Canadian History Time Line, Prehistory to 1710

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15,000-11,000 B.C.

    Earliest North American occupation dates commonly accepted by archeologists. Artifacts in the Bluefish Caves in the Yukon from this time period

11,000-9000 B.C.

Circa 8000 B.C.

    Oldest evidence of Amerindian people living in the St.Lawrence River valley. These were hunters and did not live in settlements. Maritime Prehistoric period. Prairie prehistory overview with chronology. Niagara region inhabited by Clovis people.

Circa 7000 B.C.

Circa 6000 B.C.

    Neolithic farming begins in the Near and Far East as well as in North America.

Circa 5000 B.C.

    Early Archaic Period (here for all Archaic periods; follow the links for an excellent study of this time in human history). Earliest petroglyphs date from this period. Okanagan pictographs possibly date from 4000 B.C (6000 B.P—"before present")

Circa 3000 B.C.

    Middle Archaic Period. Here for a description of a body possibly dating from that time.

Circa 2000 B.C.- 800 A.D.

Circa 1000 B.C.

    Late Archaic Period (2500-1000 B.C.)

Circa 300 B.C.

    Early Woodland Period (here for Woodland Period with emphasis on Manitoba region). Dorset Culture 600 B.C.-1000 A.D. Some petroglyphs in Ontario date from this period

Circa 0 A.D

Circa 500 A.D.

    Beginning of farming in Great Lakes region, possibly ancestors of Iroquois nations such as the Mohawk people.

Circa 900 A.D.

Circa 1100

Circa 1300 -1500 A.D.



    Jacques Cartier explores Newfoundland & charts the Gulf of St. Lawrence, landing in Gaspé


    Cartier sails to what is now Quebec & Montreal. St. Lawrence Iroquioians and also try here) living on what is now the island of Montreal discover Cartier sailing up the river.These people had disappeared by the time Champlain visits 70 years later.




    King Henry IV of France grants fur trading rights in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to a group of French merchants. Late 1500's saw the decimation of the Iroquoian (not to be confused with Iroquois) people—likely the result of disease and wars; survivors possibly join Mohawk nation.



    Champlain founds Quebec. For an essay on the origins of the Québècois French language, see here


    Champlain supports the Algonquin against the Iroquois (links to reviews of books on Iroquois people past and present here: Iroquois Museum NY here)at Lake Champlain




    Jesuits arrive in Quebec to begin missionary work among the Native peoples


1629 David Kirke captures Quebec for Britain


    Captain James finishes his winter ordeal on Charlton Island in the bay that now bears his name; he managed to survive and return to England by sinking his ship before winter. It is doubtful that he reached Moosonee, although Moose Factory is still the area with the oldest white settlement in Ontario (fur traders).The Treaty of Saint Germain-en-Laye gives Quebec back to France


    Europeans introduce diseases to Native peoples to which they have no resistance; half of the Huron die.(also, here for a detailed account; the Huron nation is now often called Wyandot) Read about the colourful and exciting life of Guillaume de Cousture who arrives about 1640 or 1641.





    Adam Dollard des Ormeaux makes a last stand against the Iroquois at Long Sault; the Iroquois decide not to proceed with an attack on Montreal


    Quebec becomes a royal province



    Population records from the first census count 3,215 non-Native persons in Canada


    Formation of the HBC, with rights to all territory draining into Hudson’s Bay


    Count Frontenac becomes Governor of Quebec


    The Mississippi River is explored by Marquette & Joliette, then Duluth, followed by La Salle The history of the St. Lawrence Seaway begins 1680 with the building of a canal between Lac St-Louis and Montreal (this site has an excellent timeline; for maps and pictures try here)


    De Troyes & D’Iberville capture three major English trading posts




    All captured English & French territories are restored to original claimants by the Treaty of Ryswick



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Updated March 2001

A review of this site by Brent Johner is available at the Canadian History site.
N.B.: All links in the Time Line will take you off this site. Bookmark now, or use your browser's "back" feature. See Introduction for further information regarding links.





HBC—Hudsons’s Bay Company;

NA–North America

NAFTA–North American Free Trade Agreement.

Standard provincal & other abbreviations used wherever possible.

Primary sources: The 1999 Canadian Global Almanac by John Robert Colombo; A Short History of Canada by Desmond Morton.

Icons are used primarily to illustrate the main tenor of the entry for a given date and to help follow events at a glance.

= Prehistoric, archeological

= Exploration & charting

= Historic voyage (exploration)

= Settlement

= Events concerning Native people

= War for a regal claim

= Treaty, act or decree

= Battle or war

= Religious matters


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Christine Hastie.

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