Loyalists camped on the banks of Johnstown

When Europeans came to Canada, they had to adapt the day-to-day footwear of their homelands to the new conditions. Although shoes were made in many larger cities, newcomers mostly relied on shoes imported from Europe and on shoes they brought with them. A contemporary list of supplies for new French colonists suggests that: 'For every two people there will be a mattress, a straw bed, two blankets, three pairs of new sheets, two coats apiece, six shirts, four pairs of shoes, and a cloak.'

Loyalists camped on the banks of Johnstown, James Peachy
1874-06-06
C-002001
© Library and Archives Canada/Bibliothèque et Archives Canada


Little evidence remains of the shoes worn by early European settlers in what is now Canada as most shoes were practical and quickly wore out. An accident of fate has brought us valuable information about those original shoes.

In 1760, the French supply ship Le Machault, carrying 500 pairs of brand-new shoes for the colonists of New France, sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Archaeologists have retrieved and restored some of the shoes from this eighteenth-century time capsule. Most are simple but well-made men’s shoes, exactly what you would expect people to wear in a basically agricultural colony. There are also a number of men’s light ‘turnshoes’, more suitable for indoor leisure activities.
Little evidence remains of the shoes worn by early European settlers in what is now Canada as most shoes were practical and quickly wore out. An accident of fate has brought us valuable information about those original shoes.

In 1760, the French supply ship Le Machault, carrying 500 pairs of brand-new shoes for the colonists of New France, sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Archaeologists have retrieved and restored some of the shoes from this eighteenth-century time capsule. Most are simple but well-made men’s shoes, exactly what you would expect people to wear in a basically agricultural colony. There are also a number of men’s light ‘turnshoes’, more suitable for indoor leisure activities.

© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Le Machault, a 26-gun, three-masted frigate from the 18th century

Le Machault, a 26-gun, three-masted frigate from the 18th century

Baron Daniel Lescallier
1791
©Baron Daniel Lescallier, 1791.


Shoe with Buckle

In 1760, the French supply ship Le Machault, carrying 500 pairs of brand-new shoes for the colonists of New France, sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Archaeologists have retrieved and restored some of the shoes from this eighteenth-century time capsule.

Parks Canada
1760
Leather and Brass
2M114A1-102
© Parks Canada/George Vandervlugt


Shipwrecked Shoes

In 1760, the French supply ship Le Machault, carrying 500 pairs of brand-new shoes for the colonists of New France, sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Archaeologists have retrieved and restored some of the shoes from this eighteenth-century time capsule.

Parks Canada
c. 1760
Brass
2M8B2-8
© Parks Canada/George Vandervlugt


Learning Objectives

The learner will :
  • Explain how the environment influenced population (Aboriginal, French and Engilsh) in their culture, lifestyle and economy;
  • Identify the effects that resulted from interaction between Aboriginal peoples and colonizers;
  • Summarize the evolution of the shoes in Canada and involve significant changes to Canada’s development;
  • Analyze the development of Canada through the evolution of shoes.

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