The Library and Archives of Canada in Ottawa: www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/index-e.html houses the passenger arrival lists beginning in 1865. This group of records has some 2.2 million arrivals. It has been indexed on www.ancestry.com as “Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935.” Microfilm is also available in Ottawa and at the Family History Library.
So what exactly is in this vast collection of passenger lists? From the Ancestry website, the following is listed as the sources:
- Quebec Ports (May 1865–June 1908, June 1919–July 1921, April 1925–November 1935)
- Montreal, Quebec (April 1925–November 1935)
- Halifax, Nova Scotia (1881–October 1922, 1925–1935)
- North Sydney, Nova Scotia (November 1906, August 1908–August 1922, 1925–1935)
- Saint John, New Brunswick (1900–September 1922, 1925–1935)
- Vancouver, British Columbia (1905–September 1922, 1925–1935)
- Victoria, British Columbia and Pacific Ports (April 1905–September 1922, 1925–1935)
- Eastern U.S. Ports (July 1905–February 1919, 1925–1928)
- New York (1906–1921)
Information will include some of the following; name, age, gender, marital status, whether in Canada before, whether intending to reside in Canada, literacy, country of birth, race, destination, occupation, religious denomination, port of arrival, date of arrival, port of embarkation, ship name and shipping line.
Ships would sail from UK and Irish ports, with some immigrants first arriving at US ports, and then to Canada by ship. For passengers arriving in Eastern Canada, but bound for Western Canada, they would travel by train. The train lists were not recorded at that point.
While this is not the only set of arrival lists available for Canada, these are the major set of records. All else would be supplementary to this.
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