400 Years of French Presence in Ontario


Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released the following statement on the 400th Anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s arrival in Ontario:”On August 1, 1615, Samuel de Champlain arrived on the shores of Georgian Bay in the region of Penetanguishene. An explorer, cartographer and diplomat, Champlain and the Huron-Wendat Nation worked together to create a deep friendship and trading partnership.

Today, our province is proud to be home to nearly 612,000 Francophones — the largest population in Canada outside of Québec. And as we celebrate 400 years of French presence in Ontario, our government remains committed to promoting and protecting the longevity and vitality of the Francophone identity in our province.

Tomorrow, 400 years after Champlain’s arrival, the Province of Ontario is celebrating this important legacy with the opening of the Rotary Champlain Wendat Park in Penetanguishene. I am pleased to be able to attend this event and to recognize the bond forged between the early French settlers and First Nations, and to help commemorate Ontario’s rich Francophone history.

The Francophone community has played an essential role in building a prosperous and vibrant Ontario. As Premier, I want to thank Franco-Ontarians for their tireless efforts in making our province one of the best places in the world to live, work and raise a family.”