On 17 May 1642, a group of French settlers led by Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance established the missionary colony of Ville-Marie on the Island of Montréal. Today, this modest settlement founded in the middle of the St. Lawrence River is Canada’s second largest city and home to nearly half of the province of Québec’s population. A centre of francophone culture in North America, Montréal also enjoys international renown. Through exhibits, images and articles — as well as several Heritage Minutes about influential Montrealers — this collection celebrates the 375-year heritage and history of this important cultural and economic centre.
Nova Scotia is Canada’s second-smallest province (following Prince Edward Island) and is located on the southeastern coast of the country. The province includes Cape Breton, a large island northeast of the mainland. The name Nova Scotia is Latin for “New Scotland,” reflecting the origins of some of the early settlers. Given its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Nova Scotia’s economy is largely influenced by the sea, and its harbours have served as military bases during many wars.1
British Columbia is Canada's most westerly province, and is a mountainous area whose population is mainly clustered in its southwestern corner. BC is Canada’s third-largest province after Québec and Ontario, making up 10 per cent of Canada’s land surface. British Columbia is a land of diversity and contrast within small areas. Coastal landscapes, characterized by high, snow-covered mountains rising above narrow fjords and inlets, contrast with the broad forested upland of the central interior and the plains of the northeast. The intense "Britishness" of earlier times is referred to in the province's name, which originated with Queen Victoria and was officially proclaimed in 1858.1
In 1673, in order to develop the young colony of New France, Governor Louis de Buade de Frontenac gave large concessions of land to administrators, priests and high-ranking soldiers who became seigneurs. The seigneurie des Mille-Îles was created north of the river that bears the same name.
Port Alberni, BC, incorporated as a city in 1967, population 17,678 (2016 c), 17,743 (2011 c). The present-day City of Port Alberni is the result of the 1967 amalgamation of two cities, Port Alberni (incorporated in 1912) and Alberni (incorporated in 1913). Port Alberni is located on central Vancouver Island, 195 km north of Victoria, at the head of Alberni Inlet, a deep fjord-like inlet that almost divides the island in two. The inlet was named after Don Pedro de Alberni, the Spanish officer in command of the Nootka garrison in 1791 during the Spanish occupation. In 1964, a tsunami caused by the Good Friday earthquake in Alaska moved up the inlet and hit the twin cities. About 375 houses were damaged, 55 of which were washed away, but there were no casualties.
Nunavut, or “Our Land” in Inuktitut, encompasses over 2 million km2 and has a population of 35,944 residents (2016 census), approximately 85 per cent of whom are Inuit. Covering roughly the part of the Canadian mainland and Arctic Archipelago that lies to the north and northeast of the treeline, Nunavut is the largest and northernmost territory of Canada and the fifth largest administrative division in the world. Nunavummiut live in 25 communities spread across this vast territory, with the largest number, 7,740 (2016 census), in the capital, Iqaluit. The creation of Nunavut in 1999 (the region was previously part of the Northwest Territories) represented the first major change to the political map of Canada since the incorporation of Newfoundland into Confederation in 1949. Beyond changing the internal political boundaries of Canada, Nunavut’s formation represented a moment of great political significance; through political activism and long-term negotiations, a small, marginalized Indigenous group overcame many obstacles to peacefully establish a government that they controlled within the Canadian state, thereby gaining control of their land, their resources and their future. As such, the creation of Nunavut represents a landmark moment in the evolution of Canada and a significant development in the history of the world’s Indigenous peoples.
Resource towns, or "new towns," are the small, isolated communities built around resource-based industries and transportation, such as mining towns, mill towns, railway towns and fishing villages. Examples include: Fort McMurray, Alberta (oil); Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland (pulp and paper); Glace Bay, Nova Scotia (coal); Black's Harbour, New Brunswick (fish packing); Murdochville, Québec (copper); Elliot Lake, Ontario (uranium); Snow Lake, Manitoba (copper, zinc); and Kitimat, British Columbia (aluminum). Resource development has long been recognized as a significant factor in shaping patterns of Canadian development. It has been argued that all Canadian urban growth ultimately depends on the production of staple products. Resource towns have been important agencies in this process of staple exploitation. Because of their dependence on single industries, the economies of resource towns are often unstable and precarious.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, incorporated as a city in 1873, population 705,244 (2016 c), 663,617 (2011 c). The city of Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, and is located at the confluence of the Red River and Assiniboine River 100 km north of the Minnesota border. The name is derived from the Cree name for Lake Winnipeg, 65 km north, win-nipi, meaning "murky water." Winnipeg is an important economic and cultural centre for the Prairies. Lying midway between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, it has been called "Bull's Eye of the Dominion," and because of its location between the Canadian Shield and the prairie, "Gateway to the West."
Vancouver's Chinatown features a distinctive hybrid of architectural styles that combines Chinese regional architecture with locally established Western motifs. The main streets in Chinatown follow a traditional Western grid pattern, while the north side is distinguished by interior courtyards, alleyways and façades that face both lanes and streets.
Halton Hills, ON, incorporated as a town in 1974, population 61,161 (2016 c), 59,013 (2011c). Halton Hills is located approximately 45 km west of Toronto and was created by the amalgamation of Acton, Georgetown and Esquesing Township. It is also encompasses several hamlets — Ballinafad, Glen Williams, Stewarttown, Limehouse, Glen Lawson, Speyside, Ashgrove, Crewson’s Corners, Bannockburn, Henderson’s Corners, Whaley’s Corners, Mansewood, Hornby, Silver Creek, Terra Cotta and Norval. From 1926 to 1935, Norval was home to Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables.