According to Inuit and First Nations heritage, Canada has been inhabited since the dawn of this moment. However, the archaeological evidence found to date indicates circa 24,500 BC for the oldest people in Yukon and 7,500 BC for southern Ontario.
The first contact with Europe is thought to have occurred around 1000 AD when Vikings from Greenland are known to have attained, and built a small settlement at, L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, even though they only stayed there for a comparatively short period. It’s unsure if this settlement is Leif Erikson’s legendary”Vinland”, or was maybe a stopping point on the way to Vinland.
The next Europeans to reach Canada were Basque cod fishermen and whalers, who arrived in the region in the late 15th century, and that established a range of fishing outposts In 1497, John Cabot landed in Canada (probably Newfoundland or Cape Breton Island) and claimed the area for King Henry VII of England. Spanish and Portuguese expeditions are also known to have researched the area, but it was the French who were the first to move inland and to set up permanent Shortly afterward, the British also started to establish colonies in Newfoundland, southern Nova Scotia, and the Hudson Bay region.
In 1608, the French recognized Quebec City, and it became the capital of the colony of New France (French: Nouvelle France). Even though the colony was successful at trading, especially the fur trade, the inhabitants of New France remained low (only 60,000 in 1759), due to low immigration, little support from the mother country, and continuous wars with the Iroquois (who had been encouraged by the British in an effort to weaken the French).