If you are enthusiastic about looking through the history of countries, I welcome you to this blog. Here, I will illustrate the answer, “what is the oldest city in Canada?” and add some exciting information.
In short, the oldest city in Canada is St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. John Cabot founded it in 1497. Likewise, it is on the east coast of the island of Newfoundland, with a population of just over 110,000 people. Moreover, the city is known for its colorful houses, narrow streets, and lively nightlife.
Quebec City is another oldest city in this country. French explorer Samuel de Champlain founded this city in 1608. Consequently, it has the most well-preserved architecture in North America.
From the historic Old Town to the imposing Chateau Frontenac, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this charming city. And with a population of over 542,000, it’s also one of the largest cities in Canada.
Following these two cities, I talk about other historical cities that you can consider the oldest ones.
What is the Oldest City in Ontario?
The oldest city in Ontario is Kingston. It was founded in 1673 by French explorer Louis Jolliet and Jesuit missionary Father Jacques Marquette. You can find this city on the shores of Lake Ontario at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. However, Kingston was the capital of Canada from 1841 to 1844. Later, it was replaced by Montreal.
Today, Kingston is a thriving community with a population of over 136,000 people. The city has a famous university named Queen’s University. Also, many historic buildings and sites include Fort Henry, the Royal Military College of Canada, and the Rideau Canal.
What is the Oldest City in Quebec?
The oldest city in Quebec is not what you might expect. It’s not Montreal or even Quebec City. In fact, it’s a small town called Trois-Rivières, which was founded way back in 1634.
That makes Trois-Rivières nearly 400 years old, which is pretty impressive. Also, it is worth visiting if you’re ever in the area.
There are many places of interest in Trois-Rivières, from exploring the ancient downtown to visiting one of the many museums or parks. And, of course, no trip to Trois-Rivières would be complete without trying some of the local cuisines – including the famous poutine!
Is St John’s the Oldest City in Canada?
Actually, there is no clear definition of a “city.” Suppose we take the definition of a city to be a densely populated urban area. Then, we can generally agree that St. John’s, Newfoundland is the oldest city in Canada. Explorer John Cabot founded it in 1497. And its population has grown steadily since then.
Today, St. John’s is home to over 110,000 people. It is the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. Also, it is one of North America’s oldest continuously inhabited English settlements. So, while there may be older settlements in Canada, St. John’s can lay claim to being the country’s first proper city. And that’s something worth celebrating!
10 Oldest Cities in Canada
Some of Canada’s oldest cities include Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, and Vancouver. Each city has an exceptional history and culture that make them worth visiting. Here are 10 of the oldest cities in Canada:
- Montreal – Founded in 1642, Montreal is one of the oldest cities in North America. It was originally a French colony but was later taken over by the British. Today, it’s a bilingual city with a mix of French and English influences.
- Quebec City – Another old French colony, Quebec City, was founded in 1608, making it one of the earliest permanent European settlements in North America. The city is famous for its well-preserved architecture and quaint cobblestone streets.
- Toronto – Although not as old as Montreal or Quebec City, Toronto yet has a long record dating back to its founding by John Graves Simcoe in 1793. Today, it’s Canada’s largest city and home to a diverse population from all over the world.
- Vancouver – Founded in 1886, Vancouver is relatively young compared to other Canadian cities on this list. But it has become one of the country’s most populous and cosmopolitan cities. Vancouver is renowned for its natural beauty, situated between mountains and the ocean.
- Halifax – One of Canada’s Maritime provinces, Halifax was founded in 1749 and served as an important military outpost during both the Seven Years’ War and World War II. Despite its long history, the city is also home to many universities which give it a youthful vibrancy.
- Ottawa – The capital of Canada, Ottawa was founded in 1826 when it became clear that Montreal could no longer serve as the joint capital for both Upper and Lower Canada. A key feature of Ottawa is Parliament Hill which houses some of the most important government buildings in the country.
- Calgary – Although best known today as an oil town, Calgary started as a frontier settlement established at the confluence of Elbow Riverland Bow Riverine in 1875. In 1988, Calgary played host to the Winter Olympics, further solidifying its status as a major Canadian city.
- St. John’s, Newfoundland, is perhaps best known for being “North America’s oldest English – settled city,” having been founded way back in 1583 by Sir Humphrey Gilbert.
- Hamilton is the eighth largest city in Canada. It is on the west end of Lake Ontario and is a major manufacturing center. Likely, it is the home of McMaster University.
- Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba. Luckily, it is the cultural and economic center of the province. It is also the home of the Winnipeg Jets, a professional hockey team.
What is the Oldest Major City in Canada?
Founded in 1749, Halifax, the oldest major city, has a population of over 417,000 people. The metropolitan area encompasses the municipalities of Halifax County and Dartmouth.
Halifax is the economic hub of the Atlantic Provinces and is a major port city. The city is also home to two universities, Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. However, the city has a long and rich history dating back to its founding by the British government in 1749.
The city was initially named after George II’s second son, the Earl of Halifax. It served as a substantial naval base during both world wars. Besides, it was the site of a devastating explosion in 1917 that killed 2,000 people and destroyed much of the downtown area.
Today, Halifax is a thriving metropolis with a vibrant arts scene, delicious seafood restaurants, and beautiful parks and green spaces.
What is the 2nd Oldest City in Canada?
Quebec City is the second oldest city in Canada and is in the province of Quebec. The city has about 542,000 people and is the capital of Quebec.
This city is one of Canada’s most popular and affordable tourist destinations. It is known for its French-Canadian culture and heritage. Besides, the city has many historical landmarks. At the same time, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Is Montreal or Toronto City Older?
It is really tough to answer which one is older, Montreal or Toronto. Both cities have a long and rich history, dating back centuries. In fact, both cities can trace their origins back to the early 1600s.
So, in terms of age, both cities are quite old. However, when it comes to which city is older in terms of European settlement, the answer is clear: Montreal is the oldest city. The 1st Europeans to settle in what is now Montreal was founded in 1642 by Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, while Toronto was not founded until 1750. It would make Montreal almost 110 years older than Toronto.
Another way to determine the age of a city is to look at when the 1st permanent settlement was established. In the case of Montreal, it was in 1666.
In Toronto, the settlement started after 1793. It would make Montreal almost 130 years older than Toronto.
So, based on the founding dates and the establishment of the first permanent settlements, Montreal is the older city.
So, what is the oldest city in Canada? I hope you have read all the sections of this blog. However, I am recapping the blog again.
The oldest city in Canada is St. John’s, Newfoundland. John Cabot founded it in 1497. Quebec City is the 2nd oldest city in Canada. It was founded in 1608 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain.
Montreal is the oldest major city in Canada. It was founded in 1642 by French explorer Paul de Chomedey.
Toronto is the second oldest major city in Canada. It was founded in 1750 by British explorer John Graves Simcoe.