HOME
        TheInfoList






Coordinates: 44°N 80°W / 44°N 80°W / 44; -80

After the Napoleonic Wars, as industrial production in Britain took off, English manufacturers began d

After the Napoleonic Wars, as industrial production in Britain took off, English manufacturers began dumping cheap goods in Montreal; this allowed an increasing number of shopkeepers in York to obtain their goods competitively from Montreal wholesalers. It was during this period that the three largest pre-war merchants who imported directly from Britain retired from business as a result; Quetton St. George in 1815, Alexander Wood in 1821, and William Allan in 1822. Toronto and Kingston then underwent a boom in the number of increasingly specialised shops and wholesalers.[60] The Toronto wholesale firm of Isaac Buchanan and Company were one of the largest of the new wholesalers. Isaac Buchanan was a Scots merchant in Toronto, in partnership with his brother Peter, who remained in Glasgow to manage the British end of the firm. They established their business in Toronto in 1835, having bought out Isaac's previous partners, William Guild and Co., who had established themselves in Toronto in 1832. As a wholesale firm, the Buchanan's had invested more than £10,000 in their business.[61]

Another of those new wholesale businesses was the Farmers' Storehouse Company. The Farmers Storehouse Company was formed in the Home District and is probably Canada's first Farmers' Cooperative. The Storehouse expedited the sale of farmer's wheat to Montreal, and provide

Another of those new wholesale businesses was the Farmers' Storehouse Company. The Farmers Storehouse Company was formed in the Home District and is probably Canada's first Farmers' Cooperative. The Storehouse expedited the sale of farmer's wheat to Montreal, and provided them with cheaper consumer goods.[62]

Upper Canada was in the unenviable position of having few exports with which to pay for all its imported manufactured needs. For the vast majority of those who settled in rural areas, debt could be paid off only through the sale of wheat and flour; yet, throughout much of the 1820s, the price of wheat went through periodic cycles of boom and bust depending upon the British markets that ultimately provided the credit upon which the farmer lived. In the decade 1830–39, exports of wheat averaged less than £1 per person a year (less than £6 per household), and in the 1820s just half that.[63]

Given the small amounts of saleable wheat and flour, and the rarity of cash, some have questioned how market oriented these early farmers were. Instead of depending on the market to meet their needs, many of these farmers depended on networks of shared resources and cooperative marketing. For example, rather than hire labour, they met their labour needs through "work bees." such farmers are said to be 'subsistence oriented' and not to respond to market cues; rather, they engage in a moral economy seeking 'subsistence

Given the small amounts of saleable wheat and flour, and the rarity of cash, some have questioned how market oriented these early farmers were. Instead of depending on the market to meet their needs, many of these farmers depended on networks of shared resources and cooperative marketing. For example, rather than hire labour, they met their labour needs through "work bees." such farmers are said to be 'subsistence oriented' and not to respond to market cues; rather, they engage in a moral economy seeking 'subsistence insurance' and a 'just price'. The Children of Peace in the village of Hope (now Sharon) are a well documented example. They were the most prosperous agricultural community in Canada West by 1851.[64]

The Ottawa River timber trade resulted from Napoleon's 1806 Continental Blockade in Europe. The United Kingdom required a new source of timber for its navy and shipbuilding. Later the UK's application of gradually increasing preferential tariffs increased Canadian imports. The trade in squared timber lasted until the 1850s. The transportation of raw timber by means of floating down the Ottawa River was proved possible in 1806 by Philemon Wright.[65] Squared timber would be assembled into large rafts which held living quarters for men on their six-week journey to Quebec City, which had large exporting facilities and easy access to the Atlantic Ocean.

The timber trade was Upper and Lower Canada's major industry in terms of employment and value of the product.[66] The largest supplier of square red and white pine to the British market was the Ottawa River[67]The timber trade was Upper and Lower Canada's major industry in terms of employment and value of the product.[66] The largest supplier of square red and white pine to the British market was the Ottawa River[67] and the Ottawa Valley. They had "rich red and white pine forests."[68] Bytown (later called Ottawa), was a major lumber and sawmill centre of Canada.[69]

The early nineteenth century was the age of canals. The Erie Canal, stretching from Buffalo to Albany, New York, threatened to divert all of the grain and other trade on the upper Great Lakes through the Hudson River to New York city after its completion in 1825. Upper Canadians sought to build a similar system that would tie this trade to the St Lawrence River and Montreal.

Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal's purpose was military and hence was paid for by the British and not the local treasury. It was intended to provide a secure supply and communications route between Montreal and the British naval base in Kingston. The objective was to bypass the St. Lawrence River bordering New York; a route which would have left British supply ships vulnerable to an attack. Westward from Montreal, travel would proceed along the Ottawa River to Bytown (now Ottawa), then southwest via the canal to Kingston and out into Lake Ontario. Because the Rideau Canal was easier to navigate than the St. Lawrence River due to the series of rapids between Montreal and Kingston, it became a busy commercial artery from Montreal to the Great Lakes. The construction of the canal was supervised by Lieutenant-Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers. The work started in 1826, and was completed 6 years later in 1832 at a cost of £822,000.

Welland Canal

The Welland Canal was created to directly link Lake Erie with Lake Ontario, bypassing Niagara Falls and the Erie Canal. It was the idea of William Hamilton Merritt who owned a sawmill, grist mill and store on the Twelve Mile Creek. The Legislature authorised the joint-stock Welland Canal Company on 19 January 1824, with a capitalisation of $150,000, and Merritt as the agent. The canal was officially opened exactly five years later on 30 November 1829. However, the original route to Lake Erie followed the Welland and Niagara Rivers and was difficult and slow to navigate. The Welland Canal Company obtained a loan of 50,000 pounds from the Province of Upper Canada in March 1831 to cut a canal directly to Gravelly Bay (now Port Colborne) as the new Lake Erie terminus for the canal.[70]

By the time the canal was finished in 1837, it had cost the province £425,000 in loans and stock subscriptions. The comp

The Rideau Canal's purpose was military and hence was paid for by the British and not the local treasury. It was intended to provide a secure supply and communications route between Montreal and the British naval base in Kingston. The objective was to bypass the St. Lawrence River bordering New York; a route which would have left British supply ships vulnerable to an attack. Westward from Montreal, travel would proceed along the Ottawa River to Bytown (now Ottawa), then southwest via the canal to Kingston and out into Lake Ontario. Because the Rideau Canal was easier to navigate than the St. Lawrence River due to the series of rapids between Montreal and Kingston, it became a busy commercial artery from Montreal to the Great Lakes. The construction of the canal was supervised by Lieutenant-Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers. The work started in 1826, and was completed 6 years later in 1832 at a cost of £822,000.

Welland CanalThe Welland Canal was created to directly link Lake Erie with Lake Ontario, bypassing Niagara Falls and the Erie Canal. It was the idea of William Hamilton Merritt who owned a sawmill, grist mill and store on the Twelve Mile Creek. The Legislature authorised the joint-stock Welland Canal Company on 19 January 1824, with a capitalisation of $150,000, and Merritt as the agent. The canal was officially opened exactly five years later on 30 November 1829. However, the original route to Lake Erie followed the Welland and Niagara Rivers and was difficult and slow to navigate. The Welland Canal Company obtained a loan of 50,000 pounds from the Province of Upper Canada in March 1831 to cut a canal directly to Gravelly Bay (now Port Colborne) as the new Lake Erie terminus for the canal.[70]

By the time the canal was finished in 1837, it had cost the province £425,000 in loans and stock subscriptions. The company was supposed to have been a private one using private capital; but the province had little private capital available, hence most of the original funds came from New York. To keep the canal in

By the time the canal was finished in 1837, it had cost the province £425,000 in loans and stock subscriptions. The company was supposed to have been a private one using private capital; but the province had little private capital available, hence most of the original funds came from New York. To keep the canal in Upper Canadian hands, the province had passed a law barring Americans from the company's directorate. The company was thus controlled by the Family Compact, even though they had few shares. By 1834, it was clear the canal would never make money and that the province would be on the hook for the large loans; the canal and the canal company thus became a political issue, as local farmers argued the huge expense would ultimately only benefit American farmers in the west and the merchants who transported their grain.[71]

The Desjardins Canal, named after its promoter Pierre Desjardins, was built to give Dundas, Ontario, easier access to Burlington Bay and Lake Ontario. Access to Lake Ontario from Dundas was made difficult by the topography of the area, which included a natural sand and gravel barrier, across Burlington Bay which allowed only boats with a shallow draft through. In 1823 a canal was dug through the sandbar. In 1826 the passage was completed, allowing schooners to sail to neighbouring Hamilton. Hamilton then became a major port and quickly expanded as a centre of trade and commerce. In 1826 a group of Dundas businessmen incorporated to compete with Hamilton and increase the value of their real estate holdings. The project to build Desjardins Canal continued for ten years, from 1827 to 1837, and required constant infusions of money from the province. In 1837, the year it opened, the company's income was £6,000, of which £5,000 was from a government loan and £166 was received from canal tolls.

Lake traffic: steamships