Canada Hall

Place de la Nouvelle-France

France and Great Britain vied for control of the lucrative fur trade and fought periodically for supremacy of North America. Both powers also sought alliances with Native people: the French had allied themselves with the Hurons and the British with the Iroquois. The towns of New France had to provide defence for the colony's inhabitants. Stone walls, earthworks and wooden palisades were erected around major sites like Quebec, Louisbourg and Montreal. To enter into the New France town square, you pass through the fortified wall that protected urban dwellers from enemy attack.

Between 1713 and 1744, New France enjoyed an unprecedented period of peace, population growth and economic development. Even during prosperous times, it continued to be an agrarian society, with approximately eighty percent of the population living in the countryside. Quebec and Montreal remained small, with a combined population of less than 10,000 inhabitants.

S93-14850 S94-7587

    View a low-resolution Quicktime VR panoramic movie of the town square (163K), or a multi-node movie (652K) in which you can move from the square into some adjacent exhibit areas by positioning your cursor and clicking.
    These movies can be viewed with any Quicktime player, but are best viewed using Apple's Quicktime VR Player. If you wish to download the Quicktime VR Player (for Macintosh, Windows 3.1, or Windows 95) click on the logo:

photo: Stephen Alsford; CMC S94-11986

Most towns were located at strategic points on the banks of rivers and lakes. Port towns, like Montréal, Québec and Louisbourg were centres of military, administrative, and commercial activity. Adjacent to markets and public squares could be found colonial offices, military fortifications, warehouses, churches, missions, schools, and artisans' workshops.