Franco-Ontarian History - ROPFO

The presence of French people who settled in Ontario started in the mid 17th century. Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer who travelled around, was the one who discovered the would-be Ontario. The eight months that he spent was the most comprehensive and lengthiest exploration he had done in his lifetime.

The 400th Year Celebration

Would you believe that the Franco-Ontarians are now celebrating more than 400 years as a community? And how exciting it is to know that you are a part of that celebration as a fellow Franco-Ontarian.

In 2015, the community celebrated the anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s discovery of Ontario. The exploration paved the way for the Francophones to build their community and start their life in the province as well as have the opportunity to help out the citizens within the area.

The celebration included:

  • The restoration of the Rotary Champlain Wendat Park located at Penetanguishene. The updated version of the park is made to be a commemorative park for the 400th
  • The community would like to display the significance and impact of the French people’s involvement that shape Ontario for many years.
  • Ontario made a provincial recognition plaque and was presented to France. The plaque represented Samuel de Champlain’s exit from the province.

Franco-Ontarians Have a Queen’s Park Monument Dedicated to Them

During the summer of 2018, a monument was placed on Queen’s park that is presented for the Franco-Ontarians and to commemorate their 400th anniversary. It is located at the corner of the Western Gateway Lawn in Toronto.

The monument is titled “Notre Place” which means our home. In building the monument, the makers would like to acknowledge the role that Francophones play to build Ontario’s culture and make it a community that is open to change whilst being united.

If you are curious to know if it is open to everyone, it is located in a public space that is near University Avenue. The design is thin columns that are adjacent to each other in various sizes which depict the journey that the community has gone through.

Franco-Ontarian Day

There are about 612,000 Francophone people that are based in Ontario to date, making them the largest society that is not living in Quebec.

The Franco-Ontarian Day was formally introduced and recognized in 2010 and is celebrated every 25th of September. This is the time to be proud of our heritage and legacy as a community.

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