The following announcement was written by Ancestry.ca:
Discover your immigrant ancestors and Canadian roots with free access through Labour Day
August 31, 2011 (Toronto, ON) – For hundreds of years Canada has been the destination for millions of immigrants from around the world seeking a better way of life. Today, Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading family history website, announced that it will be providing free access to the world’s largest collection of digitized online immigration records, from August 29 through September 5.
This unprecedented access will allow Canadians to 200 million immigration and travel records from around the world, including 13.5 million records specific to Canada. This includes the complete Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, the official records of the arrival of the majority of people accepted as immigrants in Canada during this key immigration period.
An estimated 11.6 million Canadians or 37 per cent of its current population have ancestors included in this collection[i], which also includes records for many vacationers and travellers, business people, crew members and historical figures such as foreign leaders, scientists and celebrities.
The collection includes passenger lists from all the major ports of arrival including Halifax, Saint John, North Sydney, Quebec City, Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria and even east coast ports in the US where many arrived before proceeding directly to Canada overland.
Other collections included in the free access period are Border Crossings: From U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935, which contain records of immigrants crossing into Canada from the United States between 1908 and 1935 and Canadian Immigrant Records, Part One and Part Two. From these records users can discover the port of arrival of their immigrant ancestor, their last address in their home country as well as occupation, purpose in coming to Canada and their intended destination in their new country.
For those looking to trace their ancestor’s roots in their country of origin, the Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924 collection contains individual declarations of passengers arriving at various Canadian ports between 1919 and 1924 and often details the individuals’ passport information and even the name of the nearest relative in country from which they came. This paints a tremendous picture of the lives and people they were leaving behind, and could lead to some fascinating, perhaps even shocking, finds.
“The records in this collection represent the decision made by your immigrant ancestors to leave the old world behind and start a new life for themselves and their descendants.” said Ancestry.ca Managing Director Roger Dunbar. “For many of our ancestors, moving to Canada meant saying goodbye to family members, knowing that they might not see them again. Embarking on a sometimes hazardous voyage and beginning a new life requires a special kind of courage and one we hope to celebrate by opening these records.” In addition to the collections detailed above, these records include Passenger Lists, Border Crossings and Passports, Citizenship and Naturalization records, Immigration and Emigration Books and even ship pictures and descriptions.
Free access to the complete collection of Immigration and Travel databases is available at www.ancestry.ca/immigration.
 comScore, 2010, based on genealogy related websites selected from the Family and Parenting sub-category under the Community category
 Between 1865-1935, 5.675 million people came into Canada as immigrants (Canadian census data) - the vast majority (95%+) of which came from outside North America by boat - therefore included on these passenger lists. Taking into account births, deaths and emigration, this population of non-American immigrants totalled 6.3 million by 1935 and has since naturally grown into a total population of 11.6 million, making up 37% of today’s population – more than one in three Canadians. Full data tables available upon request.
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