Timeline: English-speaking Quebec

by Heather Darch

In the 17th century…

Abraham Martin dit l'Écossais (known as the Scotsman), fisherman and pilot, arrives and lives on the Plains of Abraham (named for him). His wife, Marguerite Langlois (l'Anglais), was born in France but has Scottish heritage.

The Kirke brothers capture Quebec for England and hold it until 1632.

1650s to 1690s
Thousands of Irish flee to France and come from there to New France while in military service.

1675 to 1687
Thousands of New Englanders are forced to move to Quebec by the First Nations, and many stay (455 have been identified). English-speaking captives are purchased by merchants, officers, farmers and the Church. Some marry each other or Canadiens, convert to Catholicism to obtain freedoms, and change their names to fit into the population.

In the early to mid 18th century…

The English-speaking population includes prisoners from the 13 Colonies during the Seven Years’ War, deserters from the British Army, and African-American slaves from the 13 Colonies. Catholic convents shelter English-speaking girls captured in raids by First Nations.

African-American slaves are among the first English speakers in Quebec; the Jesuits own slaves.

Irish refugee Charles McCarthy is captain of the port of Quebec.

A canoe filled with Irish refugees arrives at Quebec.

In the 1750s and 60s…

Scots are garrisoned in New France for both British and French armies.

Conquest - the fall of Quebec. The keys of Quebec City are handed over by a Scot named Ramsay (Ramezay), General Montcalm's lieutenant, to another Scot, James Murray, General Wolf's second-in-command. Quebec is a garrison town with a large population of English-speaking soldiers. Independent British merchants follow the camps of the British army to provide supplies. About 100 merchants stay in Quebec City during the winter of 1759-1760, and others arrive with additional troops.

Scottish aristocrat James Murray is the first British governor of Quebec.

The Labrador Company under Adam Lymburner becomes the exclusive owner of fishing and hunting rights of the North Shore.

Esther Wheelwright is elected mother superior of the Ursulines, Mère Esther-Marie Joseph de l’Enfant-Jésus.

Some Iroquois retain previously established alliances with the British Crown, and once New France becomes British North America, the Mohawk primarily use English as their secondary language. (OBJECT 2)

Samuel (Schmuel) Jacobs is the first Jewish man to legally settle in Quebec. He later moves to St. Denis and operates a chain of stores until 1786.

On April 27, Scottish-born Captain John Nairne and Malcolm Fraser of the 78th Regiment of Foot (Fraser’s Highlanders) receive title deeds of the LaMalbaie seigneury (Charlevoix region of Murray’s Bay). They bring the Warren, Harvey MacLean and Blackburn families, who quickly assimilate into French-speaking families.

The Customs Office is established at Quebec – one of the earliest British civic institutions.

The Proclamation Act: a British system of laws, government and property is proclaimed to encourage British subjects to colonize. Officials hope for settlers from the Colonies. While farmers fail to move here, merchants and traders do come to Quebec. From1760 to the late 1770s about 100 Protestant English-speaking males come, and the majority are merchants.

Hugh Finlay of Scotland arrives and becomes Postmaster of Quebec.

Frances Moore Brooke of Sillery publishes the first novel written in North America, The History of Emily Montague.

Scot William Brown and Thomas Gilmore establish the bilingual Quebec Gazette – the first newspaper in North America. (OBJECT 4)

The census records 124 Protestant housekeepers.

James Cuthbert of Scotland purchases the seigneury of Berthier and encourages British colonists to settle.

Charles Robin establishes a fishery at Paspébiac, Chaleur Bay on the Gaspé Peninsula. (OBJECT 7)

Irish-born Sir Guy Carleton is the second British governor of Quebec.

John Franks becomes Inspector of Chimneys, the first public appointment of a Jewish man in the British Empire.

John Fraser establishes a school in Quebec City (later named the Quebec High School).

In the 1770s…

The Quebec Act ensures the government and criminal law follow the British system.

Montreal and Trois Rivières capitulate to American forces. Quebec is under siege but does not fall. Prisoners are forced to join the Fraser Highlanders, now known as the Royal Highland Emigrants.

A plan to encourage soldiers to stay and become farmers is not very successful. Soldiers marry French-speaking women and merge into society.

Fraser Highlanders settle along both shores of St. Lawrence from Murray Bay (La Malbaie) to Fraserville (Rivière du Loup).

Originally centred round the mouth of the river of the same name, the Rivière-du-Loup seigneury belonged to Charles Aubert de la Chesnaye, a leading merchant in New France. It is acquired by Quebec’s first British governor, James Murray, and subsequently sold to Alexander Fraser, son of a Scottish infantry officer who fought on the Plains of Abraham, and his French-Canadian wife, Marie Allaire.

Under Alexander Fraser’s seigneurship, the settlement gains its first woollen mills and sawmill in 1818. In partnership with Quebec City entrepreneurs Henry and John Caldwell, Fraser begins cutting the immense spruce forests of the Temiscouata Valley on which the city’s lumber, pulp and paper industries are based.

English-speaking merchants desire to send raw materials to Britain – fur, fish, grain and timber. Important merchant names appear in the records – Molson, MacTavish, McGill, Finlay, Frobisher, Solomon and Levy.

British businessmen – The Fur Barons - take over the fur trade, building on the French-Canadian infrastructure of the Montreal voyageurs and their Aboriginal allies. With the founding of the North West Company and the XY Company, the fur trade reaches its peak, making huge fortunes for men like Simon MacTavish, Joseph and Benjamin Frobisher, Isaac Todd, James McGill and John Ogilvie. (OBJECT 3)

In the 1780s…

Loyalists migrate from northern colonies of Vermont, New York, New Hampshire and Maine during and at the close of the American Revolutionary War. (OBJECT 5)

Brothers William, John & Patrick Beatson establish shipyards in Quebec.

Sir John Johnson becomes Superintendent General and Inspector General of the Six Nations and helps to settle Loyalists in Quebec. (OBJECT 13)

British officer Gabriel Christie acquires five seigneuries in Richelieu Valley, and establishes Chambly Mills and the Richelieu Valley.

The Gaspé Peninsula becomes a destination point for Loyalists. Douglastown (1783) and New Carlisle are settled by Loyalists.

Scottish merchant George McBeath opens a trading post at L’Assomption.

Jerseymen settle in the region of Blanc Sablon.

Founding of the Beaver Club in Montreal by veterans of the fur trade and leaders of the North West Company (OBJECT 3)

John Molson establishes his brewery in Montreal. (OBJECT 71)

520 Highlanders arrive in Quebec with their priest Alexander Macdonell.

James Cuthbert of Berthier builds a Presbyterian Church for his Scottish born settlers.

Mid 1780s
The majority of English speakers live west of the Ottawa River, where the Loyalists are encouraged to go with promises of provisions and land.

Some Loyalists bring their Black slaves across the border and settle at Missisquoi Bay

In the 1790s…

The Constitutional Act divides Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada. The majority of English speakers are now located in Upper Canada, leaving fewer than 10,000 English speakers in Lower Canada.

A parliamentary system is in place in both Canadas.

A Royal proclamation divides the land into Townships, where the British system of landholding is established. The Leader & Associate System grants part of each township to a wealthy “leader” who is joined by associates.

On the cusp of 1800…

1791 to 1812
Americans come in larger numbers as land restrictions are lifted and a more British system of land holding, politics and law is established. The English-speaking population grows to 30,000 because of American migration.

American immigration changes the English-speaking population from being urban, mercantile, British and Church of England to more diverse rural, agricultural, American, and Methodist.

The government recognizes and supports the Church of England with promises to erect a church and rectory in every township and provide funds to support the clergy.

Jacob Mountain is Lord Bishop of Anglican See of Quebec.

Establishment of Methodism primarily in the Eastern Townships and the Ottawa Valley, areas settled by Americans.

London merchant John Shoolbred settles on the Shoolbred seigneury, Baie des Chaleurs.

Mary Anne Vane is shipwrecked at Belles Amour. She subsequently marries Louis Chevalier of St. Paul’s River. Their three children are the ancestors of the Chevalier, Jones and Robertson lineage on the Lower North Shore.

British reinforcements begin to build up in Quebec City.

A Baptist Church is established at Abbott’s Corner (Frelighsburg).

A statue of General Wolfe is commissioned by George Hips and carved by the Chaulette brothers. (It is now in the Morrin Centre in Quebec City.) (OBJECT 6)

Philemon Wright settles near Chaudière Falls and brings the first timber raft from Ottawa Valley to Quebec. (OBJECT 25)

Sister Mary Louisa McLoughlin (granddaughter of Malcolm Fraser of Murray Bay) teaches English classes at the Ursulines’ school.

Most counterfeit paper money and coins are produced in the Eastern Townships, specifically in Stanstead and in Dunham.

About this time, the first rope maker in Quebec is Evan Rees of Bristol England. His factory is in St. Sauveur.

The Royal Institution Schools (Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning) are opened.

The first Jewish synagogue is established in Quebec City.

Trinity House (Quebec Port Authority) is set up to control timber ships and boat traffic.

The London Coffee House (Inn) is established at Quebec City.

Ezekiel Hart, a Jewish man, is elected to the Legislative Assembly in a by-election in Trois-Rivières.

British forces build new fortifications in Quebec City.

American merchant Charles Davis emigrates to Quebec City and then settles at Gaspé Bay.

Ezekiel Hart is expelled from the legislature because of his Faith.

Quebec City Common Gaol is built between 1808-1812 and utilizes prison reform concepts of John Howard. (The Gaol is to later become the Morrin College and then the Morrin Centre.) (OBJECT 10)

John Molson launches the first Canadian steamship, the “Accommodation.”

The Church of Scotland (Presbyterians) has a major role in Quebec City – St. Andrew’s Church is built by John Bryson.

Scottish entrepreneur John Bell opens a large shipyard in Quebec.

Archibald McMillan is the first settler in Grenville, Argenteuil.

The Craig's Road is opened by James Henry Craig, Governor of Lower Canada (OBJECT 9)

The War of 1812 – 1814…

On June 18, 1812, the Americans declare war on Great Britain.

British soldiers again temporarily enlarge the English-speaking population.

Immigration from the United States is halted, but trade and smuggling continue.

Battles rage in the border areas of the Eastern Townships, Lacolle and Chambly (Montérégie).

The Battle of Lake Champlain is fought September, 1814. The Treaty of Ghent is signed in December, 1814 and ends the war.

From 1815 to the 1850s, new waves of immigrants arrive, new industries arise…

Between 1815 and 1865, tens of thousands of African-Americans seek refuge in Upper and Lower Canada via the legendary Underground Railroad.

English-speaking settlers come to the Lower Gatineau in the early 1800s by way of Wrightstown, the future city of Hull. Wrightstown is a chief source of squared logs for Britain’s shipyards.

The first settler in the Rawdon area is Philemon Dugas from Boston. Waves of Irish, Scottish and English settlers follow in the 1820s and 1830s

The Royal Grammar School is established in Quebec. Between then and the 1830s, a large number of privately run English-speaking schools are established.

John Molson establishes the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company in Montreal.

The Bank of Montreal is established. (OBJECT 78)

Shipbuilder John Goudie builds a deep-water wharf built at Quebec City.

Safe oceans again lead to new interest in coming to Canada, plus the soldiers who were left here after the War of 1812 are looking for land. Dire circumstances in the British Isles also contribute to immigration: Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics face crop failures; crofters are chased from their lands in the Highland Clearances in Scotland; the rise of industrialization creates dispossessed workers in England.

Scottish immigrants move into Elgin Township in the Chateauguay Valley.

John McNider buys the Metis seigneury on the Lower St. Lawrence and has a schooner built, the Rebecca, which he plies between Quebec and his new estate. Aboard her, 40 pioneer families sail to their new country, earning the vessel the nickname, “Mayflower of Metis.” Most hail from Scotland’s Thrane County, McNider’s birthplace.

John Goudie builds the first steam-powered saw mill at the St. Roch shipyard in Quebec City.

John Woolsey opens the Quebec Bank to serve the timber merchants/trade.

The Quebec Stock Exchange is established.

A branch of the Bank of Montreal opens in Quebec City.

23,000 Irish and Scottish immigrants come this year alone; their numbers swell to 109,000+.

1,000 Irish people attend the first St. Patrick’s Day Mass in Quebec City.

Quebec’s Emigrant’s Society is founded.

A Methodist Chapel is established in Philipsburg (St. Armand) and becomes a stop on the Underground Railroad. (Note: It now operates under the Bedford Pastoral Charge and is only opened for special services.)

The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, an Anglican institution, opens a National School for poor children in Quebec City.

The Montreal General Hospital is established through funding from wealthy Montrealers like John Molson.

Irish immigrants settle in the Laurentians, from Rawdon to Grenville, and in Carillon at the North and Ottawa Rivers. The first Irish farming settlement is at St. Columban.

The first labourer strike is waged by English-speaking hatters in Quebec City.

Hudson's Bay Company merges with the Montreal-based North West Company. Merchants from Quebec and Halifax start trading with the residents of the Lower North Shore. Navigation companies such as Clarke Steamships follow in their wake.

Kennely Conor Chandler acquires the seigneury of Nicolet and builds the St. Barthelemy Anglican Church.

McGill University receives a Royal Charter and begins teaching medicine in 1829. (OBJECT 11)

William Price Lumber Company is founded in the Saguenay (OBJECT 43)

The Committee of Trade, the forerunner of the Board of Trade, is set up to promote English merchants' interests.

John Holmes is ordained as a Roman Catholic priest, and serves in the Eastern Townships. In 1827, he will become a professor at the Séminaire de Québec.

The Literary and Historical Society is founded in Quebec City.

English-speaking Theatre Royal is started in Montreal (Molson financed).

The Lachine Canal is completed, primarily built by Irish workers. The opening of the Canal and the development of the Montreal port in the 1830s will boost industrialization. (OBJECT 12)

Alison Davie and George Taylor open a shipyard at the Quebec City port (the Davie Shipyard will become the oldest continually operating shipyard in North America).

Peter McLeod Sr. is a lumber contractor in the Charlevoix region.

The Argenteuil Agricultural Society is begun. (OBJECT 41)

Montreal Natural History Society is founded. (OBJECT 23)

The repeal of the Passenger Vessels Act makes it easier to leave Britain. Waves of Irish, Scottish and English settlers come to Quebec.

The Montreal Mechanics’ Institute is founded (to become the Atwater Library and Computer Centre). (OBJECT 50)

Allan Gilmour & Co. establishes timber and shipbuilding yards at Wolfe’s Cove.

Irish people make up one-fifth of the population in Quebec.

In Quebec City, the Presbyterian Church opens St. Andrew's School, (later known as Kirk Hall), for all denominations.

1820s to 1840s
Berthierville is a gateway for British immigrants heading for the Laurentian foothills.

The 1830s
As the forests are depleted, leading wood merchants, including Philemon Wright, George Hamilton, C.A. Low, Thomas McGoey and the Gilmours, look to the Gatineau hills.

The Port of Montreal is officially opened under the Harbour Commission. Its president is John Young.

The Tandem Club is founded in Quebec, and members make excursions with sleighs and dinner parties.

The first railway company is established by John Molson, Jason Pierce and Peter McGill. (OBJECT 39)

English-speaking Irish Catholics establish St. Patrick’s Church, Quebec City, with Patrick McMahon as its first priest.

St. Paul’s Mariner’s Chapel is built for sailors and shipyard workers in Quebec City.

Jewish citizens are emancipated.

At George Black’s shipyards, James Goudie builds the Royal William – the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.

The British Parliament abolishes slavery throughout the British colonies by an Imperial Act, which is to become effective August 1st, 1834. The act formally frees nearly 800,000 people, but probably fewer than 50 slaves exist in British North America by that time.

The naturalist/artist John James Audubon sails along the Lower North Shore and the Coast of Labrador in the schooner Ripley, and records his observations of flora and fauna as well as his visits with the local inhabitants such as Samuel Robertson at Sparr Point (near La Tabatière).

The St. Patrick’s Society for English-speaking Protestants and Roman Catholics is established in Montreal.

The Champlain and St. Lawrence Railway opens between St. Jean and Laprairie.

The Patriot Rebellion of 1837 dominates Quebec politics and society.

Scottish millwright and stonemason William Fairbairn builds Wakefield’s first grist mill beside the waterfalls on the Lapêche River. (OBJECT 51)

The Battle of Lacolle is fought on November 7. The Battle of Odelltown on November 9 marks the end of the 1838 Rebellion. (OBJECT 14)

Scottish families settle around Lake Megantic.

1830s to 1840s
Cholera epidemics in the 1830s affect both sides of the Atlantic, and Grosse-Île is established as a quarantine station to inspect all ships coming to Quebec.

The Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s motivates the largest influx of English speakers to Quebec; 60% are Irish.

Wealthy elite vacation homes are located in the Charlevoix region, between Baie St. Paul and the Saguenay.

The Union Act forms Canada East (Lower Canada) and Canada West (Upper Canada) with English as the official language of both Canadas.

The Rev. Edward Cusack, Anglican Missionary at Gaspé, travels the Lower North Shore and as far as East St. Modeste, Labrador, to minister to whalers and their families.

The School Act establishes a single educational system, with common schools open to all students. It also allows minority groups to establish their own schools. This becomes the basis for the formation of Catholic and Protestant schools.

Fort Ingall is one of four posts the British Army builds in eastern Quebec and northern New Brunswick to guard the timber trade against American claims. Troops are stationed at Fort Ingall for three years until the border dispute between Maine and New Brunswick is resolved by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842.

Timber contractor Peter McLeod Jr. founds Chicoutimi.

In the Lachine Canal labour strike, 1300 workers - nearly all Irish - go on strike to protest low wages.

Panagiotis Nonis and Theodore Lekkas, the first Greek immigrants, settle in Montreal.

Edward Hale starts the Sherbrooke Cotton Factory.

The Beauport Lunatic Asylum is established by James Douglas.

The Grosse-Île quarantine station is opened to keep disease out of the major ports of Quebec and Montreal. Approximately 25,000 people perish here. (OBJECT 47)

This is the “Black 47” year: 90,000 Irish immigrants disembark at Quebec. Hundreds of immigrant Irish children are orphaned, and adopted by French families.

The first mass is celebrated at St. Patrick’s Church, Montreal.

The Mount Hermon Cemetery is founded in Quebec.

The Parliament buildings in Montreal are burned by English speakers. They are expressing outrage at the Rebellion Losses Bill that gives land and compensation back to known Patriots who have claimed damages.

40% of the Quebec City population and the majority of the Montreal and Eastern Townships population are English-speaking. After 1850, the influx of English speakers to Quebec will steadily decline.

The Beth Israel congregation is established in Quebec City. (OBJECT 19)

Wealthy Anglophone Montrealers begin to build grand houses for themselves on the slopes of Mount Royal, forging a neighbourhood that will later be known as the “Square Mile” and even the “Golden Square Mile.”(OBJECT 28)

1850s and 1860s
The industrial revolution comes to Montreal, Quebec City and the Eastern Townships.

Markets for wheat, lumber and potash continue to grow until the 1860s, with preferential tariffs in Great Britain favouring Canadian imports. When England revokes the tariffs, Canadian exporters look increasingly to the United States to sell their goods. A new dynamic primarily English-speaking business elite develops a more diversified economy based on importing and exporting, manufacturing and retailing. But the economy also includes enterprising French Canadians such as Agustin Cantin, with his high-tech shipyard and dry-dock.

Mary Keogh and Marie Fitzbach open the Magdalen Asylum for women in Quebec City.

The first YMCA in North America is founded in Montreal.

The St. Patrick’s Literary Institute is founded in Quebec City.

McGill University’s new charter marks it as a modern university. (OBJECT 11)

Protestants establish the Mount Royal Cemetery.

Wealthy English-speaking merchants start the Molson Bank.

In the Gavazzi Riot in Quebec City, Anglophone Roman Catholics and Protestants come to blows about ex-priest Alessandro Gavazzi slurs.

Nôtre Dame des Neiges Cemetery is founded in 1854. Mrs. Jane Gilroy-McCready, wife of Thomas McCready, then a Montreal municipal councillor, is the first person to be buried in the new cemetery.

The Irish Protestant Benevolent Society is established by Protestant Irish to help their own community.

English speakers hold the majority of power in the pre-Confederation economy, and most are Scottish or English. The British elite and the rising middle class are the English-speaking population.

William Notman (1826-1891), an enterprising Scot, arrives in Montreal. He will soon establish a thriving photography business that his sons will run until 1935. (OBJECT 30)

The Quebec Ship Labourers’ Benevolent Society is founded – the first union in Canada.

The Irish population swells the ranks of the factory workers.

The working class region of Griffintown grows in Montreal.

Howick in the Chateauguay Valley has a large population of English speakers.

The Ladies’ Protestant Home and the Irish Benevolent Society are founded in Quebec City. (OBJECT 22)

In Sherbrooke, the Eastern Townships Bank is established in 1859 to cater to the needs and interests of businessmen outside Montreal and Quebec City.

A rising number of skilled and menial labourers are brought to Quebec by English-speaking elite.

English-speaking labourers are concentrated in shipbuilding, iron works and steel works.

1860 – 1899, Industrial Development

The 1860s
Manufacturing giants emerge, with operations based in Montreal: Ogilvie's Flour Mill, Molson's Brewery, the Eagle Foundry, the Macdonald Tobacco Factory, and the Diamond Glass Company.

The first Italian families begin to settle in Montreal. A total of 50 families are living there by the end of the decade.

The development of railways coincides with the rise in numbers of English-speaking Black people looking for work on the railroads. Their population and communities grow.

The decline of the timber trade and shipbuilding industry in Quebec City begins the rapid decline in the numbers of English speakers in that city. Over the course of the 1860s numbers declined from 39% to 29%.

The Victoria Bridge opens. Its construction is carried out primarily by Irish labourers. They erect a monument to the victims of the “ship fever” (typhus) epidemics of 1847 at the entrance to the Montreal side of the bridge. It will still be standing in 2013.

The Merchant's Bank is established by wealthy English-speaking merchants.

On the Gaspé peninsula, English-speaking fishermen comprise one-quarter of the population, but they are scattered along the coastline.

Charles Robin & Company is a commercial house of Jersey merchants, which monopolizes the Gaspesian trade. (OBJECT 46)

The Quebec Ship Labourers Benevolent Society is begun. It assists widows and families of the men who die in the many shipbuilding accidents.

The Protestant Home of Industry is started to help poor workers in Montreal.

The Young Men’s Hebrew Benevolent Society of Montreal is founded.

Protestants found the Association for the Promotion and Protection of the Educational Interests of Protestants in Lower Canada.

E.E. Hill opens the province’s first large-scale cheese factory in Dunham.

George Austin discovers iron deposits on the Gatineau River. In 1872, Edward Haycock will establish a mine there, near Hull.

The Presbyterian College is founded in Montreal.

Ship builders go on strike and paralyse the timber trade.

The first Fenian Raid crosses into Lower Canada at St. Armand-Frelighsburg.

Confederation: The British North America Act proclaims the Dominion of Canada.

St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Montreal, is established. (OBJECT 29)

Morrin College is started, permitting Presbyterian men and women to obtain university degrees in Quebec.

Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Member of Parliament for Montreal West, is assassinated in Ottawa, probably by Fenian Patrick Whelan – he is hanged for the assassination.

The MacKay Institute for the Protestant Deaf Mutes and the Blind is established in Montreal.

Home Children immigration begins from Britain, sent by charitable agencies such as Barnardo’ Homes. This practice is to last until the 1940s, and brings 100,000+ children to Quebec. (OBJECT 48)

A second Fenian Raid at Frelighsburg ends in defeat for the Fenians, and victory for the Missisquoi Home Guard at Eccles Hill. The Fenians also cross into Huntingdon, where they are defeated.

An influx of Newfoundlanders into Quebec, seeking better fishing grounds, leads to a growth in population and the settlement of Kegaska, Harrington Harbour, Tête-à-la-Baleine, Mutton Bay, La Tabatière, St. Augustine, Old Fort Bay, St. Paul’s River, Middle Bay, Bradore and Blanc Sablon.

English-speaking child labour is common: In the Ste-Anne Ward near Montreal’s Lachine Canal, 94% of Irish families have at least one child working in the labour force.

Irish women swell the ranks of the domestic labour force, as being English-speaking is considered an advantage by the wealthier families.

Irishmen of the Ottawa Valley lumber camps earn very little, but are the majority of workers in this region. Pontiac County is inhabited almost entirely by Irish.

William Whiteley invents the cod trap, an innovation that will revolutionize the Gaspé fishing industry for years to come.

This year, 3,000 Anglophones leave Quebec City when the military regiments leave.

Eastern Townships farmers form the largest occupational grouping of English speakers. (OBJECT 33)

The Ayers Woollen Mill, built by Thomas Ayers and Félix Hamelin in 1879, figure centrally in Lachute’s development. Hundreds of workers live in a nearby community called Ayersville.

There are 429 Protestant churches in Quebec. They comprise 41% of all churches in Quebec, even though Protestants account for 14% of the population.

The Quebec Golf Club is started.

Thetford Mines is established after the discovery of large asbestos deposits. It becomes the centre of an asbestos-producing region. (OBJECT 35)

McGill students Henry Joseph, Richard Smith, W.F. Robertson and W.L. Murray codify seven rules of hockey. The first hockey club, the McGill University Hockey Club, is founded. (OBJECT 32)

The Sherbrooke Snow Shoe Club is established. (OBJECT 34)

The first long-distance telephone conversation in Quebec occurs. It is between Mr. Watson in Quebec City and Mr. Badger at Montreal Fire Alarm & Telegraph Co.

William Wakeham is inspector of Canadian fisheries in the St. Lawrence Gulf and Labrador. His name is given to nine geographical features in the Hudson Strait, the Saguenay, Quebec City region, and the Gaspé.

William Hyman & Sons, at Grande-Grave on the Gaspé peninsula, is a major merchant company in the production of dried cod.

Waves of Jewish immigration comes to Montreal throughout this decade from Eastern Europe – Romania, Austria, Poland and Russia.

The Eastern Townships Colonization Society is established to recruit British immigrants.

W.H. Jeffery opens the Jeffery Mine near Richmond in the Eastern Townships. It becomes the largest asbestos mine in the world for much of the 20th century.

The Phoenix Electrical Company introduces electricity to Sherbrooke.

The Canadian Pacific Railroad from Montreal to Vancouver is completed.

The Royal Victoria Hospital is established by Donald Smith and George Stephen.

The Old Brewery Mission is founded to help feed the working poor and destitute of Montreal.

The Megantic Outlaw Donald Morrison is captured by authorities in Marsden (Milan), Quebec. (OBJECT 38)

Dr. Maude Abbott and scientist Carrie Derrick are leading feminists and educators. (OBJECT 70)

The Montreal General Hospital nursing school is established.

A wave of immigrants from Southern China to Montreal use English as second language.

The Small Brothers Company in Dunham are maple syrup suppliers who own the patent for an evaporating pan that shortens boiling times.

Irish settlers in South Low, Outaouais, refuse to pay taxes, leading to the Battle of Brennan’s Hill.

T.B. Macaulay purchases Mount Victoria Farm. In the 1920s he establishes the legendary Holstein breeding domain that forever changes the dairy industry in Canada (OBJECT 67)

1900 to 1911, A New Wave of Immigration…

A new wave of immigration from Britain begins. Immigrants seek jobs in the metal trades and in the ever expanding shops of the Grand Trunk Railway and other companies such as Angus Shops of the CPR, Canadian Steel Foundries and Canadian Vickers shipyards. The demand is great for boilermakers, machinists and blacksmiths. Some companies brought almost their entire staff over from Britain.

In Quebec City, the Jeffery Hale Hospital opens a nursing school.

The Coloured Women’s Club is founded in Montreal.

The Montreal Ski Club is founded.

The Haskell Library & Opera House opens in Stanstead/Derby Line. (OBJECT 44)

The Manitou Ski Club is started in Ste-Agathe.

Maurice Pollack, a Russian Jewish immigrant, opens his famous clothing shop in Quebec City. This begins the rise of clothing manufacturing businesses in Quebec. Jewish immigrants flood the textile mills and clothing factories.

The Union Congregational Church in Montreal is founded by Black railway porters and their families. (OBJECT 54)

In the Quebec Bridge disaster, 33 Mohawks from Kahnawake are killed.

Iroquois, Huron and Ojibwa people take part in Quebec’s Tercentenary celebrations.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians raises a memorial Celtic cross at Grosse-Île.

A wave of immigration begins from eastern Europe, raising the number of Jewish settlers who forged ties with English speakers and adopted English as their second language.

Quebec City puts a tax on Jewish peddlers.

The Quebec Women’s Institute is founded in Dunham by Elizabeth Ann Beach. (OBJECT 95)

1912 – 1949: Two Wars, Diversified Immigration…

The Eastern Townships Bank merges with the Canadian Bank of Commerce but most of the branches of the ET Bank remained open. (Note: the Canadian Bank of Commerce has not yet merged with the Imperial Bank of Canada, so the name is not yet the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.)

The Montreal Pool Room opens for business. (OBJECT 98)

Reuben Brainin becomes editor of the Yiddish Newspaper, The Jewish Eagle.

The Laurentian Sanatorium opens its doors to tuberculosis patients. (OBJECT 69)

5,000 hectares are expropriated from 125 Irish farmers in Valcartier for a military training camp.

Valcartier is outfitted by William Price. He will later be knighted for his efforts.

English-speaking agents are sent to seek Francophones avoiding conscription.

Immigrant families from Germany, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Ukraine are interned at Spirit Lake in Abitibi, where they will stay until 1916.

The first telegraph service is set up on the Lower North Shore, as far east as Blanc Sablon. Charlotte Bobbitt-Jones (1870-1950) is the first telegraph operator in the Harrington Archipelago.

Canada automatically enters World War I when Britain declares war on Germany. English-speaking Quebec citizens volunteer.

Quebec is the foremost producer of shoes in Canada. William Marsh has the largest factory.

The YWCA opens the Douglas Hall gym and pool in Quebec City.

Under the War Measures Act, manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages is prohibited in Canada.

Elsie Meighen Reford inherits Estavan Lodge. It will later become known as Reford Gardens/Jardins de Métis. (OBJECT 57)

The Montreal Chinese Hospital is established.

Armistice is declared and soldiers return. War relics are brought back to Canada. (OBJECT 49)

Quebec referendum repeals prohibition. But some areas – Brome, Stanstead, Richmond, Pontiac, Compton, Dorchester and Huntingdon - refuse to sell liquor.

The Ukrainian Sheptycky Colony and Studite Monastery are established in the Abitibi region.

The Beaver Hall Group of women artists is started. (OBJECT 62)

After the Canadian Pacific Railway is completed and built in large part by Chinese immigrants, the Chinese Head Tax restricts immigration from China. (OBJECT 93)

Bruck Silk Mills is established in Cowansville by Isaac Bruck. (OBJECT 56)

Edmund Horne opens the Horne Copper Mine (later known as Noranda Mines) in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue. (OBJECT 59)

The Lower North Shore population of English origin receives its first teachers trained at the Bishop’s and McGill universities.

Dr. Norman Bethune begins tenure at Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital. (OBJECT 53)

The Anglo-Canadian Pulp & Paper Mill opens at Hedleyville.

Rufus Rockhead launches the famous Montreal jazz club, “Rockhead's Paradise.” (OBJECT 61)

Reuben Schwartz, a Romanian immigrant, opens Schwartz’s Deli on The Main in Montreal. (OBJECT 60)

The English-speaking population in the Gaspé declines as new French-speaking cooperatives emerge to reduce the power of Robin and Company, and as English youth depart from the region looking for work.

Immigrants from Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, and Russia settle in Rawdon, using English as their second language.

Maple Leaf Trail (a network of connected ski trails) created by Herman Smith Johannsen opens up the Laurentians as a ski and tourist destination. (OBJECT 64)

CHNC, the first private radio station in the Gaspé, broadcasts English voices out across the region. (OBJECT 66)

Dr. Wilder Penfield establishes the Montreal Neurological Institute. (OBJECT 68)

Dr. Maude Abbott publishes the Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease. (OBJECT 70)

Baie-Comeau is established by the Chicago press baron Robert R. McCormick. (OBJECT 72)

The University Women’s Club of Quebec is established to allow women to socialize in an academic context.

Canada enters World War II, and again English-speaking Quebec men and women join the effort.

The Montreal Light, Heat and Power Company is nationalized, creating the Quebec Hydroelectric Power Commission, or Hydro-Quebec. The Anglophone-controlled power monopolies end, as 27 electricity companies amalgamate to become Hydro-Quebec.

Quebec women vote in provincial elections for the first time. (OBJECT 79)

Hugh MacLennan publishes “Two Solitudes.” (OBJECT 77)

Post World War II immigrants from Europe – Italian, Swiss and Germans - use English as their second language. Chinese women are permitted to immigrate for the first time, and Chinese immigration grows.

The Quebec Radio Farm Forum is established in the Eastern Townships to educate rural people about farming advancements and issues.


The first television stations in Canada begin broadcasting in Montreal. Hockey is televised on October 11.

The Quebec Farmers’ Association is started.

Jewish Hungarian refugees are helped by the Quebec Chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women, Hebrew Ladies’ Aid and the Synagogue Sisterhood.

The English-speaking business and industrial elite maintain control during the Duplessis years as Premier Maurice Duplessis invites American capital and business to the province.

A new wave of immigration comes from Europe; Europeans choose English language and education.

Mordecai Richler publishes “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.” (OBJECT 81)

1960s and 1970s…

The "Quiet Revolution" begins in Quebec. This is a period in Quebec's history extending from 1960 to 1966 when many far-reaching social reforms and economic changes take place.

Expo 67 brings the world to Montreal. (OBJECT 84)

The first Lower North Shore school board is formed, and the Quebec Government makes it possible for North Shore students to complete their high school education off the Coast. This signals the start of out-migration by youth from the region.

The James Bay Cree people campaign against Hydro-Québec's Great Whale hydro-electric development.

The October Crisis: the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnaps two government officials. The War Measures Act is enacted.

The Black Theatre Workshop is established in Montreal. (OBJECT 94)

Leonard Cohen releases his first album, “Songs of Leonard Cohen.” (OBJECT 85)

The French Language Act (Bill 22) is enacted. It states that French is the official language of Quebec, and restricts access to school in English to children with sufficient knowledge of English.

The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement grants Cree and Inuit people of northern Quebec exclusive hunting and trapping rights over 889,650 square kilometres. They also receive $225 million in compensation.

The summer Olympic Games are held in Montreal.

The Parti Québécois is elected for the first time, with René Levesque as premier.

The Charter of the French language (Bill 101) becomes provincial law, defining French as the official language of Quebec and restricting the use of English (OBJECT 91).

Television service begins on the Lower North Shore.

A lands claim settlement with the Naskapi people of northeast Quebec is signed by the Quebec government.

CBC Radio opens a station in Quebec City.

The theatrical production “Balconville” by David Fennario is a turning point in English-speaking theatre in Quebec, and is performed at the Centaur Theatre for the first time. (OBJECT 86)

1980s, the years of English exodus…

An exodus of unilingual English-speaking workers and businessmen often but not exclusively unilingual has started with the economic boom of Toronto and the West. Now it accelerates. Over the next decade, more than 300,000 English-speaking Quebecers leave the province.

The first referendum is held on the independence of Quebec. Sovereignty-association is defeated. (OBJECT 87)

The Canadian Constitution is patriated without Quebec's consent.

Alliance Quebec, an Anglophone rights lobby group, forms.

The Quebec National Assembly recognizes 10 First Nations and the Inuit as distinct nations with their own language and governance.

Bill 142 gives Quebecers rights to limited health and social services in English.

The Meech Lake Accord is proposed.

Linguistic School boards become operative. (OBJECT 91)

1990s, the exodus gradually slows…

The Oka Crisis: The Kahnawake Mohawk and the Kanehsatake Mohawk Reserve at Oka dispute the expansion of a golf course into sacred Mohawk burial grounds.

The Meech Lake Accord is rejected.

The James Bay Cree hold their own referendum to determine if their territory should remain a part of Canada. Over 96% of the Cree vote in favour of retaining their relationship with Canada.

The second Quebec-wide referendum on sovereignty-association is narrowly defeated. (OBJECT 89)

The Quebec Community Groups Network is started.

A constitutional amendment provides for linguistic rather than confessional (Catholic and Protestant) school boards in Quebec. It will take effect the following year – Year One of the English Education system in Quebec. (OBJECT 91)

Grosse-Île becomes a National Historic Site.

2000+, Quebec English-speaking population numbers stabilize…

The Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network is started.

Fort St. Andrew’s is founded, with its historical garrison, the Fraser Highlanders.

An accurate replica of the Jeanie Johnston arrives in Quebec. The Jeanie Johnston was originally built in Quebec City in 1847, and sailed between Ireland and North America from 1847 to 1855.

Morrin College becomes Morrin Centre – a cultural interpretation centre for the Anglophone community in Quebec City.

The 2006 Canada Census identifies 994,723 persons who speak English as their first official language rather than French. This represents 13% of Quebec’s total population.

The 2011 Canada Census identifies 1,058,250 persons who speak English as their first official language rather than French. This represents 13.5% of Quebec’s total population.

References and To Learn More

Sheila McLeod Arnopoulos and Dominique Clift, The English Fact in Quebec, 1980.

Sarge Bampton, “The Home Children,” Townships Heritage Webmagazine, www.townshipsheritage.com

Jean Benoit, “Sir William Price,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

Black History Month, Library & Archives Canada http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/index-e.html

Louisa Blair, The Anglos: the Hidden Face of Quebec City 1608-1850, vol. I, and The Anglos: the Hidden Face of Quebec City Since 1850, vol. II, 2005.

Joseph Bouchette, “A topographical dictionary of the province of Lower Canada,” 1832. www.archive.org

Wallace Brown and Hereward Senior, Victorious in Defeat: The Loyalists in Canada, 1984.

Gary Caldwell and Eric Waddell eds. The English of Quebec: From Majority to Minority Status, 1981.

Adrienne Clarkson, Extraordinary Canadians: Norman Bethune, 2009.

John Irwin Cooper, “James McGill,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.

Mrs. C.M. Day, The History of the Eastern Townships, Civil and Descriptive, 1869.

Merrill Denison, Canada’s First Bank: A History of the Bank of Montreal, 1967.

Bernard Epps, The Outlaw of Megantic, 1973.

Matthew Farfan, The Vermont-Quebec Border: Life on the Line, 2009.

Stanley Brice Frost, James McGill of Montreal, 1995.

Donald Fyson, "Glimpses of Quebec City's Common Gaol, 1808-1867", Society Pages: The Magazine of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec 32(2011): 5-7.

Gerald L. Gall, Meech Lake Accord, www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com

Grand Trunk Railway, www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/confederation

Grosse-Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site, www.pc.gc.ca

Hudson Bay Company Heritage, http://www.hbcheritage.ca/hbcheritage/home

Lachine Canal - National Historic Site : The Course of History; Parks Canada, www.pc.gc.ca

Library and Archives Canada. “Chinese Immigrants in Quebec Between 1910 – 1923.” Collectionscanada.gc.ca/chinese-canadians/021022-3000-e.html 2013.

J.I. Little, Loyalties in Conflict: A Canadian Borderland in War and Rebellion 1812-1840, 2008.

Rod MacLeod, “Lessons from Expo: Living it up in '67 revived Montreal Streets,” Quebec Heritage News, July-August 2007.

Rod MacLeod and Mary Anne Poutanen, A Meeting of the People: School Boards and Protestant Communities in Quebec, 1801-1998, 2004.

Barbara Meadowcroft, Painting Friends: The Beaver Hall Women Painters, 1999.

October Crisis: www.cbc.ca/octobercrisis

Kevin O'Donnell, “The Man Behind the Milk: Life and Times of Sun Life Tycoon,” Quebec Heritage News, 2007.

Marianna O’Gallagher & Rose Masson Dompierre, Eyewitness, Grosse-Île 1847, 1995.

Fernand Ouellet, “Benjamin Frobisher,” “Joseph Frobisher,” “Simon McTavish.” Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.

Fernand Ouellet, Social and Economic History of Quebec, 1981.

Francois Remillard and Brian Merrett, Mansions of the Golden Square Mile, Montreal, 1850-1930, 1987.

Ira Robinson, “No Litvaks Need Apply”: Judaism in Quebec City, Concordia University,www.cjs.concordia.ca/...papers...jewish.../Workingpapers3IraRobinson.pdf

Ronald Rudin, The Forgotten Quebecers 1759-1980, 1985.

Elinor Kyte Senior, The Rebellions in Lower Canada 1837-1838, 1985.

Cecil Woodham Smith, The Great Hunger: Ireland: 1845-1849, 1992.

C.P. Stacey, Quebec 1759: The Siege and the Battle. Rev. ed. Montreal, 2007.

Garth Stevenson, Community Besieged: The Anglophone Minority and the Politics of Quebec, Montreal, 1999.

Harry Swain, Oka: A Political Crisis and Its Legacy, 2010.

Cyrus Thomas, Contributions to the History of the Eastern Townships: A Work Containing an Account of the Early Settlement of St. Armand, Dunham, Sutton, Brome, Potton and Bolton, 1866.

Earle Thomas, “Sir John Johnson,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

Bruce Trigger, Natives and Newcomers: Canada's Heroic Age Reconsidered, 1985.

Stanley Triggs, “William Notman,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

Len Warshaw, “Party Palace Vision: The pros and cons of blowing it all on Man and His World,” Quebec Heritage News, July-August 2007.

Julie Wheelwright, The remarkable true story of Esther Wheelwright, 2011.

Dorothy Williams, The Road to Now: A History of Blacks in Montreal, 1998.