This essay on Canada's immigration history relies on a variety of references including data from Statistics Canada, Census Canada, and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration - all of which are easily accessed through http://www.gc.ca.
Beyond these primary sources the reader might start with the Historical Atlas of Canada vols. 1 & 2 (Toronto, 1993).
Equally useful on immigration experiences is a joint National Film Board and Canadian Museum of Civilization series, Canada's Visual History (Ottawa, 1996), now on CD-ROM.
Sections of the Cd-ROM consulted for this piece: D. Avery, "Immigration, 1896 - 1914", D. Muise, "The Transformation of Work in the Maritimes", M. Piva, "The Origins of the Ontario Working Class, 1867 - 1914", S. Beckow, ". . . Anti-Orientalism in the Canadian West, 1858 - 1949", A. Artibise, "Winnipeg: The Growth of a City, 1814 - 1914", and T. Copp, "Poverty in Montreal, 1897 - 1929". Together these accounts reveal the challenges, hardships, and general successes of immigrants in larger urban centres. (There are several other related volumes in this series).
A much different picture emerges when tracing rural settlers histories. D. Owram, Promise of Eden. The Canadian Expansionist Movement . . . 1856 - 1900 (Toronto, 1992) should be read with both G. Friesen, The Canadian Prairies. A History (Toronto, 1987) and R. Loewen, Ethnic Farm Culture in Western Canada (Ottawa, 2002), J. Norris, Strangers Entertained. A History of the Ethnic Groups of British Columbia (Vancouver, 1971).
Two brief studies are notable for their comprehensive portraits of government aims and actions. H. Cowan, British Immigration Before Confederation (Ottawa, 1968), R. Whitaker, Canadian Immigration Policy Since Confederation (Toronto, 1991).
Related information on immigration and Canadian society can be found in either J. Porter, The Vertical Mosaic. An Analysis of Social Class and Power in Canada (Toronto, 1965), D. Morton, A Military History of Canada (Toronto, 1999), or T. Wallace, The Role of Transportation in Canadian Immigration 1900 - 2000 (Ottawa, 2001). Porter's book is a classic in our country's scholarship.
Finally, those interested in immigration history can view or visit two epic presentations recently completed on Canada's past: CANADA. A PEOPLES HISTORY is a joint CBC/Radio-Canada television series (on VHS) and the CANADA HALL, the Museum of Civilization's permanent history exhibitions. Through these presentations one can learn how immigrants arrived and adapted to this land.