Country Profile


Joseph Smith, Sr. and his son Don Carlos — the father and brother of Joseph Smith, Jr. — preached in several Canadian towns and hamlets north of the St. Lawrence River in September 1830. The Canadian settlements were only a day or two’s journey from Palmyra, New York, and Kirtland, Ohio, and several converts were eager to share their new religion with relatives north of the border.

Between 1830 and 1850, some 2,500 Canadians joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, mostly in Upper Canada (modern-day southern Ontario and the watershed areas of Northern Ontario along the Ottawa River and Lakes Huron and Superior) but also in the southern English-speaking townships of Lower Canada (southern portion of current-day Quebec and the Labrador region), New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

The first known Latter-day Saints to enter what is now Alberta were Simeon F. Allen and his son Heber S. Allen of Hyrum, Utah, who contracted work in 1883 on the Canadian Pacific Railroad between Medicine Hat and Calgary. They were joined by other Later-day Saints from Utah working on the contract.

A few years later in 1886, Cache Stake President Charles O. Card received permission from Church President John Taylor to investigate colonizing opportunities in southwestern Canada.

Today, more than 190,000 Latter-day Saints are spread throughout 496 congregations in Canada.

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