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A French explorer tienne Brl explored part of the area in 1610-12. In 1611 Henry Hudson sailed into Hudson Bay and claimed the area for England, but Samuel de Champlain reached Lake Huron in 1615 and French missionaries began to establish posts along the Great Lakes, forging alliances in particular with the Huron people. Permanent French settlement was hampered by their hostilities with the Iroquois five leagues (based in New York State), who were allied with the British. By the early 1650s, using both British and Dutch arms, they had succeeded in pushing other related Iroquoian speaking peoples, the Petun and Neutral Nation out of or to the fringes of territorial southern Ontario.

The British established trading posts on Hudson Bay in the late 17th century and began a struggle for domination of Ontario. The 1763 Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years' War by awarding nearly all of France's North American possessions (New France) to Britain.

The region was annexed to Quebec in 1774 but was split off as the Province of Upper Canada in 1791.

The Seal of Upper Canada



Upon the creation of Upper Canada a seal for the province was authorized by royal warrant dated 28 March 1792. The obverse was described as the Calumet of Peace with the Anchor and Sword of State encircled by a Crown of Olives. Above this is a representation of the royal crown. In the upper right hand was the Union Jack, on the seal of 1817 replaced by the new Union Jack of 1801 with the St. Patricks Cross. Below are two cornucopia in saltire

Motto: IMPERI PORRECTA MAJESTAS CVSTODE RERVM CAESARE (The greateness of the empire is extended under the guardianship of the Sovbereign)

Legend: SIGILL { PROV { NOS { CAN { SUP (Seal of Our province of Upper Canada).

On the reverse is the royal achievement. On the seals deputed of King George IV and Queen Victoria both seals were combined on a single sided seal. [1]


Calumet much the same in all American Tribes



Upper Canada existed from 26 December 1791 to 10 February 1841.

An important role in the colonization and development of Upper Canada was played by the Canada Company incorporated by royal charter on 19 August 1826 and existing until 1953.


The Act of Union 1840, passed July 23, 1840 by the British Parliament and proclaimed by the Crown on February 10, 1841, merged Upper Canada with Lower Canada to form the short-lived United Province of Canada.

The United Province of Canada ceased to exist at Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, when it was redivided into the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.


The Arms of the Province of Ontario


Upper Canada came into being as the result of loyalty to the Crown on the part of those Americans who refused to deny their allegiance, and to live under a republican form of government in the newly established United States of America. [....] It was fitting therefore, that the arms of its successor, the Province of Ontario should include some allusion to this act of loyalty accomplished at the cost of great personal sacrifice. Accordingly, in the negotiations which preceded the assigning of the present arms, the Provincial authorities asked for a St. Georges Cross in chief. The College of Arms pointed out that, as the population of Ontario by 1868 was almost equally divided between descendents from the three major races of the British Isles, the Union device might be more appropriate in this position. [2] The local authorities, however, carried their point, and a red cross on a silver chief was included in the arms. The remainder of the shield is of effective simplicity: a green field charged with three gold maple leaves on a single stem. The use of maple as emblematic flora in Canada appears to have predated Confederation, as in 1859 it is to be found on the Regimental Colours of the 100th Regiment (The Prince of Wales Canadian Regiment); and in 1860 it was employed extensively during the visit to Canada of the then Prince of Wales.

In the year following Confederation, arms were granted by Royal Warrant, 26th May, 1868, for use in the four Provinces of the new state, Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec and Nova Scotia. The arms assigned for Ontario, upon this occasion, have the following blazon:



Vert, a sprig of three leaves of maple slipped Or, on a chief Argent the Cross of St. George.


The Achievement


Some fortynine years later, the former Prince of Wales, now Edward VII, augmented the Ontario Ensigns Armorial in the following manner:


Crest: Upon a wreath of the colours (Or and Vert) a bear passant Sable.

Supporters: Dexter a moose, sinister, a Canadian deer, both proper.

Motto: UT INCEPIT FIDELIS SIC PERMANET. (Begun in Loyalty May it so Remain).

By R.W. 27th February 1909 [3]

The Achievement of Ontario


Augmentation of the Arms of Ontario: 7 Feb. 1909


EDWARD THE SEVENTH by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, to Our Right Trusty and Right Entirely beloved Cousin and Councillor Henry, Duke of Norfolk Earl Marshal and Our Hereditary Marshal of England, Knight of Our Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of Our Royal Victorian Order, Greeting.


WHEREAS Her late Majesty Queen Victoria was graciously pleased by Warrant under Her Royal Sign Manual bearing date the twenty sixth day of May in the Thirty first year of Her Majestys Reign to assign certain armorial Bearings to the Province of Ontario in Our Dominion of Canada, and whereas for the greater honour and distinction of the said Province We are desirous that a crest amd Supporters should be assigned thereto -


KNOW YE therefore that We of Our Princely Grace and Special Favour have granted and assigned and do by these Presents grant and assign the following Crest that is to say Upon a Wreath of the Colours a Bear passant Sable, and the Supporters on the dexter side a Moose, and on the sinister side a Canadian Deer both proper, together with this Motto Ut incepit fidelis sic permanet, as the same are in the painting hereunto annexed more plainly depicted to be borne for the said Province of Ontario on Seals, Shields, Banners, Flags or otherwise according to the Laws of Arms.


Our Will and Pleasure therefore is that you Henry, Duke of Norfolk to whom the cognizance of matters of this nature doth properly belong do require and command that this Our Concession and Declaration be recorded in Our College of Arms in order that Our Officers of Arms and all other Public Functionaries whom it may concern may take full notice and have knowledge thereof in their several and respective departments: And for so doing this shall be your Warrant.


Given at Our Court at St. Jamess this twenty seventh day of February 1909, in the Ninth year of Our Reign.


By His Majestys Command

(signed) Crewe


I hererby certify that the foregoing Copy of the Royal Warrant assigning a Crest and Supporters for the Province of Ontario is faithfully extracted from the Records of the College of Arms, London. As witness my hand at the said College this twenty third day of March 1909


A.S. Scott-Gatty



I Samuel Allan Armstrong Assistant Provincial Secretary of the province of Ontario do certify and declare that the foregoing is a true and faithful copy of a certified copy in the office of the Provincial Secretary of Ontario of the original Warrant.


As witness my hand this twenty third day of March A.D. 1910.


(Signed) S.A. Armstrong. [4]




A restyled version, 1994, in the head of this article [5]


Legislative Assembly of Ontario





In 1991, celebrations were planned to mark the bicentennial of the first meeting of the legislature of Upper Canada at Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake) on September 17, 1792. This presented an opportunity for the Legislative Assembly to assert symbolically its independence from the Government that is formalized in the Legislative Assembly Act.

A petition was made by the then-Speaker, David Warner, to the Chief Herald of Canada for the granting of a unique Coat of Arms which would emphasize the distinctive character of the Legislative Assembly and to distinguish the Assembly's identity from the Government. To that point, the Assembly had used the Coat of Arms of the Government of Ontario.

The petition was granted and the new Coat of Arms was presented by Governor-General Ramon Hnatyshyn at a ceremony in the Legislative Chamber on April 26, 1993. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is the first legislature in Canada to have a Coat of Arms separate from the provincial coat of arms.

Green and gold are the principal colours in the shield of arms of the province. The Mace is the traditional symbol of the authority of the Speaker. Shown on the left is the current Mace. On the right is the original Mace from the time of the first parliament in 1792. The crossed Maces are joined by the shield of arms of Ontario.

The crown on the wreath represents national and provincial loyalties; its rim is studded with the provincial gemstone, the amethyst. The griffin, an ancient symbol of justice and equity, holds a calumet which symbolizes the meeting of spirit and discussion that Ontario's First Peoples believe accompanies the use of the pipe.

The deer represent the natural riches of the province. The Loyalist coronets at their necks honour the original European settlers in Ontario who brought with them the parliamentary form of government. The Royal Crowns, left 1992, right 1792, recognize the parliamentary bicentennial and recall our heritage as a constitutional monarchy. They were granted as a special honour by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the recommendation of the Governor General.

In the base, the maple leaves are for Canada, the trilliums for Ontario and the roses for York (now Toronto), the provincial capital.

The motto "AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM" is one of a series of Latin phrases carved in the Chamber of the Legislative Building. It challenges Members of Provincial Parliament to "Hear the Other Side". [6]


The entry in the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada on the arms reads:



Toronto, Ontario

Grant of Arms, Supporters, Flag and Badges

September 29, 1992

Vol. II, p. 193




Vert the present mace and historic mace of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario in saltire Or surmounted by an escutcheon of the Arms of Her Majesty in Right of the Province of Ontario fimbriated Or all within a bordure embattled Or;


Rising from a coronet the rim Or jewelled with amethysts Purpure the upper edge set alternately with maple leaves Gules and trillium flowers Argent seeded Or leaved Vert a demi griffin Vert holding in the dexter foreclaw a calumet palewise Or;


On a grassy mound set in the foreground with sprigs of maple leaves Gules trillium flowers and roses Argent dexter a white-tailed doe (odocoileus virginianus) Or gorged with a Loyalist civil coronet Vert pendant therefrom a pomeis charged with a representation of the Royal Crown proper sinister a white tailed stag Or gorged with a Loyalist military coronet Vert pendant therefrom a pomeis charged with a representation of the Royal Crown tempore 1792;


AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM. This Latin phrase means "Listen to the other party".




At the First Parliament of Upper Canada on September 17, 1792, at Niagara-on-the-Lake, provision was made for the formation of a 'police system'. In 1845, a Mounted Police Force was created, in order to keep the peace in areas surrounding the construction of public works. It became the Ontario Mounted Police Force after Confederation.

With the discovery of silver in Cobalt and gold in Timmins, lawlessness was increasingly becoming a problem in northern Ontario. Police constables were gradually introduced in various areas, until an Order in Council decreed the establishment of a permanent organization of salaried constables designated as The Ontario Provincial Police Force on 13 October 1909.

In the 1920s, restructuring was undertaken with the passing of The Provincial Police Force Act, 1921.




1923 [7]



The entry in the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada on the present badge of the Provincial Police of Ontario reads:



Orillia, Ontario

Grant of Arms, Supporters, Flags and Badges

April 22, 1998

Vol. III, p. 237

Badge of the Ontario Provincial Police



The Shield of Arms of Her Majesty in Right of the Province of Ontario encircled by a motto band Azure fimbriated Or inscribed SERVITUTE CLARIORES in letters also Or all within a wreath composed alternately of maple leaves Or and trillium flowers Argent seeded Or leaved Vert ensigned by a representation of the Royal Crown proper;




The arms of Ontario symbolize the community being served. This theme is further emphasized by the wreath of trilliums and maple leaves and the OPPs motto. The Crown repeats an element from the OPPs coat of arms.




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Hubert de Vries 2015-12-09


[1] Swan, Conrad: Canada, symbols of Sovereignty. Toronto 1977. Pp.163-168

[2] Public Archives of Canada file 622-6-1

[3] Swan, Conrad: The Canadian Arms of Dominion and Sovereignty. In: Recueil du Ve Congrs International des Sciences Gnalogique et Hraldique Stockholm. Stockholm, 1960 pp. 260-261.

[4] By courtesy of Robert D. Watt, Chief Herald of Canada, 2000

[5] Visual Identity Manual. Government of Ontario, 1994.

[6] Copyright 2006. Office of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

[7] The 1909, 1921 1nd 1923 badges from: http://oppva10nchapter.com/

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