27 July

Champlain's view of Port Royal

First Permanent Colony Founded at Port Royal

One of the happiest meetings in Canadian history occurred off the shore of Nova Scotia on July 27, 1606. De Monts, Champlain and party had spent their first winter in Canada on Dochet Island in the St. Croix River, not far from the wealthy summer resort of St. Andrew's, New Brunswick. Dochet Island proved to be unsatisfactory as a base, so the party moved to Port Royal, now Annapolis Royal, in Nova Scotia, where they spent the winter of 1605.

This was a pleasant experience. The winter was mild, and Champlain directed the building of houses surrounded by a ditch that carried running water. He even designed two reservoirs—one of fresh water to hold trout, and the other, salt water for fish from the sea. There was a safe harbour big enough to hold 2,000 ships.

De Monts had returned to France, seeking to have his monopoly renewed by Henry IV. He left instructions that if he had not returned by July 16 the colony was to be abandoned and the settlers were to return to France. As it happened, Henry IV would not renew de Mont's monopoly. It was a sad day for the Port Royal colonists when July 16 came, heralding no ship from France. They loaded their supplies into small pinnaces, the only boats they possessed, and sailed along the south shore, hoping to find fishing vessels that would take them back to France.

De Monts never saw his colony again, but the Sieur de Poutrincourt had managed to buy the rights to Port Royal. On July 24, as his ship Jonas was sailing along the south shore of Nova Scotia, it sighted the pinnaces from Port Royal. The colonists were told the good news and returned to Port Royal with the Jonas. On July 27, the entire group gathered at the first permanent French colony in Canada, described by Mark Lescarbot, a young historian in Poutrincourt's Party, as "a marvellous sight." The future of New France seemed to be assured (see May 11).


27 July

-1758    Louisburg fell to Amherst and Wolfe (see June 2).

-1812    The Parliament of Upper Canada met until August 5. It passed laws for defense.

-1853    The Grand Trunk Railway was completed from Sherbrooke, Quebec, to the American border.

-1891    A railway between Calgary and Edmonton was completed.

-1898    The first locomotive operated on the White Pass and Yukon Railway (see February 18).

-1927    The World Poultry Congress was held in Ottawa until August 4.

-1957    American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles arrived in Ottawa for talks with Prime Minister Diefenbaker and members of the Government.