Clachans in Ontario: The Maintenance of a Traditional Irish Settlement System in the New World
Publication Type:Conference Paper
The dislocation of rural society in Ireland, England and Scotland occurred after 1820 on a large scale, causing the province of Ontario to become, to some extent, a by-product of a complex interplay of demography, and shifts in land tenure and economy. It has been postulated that immigration to Ontario represented an opportunity for those dislocated to continue a way of life that was lost, and that the goals and values of immigrants were conservative. In terms of settlement patterns, such conservatism is not generally apparent, given the formal system of land allotment by the government of Upper Canada. Nevertheless, within a small area of the former Gore of Toronto Township, archaeological investigations have revealed a settlement pattern more reminiscent of the Irish clachan system than those typical of rural Ontario in the nineteenth century.