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THE ENGLISH IN QUEBEC (LOWER CANADA)

Photograph of the Methodist Church at Odelltown built

during the 1820s. ©Dominc R. Labbé McMasterville, Quebec.
 

Initially most of Quebec’s English immigrants came from the north of England, especially Yorkshire. People from the East and North ridings of Yorkshire were the first to grasp the opportunities to be had from the Richelieu Valley’s timber trade. Between 1817 and 1830 a steady stream of farmers and tradesmen headed for Lacolle, close to the American border turning it into a major Yorkshire enclave. Other northerners established settlements to the south and west of Montreal.

• The English were mainly concentrated in the Eastern Townships – especially in the southern half. Some had come directly from England while others were descended from Loyalists, who had arrived from the United States in the late 18th century. The 1881 Census reveals that the English were the dominant ethnic group in eight of the seventeen townships nearest the American border, and were the largest of the British groups, outnumbering both the Scots and Irish, in a further four townships

• Many poor people from Norfolk and Suffolk in East Anglia were assisted to emigrate to British American Land Company lands in the Eastern Townships during the 1830s creating numerous communities across several townships.

 

• While having previously dominated large areas of the Eastern Townships, people of English ancestry were a mere minority group by the 1940s. Ontario's better land and climate, the declining importance of the timber trade and the rising dominance of French culture made Quebec progressively less attractive to later English settlers. 

For further details see Seeking a Better Future,  Lucille's book about Ontario and Quebec.