QUESTION: I have a general question. If people from Ireland were leaving in the very early 1800's and going to Canada, would they have first settled in one of the Maritime Provinces or in the Prov. of Quebec, and "then" moved to the Prov. of Ontario? Or, in the 1820's or 1830's, for example, would they have continued on and gone directly to Ontario?
MY ANSWER: Hi Betty. That's a very good question. It would depend on several things -
First - did they have family or friends already in Canada? If so, they would mostlikely want to be near them
Second - were there land deals or incentives being offered at the time? And where? If there was a great opportunity to get a free or cheap grant of land, let's say in one area of Ontario, off they'd go to grab that
Third - jobs - for example when the Welland Canal in Ontario was begun (1830s I think) , jobs were plentiful and settlers flocked to the area to get one.
People back then were just like people now - they needed a home, food and a job. And they needed family and friends, not just for social interaction but for help with physical labour, or in times of illness or trouble.
Wherever those things were most plentiful, that is most often where they would settle.