Canada Key Dates

c 19,000 BC    First humans arrive in Canada from across the Bering Straits land bridge.
c 13,000 BC    More settlers arrive in Canada from Europe via the northern ice sheet.
c 1000 AD    Vikings from Greenland explore Newfoundland and establish a short-lived colony.
1481    British fishermen known to be fishing off Newfoundland.
1497    British-based navigator John Cabot explores and names Newfoundland.
1534    French explorers discover the Gulf of St Lawrence and claim it for France.
1583    Newfoundland becomes England’s first overseas colony.
1600    Native Indian and Inuit population numbers about 200,000.
1605    First permament settlement founded by the French at Port Royal. Colonised territories in eastern Canada soon named Arcadia.
1608    Quebec City founded.
1610    Hudson Bay discovered.
1627    Company of New France founded to exploit French colonies in North America.
1663    French government takes direct control of French colonies in Canada.
1670    Hudson Bay Company founded in England to promote colonisation and trade in Canada.
11 April 1713    Peace of Utrecht sees Britain acquire most of Arcadia, Newfoundland and the territory around Hudson Bay.
1755    French Arcadians in Nova Scotia deported for refusing a oath of loyalty to the king.
1756    Start of global Seven Years War between Britain and France. Each side recruited Native Indian troops as local allies in the French and Indian War.
1759    Quebec seized by British forces. Montreal captured the following year.
10 Feb 1763    Treaty of Paris ends Seven Years War and sees all French territory in Canada passed to Britain. New France becomes Quebec.
22 June 1774    Quebec Act establishes permament government in Canada and grants legal and religous concessions to French speakers.
1775    Canada remains loyal during American War of Independence.
1776-1783    40,000 United Empire Loyalists emigrate from USA to Canada.
1812    War of 1812 between Britain and USA. Several invasions of Canada repulsed.
20 Oct 1818    Convention of 1818 establishes the 49th parallel as USA-Canada border west of the Great Lakes.
1841    Upper and Lower Canada united as United Province of Canada.
1846-1850    Economic depression hits Canada.
1854    First US-Canada trade treaty agreed.
1 July 1867    Canadian provinces united as self-governing Dominion of Canada.
1885    Canadian Pacific Railway completed – linking east and west coasts.
1890    European immigrants begin arriving in large numbers.
1897    Klondike gold rush begins in Yukon Territory.
August 1914    Canada joins First World War on the side of Britain and France.
11 December 1931    Canada becomes a sovereign state within the British Commonwealth.
September 1939    Canada joins World War Two on the side of the Allies.
4 April 1949    Canada becomes a founder member of NATO.
1950    Canadian forces support the United Nations in the Korean War.
1965    Maple Leaf flag adopted as the national flag.
June 1980    Quebec votes against separatism.
17 April 1982    UK transfers final legal powers relating to Canada. New constitution adopted.
1 January 1989    Free Trade Agreement with USA comes into effect.
1991    Canada participates on First Gulf War.
1994    North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) comes into effect.
1995    Further referendum in Quebec rejects independence by only 1%.
January 2002    Canada becomes third-largest contributor to forces for invasion of Afghanistan.
March 2003    Canada chooses not to join USA in Second Gulf War.

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