In 1791 after the American rebellion and the ensuing flood of American-speaking displaced persons arrive into the upper country, Great Britain takes it upon itself to divide Quebec into Lower and Upper Canada.
Upper Canada, which the British claim but do not own and do not conquer – actually Upper Canada is the territories-depending-thereon part of Quebec – holds a treasure.
Embedded in the southern part of the province is woodland. A section of the colossal Carolinian forest tips as far north as Toronto and runs through the Carolinas and dips as far south as Savannah. It encompasses Tinaatoua or the Ouse or the Grand River, which marks its western beginnings and connects the north and south Great Lakes.
In variety and abundance the extent of arboreal wilderness must have been breathtaking. There are chestnut, honey locust, nannyberry, sassafras, wild crabapple, willow, witch hazel, black maple, walnut, sweet birch, staghound sumac, beechnut, shagbark hickory, blue ash, sycamore and white pine trees, and many more pine varieties.
Perhaps the inconvenience to settler farmers is equally breathtaking. Nonetheless it takes a mere fifty years for the magnificent woodland to give way to meadows, grassland, scrub oak and macadamized roads. Forest gives way to concrete.
Towns and cities pop up. And farm after farm after farm.
American sycamore, photo credit, JJMK
Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos and the Battle of Vinegar Hill, p367.