Canada Company

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Canada Company
Former type Land Settlement
Industry Resettlement from Britain and Europe to Upper Canada
Fate Dissolved
Founded 6th Geo IV, c.75
Founders John Galt
Defunct 1953
Headquarters England: No. 13, St. Helen's Place, Bishopsgate Street, London., Guelph, Upper Canada
Number of locations Huron Tract, Queen's Bush, Clergy Reserves
Area served Upper Canada
Key people John Galt, William Dunlop, Thomas Mercer Jones, William Allan, Daniel Lizars
Services Land, roads, mills
Total equity 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) of land

The Canada Company was a large private chartered British land development company, incorporated by an act of British parliament, 6th Geo IV, c. 75,[1] on July 27, 1825, to aid the colonization of Upper Canada. Royal Charter was issued in August 1826 to purchase and develop lands. Canada Company purchased the Crown Reserve of 1,384,413 acres and a special grant of 1,100,000 acres in the Huron County area. [2]


Canada Company Office 1834

Canada Company assisted emigrants by providing good ships, low fares, implements and tools, and inexpensive land. Scottish novelist John Galt was the company's first Canadian superintendent. The government of Upper Canada sold the company 10,000 km² of land for 341 000 pounds. Slightly less than half of the land that was purchased comprised what would become the Huron Tract,located on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, the remainder, located in other areas of Upper Canada, became Clergy reserves under the control of the Clergy Corporation. Galt selected Guelph, Ontario as the company's headquarters. The company surveyed and subdivided this massive area, built roads, mills, and schools and advertised it to buyers in Europe. The company then assisted in the migration of new settlers, bringing them to the area by means of a boat, which the company also owned, on Lake Ontario.

The company's mismanagement and corruption, and its close alliance with the Tory elites, known as the Family Compact was an important contributing factor to the Upper Canada Rebellion in 1837.The company was dissolved on December 18, 1953.

Company Structure[edit]

John Galt. One of the founders and Secretary of the Canada Company.

The formal structure of the Canada Company was put into place August 24, 1826 by the company Court of Directors. John Galt, as secretary, had the first order of business. Tabling an abstract of the charter, Galt declared the name to be “The Canada Company” with directors and secretary as served on the Provisional Committee and listed in the charter.[3]

Board of Directors – August 19, 1826[edit]

In the mid-19th century, a company board of directors was controlled by the shareholders. The general meeting of the shareholders was considered to be the primary authority.[4] Canada Company shareholders holding 24 shares were eligible to become directors.[3]


The chairman is the leader of the board of directors. The chairman conducts company business in an orderly fashion.[5] The chairman's duties often include representing the company to the outside world as its spokesperson.


Auditors were under contract with the Canada Company to verify their books for compliance with rules of the day and report the results to the Board of Directors. The Canada Company was to distribute the results to other interested parties.[6]


The company secretary performs a variety of tasks crucial to the smooth daily operations of the company. Beyond the day-to-day operations, the secretary maintains the register of directors and secretary, issues share certificates and records transfers of shares and arranges for charges to be registered and recorded.[7]


The Canada Company solicitors mediated the rights and duties among shareholders, creditors and directors.


Conditions of Directorships[edit]

At the first meeting of the board, it was declared that four directors would rotate off the Company beginning in 1829.

Canada Company personnel[edit]

Company Directors[edit]

  • John Galt • (1824–1829) • Founder (1824–26), secretary (1824–1832), and first superindentent (1827–1829).[8]
  • William Allan • (1829–1841) • Commissioner of the Canada Company. Appointed to replace John Galt.

People influential in Canada Company affairs[edit]

  • Richard Alexander Tucker.
In 1841 Richard Tucker was Provincial Secretary of Upper Canada and had considerable influence over decisions made concerning the Company in its early years.
In 1818 Sir Pegegrine Maitland was appointed lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada. He became associated with the Family Compact. His authoritarian leadership style was one of the causes of the Rebellion of 1837.
Alexander Macdonell was a Roman Catholic Scotsman who accepted the government promise of 200 acres (0.81 km2) in Upper Canada to every soldier who emigrated. He had been the chaplain of a Catholic Scottish Glengarry regiment. Macdonell was a conservative legislative councillor from 1831 leading the mainly Irish settlers against the Reform movement and Mackenzie.
An executive councillor in 1817 and legislative councillor in 1820 in the government of Upper Canada, Bishop Strachan sought special status for the Anglican church.

Dissolution of the Canada Company[edit]

By 1938, the Canada Company held just over 20,000 acres (81 km2) acres of unsold land, while the company shares were valued at 10 shillings. It had become a land company in the process of liquidation.[3] The land remaining unsold would become an Ontario Provincial Park—Pinery Provincial Park. In 1951 the Pinery land and other remaining Company land parcels were sold.


  • Cameron, James (1967). The early days in Guelph: Guelph and the Canada Company. Guelph Ont.: self-published. 
  • Canada Company, London. Charter of incorporation: 19th August, 1826. London: Printed by Waterlow and Sons. 
  • Coleman, Thelma (1978). The Canada Company. Stratford Ont.: County of Perth ;Perth County Historical Board ;Cumming Publishers. ISBN 978-0-88988-029-0. 
  • Hall, Roger (1973). The Canada Company, 1826–1843. Cambridge Eng.: University of Cambridge. 
  • Karr, Clarence (1974). The Canada Land Company : the Early Years, an Experiment in Colonization 1823–1843. Toronto: Ontario Historical Society. 
  • Lee, Robert C. (2004). The Canada Company and the Huron Tract 1826–1853: Personalities, Profits and Politics. Toronto: Natural Heritage Books. 
  • Lizars, Robina (1972). In the days of the Canada company: the story of the settlement of the Huron tract and a view of the social life of the period. 1825–1850. Toronto: Reprinted: Coles. 
  • Timothy, H. B. (1984). The Galts, a Canadian odyssey. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-8457-9. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Text of Canada Company Statute, at
  2. ^ "Handbook of Upper Canadian Chronology: Revised Edition By Frederick H. Armstrong 1841 accessdate=28 July 2014". 
  3. ^ a b c Robert C. Lee, The Canada Company and the Huron Tract, 1826–1853. Toronto, Ont.: Natural Heritage, 2004. Appendix C pp. 226–233.
  4. ^ Gower, Principles of Company Law (6th ed.), citing Isle of Wight Railway v Tahourdin (1883) 25 Ch D 320.
  5. ^ Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th edition, Perseus Books Group, Cambridge MA, 2000
  6. ^ "The Function of Auditors". Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Company Secretary". Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  8. ^ Hall, Roger; Nick Whistler. "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online – GALT, JOHN". 2000 University of Toronto/Université Laval. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  9. ^ Wilson, Alan. "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online – WIDDER, FREDERICK". 2000 University of Toronto/Université Laval. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  10. ^ Jarvis, Julia. "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online – ROBINSON, WILLIAM BENJAMIN". 2003- University of Toronto/Université Laval. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 

Further reading[edit]