still sustain large coastal and inland regions.

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  • Article

    History of Construction Industry

    Military engineers constructed the first public works, tiny locks, at the rapids on the Soulanges section of the St Lawrence River. These locks were started in 1779 by a British regiment, the Royal Engineers, for Governor Haldimand.

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  • Article

    King George's Sound Company

    King George's Sound Company (Richard Cadman Etches and Co), founded 1785 in London to trade for furs on the Northwest Coast.

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  • Article

    London and Bristol Company

    London and Bristol Company, est 1610, the first formal attempt to colonize NEWFOUNDLAND. A group of merchant "adventurers" from London and Bristol, Eng, obtained a royal charter giving them title to Newfoundland's east coast.

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  • Article

    Pro Pelle Cutem

    Pro pelle cutem (a Latin phrase meaning “a pelt for a skin”) is the traditional motto of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). It was adopted soon after the company received its charter in 1670 and has remained on the HBC coat of arms, apart from a brief period of rebranding between 2002 and 2013.

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  • Article


    A Promyshlennik is a Russian (chiefly Cossack) free-lance exploiter of natural resources, notably furs. Like the coureurs de bois, promyshlenniki had a sure instinct for rivers, forests and terrain.

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  • Article

    Ranching History

    Fort Macleod was the first cattle town in the Canadian West. Early ranching was centered around the headquarters of the North West Mounted Police (courtesy Glenbow Archives).A round-up in Alberta's ranching country (photo by Angus McNee, courtesy Take Stock Photography Inc.).Photo by Notman & Son (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-8812).Fall roundup: lead man John Thompson herding cattle back to ranches, Alberta, October 1975 (photo by Ted Grant/courtesy Library and Archives Canada/PA-142584).PreviousNext Ranching History Ranching developed...

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  • Article

    South Sea Company

    South Sea Company, chartered in 1711 by the British Parliament, with a monopoly over the W coast of the Americas to a distance of 300 leagues out to sea. In 1720 it assumed a large part of the British national debt and almost collapsed that year in a stock market crash known as the South Sea Bubble.

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  • Editorial

    The North West Company, 1779–1821

    The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

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  • Article

    Vancouver Feature: Gassy Jack Lands on the Burrard Shore

    The following article is a feature from our Vancouver Feature series. Past features are not updated. When Capt. Jack Deighton and his family pulled their canoe onto the south shore of the Burrrard Inlet in 1867, Jack was on one more search for riches. He had been a sailor on British and American ships, rushed for gold in California and the Cariboo, piloted boats on the Fraser River and ran a tavern in New Westminster. He was broke again, but he wasted no time in starting a new business and building the settlement that would become Vancouver.

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  • Article

    Vancouver Feature: The Bay’s Days

    The following article is a feature from our Vancouver Feature series. Past features are not updated. The Hudson’s Bay Company staked its claim to the northeast corner of Georgia and Granville in 1893. Through changes in fashion, technology and politics — as well as some architectural refinements — it has remained there ever since.

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  • Macleans

    Windows 95 Introduced

    The world tour has been drawing huge crowds, there are souvenir T-shirts and a seemingly endless stream of articles in magazines and newspapers around the world. Everywhere there is an air of feverish anticipation.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on August 21, 1995

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