Ontario public lands are under the control of the Crown Lands Department of the provincial government at Toronto. Agricultural lands can be obtained from the Crown by actual settlers subject to certain settlement conditions. Free grants are offered of not more than 100 to 160 acres for a single man, and 160 to 200 acres for the head of a family, in the districts of what is known as New Ontario, comprising Nipissing, Algoma, Rainy River, etc. The settlement conditions include the erection of a habitable house at least 16 feet by 20 feet in size, and the clearing and cropping of fifteen acres, of which at least two are to be cleared and cultivated annually. There are slight differences in the different localities as to the time allowed for the payment of the purchase money and the number of years’ residence required on the land before the issue of the patent.
In certain parts of the area in which the Free Grant system prevails, the head of a family locating is entitled in addition to a free grant of 160 acres to purchase an additional 100 acres, and while required to clear and cultivate fifteen acres within five years is not bound to erect a home or reside on the purchased lot where it is held in connection with a Free Grant.
In the province of Quebec, Crown Lands are purchasable from the provincial Crown Lands Department on easy terms. One-fifth of the purchase money is required to be paid down, and the remainder in four equal annual instalments bearing interest at six per cent. The purchaser must take possession within six months and to occupy the land within two years. He must also clear and crop ten acres in the course of four years, out of every hundred held by him and erect a habitable house at least 16 feet by 20 feet.
Crown Lands in Nova Scotia can be obtained for settlement for eighty cents per acre, but no grant can issue for a less sum than forty dollars. All minerals and ores are reserved to the Crown except limestone, plaster and building materials.
New Brunswick Crown Lands may be acquired to the extent of 100 acres by any settler over eighteen, not owning other land, who pays twenty dollars in cash, or does work on the public roads, etc., equal to ten dollars per annum for three years. A house 16 feet by 20 feet must be built within two years, and two acres of land cleared. Continuous residence of three years and the cultivation of ten acres in that time are required.
There are no Free Grant lands in Prince Edward Island, but such unimproved Crown and forest land as remains may be purchased at from twenty-five cents to one dollar per acre, on condition of erecting buildings valued at sixty-five dollars within two years and clearing and cultivating an acre yearly for the first eight years. Purchase money is payable by instalments.
As before stated, Crown land within twenty miles of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the province of British Columbia is administered by the Dominion Government, and may be purchased on terms which are fixed by Order in Council ; the present price is five dollars an acre. These lands are also open for homestead purposes by settlers on the same conditions as regards residence and cultivation as in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
There are, of course, in addition, the Crown Lands belonging to the province. Any British subject who is the head of a family, a widow, or a single man over eighteen, may acquire for agricultural purposes not more than 160 acres of unoccupied Crown Lands in any part of the province, by payment of a recording fee of two dollars. The purchase price is one dollar per acre payable by instalments. The settlement conditions are personal residence for two years and improvements of the value of two and a half dollars an acre.