Canadian Utopias Project

On this site you’ll find descriptions of utopian settlements built between the 17th and mid-20th century across the land that became Canada. See Settlements. New cases are added to the list periodically.

For how the term “utopia” is used here, please see About Utopia.

Reasons for documenting these utopian settlements include: 

  • to show how, from the 17th century, the Euro-cultural concept of utopia contributed to building certain settlements on land that eventually became Canada 
  • to situate built utopias within the larger story of settlement that involved taking land in use by Indigenous peoples and monetizing it 

Beth Moore Milroy coordinates this project and welcomes questions and comments. Please use the Contact page.

Related Publications

Book by Ruth Compton Brouwer, All things in common: A Canadian family and its island utopia (University of Toronto Press, 2021). It greatly expands on the entry under Settlements, “Compton Community of Belle River & Bangor PE.”

Article by Beth Moore Milroy (Utopian Studies 2021, vol 32,1) analyzes connections between utopian settlements and land development. It explores settlements built in southern Manitoba in the 1870s on land the federal government, with help from Christian institutions, had just acquired from Indigenous peoples via treaty.  “Enacting utopia: Utopia’s investment in Canada’s land and its settlement-building past“.

This project is a tribute to its originator,
the late Jeanne M. Wolfe, C.M.,
Professor, McGill University’s School of Planning, Montréal.