Legislative Council of the Province of Canada

The Legislative Council of the Province of Canada was the upper house for the Province of Canada, which consisted of the former provinces of Lower Canada, then known as Canada East and later the province of Quebec, and Upper Canada, then known as Canada West and later the province of Ontario. It was created by The Union Act of 1840.

Legislative Council of the Province of Canada

Conseil législatif de la Province du Canada
FoundedFebruary 10, 1841 (1841-02-10)
DisbandedJuly 1, 1867 (1867-07-01)
Preceded byLegislative Council of Lower Canada
Legislative Council of Upper Canada
Succeeded bySenate of Canada (federally)
none in Ontario
Legislative Council of Quebec

The first session of parliament began in Kingston in Canada West in 1841. It succeeded the Legislative Council of Lower Canada and Legislative Council of Upper Canada.

The 24 legislative councillors were originally appointed for life. In 1854, the British Parliament authorized their election,[1] and implementing legislation was passed by the Province of Canada in 1856.[2] It was provided that:

  • The present appointed councillors would continue to hold their positions until they had vacated them.[3]
  • Members were to be elected for eight-year terms from each of 48 divisions (24 in each of Canada East and Canada West).
  • The order in which divisions were to be selected for elections was to be determined by lot.
  • 12 members were elected every two years from 1856 to 1862.

The British North America Act of 1867 divided the Province of Canada into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, each with representation in the unelected Senate of Canada. As a province, Ontario never created a Legislative Council; however, Quebec had its own Legislative Council until 1968. Both the provincial and federal upper houses used (and, in the case of the Senate, continues to use to the present day) the same 24 divisions for Quebec as had been used for Canada East by the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada prior to Confederation.

List of legislative councillors

= died in office = elected in byelection = resigned from office = elected by acclamation = unseated

Member District Start End Appointed Elected Appointed to the Senate of Canada Appointed to the Legislative Council of Quebec
Augustus Warren Baldwin Canada West 1841 1841 Y
John Hamilton Canada West 1841 1867 Y Y
James Crooks Canada West 1841 1860 Y
William Morris Canada West 1841 1858 Y
John Macaulay Canada West 1841 1857 Y
Adam Fergusson Canada West 1841 1862 Y
Peter Boyle de Blaquière Canada West 1841 1860 Y
Alexander Fraser Canada West 1841 1853 Y
Thomas McKay Canada West 1841 1855 Y
Robert Sympson Jameson Canada West 1841 1853 Y
John McDonald Canada West 1841 1843 Y
Robert Baldwin Sullivan Canada West 1841 1851 Y
René-Édouard Caron Canada East 1841 1857 Y
François-Pierre Bruneau Canada East 1841 1851 Y
Antoine-Olivier Berthelet Canada East 1841 1841 Y
Philip Henry Moore Canada East 1841 1867 Y
Jules-Maurice Quesnel Canada East 1841 1842 Y
Gabriel Roy Canada East 1841 1848 Y
Barthélemy Joliette Canada East 1841 1850 Y
Peter McGill Canada East 1841 1860 Y
Adam Ferrie Canada East 1841 1863 Y
Paul Holland Knowlton Canada East 1841 1863 Y
George Pemberton Canada East 1841 1849 Y
Étienne Mayrand Canada East 1841 1841 Y
John Fraser Canada East 1841 1843 Y
Jean-Baptiste Taché Canada East 1841 1849 Y
Joseph Dionne Canada East 1842 1859 Y
William Walker Canada East 1842 1863 Y
Amable Dionne Canada East 1842 1852 Y
George Jervis Goodhue Canada West 1842 1867 Y
Levius Peters Sherwood Canada West 1842 1850 Y
Louis Massue Canada East 1843 1851[4] Y
Pierre-Amable Boucher de Boucherville Canada East 1843 1857 Y
René-Joseph Kimber Canada East 1843 1843 Y
Christopher Widmer Canada West 1843 1858 Y
Jacob Æmilius Irving Canada West 1843 1856 Y
William Henry Draper Canada West 1843 1844 Y
John Neilson Canada East 1844 1848 Y
James Morris Canada West 1844 1865 Y
James Gordon Canada West 1845 1865 Y
James Ferrier Canada East 1847 1867 Y Y Y
Hamnett Kirkes Pinhey Canada West 1847 1857 Y
Roderick Matheson Canada West 1847 1867 Y Y
George Strange Boulton Canada West 1847 1867 Y
Denis-Benjamin Viger Canada East 1848 1858 Y
James Leslie Canada East 1848 1867 Y Y
Étienne-Paschal Taché Canada East 1848 1865 Y
Frédéric-Auguste Quesnel Canada East 1848 1866 Y
Joseph Bourret Canada East 1848 1859 Y
Georges-René Saveuse de Beaujeu Canada East 1848 1865 Y
Louis Méthot Canada East 1848 1857 Y
Joseph-Ovide Turgeon Canada East 1848 1857 Y
John Ross Canada West 1848 1867 Y Y
Samuel Crane Canada West 1849 1858 Y
Samuel Sylvester Mills Canada West 1849 1867 Y Y
Robert Jones Canada East 1849 1850 Y
Louis Panet Canada East 1852 1867 Y Y
Charles Wilson Canada East 1852 1867 Y Y
Narcisse-Fortunat Belleau Canada East 1852 1867 Y
Benjamin Seymour Canada West 1854 1867 Y Y
David Morrison Armstrong Canada East 1855 1867 Y
Eusèbe Cartier Canada East 1855 1862 Y
Joseph Légaré Canada East 1855 1855 Y
Walter Hamilton Dickson Canada West 1855 1867 Y Y
Ebenezer Perry Canada West 1855 1867 Y Y
Marc-Pascal de Sales Laterrière Laurentides 1856 1864 Y
Elzéar-Henri Juchereau Duchesnay Lauzon 1856 1867 Y Y
John Simpson Queen's 1856 1867 Y Y
James Patton Saugeen 1856 1862[5] Y
Hollis Smith Wellington 1856 1863 Y
Isidore-Édouard-Candide Masson Thousand Islands 1856 1864 Y
Louis Renaud Salaberry 1856 1867 Y Y
Louis-Antoine Dessaulles Rougemont 1856 1863 Y Y
Philip Michael Matthew Scott VanKoughnet Rideau 1856 1862 Y
Harmannus Smith Burlington 1856 1864 Y
Edmund Murney Trent 1856 1861 Y
John Prince Western 1857 1860[6] Y
Joseph-François Armand Alma 1858 1867 Y Y
George Crawford St. Lawrence 1858 1867 Y Y
Alexander Campbell Cataraqui 1858 1867 Y Y
David Christie Erie 1858 1867 Y Y
Ulric-Joseph Tessier Gulf 1858 1867 Y Y
Alexandre-Édouard Kierzkowski Montarville 1858 1861 Y
Jean-Baptiste Guévremont Sorel 1858 1867 Y Y
Pierre-Urgel Archambault Repentigny 1858 1867 Y
Édouard-Louis-Antoine-Charles Juchereau Duchesnay La Salle 1858 1867 Y Y
George Alexander Gore 1858 1867 Y Y
George William Allan York 1858 1867 Y Y
Donald McDonald Tecumseth 1858 1867 Y Y
James Shaw Bathurst 1860 1867 Y Y
Robert Unwin Harwood Rigaud 1860 1863 Y
David Reesor King's 1860 1867 Y Y
Asa Belknap Foster Bedford 1860 1867 Y Y
William Hamilton Merritt Niagara 1860 1862 Y
Adam Johnston Fergusson Blair Brock 1860 1867 Y Y
Pierre-Gabriel Huot Stadacona 1860 1861 Y Y
Luc Letellier de St-Just Grandville 1860 1867 Y Y
John Hamilton Inkerman 1860 1867 Y Y
Jean-Baptiste-Georges Proulx La Vallière 1860 1867 Y Y
Malcolm Cameron St. Clair 1860 1863[7] Y
Allan Napier MacNab Western 1860 1862 Y
Andrew Jeffrey Newcastle 1860 1863 Y
Louis Lacoste Montarville 1861 1867 Y Y
Sidney Smith Trent 1861 1863 Y
Charles-François-Xavier Baby Stadacona 1861 1864 Y
James Cox Aikins Home 1862 1867 Y Y
Thomas H. Bennett[8] Eastern 1862 1867 Y
William McMaster Midland 1862 1867 Y Y
Jacques-Olivier Bureau Lorimier 1862 1867 Y Y
Elijah Leonard Malahide 1862 1867 Y Y
Charles-Christophe Malhiot Shawinigan 1862 1867 Y Y
François-Xavier Lemieux La Durantaye 1862 1864 Y
Alexandre Bareil, dit Lajoie Lanaudière 1862 1862 Y
Luther Hamilton Holton Victoria 1862 1863[9] Y Y
Robert Read Quinte 1862 1867 Y
John McMurrich Saugeen 1862 1864 Y Y
Charles Cormier Kennebec 1862 1867 Y Y
James Currie Niagara 1862 1866 Y
Walter McCrea Western 1862 1867 Y Y
James Skead Rideau 1862 1867 Y Y
Oliver Blake Thames 1862 1867 Y Y
Louis Auguste Olivier Lanaudière 1863 1867 Y Y
Alexander Vidal St. Clair 1863 1867 Y Y
John Sewell Sanborn Wellington 1863< 1867 Y Y
Thomas Ryan Victoria 1863 1867 Y Y
Billa Flint Trent 1863 1867 Y Y
Eustache Prud'homme Rigaud 1863 1867 Y Y
Asa Burnham Newcastle 1863 1867 Y Y
William Henry Chaffers Rougemont 1864 1867 Y Y
David Edward Price Laurentides 1864 1867 Y Y
Joseph-Noël Bossé La Durantaye 1864 1867 Y Y
Jean-Élie Gingras Stadacona 1864 1867 Y Y
Léandre Dumouchel Thousand Islands 1864 1867 Y Y
David Lewis Macpherson Saugeen 1864 1867 Y Y
Harcourt Burland Bull Burlington 1864 1867 Y Y

Speakers of the Legislative Council

The Speaker was the presiding officer of the Legislative Council, and was appointed by the Queen-in-Council. He was styled "The Honourable, the Vice-Chancellor, Speaker."[10]

The office was preceded by the Speaker of Legislative Council of Upper Canada and Speaker of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada. The following table displays the names and political parties of the Speakers between 1841 and 1866.[11]

Picture Name Party Term Notes
Robert Sympson Jameson 1841-1843 First Speaker of the Legislative Council
Peter McGill 1843-1847, 1848-1853 Mayor of Montreal from 1840 to 1842
René-Édouard Caron 1843-1847; 1848-1853
James Morris 1853-1854; 1858
John Ross 1854-1856
Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché Blue 1856-1857
Narcisse-Fortunat Belleau Blue 1857-1858; 1858-1862
Sir Allan MacNab Conservative 1862
Sir Alexander Campbell Conservative 1863
Ulric-Joseph Tessier Liberal 1863-1866

Parliament Buildings

The Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada sat a various buildings in Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa:

  • 1841-1843 three sessions were held at the 3 storey Kingston General Hospital
  • 1843 Parliament moves to Montreal and sites at renovated St. Anne's Market; burned down in 1849; rebuilt as market only and burned down again in 1902; site later as parking lot and now public square called Place d'Youville.
  • 1849 temporary sites for Parliament at Bonsecours Market and the Freemason's Hall, Montreal for single session.
  • 1849-1850 Parliament returns to Toronto to the site of the Third Parliament Buildings at Front and Simcoe Street.
  • 1851 Parliament relocates to Quebec City in 1851 to the Quebec Parliament Building until fire in destroys the building in 1854.
  • 1854-1859 Parliament remains in Quebec and relocates to Quebec Music Hall and Quebec City Courthouse.
  • 1859 Parliament return to Toronto to the site of the last parliament held there in 1849-1851 sessions.
  • 1860-1865 Parliament returns to Quebec and new Parliament Buildings, Quebec at Parc Montmercy; re-used as Parliament of Quebec 1867-1883
  • 1866-1867 Parliament locates in Ottawa on Parliament Hill to the completed and original Centre Block, as well as the East and West Block; Centre Block was later destroyed by fire

See also


  1. An Act to empower the Legislature of Canada to alter the Constitution of the Legislative Council for that Province, and for other Purposes, (UK) 17&18 Vict., c. 118
  2. An Act to change the Constitution of the Legislative Council by rendering the same Elective, S.Prov.C. 1856, c. 140
  3. subject to the terms provided in An Act to re-unite the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, and for the Government of Canada, 3 & 4 Vic., c. 35, s. 5-8
  4. resigned to accept appointment to government office
  5. appointed Solicitor-General for Canada East
  6. appointed judge
  7. appointed Queen's printer
  8. father of John Bennett
  9. appointed Minister of Finance
  10. Journals of the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada ... being the first session, of the first provincial Parliament, 1841. 1841. p. 22. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  11. Catalogue - Library of Parliament. 1858. pp. 1656–1657.
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