The French presence in Ontario dates back officially to August 1st, 1615, the day of the first meeting between Samuel de Champlain and the Chief of the Huron-Wendaat in Toanché (now called Penetanguishene). Champlain spent the year 1615 in what became Ontario to develop close ties with the Huron-Wendaat to help establish a trade in furs. His time in Ontario set the stage for the establishment in 1639 of a Christian mission at Sainte-Marie-Among-the-Hurons. The French were the first Europeans to explore our province and establish permanent settlements here. Pioneers from France played an integral part in Ontario’s early development as a place of settlement.
Our 611,500 Franco-Ontarians today form the most significant French language community in Canada outside of the province of Quebec. This April from Thursday 23rd to Saturday 25th in the Robert Robitaille Pavilion at Lafontaine Park, 342 Lafontaine Rd W, Lafontaine in Tiny Township of Huronia, 200 dancers, singers and comedians will present L’Écho de Champlain en Huronie, a two hour spectacle reliving four centuries of Franco-Ontarian heritage. From July 16th to 19th, Le Festival du Loup will take attendees back in time to the seventeenth century. The festival’s programme will include French Ontarian stories and music, local food, artisans, and a painted wolf art auction.