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St. Joseph's Island Treaty (No. 11)

The St. Joseph’s Island Treaty of 1798 (also known as Treaty 11 in the Upper Canada numbering system) was an early land agreement between First Nations and British authorities in Upper Canada (later Ontario). It was one of a series of Upper Canada Land Surrenders. The St. Joseph’s Island Treaty encompassed all of St. Joseph’s Island, known as Payentanassin in Anishinaabemowin and today called St. Joseph Island. The 370 km2 island is situated at the northern end of Lake Huron, in the channel between Lakes Huron and Superior. The British needed a post in the area to protect their interests and maintain contact with Indigenous peoples of the region. The British also realized they would have to evacuate their post at Michilimackinac under the terms of Jay’s Treaty and needed an alternative location.

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Johnson-Butler Purchase

The Johnson-Butler Purchase of 1787–88 (also known as the “Gunshot Treaty,” referring to the distance a person could hear a gunshot from the lake’s edge) is one of the earliest land agreements between representatives of the Crown and the Indigenous peoples of Upper Canada (later Ontario). It resulted in a large tract of territory along the central north shore of Lake Ontario being opened for settlement. These lands became part of the Williams Treaties of 1923. (See also Upper Canada Land Surrenders and Treaties with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

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London Township Treaty (No. 6)

The London Township Treaty of 1796 (also known as Treaty 6 in the Upper Canada treaties numbering system) was an early land agreement between First Nations and British authorities in Upper Canada (later Ontario). It was one of a series of Upper Canada Land Surrenders. The London Township Treaty encompassed a tract of land 12 miles square (about 31 kilometres square) in the southwestern part of the colony. The British originally purchased it as the location to establish the capital of the colony, but York (modern Toronto) became the capital instead. (See also Treaties with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

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Toronto Purchase (Treaty 13)

The Toronto Purchase of 1805 (also known as Treaty 13) was negotiated in an attempt to clarify and confirm the terms of the Johnson-Butler Purchase of 1787-88. Ultimately, it failed to do this and additional negotiations were required. These later discussions resulted in the Williams Treaties of 1923 and a compensatory settlement between the Government of Canada and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation in 2010. (See also Upper Canada Land Surrenders.)

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Sombra Township Treaty (No.7)

The Sombra Township Treaty of 1796 (also known as Treaty 7 in the Upper Canada treaties numbering system) was an early land agreement between First Nations and British authorities in Upper Canada (later Ontario). It was one of a series of Upper Canada Land Surrenders. The Sombra Township Treaty encompassed a tract of land 12 miles square (about 31 kilometres square) on the St. Clair River in the southwestern part of the colony. The British originally purchased it to offer it for settlement to their Indigenous allies who had fought with them during the American Revolution but who still lived in the new nation of the United States."

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Upper Canada Land Surrenders

The Upper Canada Land Surrenders (sometimes known as the Upper Canada Treaties) is a title given to a series of agreements made between Indigenous peoples and the Crown. These agreements were made during the late 18th century and into the 19th century before Confederation and the creation of the province of Ontario. The agreements surrendered Indigenous lands to the colonial government for a variety of purposes, including settlement and development. The Upper Canada Land Surrenders cover much of what is now southwestern Ontario. (See also Treaties with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

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Toronto Argonauts

The Toronto Argonauts are a professional football team in the East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Formed in 1873 as part of the Argonaut Rowing Club, the team has won 18 Grey Cup championships, the most of any team in the history of Canadian football. In total, the Argonauts have appeared in 24 Grey Cup games, losing only six. (The Grey Cup has also been won by two other Toronto teams — the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers — for a combined 25 championships for the city.)

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a football team in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Blue Bombers have alternated between the league’s West Division and East Division. They have been part of the West Division since 2014. Since its founding in 1930, the team has won 12 Grey Cup championships. In 2019, the team won its first Grey Cup since 1990 when it defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33–12. After the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue Bombers defeated Hamilton in the 2021 Grey Cup by a score of 33–25. It marked the team’s first back-to-back championship since 1962, and the first in the CFL since the Montreal Alouettes in 2010.

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Grey Cup

The Grey Cup is a trophy produced by Birks Jewellers that has been part of Canadian sports since 1909, when it was donated by Governor General Earl Grey for the Canadian football championship. The original conditions stated that the "cup must remain always under purely amateur conditions,"although there is good reason to believe that this was at the urging of P. D. Ross of the Ottawa Journal rather than Lord Grey. The name "Grey Cup" has since been used to refer both to the trophy and the event.

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Indian Act

The Indian Act is the primary law the federal government uses to administer Indian status, local First Nations governments and the management of reserve land. It also outlines governmental obligations to First Nations peoples. The Indian Act pertains to people with Indian Status; it does not directly reference non-status First Nations people, the Métis or Inuit. First introduced in 1876, the Act subsumed a number of colonial laws that aimed to eliminate First Nations culture in favour of assimilation into Euro-Canadian society. A new version of the Act was passed in 1951, and since then, has been amended several times, most significantly in 1985, with changes mainly focusing on the removal of discriminatory sections. It is an evolving, paradoxical document that has enabled trauma, human rights violations and social and cultural disruption for generations of Indigenous peoples.

This is the full-length entry about the Indian Act. For a plain language summary, please see Indian Act (Plain Language Summary).

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The Conquest of New France

The Conquest (La Conquête) is a term used to describe the acquisition of Canada by Great Britain during the Seven Years’ War. It also refers to the resulting conditions experienced by Canada’s 60,000 to 70,000 French-speaking inhabitants and numerous Indigenous groups. French forces at Quebec City surrendered to British forces on 18 September 1759, a few days after the crucial Battle of the Plains of Abraham. French resistance ended in 1760 with the capitulation of Montreal. In 1763, the Treaty of Paris surrendered New France to Britain. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 introduced assimilative policies that ultimately failed. They were replaced by the provisions of the Quebec Act of 1774. Although it helped spark the American Revolutionary War (1775–83), the Act also granted Canadians enviable conditions that resulted in generations of relative stability.

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Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada is the court of last resort for all legal issues in Canada, including those of federal and provincial jurisdiction. From humble beginnings as an opaque body subject to being overruled by the British Privy Council, the court now has the final judicial say on a broad range of contentious legal and social issues, ranging from the availability of abortion to the constitutionality of capital punishment and assisted suicide.

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Eaton's

Founded in 1869, the T. Eaton Company Ltd., commonly known as Eaton’s, was an iconic Canadian department store with a retail presence in every province, at its height. From its beginnings as a retail store in Toronto to its eventual bankruptcy and absorption into its long-time rival, Sears Canada, Eaton’s significantly shaped Canadian shopping. The Eaton’s name and legacy persist today, from Toronto’s Eaton Centre to the red bricks incorporated into the facade of Winnipeg’s Bell MTS Place, a reminder of the former Eaton’s store that stood on the site for so long.

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Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal (or Waterway), 202 km long, links the Ottawa River at Ottawa with Lake Ontario at Kingston.

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SARS in Canada

Canada experienced an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. Most of the infections originated in Toronto hospitals. The outbreak led to the quarantine of thousands, killed 44 people and took an economic toll on Toronto. It also exposed the country’s ill-prepared health-care system. Confusion around SARS fuelled an uptick in anti-Asian racism and anti-immigrant sentiment.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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Conservative Party

The Conservative Party was the founding political party of Canada, governing for the first 29 years after Confederation. Since then, the party has not been as electorally successful as its rival Liberals. The Conservatives have had periods in power and long periods in opposition. The party has been most successful when it was able to assemble a national coalition of anglophone conservatives from the West and Ontario, and nationalists from Quebec. The party is currently led by Pierre Poilievre.

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Niagara Purchase

The Niagara Purchase of 1781, also known as Treaty 381, was one of the first land agreements between Indigenous peoples and British authorities in Upper Canada (later Ontario). It resulted in a six-and-a-half kilometre-wide strip along the west bank of the Niagara River, which connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, being made available for settlement by Loyalists who were displaced by the American Revolution. The Niagara Purchase was one of many agreements made in the 1700s and 1800s, which are collectively known as the Upper Canada Land Surrenders.

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Crawford Purchase

The Crawford Purchase of 1783 is one of the oldest land agreements between British authorities and Indigenous peoples in Upper Canada (later Ontario). It resulted in a large tract of territory along the north shore of the upper St. Lawrence River and the eastern end of Lake Ontario being opened for settlement by displaced Loyalists and Indigenous peoples who fought for and supported Britain during the American Revolution. The Crawford Purchase is one of many agreements made during the late 18th and 19th centuries, known collectively as the Upper Canada Land Surrenders. (See also Treaties with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

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Opposition Party in Canada

An opposition party is a political party that does not win enough seats in a general election to form a government. The elected members of that party instead serve in the legislature as the opposition. An opposition party criticizes and challenges the governing party, with the goal of improving legislation and forming the government in the next election. The opposition party with the most seats is called the Official Opposition or His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. This title emphasizes that the party remains loyal to the Crown even as they oppose the governing party. The leader of the opposition party with the most seats is called the leader of the Opposition.