Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next

 

HISTORY OF CANADA.   135

they were likely to prove good settlers, and that they were willing to take the oath of allegiance to King George. As a rule these new immigr' its, many of them Loyalists, were of a desirable class. With the good settlers, however, came many of the idle, discontented, and even vicious of the population of the United States, who were long a source of annoyance to their more industrious neighbors. This second immigration filled up the gaps ueeween the earlier settlements--particularly in the western part of the province—and spread back into the rear townships. Simcoe's policy was to place those of approved character and loyalty upon the frontier as a living barrier against invasion. Along his military highways he carefully reserved blocks of land for actual settlers, but after he had gone these were parcelled out among the members and friends of the official class, and. the interests of settlers were ignored.

A Large Increase.—The tide of immigration, however, flowed steadily on, and the forests along the frontier slowly disappeared ueiore the settler's axe. Following the troubles in Ireland (1798), there was a considerable influx of Irish settlers into Canada during the early years of the present century. Toward the close of the last century a number of French emigres—many of them of the nobility—driven from France during the storm of the revolution, found an asylum in Upper Canada. They were settled upon what were called the Oak Ridges, north of Toronto. But the soil proved unyielding to their unaccustomed hands, and before long they had almost entirely disappeared. The extent of the flow of population toward Upper Canada may be gathered from the fact that by the year 1812 the population had increased to about 75,000, spread along the entire frontier from Lake St. Francis to the Detroit River. The more thickly popnlited regions were the original seats of settlement—the St. Lawrence townships, the Bay of Quinte region, the Niagara frontier, and the Amherstburg district—to which was soon added the neighborhood of the capital, "Muddy York," now Toronto.


Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next