A Look Back at Canadian History

It’s been 150 years.

Finally, we’ve reached Canada’s 150th. This is the perfect occasion to look back at some of the milestones that we’ve passed together, and what they meant for the development of Canada as we know it.

The Founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company

The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) was the original large fur trading corporation on Canadian soil. Founded in 1670, its operations encompassed a large portion of Canadian soil. The HBC showcased the willingness of the explorers and the First Nations to cooperate and do business with each other, and create mutual value for each other. Without the operations of the Hudson’s Bay Company, it would be very possible that the exploration and expansion into new Canadian territory may have occurred much later or perhaps even not at all. The HBC persists today as North America’s oldest retailer chain, operating stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor.

The original HBC headquarters

The War of 1812

The War of 1812 was very special as the only occurrence of a major military conflict on Canadian soil. At the time, the Americans were very unhappy about a British naval blockade, and so they unleashed their discontentment by attempting to annex Canada. Canadians ended up successfully defending our territory. From this point on, no further major military conflicts have occurred on Canadian soil, while Canada continued to be strong on the international stage with intervention in global battlefields as a peacekeeping force. The War of 1812 also serves as a source of Canadian pride for our sovereignty and capability to defend ourselves.

An artist’s iconic depiction of the War of 1812


The Canadian Confederation, the most monumental piece of legislation in Canadian history that established the very basis for Canada, was founded on July 1, 1867. The anniversary of Confederation is why we celebrate Canada Day on July 1. The agreement signed originally only included four provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, but it quickly expanded to the ten provinces and three territories that we know today. In order to create this document that defines Canadian politics, the Founding Fathers from each region of the early Canada all came together for many days of deliberations to see the interests of each of their territories represented. The Confederation has been expanded multiple times to become more comprehensive, with additions such as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A portrait of the Founding Fathers

Terry Fox

Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope was a more modern event that made a huge impact for Canada. We all know about the story behind Terry Fox and his motivation to raise more money for cancer research. He was truly a Canadian hero, as he showcased the best of Canadian society and spirit to the world. His perseverance allows him to be a role model for children around the world. In the modern day, his legacy is upheld with over $650 million Canadian dollars raised for cancer research under his name.

The Marathon of Hope that started it all

Canadian Innovation

This last item on this list is not a single event or occurrence, but rather a combination of the results of the inventive Canadian spirit. Canadians have been credited for the invention of the telephone and the light bulb, which were both world changing devices. In the modern day, Canada has been at the forefront of the global pack in technology innovation, with technology such as the Canadarm working on the International Space Station. And of course, who could forget the Canadian invention that everyone enjoys the most: Poutine.

Poutine will forever be the greatest (and tastiest) Canadian invention

In the modern day, we are all thankful for the country that Canada is, and all the events in our history that led up to what we are today. Here’s to 150 years already, and for many more successful years down the road!


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