Business | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article

    The Disappearance of Ambrose Small

    On 2 December 1919, a day after completing a million-dollar business transaction in Toronto, entertainment tycoon Ambrose Small mysteriously disappeared. Despite an international search, no trace of him was ever found. Police suspected foul play and investigated Small’s wife and personal secretary. However, neither the police nor a private investigator uncovered any evidence connecting them to his disappearance. The Ambrose Small case remains one of Canada’s most perplexing and legendary unsolved mysteries.

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  • Article

    British American Land Company

    British American Land Company, chartered 20 March 1834 and promoted by John Galt, Canada Company founder; Edward Ellice, Lower Canada's largest absentee landowner; and others. It purchased 343 995 ha of crown land in the Eastern Townships (Qué) for £120 000.

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  • Article

    Fur Trade in Canada (Plain-Language Summary)

    The fur trade began in the 1600s in what is now Canada. It continued for more than 250 years. Europeans traded with Indigenous people for beaver pelts. The demand for felt hats in Europe drove this business. The fur trade was one of the main reasons that Europeans explored and colonized Canada. It built relationships between Europeans and Indigenous peoples. (This article is a plain-language summary of the fur trade. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, Fur Trade in Canada.)

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  • Article

    History of Commercial Fisheries

    Fisheries drew the first Europeans to what is now Canada, and still sustain large coastal and inland regions.

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  • Article

    History of Construction Industry

    Military engineers constructed the first public works, tiny locks, at the rapids on the Soulanges section of the St Lawrence River. These locks were started in 1779 by a British regiment, the Royal Engineers, for Governor Haldimand.

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  • Article

    King George's Sound Company

    King George's Sound Company (Richard Cadman Etches and Co), founded 1785 in London to trade for furs on the Northwest Coast.

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  • Article

    London and Bristol Company

    London and Bristol Company, est 1610, the first formal attempt to colonize NEWFOUNDLAND. A group of merchant "adventurers" from London and Bristol, Eng, obtained a royal charter giving them title to Newfoundland's east coast.

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  • Article

    Moosehead Breweries Ltd.

    Moosehead Breweries Limited, the maker of Moosehead Canadian Lager, is the oldest family-owned brewing company in Canada. Located in Saint John, New Brunswick, the company has been family owned and controlled for six generations and is currently led by founders Susannah and John Oland’s great-great-great grandson, Andrew Oland. Moosehead is the fourth-largest brewing company in Canada — after Molson, Labatt and Sleeman — and the last major brewery to be owned by Canadians. Moosehead beer is sold throughout Canada, in many locations in the United States, and in 15 countries around the world. The company brews 19 beers under 10 brands, including its mainstay Moosehead Canadian Lager, as well as James Ready, Alpine and Hop City. It also contract brews for six companies, including Samuel Adams, from the United States, and Estrella Damm, from Spain. Moosehead is a privately owned company and does not disclose its financial information; however, in 2018, market researchers estimated the company held as high as 3.8 per cent of the Canadian beer market and would generate $247.1 million in revenue.

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  • Article

    Pro Pelle Cutem

    Pro pelle cutem (a Latin phrase meaning “a pelt for a skin”) is the traditional motto of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). It was adopted soon after the company received its charter in 1670 and has remained on the HBC coat of arms, apart from a brief period of rebranding between 2002 and 2013.

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  • Article


    A Promyshlennik is a Russian (chiefly Cossack) free-lance exploiter of natural resources, notably furs. Like the coureurs de bois, promyshlenniki had a sure instinct for rivers, forests and terrain.

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  • Article

    Ranching History

    Fort Macleod was the first cattle town in the Canadian West. Early ranching was centered around the headquarters of the North West Mounted Police (courtesy Glenbow Archives).A round-up in Alberta's ranching country (photo by Angus McNee, courtesy Take Stock Photography Inc.).Photo by Notman & Son (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-8812).Fall roundup: lead man John Thompson herding cattle back to ranches, Alberta, October 1975 (photo by Ted Grant/courtesy Library and Archives Canada/PA-142584).PreviousNext Ranching History Ranching developed...

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  • Article

    South Sea Company

    South Sea Company, chartered in 1711 by the British Parliament, with a monopoly over the W coast of the Americas to a distance of 300 leagues out to sea. In 1720 it assumed a large part of the British national debt and almost collapsed that year in a stock market crash known as the South Sea Bubble.

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  • Editorial

    The North West Company, 1779–1821

    The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

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  • Article

    Vancouver Feature: Gassy Jack Lands on the Burrard Shore

    The following article is a feature from our Vancouver Feature series. Past features are not updated. When Capt. Jack Deighton and his family pulled their canoe onto the south shore of the Burrrard Inlet in 1867, Jack was on one more search for riches. He had been a sailor on British and American ships, rushed for gold in California and the Cariboo, piloted boats on the Fraser River and ran a tavern in New Westminster. He was broke again, but he wasted no time in starting a new business and building the settlement that would become Vancouver.

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  • Article

    Vancouver Feature: The Bay’s Days

    The following article is a feature from our Vancouver Feature series. Past features are not updated. The Hudson’s Bay Company staked its claim to the northeast corner of Georgia and Granville in 1893. Through changes in fashion, technology and politics — as well as some architectural refinements — it has remained there ever since.

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