Freemasonry In Canada

An Ancient and Honourable Society.

The first Masonic Lodge in Canada, a British Colony at the time, was established in 1738 in Annapolis, Nova Scotia. Years later, in the late 1700’s, Masonry would find its way to Niagara via The Lodge of the 8th or Kings Own Regiment of Foot.

At that time Canada had two Provincial Grand Lodges; Upper and Lower with William Jarvis as the Provincial Grand Master for Upper Canada and Prince Edward as the Provincial Grand Master for Lower Canada. However, unlike Prince Edward, William Jarvis was not endowed by the United Grand Lodge of England with the power to grant warrants for new lodges.

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Given the distance between Canada and England, as well as the modes of communication employed at that time, dissatisfaction festered among the members of The Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada with their Mother Lodge in England. Support in the form of forwarded warrants, certificates, and other tasks necessary for lodge management was infrequent and slow. On November 10th, 1855 the Grand Lodge of Canada was formed.

In 1855, the Colony of Canada consisted of what is now the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. When the Grand Lodge of Upper Canada and Lower Canada merged in 1859, the newly amalgamated Grand Lodge included nearly all of the lodges in Eastern and Western Canada.

1869 saw the formation of the Grand Lodge of Quebec and within five short years the Grand Lodge of Canada withdrew from Quebec.

By 1875, six other Grand Lodges in Canada existed; Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and Manitoba. This led to protests suggesting that Ontario’s Grand Lodge was calling itself the Grand Lodge of Canada and in 1855 a committee recommended the name be changed to The Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M, of Canada in the Province of Ontario which was adopted in 1887. Being the only Grand Lodge in Canada at the time of its formation it was permitted to keep “Of Canada” in their title.

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