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THE BOOKS: Settlement


Old St. George’s: Being the Story of a Church and its Ministers, 1913

This book follows the history of Old St. George’s from 1791 to 1900, one of Ontario’s first churches. It details the church’s role in the settlement of Kingston and its relationship to historic events and people in Ontario. Today, the Cathedral remains much the same as it was when the book was published in 1913.


History of the City of Kingston, 1862

Early Ontario history is closely tied with the history of early Kingston. This book focuses on the history of Fort Frontenac from 1612 to 1763 – the site which would become the town of Kingston. The establishment of a French fort in the area was seen as a strategic defence for Montreal and a way to capture more of the lucrative fur trade. Although Kingston was not permanently settled until much later, the fort marked the beginning of a European presence in what is now Ontario.


Emigration to Canada: The Province of Ontario, its Soil, Climate, Resources…1869

Part advertisement and part almanac, this brochure gives a detailed overview of the local climate, soil, agricultural possibilities, wages, cost of living and many other points of interest to prospective immigrants, especially farmers. It includes a fold-out map of the province of Ontario.


The Immigrant in Ontario: The Premier Province of Canada, 1883

This guide for the newcomer in Ontario covers a wide range of information including education, taxation, cost of living, transportation, grant lands, industry, agriculture and mining. The guide includes a detailed colour map of Ontario with all major towns, cities and grant land areas.


Ontario’s population grew rapidly through the 1800s. Most of this increase was the result of immigration. Immigrants were needed in many parts of the province to support the growing economy. Existing industries needed labour to be more productive and the province’s rich mining and forestry industries could be more easily developed with a constant flow of new immigrants. Furthermore, having immigrants settle land throughout Ontario meant that the province would be able to resolve territorial disputes with the United States with greater ease. To encourage immigrants to settle in Ontario, numerous incentives were offered to make the move more attractive.

  1. What were some of the types of work an immigrant could find in Ontario? What were some of the ways that immigrants were enticed to settle in Ontario? How would you have responded to an offer to settle in Ontario? What would have attracted you and why?
  2. Some of these documents are considered to be true primary sources and some are not. What clues are there to tell you which are primary sources and which are secondary sources?
  3. AS PART OF THE CLASS MAGAZINE: Create a two page advertisement to attract new immigrants to Ontario. Use the Immigration Ad Criteria Checklist, the Information Gathering Worksheet and the Immigration Ad Layout to complete the task. Check the criteria checklist for what to look for in your reading, gather the information you have learned about in your Information Gathering Worksheet and then, using the Immigration Ad Layout Template, map out how your ad will look.


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