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The British Invasion

British subjects, living in the American colonies and wishing to remain loyal to King George III had seen their lands confiscated. Many fled the country and travelled north to Upper Canada, still in British control at the time.

These loyalists settled mainly in Ontario and the eastern part of Quebec where they received land grants of 200 acres per person. The Niagara area saw a great influx of British loyalists at this time. Many of the earliest settlements in Canada sprang up along the Great Lakes and the rivers and streams that fed into them which provided transportation routes and power to run the mills which would in turn encourage further settlement.

The arrival of the British loyalists also changed the structure of Canada from a predominately French country to a French/English country. In order to accommodate this, two provinces were formed. Upper Canada (southern Ontario) was predominately English and Protestant while Lower Canada (southern Quebec) remained predominately French and Catholic.