French Canadians began settling in Ontario at the beginning of the 18th century with the establishment of an agricultural settlement on the site that is now Windsor, Ontario. It was almost a century later that this small colony expanded and further settlements were created to meet the demand for industrial labour as Ontario developed. The majority of Franco-Ontarians settled in the area between Ottawa and the Québec border, and this remains the region with the highest concentration of French-speaking people and those of French origin. As of 1981, Franco-Ontarians made up 7.5% of Ontario’s population, of whom about two-thirds spoke French as their mother tongue. In the 20th century the question of language rights in education was a primary concern of the Franco-Ontarian community. Franco-Ontarians pressed for, and won, the legal right to French-language education, which allowed French-language schools to join the public system.
Le Courrier Sud was published in Toronto from 1973 to 1976, almost all of which is here made available. Its focus was on community activities, the arts and local politics. Toronto’s French-speaking community makes up only 1.5% of the population, and the French-language pages of Courrier Sud reflect its concerns around assimilation and the civil rights of Francophones.
Contributed by Multicultural History Society of Ontario.