When did we start to use Canada as our name?

Not long ago I  was asked about when we started calling Canada Canada. I realized I’d never seen a discussion on the topic.  I think we’ve all heard stories about the source of the name Canada and what it means. Things like:
– “kanata,” the Huron-Iroquois word for ‘village’.
– “cá nada,” spanish or portuguese for ‘nothing here’.
However that and my history lessons didn’t give me an answer for the question of when did we start to use the name Canada. So some research and a blog post on the subject seemed in order.


Jacques Cartier appears to have been the first to use the name Canada for the land he claimed in the name of Francis I. After his 1536 expedition his maps indicated Canada as being the vast territory north of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the world adopted that name also.

In 1763 when the French colony called Canada was transferred to the British, it was renamed the Province of Quebec.

The first time the name Canada was used officially was in 1791. That was when the Province of Quebec was split into Upper and Lower Canada by the British.

In 1841 the British combined both Upper and Lower Canada into one Province of Canada.

In 1867 we became the Dominion of Canada, using British pound as currency and flew the British flag.

In 2017 we are celebrating Canada’s 150th.
Canada, what’s in a name? an article by WALTER HUEBERT
– Need a chuckle? I highly recommend the “imaginary story from Canadian folk lore he starts the article with.

What’s In a Name? How Canada and its Provinces Came to be Named.
– Need a chuckle? I highly recommend the list of things our Canada might have been called.

Name of Canada – Wikipedia




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