Upper Canada

The Formative Years, 1784-1841
Craig, Gerald M.
McNairn, Jeffrey L.
Date published: 
October 2013

In the years following the American Revolution, some forty thousand immigrants from the thirteen colonies came to Canada, many settling in what is now Southern Ontario. These newcomers would add significantly to the region's economic growth, as a ready supply of agricultural labour, knowledge of the trades, and wealth. This period saw expansion in education, changes in land usage, and much agricultural output as land was parceled out to the newcomers. The structure of government expanded to a considerable degree, and transportation and communication were also developed. Other institutions grew to meet the needs of the swelling population, including education and religion. These years also saw considerable political upheaval in the way of agitation for reform, conflict among different groups, and the growth of a local culture. Craig's guide to the changes in Upper Canada is still considered one of the best descriptions of this period of rapid change.