This timeline is from the book ONTARIO: A Celebration of our Heritage by J.M.S. Careless. ISBN 1-895598-01-X. My sincere thanks to "Heritage Publishing House", 7160 Baywood Ct., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada for their permission to use it.

NOTE: As the opportunity arises I will be adding more information to this timeline as I come across it, i.e. settlements, date new counties were founded, things of that nature. All additions will be in this yellow font.



c. 5000 B.C. to 1991



c. 5000 B.C. - Distinctive forms of Northern and Southern Indian cultures emerge in Ontario lands.

c. 1000 B.C. - Introduction of pottery from the south.

c. 500 B.C. - Use of tobacco spreads northward.

c. 500 A.D. - Iroquois adopt cultivation of corn.

1300 - 1400 - Iroquois cultivate beans, squash, pumpkins and sunflowers.

1500 - 1600 - Algonquians remain hunters. Iroquois live in palisaded farming villages. Iroquois Five Nation confederacy takes shape as a "league of peace".

1534 - Jacques Cartier sails the first French ship into the St. Lawrence.

1535 - Cartier encounters St. Lawrence Valley Iroquois.

1608 - Champlain begins lasting French occupation of the site of Quebec City. St. Lawrence Iroquois settlements have disappeared along the St. Lawrence.



1610 - 1611 - Henry Hudson winters on James Bay.

1613 - Samuel de Champlain first touches the Ontario region.

1615 - Guided by Algonquians, French fur traders first travel to Georgian Bay. Recollet missionaries arrive. Champlain penetrates Ontario, reaching to Lake Huron.

1620s - Étienné Brulé travels to Lake Superior.

1625 - Jesuit missionaries land at Quebec and soon enter Huronia.

1630s - Epidemics breakout among Hurons. Iroquois are acquiring European trade goods.

1640s - Huron-Iroquois forest clashes rise.

1640 - Ste. Marie built by Jesuits.

1642 - Montreal founded.

1648 - Iroquois attack St. Joseph in Huronia.

1649 - Iroquois attack St. Ignace and St. Louis; Fathers Brebeuf and Lalemant killed. St. Marie abandoned by Jesuits.

1650s - Coureurs de Bois increasingly significant in fur trade.

1650 - Ile St. Joseph abandoned by Jesuits.

1659 - Radisson and Groseilliers travel beyond Lake Superior.

1663 - Fur company rule of New France replaced by the royal government of Louis XIV.

1666 - French forces attack Iroquois lands.

1667 - French-Iroquois peace established.

1670 - English charter Hudson's Bay Company.

1672-73 - Hudson's Bay post Moose factory established.

1673 - Ft. Frontenac built at Cataraqui (Kingston) by French.

1678 - French post established at Niagara.

1680-81 - Robert Cavellier de la Salle sails through what is later to become Toronto on his way to the Gulf of Mexico.

1682 - French establish own Hudson Bay Company.

1689-97 English-French war. Many English forts in North America fall to the French. French win naval victory on Hudson Bay, Ontario English maintain a foothold on James Bay.

1689 - 1701 Heavy fighting between French and Five Nations Iroquois. French Canadien militia becomes increasingly important.

1701 - Peace established between French and Five Nations Iroquois.

1701-2 Founding of Detroit by Cadillac.

1702-13 English-French war; limited fighting in New France.

1713 - France recognizes Rupert's Land as belonging to Britain.

1721 - Small French fur post built at Toronto.

1730s - Jesuit mission established at Detroit.

1740s - French fur posts extended past Ontario, into the prairies.

1749-51 French fort built at Toronto.

1754 - Fighting resumes between French and British in North America.

1756 - French capture Ft. Oswego in New York province.

1758 - British capture Ft. Frontenac.

1759 - British capture Ft. Niagara. Ft. Rouille at Toronto abandoned by the French. British capture Quebec City.

1760 - Remaining French forces surrender at Montreal. Fall of New France.



1760s - British fur merchants and French Canadian voyageurs active in Ontario region. Montreal remains the fur centre of Canada, and enlarges its hold under British rule.

1763 - Peace established between France and Britain. Proclamation of 1763. Western Indians under Pontiac attempt resistance to British. Indians besiege Ft. Detroit. Michilimackinac and other posts taken by Indians.

1764 - In response, Ft. Erie built by British, who also begin building ships on nearby Navy Island.

1765 - Indians led by Pontiac make peace with Britain. Navy Hall built on western side of Niagara River (where Niagara-on-the-Lake will stand).

1768 - Sir Guy Carleton becomes Governor of Quebec Province.

1770s North West Company established in Montreal, to co-ordinate major fur interests.

1774 - J.B. Rousseau establishes local fur post at Toronto harbour. Quebec Act passed, adding Ontario region to an enlarged Quebec Province. Guy Johnson succeeds William Johnson as Indian Superintendent in New York Province.

1775 - American Revolution begins.

1775-6 American rebel armies invade Quebec; Montreal falls; Quebec City holds out.

1776 - Colonel J. Butler organizes Butler's Rangers out of Ft. Niagara.

1777 - Molly Brant moves to Niagara. Loyalist refugees gather around Ft. Niagara.

1778 - Butler's Barracks built at Navy Hall. Loyalist refugees also gather at Carleton Island and Oswegatchie (Ogdensburg). Sir Frederick Haldimand becomes Governor of Quebec.

1780 - Butler's Barracks and Navy Hall enlarged. Loyalist refugees move to Sorel and Trois Rivères.

1781 - American-French victory at Yorktown. American Revolutionary war over.

1783 - Treaty of Versailles signed. Great Britain recognizes United States' independence. 800 Loyalist settlers live in "Township of Niagara". Large Loyalist migration into Ontario and Quebec begins.

1784 - Around 4000 Loyalists located along the upper St. Lawrence and Bay of Quinte. Grand River Reserve established for Six Nations Iroquois.

1785 - Sir John Johnson first petitions for a British district in western Quebec.

1786 - Lord Dorchester (Carleton) returns as Quebec's governor.

1787 - Mohawk Chapel built at Brantford.

1788 - Four administrative districts created for Western Quebec (in future Upper Canada).

1789 - Widespread crop failures hit Loyalist settlers.

1791 - Canada Act passed, giving political form to Upper Canada (future Ontario).



1791 - Act founding Upper Canada. Population of Upper Canada: c. 14,000

1792 - Gen. John Graves Simcoe issues proclamation offering 200-acre lots to settlers. Simcoe arrives in Upper Canada and becomes governor.

1793 - Simcoe begins construction of Dundas Street. Simcoe achieves the end of black slavery in Upper Canada. Founding of the town of York.

1794 - German settlers arrive from upstate New York. American army launches campaign against western Indian tribes. Battle of Fallen Timbers. Anglo-American "Jay's Treaty" signed.

1795 - Indian-American treaty of Greenville signed.

1796 - Simcoe returns to England. P. Russell succeeds Simcoe to take charge as administrator. Parliament moved to York.

1797 - Yonge Street opened.

1798 - J. Strachan arrives in Upper Canada.

1799 - Gen. P. Hunter becomes governor.

1800 - P. Wright begins settlement of Hull, Quebec area.

1801 - German-speaking Mennonites settle in the Grand River Valley.

1803 - T. Talbot begins settlement of Port Talbot (St. Thomas) area.

1804 - Land settlement in Glengarry County by the Catholic Highlanders.

1805 - A. Grant in charge of Upper Canada as administrator.

1806 - F. Gore become lieutenant-governor.

1807 - Warships Leopard (British) and Chesapeake (American) clash.

1811 - Gen. Isaac Brock stationed in York. Battle of Tippecanoe.

1812 - Population of Upper Canada: c. 90,000. Population of Toronto: c. 700.





1815 - American settlers no longer allowed in Upper Canada.

1816 - Hamilton becomes a village. Meyers Creek becomes Belleville. First steamboat on Lake Ontario. Act passed to establish elementary schools.

1817-19 - Robert Gourlay challenges the government.

1818 - John Beverely Robinson named Attorney-General. Sir Peregrine Maitland becomes Lieutenant-Governor.

1820 - Dr. John Strachan made a Legislative Councillor. John A. MacDonald settles in Kingston with his parents.

1821 - Northwest Company merged into Hudson's Bay Company. Bank of Upper Canada chartered. The "Alien Question" arises. Population of York: c. 1500.

1823 - Strachan made president of the General Board of Education.

1824 - John Galt sets up the Canada Company in London, England. Welland Canal begun by William Hamilton Merritt. William Lyon Mackenzie founds the Colonial Advocate.

1825 - 2000 Irish settle at Peterborough. Erie Canal completed.

1826 - Canada Company chartered in Britain. Rideau Canal begun by Colonel John By.

1827 - Town of Guelph founded. Act passed allowing clergy lands to be sold. University of King's College chartered.

1828 - Alien Act passed. Reform majority elected to the Assembly. Sir J. Colborne becomes Lieutenant-Governor.

1829 - Welland Canal opened. Dr. W.W. Baldwin, soon supported by son, Robert Baldwin, advocates "responsible government."

1830 - Tory-Conservative majority elected to the Assembly. W.L. Mackenzie elected to the Assembly.

1831 - Mackenzie expelled from Assembly. Population of Upper Canada: c. 236, 000.

1832 - Mackenzie re-elected to Assembly. Rideau Canal opened. Ft. Henry at Kingston enlarged.

1833 - Reform leaders Egerton Ryerson and Mackenzie divide.

1834- 31,000 immigrants arrive in Canada. British immigration rising to a peak. Town of York becomes City of Toronto, the first city in Ontario. Population of Toronto: c. 10,000.

1836 - Sir Francis Bond Head becomes Lieutenant-Governor.
At the Treaty of Manitowaning 1,500,000 acres was ceded by the Ojibway (Chippawas), this section of land was called the Huron District or the Queen's Bush, the Queen's Bush was eventually split into three counties called Huron, Perth and Bruce 1849.

1837 - World depression. Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837.

1838 - Widespread American raids along the border. November, Battle of the Windmill. December, Battle of Windsor. Sir George Arthur becomes Lieutenant-Governor. Lord Durham arrives in Upper Canada.

1839 - Charles Poulett Thomson becomes Governor-General.

1840 - Union Act passed.

1841 - Population of Upper Canada: c. 450,000



1841 - Union Act takes effect. Upper Canada becomes Canada West. Kingston is made capital.

1842 - Anglo-American Treaty of 1842 closes time of border troubles. Sir Charles Bagot replaces Sydenham as Governor-General. Population of Toronto: 14,000. Queen's College opens in Kingston. Reform party takes office, led by Robert Baldwin and Louis LaFontaine.

1843 - Common School Act passed. King's College opens in Toronto. Sir Charles Metcalfe becomes Governor-General after Bagot's death.

1844 - George Brown begins to publish the Globe in Toronto. Dr. Egerton Ryerson becomes Chief Superintendent of Education. Montreal made capital.

1846 - Hamilton becomes a city.

1847 - Lord Elgin becomes Governor-General. Large Irish immigration rises. Grain and timber prices drop.

1848 - Reform party wins elections and takes office under Elgin, realizing Responsible Government. St. Lawrence canals finished.

1849 - Municipal Corporations Act passed. Rebellion Losses Bill passed. Rioting in Montreal. Parliament building burned in Montreal. Capital moved to Toronto.

1850 - World trade begins strong revivial. "Clear Grits" gain popularity in Canada West (Upper Canada).

1851 - Baldwin and LaFontaine retire. Population of Toronto: 30,000. Population of Canada West: 950,000.

1852 - Toronto Stock Exchange opened.

1853 - Separate School Bill passed.

1854 - Windsor becomes a village. Liberal-Conservative coalition takes office under MacNab and Morin (later, John A. MacDonald and Cartier). Clergy reserves abolished. Ottawa incorporated as a city.

1855 - Northern Railway opened, Toronto to Georgian Bay. London becomes a city.

1856 - Grand Trunk Railway opened, Montreal to Toronto. Bank of Toronto launched.

1857 - Brownite Liberals win election in Canada West. Railway boom collapses.

1858 - Ottawa approved as permanent capital. Windsor becomes a town.

1859 - Protectionist Galt tariff established.

1860 - First railway sleeping car built in Hamilton.

1861 - Population of Toronto: 44,000. Population of Canada West: 1,400,000. American Civil War begins.

1862 - Militia Bill controversy. Moderate Liberal government under Sandield Macdonald takes office. Political deadlock increasingly develops.

1864 - Brown's proposal of Grit-Conservative coalition to work toward a Confederation is accepted. "Great Coalition" takes power. Charlottetown Conference approves idea of federal union. Quebec Conference drafts Confederation scheme.

1866 - London Conference settles terms for British North American Act.

1867 - Bank of Commerce opened in Toronto. British North American Act passed at Westminster.



1867 - July 1: British North America Act takes effect. Population of Ontario 1,500,000.

1867-71 - Liberal-Conservative coalition government rules new Province of Ontario under John Sandfield Macdonald.

1870s - Silver Islet mines in production in Thunder Bay.

1872 - Liberal Oliver Mowat becomes Premier.

1874-96 - Largely years of world recession or depression.

1876 - Re-organization of the public school system in Ontario.

1880s - Mulitplying factories and fast-expanding city working-class. Electric city lights and trolley cars come into use in the province.

1884 - Ontario-Manitoba boundary dispute settled.

1885 - Canadain Pacific Railway completed; copper and nickel finds on the route bring development of Sudbury.

1888 - Secret ballot and vote without property qualifications in Ontario.

1900-13 - World economic boom.

1902 - Construction starts on provincial railway to tap the Ontario North (Temiskaming and Northern Ontario).

1904 - Silver boom develops at Colbalt on the T.N.O.

1905 - Under Whitney, Conservatives come to provincial power, ending 34-year Liberal rule.

1906 - Provincial hydro-power commission established.

1914-18 - World War 1.

1917 - Women given provincial vote.

1918 - Women given federal vote.

1919 - United Farmers of Ontario led by Drury hold power until 1923.

1920s - Mostly era of prosperity.

1923 - Conservatives return to office under Ferguson.

1929 - Stock market crash.

1930s - The Great Depression.

1934 - Liberals come to power led by Hepburn.

1937 - Auto-Workers' strike, Oshawa.

1939-45 - World War 11.

1943 - Conservatives under Drew take office.

1949 - Leslie Frost becomes Conservative Premier.

1950s - St. Lawrence River hydro and Seaway developments. Ontario Hydro also moves towards nuclear energy.

1954 - Metropolitan Toronto established. Subway system opens in Toronto.

1960s-70s - Expansion of provincial universities and community college system, under Conservatives John Robarts and William Davis.

1961 - New Democrats replace the C.C.F. as left-wing party. Over one-fifth of Ontario's population are immigrants.

1962 - First nuclear plant opens at Rolphton.

1976 - Completion of the C.N. Tower in Toronto.

1985 - Led by David Peterson, Liberals return to office after 41-year Conservative rule.

1989 - Completion of the Skydome.

1990s - Economic recession.

1990 - New Democratic Party comes to power under Bob Rae.

1991 - Population of Ontario 10,000,000.

2003 - Population of Toronto 2,482,000.