The Four Waves of Canadian Immigration

The four peaks of Canadian immigration occurred after the first era of French and British colonization. Aside from immigration, a huge number of non-aboriginal people also settled in only two centuries. At present, Canada is experiencing the fifth peak or wave of the immigration process.

The first wave of Canadian immigration

The first important immigration of non-aboriginal individuals into Canada happened in more than two centuries ago with the highly progressive settlement of the French people of Acadia and Quebec, along with small numbers of entrepreneurs from Europe and America, in addition to the military personnel that came from the United Kingdom.

This particular wave is responsible for the culmination of the influx of British loyalists who tended to flee in an attempt to escape the American Revolution. The places that the British loyalists fled from are the Mid-Atlantic States, which are presently regarded as Southern Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Eastern townships of the Quebec.

The second wave of Canadian immigration

The second wave comprised of individuals who came from Ireland and Britain, as they were strongly encouraged to stay in Canada right after the War of 1812. The immigrants during this wave were primarily made up of the British army regulars who served during the war. They were invited to settle in Canada because of the threat that America was going to attempt an invasion in order to counter the influence of Quebec on the Canadian people. It is actually because of Quebec that a huge part of Canada knows how to speak French.

The British soldiers did their best in restoring normal settlement conditions in back country areas, along with a newly built plank road that is quite near to the highly organized land tracts in Upper Canada, which is now referred to as Ontario.

Also part of this second wave is the immigration of the Irish into Canada. They transferred to this country because of the Irish Potato Famine which actually occurred starting from 1846 right up to 1849. This famine caused thousands upon thousands more of the Irish people arriving right on the shores of Canada. Among the one hundred thousand Irish individuals who sailed to Canada back in 1847, there was an estimate of one death among five people.

The third wave of Canadian immigration

Majority of those who belong to the third wave of Canadian immigration came from the continental part of Europe. Many of them transferred before World War I, particularly between 1910 and 1913, and more than four hundred thousand in 1913.

The fourth wave of Canadian immigration

The fourth peak is also from Europe, especially the French-speaking populations. Ukrainians who live in Canada account for the largest population of Ukrainians that are outside of Russia and Ukraine itself.

However, Canadian immigration was not all about the increase, because some times also came that somehow decreased the number of immigrants into Canada, such as World Wars I and II, and also the world-famous Great Depression.


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