The 19th century is one of expansion and consolidation for the francophone
community. Immigration from Québec, which had never really stopped,
increases dramatically after 1830 due to an economic crisis in Lower
Canada, and again after 1854, with the construction of the Great Western
Railroad, the first railroad through south-western Ontario. Throughout
the 19th century, north-eastern Essex County and south-western Kent County
are settled by these continuous waves from Québec; the communities
of Tecumseh, Belle Rivière, St-Joachim, Pointe- aux-Roches, Trudel
(Tilbury), Pain Court and Grande Pointe are founded during this period.
Following the surrender of Détroit to the Americans in 1796,
a great number of Loyalists settle along the south shore. Windsor, established
in 1836, remains the centre of this flourishing Francophone community.
With increasing immigration, however, commercial districts begin to lose
their French character. The Francophones who remain and prosper are the
ones who can adapt to the new conditions.
Francophones continue to have an important influence in the cultural
and social development of the city.
Francophones take part in the economic and industrial development of
the area. Some continue to work in traditional crafts, while others pursue
new opportunities and enterprises.