Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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Pre-Confederation Colonization The Irish

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company
In the first half of the 19th century, several land companies were at work in British North America attempting to attract immigrants. These corporations had acquired large tracts of wilderness land from the colonial government in hopes of reaping substantial profits from land sales. Government officials, for their part, were eager to sell crown lands to add much needed capital to the colonial treasury.
The Canada Company and the British American Land Company actively recruited settlers for Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Québec) respectively in the 1830s. They were in direct competition with the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company, which advertised land for sale on its 589,000 acre tract in York County, New Brunswick. Although failing to earn a return on its investment, the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company was responsible for bringing several hundred settlers to the province and for creating the village of Stanley, as well as several other smaller communities in York County, including Bloomfield Ridge, Tay Creek, Williamsburg, and Cross Creek. The company remained active in the province into the 1890s and the lands it was allocated still play an important economic role in the 21st century.