Territorial evolution of Canada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
When Canada was formed in 1867 its provinces were a relatively narrow strip in the southeast, with vast territories in the interior. It grew by adding British Columbia in 1871, P.E.I. in 1873, the British Arctic Islands in 1880, and Newfoundland in 1949; meanwhile, its provinces grew both in size and number at the expense of its territories.
Animation of the evolution of the borders and names of Canada's provinces and territories

The territorial evolution of Canada began when, on 1 July 1867, three colonies of British North America were united into the independent federal Dominion of Canada through Confederation. One of these colonies split into two new provinces, and three other colonies joined later. Canada continued to accrete new provinces and territories and evolved over decades into a fully sovereign nation.

Before being part of British North America, the constituents of the Dominion of Canada were part of the colonies of Canada and Acadia in New France, which were gradually ceded to Great Britain and later the United Kingdom after defeat in several wars. The French influence lived on, as the French language was common in the initial provinces of Canada, and remains one of the two official languages of the country.

The central expanse of Canada was originally settled by the Hudson's Bay Company of the Kingdom of England, which had a royal monopoly over trade in the region; Rupert's Land was named after the company's first director, Prince Rupert of the Rhine. The North West Company later moved into a large portion of the region, and competition and minor hostilities between the two companies forced their merger. What was to become the Colony of British Columbia was claimed as part of New Spain and Russian America, until 1793 and 1825 respectively, and was for a time shared with the United States as what was known to Americans as the Oregon Country, until in 1846 the border was extended west from the Rockies to the Pacific along the 49th Parallel.

Since it was formed, Canada's external borders have changed seven times, and it has grown from four provinces at Confederation to ten provinces and three territories. It has only lost significant territory in the border dispute with the Dominion of Newfoundland over Labrador, which later joined Canada as the 10th province.

Notes[edit]

  • The Northwest Territories (NWT) have been made up of several districts, but one of these, the District of Keewatin, once had a higher status than the other districts. Because of this unique status, it is handled separately from the NWT on this list. After 1905 it no longer had any special status, and it was finally dissolved in 1999 when Nunavut was created.
  • The maps used on this page, for simplicity, use the modern version of the borders of Labrador. For much of its history, Canada claimed Labrador extended only along the coast (the "Coasts of Labrador"), while Newfoundland claimed the larger area. It is Newfoundland's claim that is used.
  • The Arctic Islands were still being explored and discovered throughout Canada's history; apart from the Sverdrup Islands, however, they were all claimed by Canada upon discovery, and to simplify the list the individual discoveries are omitted.

Timeline[edit]

Date Event Map
July 1, 1867 The Dominion of Canada was formed from three provinces of British North America: the Province of Canada, which was split into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and the colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.[1]
Map of the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867, showing the nation's provinces of Ontario (southern portion only), Quebec (southern portion only), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia in the colour white
July 15, 1870 The United Kingdom transferred most of its remaining land in North America to Canada, with Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory becoming the North-West Territories. The Rupert's Land Act 1868 transferred the region to Canada as of 1869, but it was only consummated in 1870 when £300,000 was paid to the Hudson's Bay Company. The transfer of Rupert's Land is the largest land purchase in Canada's history. In 1870, the Manitoba Act took effect, and a large square area of the newly acquired region near the city of Winnipeg was made the province of Manitoba.[2][3]
Map of the country of Canada on July 15, 1870, depicting the postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario (southern portion only), Quebec (southern portion only), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the colour white, Rupert's Land which comprises the lands draining into Hudson Bay and are depicted in the colour pink. The area called British Columbia, Newfoundland, Labrador, Alaska, and the northerly Islands are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
July 20, 1871 The Colony of British Columbia joined Canada as the sixth province.[4] British Columbia joined the Canadian confederation following The Great Confederation Debates in the spring of 1870 and the Confederation Negotiations of the following summer and winter.[5]
Map of the country of Canada on July 20, 1871, depicting the postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario (southern portion only), Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia in the colour white Northwest Territories which comprises the lands draining into Hudson Bay and are depicted in the colour pink. The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, Alaska, and the northerly Islands are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
July 1, 1873 The British colony of Prince Edward Island joined Canada as the seventh province by an Imperial Order-in-Council[6] (and, as part of the terms of union, was guaranteed a ferry link, a term which was deleted upon completion of the Confederation Bridge in 1997).[7]
Map of the country of Canada on July 1, 1873, depicting the postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario (southern portion only), Prince Edward Island, Quebec (southern portion only), New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia in the colour white. The North-West Territories is depicted in the colour pink. The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, Alaska, and the northerly Islands are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
June 26, 1874 The borders of Ontario were provisionally expanded north and west. When the Province of Canada was formed, its borders were not entirely clear, and Ontario claimed to eventually reach all the way to the Rocky Mountains and Arctic Ocean. With Canada's acquisition of Rupert's Land, Ontario was interested in clearly defining its borders, especially since some of the new areas it was interested in were rapidly growing. After the federal government asked Ontario to pay for construction in the new disputed area, the province asked for an elaboration on its limits, and its boundary was moved north to the 51st parallel north.[8][9]
Map of the country of Canada on June 26, 1874, depicting the postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario northern border extended to the 51st parallel north, Prince Edward Island, Quebec (southern portion only), New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia in the colour white. North-West Territories are depicted in the colour pink.  The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, Alaska, and the northerly Islands are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
October 7, 1876 The District of Keewatin was created by the passage of the Keewatin Act on October 7, 1876 in a central separate strip from the North-West Territories, in order to provide government for the growing area north of Manitoba and west of Ontario.[10][11][12][13]
Map of the country of Canada on April 12, 1876, depicting the postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario northern border extended to the 51st parallel north, Prince Edward Island, Quebec (southern portion only), New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, in the colour white, Rupert's Land now named the North-West Territories is separated by the District of Keewatin north of Manitoba. Territories are depicted in the colour pink.  The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, Alaska, and the northerly Islands are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
September 1, 1880 The United Kingdom transferred its Arctic Islands to Canada, and they were made part of the North-West Territories.[14]
Map of the country of Canada on September 1, 1880, depicting the postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario northern border extended to the 51st parallel north, Prince Edward Island, Quebec (southern portion only), New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. Provinces are coloured white. Rupert's Land now named the North-West Territories is separated by the District of Keewatin north of Manitoba.  Territories on the map are depicted in the colour pink; additionally now the northern arctic islands are a part of the NWT.  The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
July 1, 1881[citation needed] Manitoba's borders were expanded to a larger postage stamp province taking land easterly from the District of Keewatin to the western boundary of Ontario. Since the province's eastern border was defined as the "western boundary of Ontario", the exact definition of which was still unclear, Ontario disputed a portion of the new region.[15]
Map of the country of Canada on July 1, 1881, depicting the larger postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario northern border extended to the 51st parallel north, Prince Edward Island, Quebec (southern portion only), New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, in the colour white. The disputed area between Manitoba and Ontario is coloured black. Provinces are coloured white. Rupert's Land now named the North-West Territories  and is divided by the slightly smaller District of Keewatin north of Manitoba (a postage sized province still) Territories are the colour pink; additionally now the northern arctic islands are a part of the NWT.  The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
May 7, 1886 The southwestern border of the District of Keewatin was adjusted to conform to the boundaries of the new provisional districts of the North-West Territories created in 1882, returning some land to the North-West Territories.[16] The provisional districts were, the District of Alberta, the District of Athabasca, District of Assiniboia and the District of Saskatchewan, which all remained administrative areas of the North-West Territories unlike the District of Keewatin.[3]
Map of the country of Canada on May 7, 1886, depicting the larger postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario northern border extended to the 51st parallel north, Prince Edward Island, Quebec (southern portion only), New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, in the colour white. The disputed area between Manitoba and Ontario is coloured black. Provinces are coloured white. The North-West Territories is separate from the slightly smaller District of Keewatin north of Manitoba.  Territories are depicted in the colour pink; additionally now the northern arctic islands are a part of the NWT.  The District of Keewatin now has a geographically shaped border to encompass the eastern borders of the newly formed provisional districts of the NWT.  The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
August 12, 1889 The dispute between Manitoba and Ontario ended as Ontario's borders were finalized in accordance with the Canada (Ontario Boundary) Act, 1889, which extended the province west to the Lake of the Woods and north to the Albany River.[17]
Map of the country of Canada on August 12, 1889, depicting the larger postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec (southern portion only), New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, in the colour white. The disputed area between Manitoba and Ontario is resolved, Ontario expands west to the Lake of the Woods and north to the Albany River. The Northwest Territories is separate from the District of Keewatin and additionally the northern arctic islands are a part of the NWT. The District of Keewatin now has a geographically shaped border to encompass the eastern borders of the newly formed provisional districts of the NWT. The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
October 2, 1895 Keewatin covered the portion of the North-West Territories north of Manitoba on the mainland, and all islands within Hudson, James, and Ungava Bays. The portion between the District of Keewatin, Ontario, and Hudson Bay was not in a district, and was assigned to the District of Keewatin by an Order of Council. Four additional provisional districts of the North-West Territories were formed, the District of Yukon, the District of Ungava, the District of Mackenzie, and the District of Franklin.[18][19]
Map of the country of Canada on October 2, 1895, depicting the larger postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec (southern portion only), New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, in the colour white. The disputed area between Manitoba and Ontario is resolved, Ontario expands west to the Lake of the Woods and north to the Albany River. The Northwest Territories is separate from the District of Keewatin north, and territories are depicted in the colour pink; additionally now the northern arctic islands are a part of the NWT. The District of Keewatin now has a geographically shaped border to encompass the eastern borders of the newly formed provisional districts of the NWT. The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
December 18, 1897 The borders of the provisional districts of the Northwest Territories and the District of Keewatin were re-adjusted, due to unclear descriptions of the original district boundaries.[20] [21] Southampton Island, Coats Island, Akimiski Island, and other islands were transferred to Keewatin.
June 13, 1898 Yukon Territory was created from the District of Yukon in the northwestern part of the North-West Territories, and the Quebec Boundary Extension Act, 1898 expanded the borders of Quebec north to the Eastmain River.[22]
alt=Map of the country of Canada on June 13, 1898, depicting the larger postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, in the colour white. The disputed area between Manitoba and Ontario is resolved, Ontario expands west to the Lake of the Woods and north to the Albany River. The North-West Territories is separate from the District of Keewatin. Territories are depicted in the colour pink; the northern arctic islands are a part of the NWT. The District of Keewatin now has a geographically shaped border to encompass the eastern borders of the newly formed provisional districts of the NWT. Yukon Territory is now formed from the NWT. The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
May 23, 1901 The eastern border of Yukon Territory was adjusted to the Peel River, so that the borders would not cross a watershed, and also to include some more islands.[23]
Map of the country of Canada on May 23, 1901, depicting the larger postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, in the colour white. The disputed area between Manitoba and Ontario is resolved, Ontario expands west to the Lake of the Woods and north to the Albany River. The North-West Territories is separate from the District of Keewatin north of Manitoba. Territories are depicted in the colour pink; the northern arctic islands are a part of the NWT. The District of Keewatin now has a geographically shaped border to encompass the eastern borders of the newly formed provisional districts of the NWT. Yukon Territory is now formed from the NWT, and is expanded. The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
October 20, 1903 The Alaska boundary dispute was resolved primarily in the favor of the United States.
September 1, 1905 The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created from the North-West Territories. Saskatchewan's western border and Alberta's eastern border run concurrent with the 4th meridian[A] or the 110°W longitude. Saskatchewan's eastern border is not a meridian, but instead follows a staircase-shaped Dominion Land Survey range line. Alberta's southern and northern borders are the same as Saskatchewan's: the southern border is the Canada – United States border or the 49th parallel and the northern border is the 60th parallel. Alberta's western border runs along peaks of the Rocky Mountain ridge then extends north to the 60th parallel and the District of Keewatin was dissolved.[24][24][25][26]
Map of the country of Canada on September 1, 1905, depicting the larger postage stamp sized province of Manitoba along with the provinces of Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, in the colour white. The disputed area between Manitoba and Ontario is resolved, Ontario expands west to the Lake of the Woods and north to the Albany River. Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces are added from land formerly the NWT. Provinces are coloured white. The North-West Territories is separate from the District of Keewatin north of Manitoba. Territories are depicted in the colour pink; the northern arctic islands are a part of the NWT. The District of Keewatin now has a geographically shaped border to encompass the eastern borders of the newly formed provisional districts of the NWT. Yukon Territory is now formed from the NWT, and is expanded. The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
1906 The Northwest Territories Act was passed in 1906, removing the hyphen from the name of the territory.[27]
May 15, 1912 Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec were all expanded into their present-day boundaries. The Northwest Territories is now only situated north of the 60th parallel (except Hudson Bay and James Bay islands) with three districts, Keewatin, Mackenzie and Franklin.[27]
Map of the country of Canada on May 15, 1912, depicting the newly expanded provinces of Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec along with Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, in the colour white. The Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory are depicted in the colour pink. The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada.
1915 Brock Island, Borden Island, and Mackenzie King Island were discovered and added to the Northwest Territories.
June 13, 1916 Meighen Island was discovered and annexed to the Northwest Territories.
August 1916 Lougheed Island was discovered and annexed to the Northwest Territories.
1925 The boundaries of the Northwest Territories expand, and they now extended north to the North Pole.[27]
March 11, 1927 The Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council decided the Labrador boundary dispute between the Dominion of Canada and the Dominion of Newfoundland, in favour of Newfoundland. Canada had argued that Labrador was only a short strip of land along the coast, and that the rest of the area claimed by Newfoundland was part of the Canadian province of Quebec. Newfoundland argued that the boundaries of Labrador went far inland. The Judicial Committee ruled in Newfoundland's favour, based on the definition of the boundary set out in British legislation in the early 19th century.[28] The government of Quebec, however, still refuses to recognize the 1927 border delineation.
Map of the country of Canada on March 11, 1927, depicting the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, in the colour white. The Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory are depicted in the colour pink. The area called Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska are depicted in bluish grey colour, and are not a part of Canada. Labrador - Quebec boundary dispute resolves.
November 11, 1930 Sverdrup Islands were ceded to Canada by Norway, in exchange for British recognition of Norway's sovereignty over Jan Mayen.
1948 Air Force Island, Prince Charles Island, and Foley Island were discovered and added to Northwest Territories.
March 31, 1949 The Dominion of Newfoundland and its dependency of Labrador joined as the tenth province, named Newfoundland, as proclaimed by the British North America Act 1949.[29]
Map of the country of Canada on March 31, 1949, showing the new province Newfoundland and Labrador along with Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, in the colour white. Ontario expands west to the Lake of the Woods and north to the Albany River. Provinces are coloured white. The Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory are depicted in the colour pink. The area called Alaska is depicted in bluish grey colour, and is not a part of Canada.
April 1, 1999 The territory of Nunavut was created from the Northwest Territories. The provisional districts were no longer administrative areas of the Northwest Territories.[27]
Canada provinces 1999-2001.png
December 6, 2001 The province of Newfoundland was renamed Newfoundland and Labrador by the Constitution Amendment 2001 (Newfoundland and Labrador).[30]
Canada provinces 2001-2003.png
April 1, 2003 The name of the Yukon Territory became simply the Yukon.[31]
Canada provinces 2003-present.png

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Atlas of Canada - History of Canada – Territorial Evolution". Natural Resources Canada. Government of Canada. 09-02-06. Retrieved August 22, 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Hall, David J. (2009). "North-West Territories, 1870-1905". The Canadian Encyclopedia > History > West & Northwest History. Historica Foundation of Canada. Retrieved August 22, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Moffat, Ben (2006). "Boundaries of Saskatchewan". Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina. Retrieved August 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Maps 1667-1999 - Canadian Confederation". Library and Archives Canada. Government of Canada. 005-05-02. Retrieved August 22, 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ "British Columbia - Canadian Confederation". Library and Archives Canada. Government of Canada. August 9, 2006. Retrieved August 22, 2009. 
  6. ^ Prince Edward Island Terms of Union.
  7. ^ Bolger, Francis William Pius (1961). "Prince Edward Island and Confederation 1863-1873" (PDF). St. Dunstan's University, Charlottetwon CCHA Report 28 (1961) 25-30. University of Manitoba. Retrieved August 22, 2009. 
  8. ^ Mills, David (1877). Report on the Boundaries of the Province of Ontario. Toronto: Hunter, Rose & Co. p. 347. 
  9. ^ "Territorial Evolution, 1874". Natural Resources Canada > Atlas Home > Explore Our Maps > History > Territorial Evolution > Territorial Evolution, 1874. Government of Canada. March 18, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Keewatin". The Daily Free Press. December 1, 1876. p. 1. 
  11. ^ "Who Named the North-Land?". Manitoba Free Press. August 19, 1876. p. 3. 
  12. ^ "Keewatin.". Manitoba Free Press. April 1, 1876. p. 1. 
  13. ^ Nicholson, Normal L. (1979). The Boundaries of the Canadian Confederation. Toronto: Macmillan Company of Canada Ltd. p. 113. 
  14. ^ "The Atlas of Canada - History of Canada – Territorial Evolution 1880". Natural Resources Canada. Government of Canada. 09-02-06. Retrieved August 22, 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ "Manitoba's Boundaries". Association of Manitoba Land Surveyors. Archived from the original on 2007-07-22. Retrieved August 18, 2009. 
  16. ^ Parliament, Canada (1893). Report of the Dominion Fishery Commission on the Fisheries of the Province of Ontario. p. 36. 
  17. ^ Wikisource link to Canada (Ontario Boundary) Act 1889. Wikisource. 12 August 1889.
  18. ^ Martin, Frederick; Keltie, Sir John Scott; Renwick, Isaac Parker Anderson; Epstein, Mortimer; Steinberg, Sigfrid Henry; Paxton, John; Hunter, Brian (1899). The Statesman's Year-Book. p. 223. 
  19. ^ "The Atlas of Canada - History of Canada – Territorial Evolution 1895". Natural Resources Canada. Government of Canada. 09-02-06. Retrieved August 22, 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  20. ^ "The Atlas of Canada - History of Canada – Territorial Evolution 1897" (PDF). Natural Resources Canada. Government of Canada. 09-02-06. Retrieved May 9, 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  21. ^ ""Extract from Order in Council (Dominion) of the 18th December, 1897, Establishing Provisional Districts in the Unorganized Portions of Canada." Volume VIII 4012-4013: The Labrador Boundary Dispute Documents". Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  22. ^ Coates and Morrison, p.103
  23. ^ Yukon Territory Act, S.C. 1901, c. 41, s. 14
  24. ^ a b Thomson, Malcolm M.; Tanner, Richard W. (April 1977). "Canada's Prime Meridian". Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 71: 204. Bibcode:1977JRASC..71..204T. 
  25. ^ Lewry, Marilyn (2006). "Boundary surveys". The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina. Retrieved January 6, 2009. 
  26. ^ "The Atlas of Canada - Territorial Evolution, 1905". Natural Resources Canada. Government of Canada. April 6, 2004. Retrieved January 6, 2009. 
  27. ^ a b c d "History of the Name of the Northwest Territories - PWNHC". Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. Retrieved August 22, 2009. 
  28. ^ "Les Dix Grand Mensonges". Henri Dorion discrédite les Dix Grand Mensonges sur la frontière du Labrador (Henri Dorion debunks the Ten Great Myths about the Labrador boundary). Québec—Assemblée Nationale—Première session, 34e Législature (Quebec—National Assembly—First Session, 34th Legislature). October 1, 1991. Archived from the original on 2009-08-05. Retrieved August 25, 2009. 
  29. ^ Webb, Jeff A. (January 2003). "The Commission of Government, 1934-1949: Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage". Memorial University of Newfoundland and the C.R.B. Foundation. Retrieved August 25, 2009. 
  30. ^ Adrienne Clarkson; Jean Chrétien; Anne McLellan; Brian Tobin (December 6, 2001 (web publication date 1 November 2004)). "Constitution Amendment, 2001 (Newfoundland and Labrador)" (published online by William F. Maton). solon.org. Retrieved August 25, 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  31. ^ Library and Archives Canada. "Yukon Territory name change to Yukon" (PDF). Retrieved July 14, 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]