After the American Revolution, a number of Americans, known as Loyalists, moved from the United States to Canada, and settled in places such as Saint John, New Brunswick and Kingston in what is now Ontario. Many of these loyalists were quite prosperous and could afford elegant shoes, such as this pair. The loyalists also included significant numbers of shoemakers; 43 were in Saint John in 1785 alone. These immigrant craftsmen formed the beginnings of the shoe industry.
After the American Revolution, a number of Americans, known as Loyalists, moved from the United States to Canada, and settled in places such as Saint John, New Brunswick and Kingston in what is now Ontario. Many of these loyalists were quite prosperous and could afford elegant shoes, such as this pair. The loyalists also included significant numbers of shoemakers; 43 were in Saint John in 1785 alone. These immigrant craftsmen formed the beginnings of the shoe industry.

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

The Coming of the Loyalists

The Coming of the Loyalists

Henry Sandham
1783
© BAC/C-000168


1Woman's shoes

Woman's shoes and shoe buckle

The Bata Shoe Museum
1740 - 1750, 1780
Spitalfield silk and leather and Shoe buckle Metal and glass
P88.147 and P81.373
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


American child's shoes

American child's shoes

by Bass, Boston, Massachusetts
1790 - 1800
Leather and linen
P00.13
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Between 1740 and 1815, four wars were fought on the terrain of what is now Canada. Even after this period, British soldiers continued to garrison forts such as Fort York in Toronto, in order to protect the colony and maintain the peace. Invariably, at the start of each war, the call went out for military footwear to equip the often shoeless colonial militia, and to replace boots of the newly arrived British soldiers, whose footwear soon succumbed to the rough conditions of the Canadian wilderness.

Very few original examples of military footwear from this period have survived, since discharged soldiers were usually allowed to keep their boots, and wore them out.

Jesse Ketchum's Tannery

Local craftsmen made military boots, providing a major economic boost for the community. In 1812 Jesse Ketchum opened a large tannery in the Town of York to make boot-leather for the British Army. His tannery was the first industry of any size in the community that was to become Toronto.
Between 1740 and 1815, four wars were fought on the terrain of what is now Canada. Even after this period, British soldiers continued to garrison forts such as Fort York in Toronto, in order to protect the colony and maintain the peace. Invariably, at the start of each war, the call went out for military footwear to equip the often shoeless colonial militia, and to replace boots of the newly arrived British soldiers, whose footwear soon succumbed to the rough conditions of the Canadian wilderness.

Very few original examples of military footwear from this period have survived, since discharged soldiers were usually allowed to keep their boots, and wore them out.

Jesse Ketchum's Tannery

Local craftsmen made military boots, providing a major economic boost for the community. In 1812 Jesse Ketchum opened a large tannery in the Town of York to make boot-leather for the British Army. His tannery was the first industry of any size in the community that was to become Toronto.

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

His Excellency The Governor General reviewing the troops at Quebec

His Excellency The Governor General reviewing the troops at Quebec

Canadian Illustrated News, Vol. 2 (Hamilton), 1863, Jun.6, p.42, Toronto Public Library (TRL).

© Canadian Illustrated News, Vol. 2 (Hamilton), 1863, Jun.6, p.42, Toronto Public Library (TRL).


William Hull hands his sword to General Isaac Brock

William Hull hands his sword to General Isaac Brock

LAC/C-016404.
1833 - 1866
© LAC/C-016404.


Officers of the New Brunswick Garrison Artillery

Officers of the New Brunswick Garrison Artillery

New Brunswick Museum, Saint John. N.B/1953.67
1893
© New Brunswick Museum, Saint John. N.B/1953.67


Canadian militia major, Quebec City

Canadian militia major, Quebec City

Royal Canadian Military Institute Museum
1865 - 1870
© Royal Canadian Military Institute Museum.


Canadian Half-Wellington Boots

Very few original examples of military footwear from this period survive, since discharged soldiers were usually allowed to keep their boots, and wore them out.

The Bata Shoe Museum
Early 1900's
Leather
P05.2
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Laced Half-Wellington boots

Very few original examples of military footwear from this period survive, since discharged soldiers were usually allowed to keep their boots, and wore them out.

The Bata Shoe Museum
1893
Leather
X16478
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Jesse Ketchum's Tannery at Yonge and Adelaide, Toronto

Jesse Ketchum's Tannery at Yonge and Adelaide, Toronto

P.M. Fabriano / J.E. Middleton
c. 1815
T-10884.
© Toronto Public Library (TRL).


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.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans