The Canada Company was a large private chartered British land development company, incorporated by royal charter on August 19, 1826, under an act of British parliament. given royal assent on June 27, 1825, to aid in the colonization of Upper Canada. Originally formed to acquire and develop Upper Canada's undeveloped clergy reserves and crown reserves which, in 1827, the Company acquired for £341,000 ($693,000) from the Province of Upper Canada:
The Canada Company assisted emigrants by providing good ships, low fares, implements and tools, and inexpensive land. Scottish novelist John Galt was the company's first Canadian superintendent. He selected Guelph, Ontario as the company's headquarters, and proceeded to build a town there. The company surveyed and subdivided this massive area, built roads, mills, and schools and advertised it to buyers in Europe. The company then assisted in the migration of new settlers, bringing them to the area by means of a boat, which the company also owned, on Lake Ontario.
The company's mismanagement and corruption, and its close alliance with the Tory elites, known as the Family Compact was an important contributing factor to the Upper Canada Rebellion in 1837.
The formal structure of the Canada Company was put into place August 24, 1826 by the company Court of Directors. John Galt, as secretary, had the first order of business. Tabling an abstract of the charter, Galt declared the name to be “The Canada Company” with directors and secretary as served on the Provisional Committee and listed in the charter.
At the first meeting of the board, it was declared that four directors would rotate off the Company beginning in 1829.
When the Company sold its land to different purchasers, it reserved the mineral rights to itself. In 1919, the Company issued quit claims on such claims, vesting the mineral rights to the Crown. As a consequence, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed legislation in 1922 and 1923 authorizing the grant of such rights to landholders at a set price.
By 1938, the Canada Company held just over 20,000 acres (81 km2) acres of unsold land, while the company shares were valued at 10 shillings. It had become a land company in the process of liquidation. By 1950, only 4,207 acres (17.03 km2) remained in its possession, distributed amongst Lambton County, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and Lanark County.
In 1951, the remaining land was disposed, and land that was unsold became Pinery Provincial Park.
The company voted to wind up its affairs on August 12, 1953, and was dissolved on December 18, 1953.