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CANADA: A country of North America occupying the entire continent north of the United States except Alaska; area, 3,745,574 square miles; population (1901), 5,371,315 (estimated in 1909 at 6,100,000).

Political Divisions and Government.

The Dominion of Canada, the official designation of the country, was formed in 1867 by a confederation of the eastern provinces of Upper and Lower Canada (now Ontario and Quebec), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, the coalition being recognized by an Act of Parliament of the mother country. A governor-general, appointed by the king of England, and a privy council administer the government. The legislative power is a parliament consisting of a senate, whose members are appointed for life by the crown on nomination of the ministry, and a house of commons elected every five years at the longest. The Dominion now comprises, in addition to the provinces already named, Manitoba (admitted 1870), British Columbia (1871), Prince Edward Island (1873), Alberta (1905), Saskatchewan (1905), and the Northwest Territories comprising the districts of Assiniboia, Athabasca, Keewatin, Yukon, Mackenzie, Ungava, and Franklin. Each province has its own "lieutenant-governor," executive council, and legislative assembly. Nearly three-quarters of the entire population is in the two provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and almost ninety per cent in the five eastern provinces. The increase during the last decade was a little more than eleven per cent. There is no State Church, but the Roman Catholics of Quebec are guaranteed the privileges which they enjoyed previous to the English occupation.

History and Statistics.

The Frenchman Jacques Cartier took possession of the Labrador region in the name of his king in 1534, and in 1535–36 he ascended the St. Lawrence as far as Montreal. The first permanent settlement was at Quebec in 1608 under the lead of Champlain. The gain in French colonists was slow, and the stream flowed westward toward the Mississippi. English conquest and the peace of 1763 brought Canada under English control. The English and Protestant inhabitants were considerably increased by immigration of English loyalists from the United States after 1783, and the Roman Catholics received a large increment during the nineteenth century by immigration from Ireland; the French population also was augmented after 1871 by a noteworthy number of Alsatians.

The following is the table of religious statistics from the census of 1901:

Adventists 8,058 Latter-day Saints (Mormons) 6,891
Agnostics, Atheists, etc. 3,613 Lutherans 92,524
Anglicans 680,620 Mennonites 31,797
Baptists 292,189 Methodists 916,886
Baptists, Free 24,288 Mohammedans 47
Brethren 8,014 New Church (Swedenborgians) 881
Buddhists 10,407 Non-sectarian 215
Catholic Apostolic (Irvingites) 400 No Religion 4,810
Christadelphians 1,030 Pagans 15,107
Christians 6,900 Plymouth Brethren 2,774
Christian Scientists 2,619 Presbyterians 842,442
Church of Christ 2,264 Protestants 11,612
Church of God 351 Reformed Episcopalians 874
Confucians 5,115 Roman Catholics 2,229,600
Congregationalists 28,293 Salvation Army 10,308
Deists 78 Spiritualists 616
Disciples 14,900 Theosophists 107
Dukhobors 8,775 Tunkers 1,528
Evangelicals 10,193 Unitarians 1,934
Friends (Quakers) 4,100 United Brethren 4,701
Greek Church 15,630 Universalists 2,589
Holiness Movement (Hornerites) 2,775 Unspecified 43,222
Jews 16,401 Various Sects 2,795
    Zionites 42

The Roman Catholics constitute 41.5 per cent of the entire population. They are most numerous in Quebec (1,429,260; 86.7 per cent of the population of the province); in Ontario their number is 390,304 (1.8 per cent). The total number of Protestants is about 3,000,000 (56.2 per cent). Nearly all of the Buddhists and Confucians are in British Columbia, whither they have come as a result of the active trade with eastern Asia. The adherents of the Greek Church are mostly immigrants from Russia to Manitoba, Alberta, and Assiniboia; the Dukhobors, who may be regarded as a schismatic branch of this Church, are in Assiniboia and Saskatchewan. Of the Jews almost half (7,498) are in Quebec and 5,321 in Ontario. Nearly all the Mormons are in Ontario (3,377) and Alberta (3,212). Of the Mennonites, 15,246 are in Manitoba, 12,208 in Ontario, and 3,683 in Saskatchewan. The "pagans" are the Eskimos and unconverted Indians; according to some authorities their number is much larger than that given by the census. All the large denominations are actively engaged in missionary work in the wide domain of Canada, operating through permanent stations and itinerant missionaries. The Roman Catholic Church has from the first been particularly successful in this work, and the majority of the Indians converted to Christianity belong to this Church. The "various sects" are 110 in number and include seventy-nine which reported less than ten members each.

The Roman Catholic Church.

The Roman Catholic Church in Canada dates from the discovery. Huguenots were allowed to settle, only on conditions that soon proved fatal to their religion. In 1615 three Recollect priests settled in Quebec, forming the earliest regular establishment. In 1625 the Jesuits arrived, and began their missionary and educational labors. In 1657 378François Xavier de Laval-Montmorency was named vicar apostolic of New France, becoming first bishop of Quebec in 1674. Under him the church system was fully organized. For some time after the conquest, the see of Quebec remained vacant, as the English Government would recognize its occupant only as the head of the Roman Church in Canada, and not as the bishop of that city. The difficulty was, however, overcome. In 1819 Joseph Octave Plessis (bishop of Quebec from 1806) became the first Canadian archbishop.

As organized at present the Roman Catholic Church of Canada has an apostolic delegate (first appointed by Leo XIII.), who resides at Ottawa. There are eight provinces, twenty dioceses, and four vicariates apostolic, as follows:

Province of Halifax (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick; the Bermuda Islands also form a part of the archdiocese of Halifax); archdiocese, Halifax (founded se the vicariate apostolic of Nova Scotia, 1817; diocese, 1842; archdiocese, 1852); dioceses, Antigonish (founded as the diocese of Arichat, 1844, transferred to Antigonish, 1886), Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands, 1829), Chatham (1860), and St. John (1842).

Province of Kingston (Eastern and Northern Ontario); archdiocese, Kingston (diocese, 1826; archdiocese, 1889); dioceses, Alexandria (1890), Peterborough (1882), and Sault Ste. Marie (1904).

Province of Montreal (Southern and Western Quebec); archdiocese, Montreal (diocese, 1836: archdiocese, 1886); dioceses, Joliette (1904), St. Hyacinthe (1852), Sherbrooke (1874), and Valleyfield (1892).

Province of Ottawa (parts of Ontario and Quebec in the neighborhood of the city of Ottawa and the region about James Bay); archdiocese, Ottawa (diocese, 1847; archdiocese, 1886); diocese, Pembroke (vicariate apostolic, 1882; diocese, 1898).

Province of Quebec (Eastern Quebec); archdiocese, Quebec (vicariate apostolic, 1657; diocese, 1674; archdiocese, 1844); dioceses, Chicoutimi (1878), Nicolet (1885), Rimouski (1867), and Three Rivers (1852); vicariate apostolic of the Gulf of St. Lawrence (prefecture apostolic, 1882; vicariate, 1905).

Province of St. Boniface (the extreme western part of Ontario, Manitoba. Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Northwest Territories); archdiocese, St. Boniface (diocese, 1847; archdiocese, 1871); diocese, St. Albert (1871); vicariates apostolic, Athabasca (1862), and Saskatchewan (1890).

Province of Toronto (Southwestern Ontario); archdiocese, Toronto (diocese 1841; archdiocese, 1870); dioceses, Hamilton (1856), and London (1856).

Province of Victoria (British Columbia, the Klondike and Great Slave regions); archdiocese, Victoria (1847); diocese, New Westminster (vicariate apostolic of British Columbia, 1863; diocese, 1890); vicariate apostolic of Mackenzie (1901).

The Official Catholic Directory for 1908 gives the following figures: number of priests of religious orders, 1,116; secular priests 2,613; churches, 2,495; seminaries, 17, with 1,183 students; universities and colleges, 45; charitable institutions, 202. One hundred and ten Catholic papers are named, and the list of religious orders includes twenty-seven for men and thirty-five for women, the larger number of which are actively engaged in missionary and charitable work. Laval University was founded at Quebec in 1852 and has faculties of theology, law, medicine, and arts.

The Anglican Church.

The Anglican Church in Canada dates from its conquest by England. The first congregation was organized in Montreal in 1766, service being held in the chapel of the Recollects at such hours as the building was not required for mass. In 1774, while the Roman Catholic Church was secured in all its previous rights, it was restricted to collecting its church-dues from members of its own communion, and the purpose was intimated of establishing a Protestant Church. In 1791, when Canada first received a constitution, one-seventh of all the land in the colony disposed of by sale or grant to colonists was "reserved" for the support of a Protestant clergy. In 1787 Charles Inglis was appointed by the English Crown bishop of Nova Scotia—the first of the colonial bishops; in 1793 Jacob Mountain was appointed bishop of Quebec. The present organization includes two provinces and twenty-three bishoprics, as follows:

Province of Canada (the Maritime Provinces, Quebec, and Ontario); archdiocese, Montreal (founded 1850; archdiocese, 1901; since 1904 the archbishop has borne the title primate of all Canada); dioceses, Algoma (with the bishop's seat at Sault Ste. Marie, 1873), Fredericton (1845), Huron (London, 1857), Niagara (Hamilton, 1875), Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1787), Ontario (Kingston, 1861), Ottawa (1896), Quebec (1793), Toronto (1839).

Province of Rupert's Land (the territory west of Ontario and south and east of Hudson Bay); archdiocese, Rupert's Land (1849; archdiocese, 1893; the cathedral is at Winnipeg): dioceses, Athabasca (1884), Calgary (1888). Keewatin (1901), Mackenzie River (1874), Moosonee (1872), Qu'Appelle (1884), Saskatchewan (1874), Selkirk (1891).

Dioceses not forming part of any province: Caledonia (1879), Columbia 1859) Kootenai (1901), New Westminster (1879).

There are theological schools at Lennoxville, Que., Montreal, Toronto, and Winnipeg.

For the history and information about other religious bodies of Canada, see the articles on the different denominations.


Canada has a good system of public instruction, each province managing its own affairs without centralized system for the entire dominion. Elementary schools, high schools or collegiate institutes, and normal schools lead up to the university, and a good education is within the reach of all. The expenses are met by government grants, local assessments, and school fees. Roman Catholic schools are entitled to a share in the public educational funds by the agreement of 1763, and the religious question has led to complications in home localities. In Quebec there are two distinct boards of school commissioners, Protestant and Roman Catholic, each having its portion of the public funds and managing its schools as it sees fit. In Manitoba there are no separate schools, but religious instruction may be given in the school buildings by Protestant or Catholic teachers.

Bibliography: Statistics and other information may be gathered from the Canadian Almanac, Toronto, the Statistical Year Book of Canada, Ottawa, and Le Canada ecclésiastique, Montreal, all annuals, the last Roman Catholic. On the English Church consult: E. R Stimson, History of Separation of Church and State in Canada, Toronto, 1888; J. Langtry, History of the Church in Eastern Canada, London, 1892. There is also a Cyclopædia of Methodism in Canada, Toronto, 1881. For early Catholic relations consult the monumental work, ed. R. G. Thwaites, Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, 74 vols., Cleveland, 1896–1901.

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