Suburb Profiles

The History of Canada Bay

Canada Bay is a suburb in the inner-west of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Canada Bay is located 11 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of City of Canada Bay.

Canada Bay is also a bay on Parramatta River between Concord and Five Dock. The suburb of Canada Bay sits on the southern shore and is bordered by the suburbs of Burwood and Croydon. The City of Canada Bay takes its name from the bay but its administrative centre is located in the suburb of Drummoyne.

The name Canada Bay honours a link between Australia and Canada. Following the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837 to 1838, two Irish and 56 French Canadian rebels were deported to Australia. At the request of the local Catholic bishop, they were brought to Sydney. Imprisoned at Longbottom Stockade, the convicts broke stone for the construction of Parramatta Road and collected oyster shells for making lime. In 1842, the French Canadians were allowed to work outside the prison. Between 1843 and 1844, all received pardons and, except for two people who died and one (Joseph Marceau) who settled in Dapto all returned to Canada.

After the rebellions, the Australian Governor General and Lord High Commissioner to Canada recommended that Britain grant responsible self government to the Union of Upper and Lower Canada. In the 1850s, the Australian colonies achieved responsible government and parliamentary democracy. Many parts of Canada Bay are a reminder of this history: Exile Bay, France Bay, Durham Street, Marceau Drive, Polding Street and Gipps Street. Bayview Park has a plaque that honours the exiles and marks the point of disembarkation.

The City of Canada Bay was formed in December 2000, by the merger of Concord and Drummoyne councils.