The 200 story nodes created in commemoration of the Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial can be searched by more than twenty themes, through the pins on the interactive map and by date on the timeline. 

You're viewing 11 stories about “French and English
Sir George Étienne Cartier by Notman & Son. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

George-Étienne Cartier and Sir John A. (colleagues)


Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George-Étienne Cartier were close friends, political colleagues, and shared a vision of a continental Canada.

Sir John A Macdonald circa 1888. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Patriarch of Canada


John A. Macdonald is rendered as the "patriarch of Canada" in an era when the concept of nation-state had not yet been articulated.

Shooting of Col. Robert Moodie in front of John Montgomery's tavern, Yonge St., w. side, near Montgomery Ave. by Charles William Jefferys. Source: Toronto Public Library.

John A. Takes Up Arms


John A. Macdonald bore arms during the Rebellion of 1837 motivated by a demand for political reform.

Montreal: Banquet Tendered to Mr. Thomas White, Jr. Sir John A. Macdonald Replying to the Toast of her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

John A. and French Canada


Part of Sir John A. Macdonald's greatness and one of his most important legacies revolves around his treatment of French Canada.

City of Ottawa, Canada West by Stent and Laver, circa 1860 (prior to the Parliament Buildings). Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Ottawa Becomes the Capital

January 1858

For years the seat of Parliament had been alternating every four years between Quebec City and Toronto, but this was costly and disruptive and a permanent capital was needed.

Title Page of the 72 Resolutions of the Quebec City Conference, October 10, 1864 with doodles by Sir John A. Macdonald. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

John A. at the Quebec Conference

October 1864

It was at the Quebec Conference that Frances Monck, the governor general's niece, noted that Macdonald was always drunk and that he had been found in his hotel room, with a rug thrown over his nigh

Delegates at the Quebec Conference, 1864. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Quebec Conference

October 10, 1864

On October 10, 1864, a second conference, the Quebec Conference, was held in Quebec City. For two weeks Sir John A. rallied the separate parties with impassioned speeches.

Parliamentary Debates on the subject of the Confederation of the British North American Provinces, 1865. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Debate on Confederation Begins

March 11, 1865

Early in 1865, Macdonald gave the opening speech for the parliamentary debate on Confederation. This speech was apparently one of the longest and least convincing he ever gave.

Reading the proclamation of Confederation in Market Square on July 1, 1867. Source: Queen's University Archives.

John A. Becomes Sir John A.

July 1, 1867

On the morning of July 1, 1867, the first Dominion Day, John A. received word that he had been granted a knighthood. He was now officially Sir John A. Macdonald, and Agnes was Lady Macdonald.

Councillors of the Provisional Government of the Métis Nation. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Louis Riel and the Provisional Government (1885)


In 1885, following the emigration of the Métis to Saskatchewan and the ongoing encroachment of settlers, the Métis continued to petition Macdonald's government for their land rights.

Canadian spelling

Canadian Spelling


In 1890 Sir John A. Macdonald and his cabinet issued an Order-in-Council directing that British spellings be put in uniform use in all Government of Canada documents.