European fishermen and fur traders visited Canada from the 16th century onward. They bought furs from the local people, who were related to the other native peoples of North America. France established colonies in Canada in 1608 (Quebec) and 1642 (Montreal), while the British claimed a vast territory around Hudson Bay after 1670.


The French and British fought each other for Canada. Both wanted its furs, lumber, and rich fishing grounds. The French were defeated in 1759, and Canada became a British colony four years later. Many American colonists who had remained loyal to Britain during the American Revolution fled to Canada in the 1780s.


In 1791, the areas of Canada settled by Europeans were divided between Upper (English-speaking) and Lower (French-speaking) Canada. These were reunited in 1841. Canada became a self-governing dominion of the British Empire in 1867. Settlement spread westward as Europeans arrived.


This French navigator made three voyages to North America between 1534 and 1541. He was the first European to see the St. Lawrence River and claimed the land for France.

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley


6 Tips to Help Your Marriage Survive a New Baby
When the going gets tough, follow these tips to help your marriage during the stressful newborn months.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

15 Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies for Kids
Halloween doesn’t always have to be a fright. Take the scare-factor down a notch by watching one of these not-too-scary Halloween movies for kids .

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks