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ARCHIVED - Canadian Confederation

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Maps: 1667-1999

To help you get a clearer picture of British North America's territorial evolution, this section provides a series of maps that recount important moments in Canada's history. These maps cover the period from the French colonial era of the seventeenth century to the creation of Nunavut in 1999.


The map descriptions provided below have been reproduced from the original maps.

First successful French settlements in North America: Port Royal (1606), and Québec (1609). English settlements in Virginia begins (1606-07). French and English territorial claims overlap Acadia. Acadia is recognized as French possession by the Treaty of Breda (1667). A Royal Charter (1670) grants sole trading rights in Hudson Bay drainage basin to the Hudson's Bay Co.

By the Treaty of Paris (1763), eastern North America becomes British territory except St-Pierre and Miquelon Islands (France). British colonial governments for Quebec, Newfoundland (with Île d'Anticosti and Îles de la Madeleine), Nova Scotia (including present-day N.B. and P.E.I.). Hudson's Bay Co. still administers Rupert's Land. Louisiana is ceded to Spain by France.

Following the Constitutional Act, Quebec is divided into Upper and Lower Canada (1791). Spain cedes Louisiana back to France (1800). U.S.A. purchases Louisiana (1803).

The Province of Canada is formed by uniting Upper and Lower Canada (1840). The international boundary from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific is described by the Oregon Treaty (1846). The northern portion of the Oregon Territory is called New Caledonia, a name used by Simon Fraser in 1806. The Hudson's Bay Co. is granted Vancouver's Island to develop a colony (1849).

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Canada are united in a federal state, the Dominion of Canada, by the British North America Act (July 1, 1867). The province of Canada is divided into Ontario and Quebec. The United States of America proclaims the purchase of Alaska from Russia (June 20).

The North-West Territories (Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory) are acquired by Canada by the Hudson's Bay Company. From part of them Manitoba is created as the fifth province.

British Columbia joins the Dominion of Canada as the sixth province.

Prince Edward Island enters Confederation as the seventh province.

Boundaries are changed in the Districts of Mackenzie, Keewatin, Ungava, Franklin and Yukon (1897). The District of Yukon becomes a Territory separate from the North-West Territories (1898). Quebec boundaries are extended north.

Alberta and Saskatchewan are created as provinces to make a total of nine provinces in the Dominion of Canada (1905). The district of Keewatin is transferred back to the Northwest Territories. Due to changes in adjoining areas the boundaries of the Northwest Territories are redefined (1906).

At its own request, after a plebiscite, Newfoundland enters the Confederation as the tenth and most recent province of the Dominion of Canada.

Nunavut became Canada's third territory April 1, 1999. For the first time since the entry of Newfoundland into Confederation fifty years ago, the internal boundaries of Canada have changed.