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Banner: Moving Here, Staying Here. The Canadian Immigrant Experience


The Documentary TrailTraces of the PastFind an Immigrant
Introduction
Free From Local Prejudice
A National Open-Door Policy
Filling the Promised Land
A Preferred Policy
A Depressing Period

Home Children

by Ellen Scheinberg, historian, and Angèle Alain, Library and Archives Canada

Between 1869 and the early 1930s, Canada received over 100,000 juvenile immigrants from the British Isles. Most of these children had been brought up in poverty, and were homeless or living in the urban slums of Britain. Some were accused or even convicted of petty crimes. Many were orphans, while others were simply the victims of poverty, illness and misfortune. These children were typically placed in orphanages or workhouses by parents or kin who could not afford to take care of them.

The intent of the juvenile immigration program was to place these children with good Canadian families and thus increase their chances of leading happy and prosperous lives; but not all of the stories were happy ones.

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