Many of the first English people to immigrate to Canada were fur traders and administrators intent on establishing British interests in a Canada that was dominated by the French at the time. However, after the British Conquest of Canada in the Seven Years' War, more British missionaries and colonists, as well as Scottish and Irish immigrants, made their way to Canada.
The largest influx of early Canadian immigration came after the end of the American Revolution. After the American victory, many British loyalists who had immigrated to America from England were forced to move northward for fear of repercussions from the newly established American government. Even though they were political refugees, Canada had developed enough that many loyalists were given supplies and land to start off their new life in Canada.
Immigration then slowed down again until the mid-19th century, when the Irish potato famine forced many Irish families to seek a new life in Canada. This caused problems for British administrators, as the massive immigration of a Roman Catholic population into a largely Protestant area was likely to cause problems for the government. Compounded with this was the fact that many Irish families were resistant to farming, a popular immigrant occupation at the time, as they had just come from a nation where farming was considered a sign of poverty and lack of sophistication.