Ontario is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province, with 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is the fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.
The Province of Canada was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations made by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham in the Report on the Affairs of British North America following the Rebellions of 1837–1838.
Robert Baldwin was an Upper Canadian lawyer and politician who with his political partner Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine of Lower Canada, led the first responsible government ministry in Canada. "Responsible Government" marked the country's democratic independence, without a revolution, although not without violence. This achievement also included the introduction of municipal government, the introduction of a modern legal system and the Canadian Jury system, and the abolishing of imprisonment for debt. Baldwin is also noted for feuding with the Orange Order and other fraternal societies. In reaction to the Rebellion Losses bill, which emerged during his government, outraged Anglo-Canadian Tory citizens burned the Parliament buildings in Montreal in 1849.
From 1896 known as The Clergy Endowments (Canada) Act 1791, the statute passed at Westminster in the 31st year of George III, and itemised as chapter 31, was commonly known as the Constitutional Act 1791. It was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain.
York was a town and second capital of the colony of Upper Canada. It is the predecessor to the old city of Toronto (1834–1998). It was established in 1793 by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe as a "temporary" location for the capital of Upper Canada, while he made plans to build a capital near today's London, Ontario. Simcoe renamed the location York after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, George III's second son. Simcoe gave up his plan to build a capital at London, and York became the permanent capital of Upper Canada on February 1, 1796. That year Simcoe returned to Britain and was temporarily replaced by Peter Russell.
William Lyon Mackenzie also spelt McKenzie and MacKenzie, was a Scottish-born Canadian-American journalist and politician. His strong views on political equality and clean government drove him to outright rebellion in 1837 after a career as mayor of Toronto and in the colonial legislative assembly of Upper Canada (Ontario). He led the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion and during its bitter end he set up a small rebel enclave named "Republic of Canada," where he served as president December 13, 1837, to January 14, 1838. After a period of exile in the U.S., he returned to Canada and served as an elected member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada from 1851 to 1858.
The Upper Canada Rebellion was an insurrection against the oligarchic government of the British colony of Upper Canada in December 1837. While public grievances had existed for years, it was the rebellion in Lower Canada, which started the previous month, that emboldened rebels in Upper Canada to revolt.
The Family Compact is the term used by historians for a small closed group of men who exercised most of the political, economic and judicial power in Upper Canada from the 1810s to the 1840s. It was the Upper Canadian equivalent of the Château Clique in Lower Canada. It was noted for its conservatism and opposition to democracy.
The Province of Quebec was a colony in North America created by Great Britain in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. During the war, Great Britain's forces conquered French Canada. As part of terms of the Treaty of Paris peace settlement, France gave up its claim to Canada and negotiated to keep the small but rich sugar island of Guadeloupe instead. By Britain's Royal Proclamation of 1763, Canada was renamed the Province of Quebec. The new British province extended from the coast of Labrador on the Atlantic Ocean, southwest through the Saint Lawrence River Valley to the Great Lakes and beyond to the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Portions of its southwest were later ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Paris (1783) at the conclusion of the American Revolution although the British maintained a military presence there until 1796. In 1791, the territory north of the Great Lakes was divided into Lower Canada and Upper Canada.
Ontario came into being as a province of Canada in 1867 but historians use the term to cover its entire history. This article also covers the history of the territory Ontario now occupies.
Clergy Reserves were tracts of land in Upper Canada and Lower Canada reserved for the support of "Protestant clergy" by the Constitutional Act of 1791. One-seventh of all surveyed Crown lands were set aside, totalling 2,395,687 acres (9,695 km2) and 934,052 acres (3,780 km2) respectively for each Province, and provision was made to dedicate some of those reserved lands as glebe land in support of any parsonage or rectory that may be established by the Church of England. The provincial legislatures could vary or repeal these provisions, but royal assent could not be given prior to such passed bills having been laid before both houses of the British Parliament for at least thirty days.
John Strachan was a notable figure in Upper Canada and the first Anglican Bishop of Toronto. He is best known as a political bishop who held many government positions and promoted education from common schools to helping to found the University of Toronto.
The History of Ontario covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day. The lands that make up present-day Ontario, the most populous province of Canada as of the early 21st century have been inhabited for millennia by groups of Aboriginal people, with French and British exploration and colonization commencing in the 17th century. Before the arrival of Europeans, the region was inhabited both by Algonquian and Iroquoian tribes.
The Bank of Upper Canada was established in 1821 under a Charter granted by the legislature of Upper Canada in 1819 to a group of Kingston merchants. The charter was appropriated by the more influential Executive Councillors to the Lt. Governor, the Rev. John Strachan and William Allan and moved to Toronto. The bank was closely associated with the group that came to be known as the Family Compact, and formed a large part of their wealth. The association with the Family Compact and its underhanded practices made Reformers, including Mackenzie, regard the Bank of Upper Canada as a prop of the Government. Complaints about the bank were a staple of Reform agitation in the 1830s because of its monopoly and aggressive legal actions against debtors.
The Desjardins Canal, named after its promoter Pierre Desjardins, was built to give Dundas, Ontario, easier access to Lake Ontario and the Great Lakes system of North America. Although a technological achievement and a short term commercial success, the canal was soon eclipsed by the railway, and Dundas by neighbouring Hamilton.
Samuel Lount was a blacksmith, farmer, magistrate and member of the Legislative Assembly in the province of Upper Canada for Simcoe County from 1834 to 1836. He was an organizer of the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, for which he was hanged. His execution made him a martyr to the Upper Canadian Reform movement.
The Toronto Purchase was the surrender of lands in the Toronto area from the Mississaugas of New Credit to the British crown. An initial, disputed, agreement was made in 1787, in exchange for various items. The agreement was revisited in 1805, intended to clarify the area purchased. The agreement remained in dispute for over 200 years until 2010, when a settlement for the land was made between the Government of Canada and the Mississaugas for the land and other lands in the area.
James Lesslie was an Ontario bookseller, reform politician and newspaper publisher. His career was closely associated with - and somewhat overshadowed by - William Lyon Mackenzie, the Reform agitator, mayor of Toronto, and Rebellion leader. However, as a leader himself, Lesslie took a prominent role in founding the Mechanics Institute, the House of Refuge & Industry, the Bank of the People, as well as the political parties known as the Canadian Alliance Society and Clear Grits. In many way, he defined the Reform movement in Upper Canada without having reverted to the violent methods of Mackenzie. His legacy may thus have lasted longer.
Samuel Hughes (1785–1856) was a prominent member of the Children of Peace, a reform politician in Upper Canada, and the president of Canada's first farmers cooperative, the Farmers' Storehouse Company. After the Rebellions of 1837 he rejoined the Hicksite Quakers and became a minister of note.
There were two types of corporations at work in the Upper Canadian economy: the legislatively chartered companies and the unregulated joint stock companies. These two business forms had different legal standing; chartered corporations had a "separate personality" - they were a legal person quite distinct from its members or shareholders, a legal fiction which protected those shareholders with limited liability. In contrast, joint stock companies were made illegal by the English Bubble Act of 1720. Joint stock companies were considered extensive partnerships under common law, and English legislation limited these to a maximum of six partners. Without incorporation, the company was not considered a "separate personality." It could not hold property; this was held by trustees, who usually had to provide a bond or security. Without incorporation, the company could neither sue nor be sued at law. And without incorporation, shareholders were personally responsible for the debts to the company to the full extent of their personal property; shareholders were not protected by limited liability. There were, then, significant legal hurdles that made the joint stock company an unwieldy form of partnership.