On Canadian Ground - Stories of Footwear in Early Canada See more of the Virtual Museum of Canada
ExhibitionMemorable Shoes

KAMIKS OF THE INUIT
MOCCASINS OF THE FIRST NATIONS
CHANGING STYLES - THE ROLE OF TRADE & VOYAGEURS
SHOES FOR A NEW LAND
SHIPWRECKED SHOES
STYLE IN THE COLONIES - IMPORTED SHOES
LOYALIST SHOEMAKERS
MILITARY SHOES
SHOES MADE IN THE AGE OF THE CRAFTSMAN
CANADIAN FOOTWEAR IN THE AGE OF THE MACHINE
Le Machault, a 26-gun, three-masted frigate from the 18th century
Le Machault, a 26-gun, three-masted frigate from the 18th century
Shipwrecked Shoes

Little evidence remains of the shoes worn by early European settlers in what is now Canada as most shoes were practical and quickly wore out. An accident of fate has brought us valuable information about those original shoes.

In 1760, the French supply ship Le Machault, carrying 500 pairs of brand-new shoes for the colonists of New France, sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Archaeologists have retrieved and restored some of the shoes from this eighteenth-century time capsule. Most are simple but well-made men’s shoes, exactly what you would expect people to wear in a basically agricultural colony. There are also a number of men’s light ‘turnshoes’, more suitable for indoor leisure activities.

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Shoe with buckle Buckle
Shoe with buckle Buckle
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