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The mission of the Canadian Friends Historical Association is the preservation and communication of the on-going history and faith of Friends (Quakers) in Canada and their contribution to the Canadian Experience. 

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) arose in England in the 17th century, inspired by the message of George Fox. Early Friends immigrated to America during this period. The first Quakers to settle in Canada came from the United States during the American War of Independence. Friends were early pioneers in frontier areas of Upper Canada, including York, Prince Edward, Grey andElgin Counties.

The Quakers came to what is now Canada with a strong sense of religious guidance; they provided for their community by building schools, Meeting Houses and Burying Grounds. They contributed in many ways to the religious and social life of the communities in which they lived. Though small in numbers today, the Religious Society of Friends is an active faith community in Canada.

Created in 1972, the work of the Canadian Friends Historical Association includes support for the preservation of Quaker records in the Canadian Quaker Archives in Newmarket, encouragement of the research, study and writing of Quaker history, action to document and preserve Quaker Meeting Houses, Burial Grounds and other sites of significant Quaker heritage, promotion of the significant contributions of Quakers, and the publication of the Canadian Quaker History Journal and the Canadian Friends Historical Association Newsletter.

Managed by an Executive Board that includes university professors, educators, researchers and archivists, the Canadian Friends Historical Association also hosts an annual spring conference, an annual general meeting and conference in the fall, and other special events related to the faith and on-going history of Quakers in Canada.

For more information, please contact the Chair of the Canadian Friends Historical Association. 

Association History
In the fall of 1972, concerned Friends and those interested in Quaker history in Canada gathered at Pickering College, in Newmarket, Ontario to collaborate in the creation of the Canadian Friends Historical Association. Under the Chairmanship of Kathleen Hertzberg, this small group believed that the creation of the Association was a “new step in the life of Quakerism in Canada…that it will provide more complete records of the history of the past and of history in the making and thus supply source material and inspiration for further study of Quakerism in Canada.”

Congratulating the founders on the creation of the Association, Arthur Dorland, the author of The Quakers in Canada: A History, who was named honorary chairman, wrote “The idea is an excellent one. You will have my moral support.”

Now forty years later, we commemorate not only the vision of the founders, but also the contribution of hundreds of individuals, many beyond the nation’s boundaries, who have worked on committees, wrote articles, attended annual general meetings, recruited new members, and made financial contributions.
To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Canadian Friends Historical Association, the Executive Committee discerned four key projects that would begin this year:

  • Create the Founders’ Fund to provide resources to support individuals and groups in achieving the Mission of the Association.
  • Gather and archive material relating to the history of the Association.
  • Produce an anniversary publication.
  • Create a social media presence to encourage greater public awareness.

This page was created to address the second key project, to gather and archive material relating to the history of the Association.

The following documents provide a glimpse into the celebrated history of the Canadian Friends Historical Association. This page will be updated as documents become available.

© Copyright – CFHA: Material on this website is provided for your personal use only. Please contact CFHA for permission to publish the material in any form.