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Canada’s History – Images

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Indian encampment, fur trade era


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John Cabot, an Italian immigrant to England, was the first to map Canada’s Atlantic shore, setting foot on Newfoundland or Cape Breton Island in 1497 and claiming the New Founde Land for England. English settlement did not begin until 1610.


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Jacques Cartier was the first European to explore the St. Lawrence River and to set eyes on present-day Québec City and Montreal.


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Count Frontenac refused to surrender Quebec to the English in 1690, saying: “My only reply will be from the mouths of my cannons!”


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Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, was a great hero of New France, winning many victories over the English, from James Bay in the north to Nevis in the Caribbean, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.


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Sir Guy Carleton (Lord Dorchester), as Governor of Quebec, defended the rights of the Canadiens, defeated an American military invasion of Quebec in 1775, and supervised the Loyalist migration to Nova Scotia and Quebec in 1782-83.


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The first elected Assembly of Lower Canada, in Québec City, debates whether to use both French and English, January 21, 1793


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Lieutenant Colonel John Graves Simcoe was Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant Governor and founder of the City of York (now Toronto). Simcoe also made Upper Canada the first province in the British Empire to abolish slavery


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Mary Ann Shadd Cary was an outspoken activist in the movement to abolish slavery in the USA. In 1853 she became the first woman publisher in Canada, helping to found and edit The Provincial Freeman, a weekly newspaper dedicated to anti-slavery, black immigration to Canada, temperance (urging people to drink less alcohol), and upholding British rule.


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HMS Shannon, a Royal Navy frigate, leads the captured USS Chesapeake into Halifax harbour, 1813. There were also naval battles on the Great Lakes


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Major General Sir Isaac Brock and Chief Tecumseh. Together, British troops, First Nations, and Canadian volunteers defeated an American invasion in 1812-14


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The Duke of Wellington sent some of his best soldiers to defend Canada in 1814. He then chose Bytown (Ottawa) as the endpoint of the Rideau Canal, part of a network of forts to prevent the U.S.A. from invading Canada again. Wellington, who defeated Napoleon in 1815, therefore played a direct role in founding the national capital


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In 1813, Laura Secord, pioneer wife and mother of five children, made a dangerous 19 mile (30 km) journey on foot to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon of a planned American attack. Her bravery contributed to victory at the Battle of Beaver Dams. She is recognized as a heroine to this day


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French-Canadian militiamen helped defend Canada in the War of 1812.


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Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine, a champion of French language rights, became the first head of a responsible government (similar to a prime minister) in Canada in 1849.


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The Fathers of Confederation established the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867, the birth of the country that we know today.


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Dominion of Canada $1 bill, 1923, showing King George V, who assigned Canada’s national colours (white and red) in 1921, the colours of our national flag today.


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Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada.


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Fort Garry, 1863: the flag of the Hudson’s Bay Company flew over Western Canada for 200 years before Confederation


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Sir Sam Steele: A great frontier hero, Mounted Policeman, and soldier of the Queen.


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Métis Resistance: Gabriel Dumont was the Métis’ greatest military leader.


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Members of the train crew pose with a westbound Pacific Express, at the first crossing of the Illecillewaet River near Glacier, B.C., 1886.


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Chinese workers’ camp on the CPR, Kamloops, 1886.


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Sergeant, Fort Garry Horse, Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1916.


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Sir Arthur Currie, a reserve officer, became Canada’s greatest soldier.


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Maple leaf cap badge from the First World War. Canada’s soldiers began using the maple leaf in the 1850s.


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The Vimy Memorial in France honours those who served and died in the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917, the first British victory of the First World War.


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More than 3,000 nurses, nicknamed “Bluebirds,” served in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, 2,500 of them overseas.


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Agnes Macphail, a farmer and teacher, became the first woman MP in 1921


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Canadian soldiers observe Remembrance Day Remembrance Day poppy Canadian war veteran.


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Scouts with Remembrance Day wreath.


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Phil Edwards was a Canadian track and field champion. Born in British Guiana, he won bronze medals for Canada in the 1928, 1932, and 1936 Olympics, then graduated from McGill University Medical School. He served as a captain in the Canadian Army during the Second World War, and, as a Montreal doctor, became an expert in tropical diseases.


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In the Second World War, the Canadians captured Juno Beach as part of the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

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