History

Our Past Has Always Been about the Future

In 1750, a group of forward-thinking business leaders came together in Halifax to form North America’s first chamber of commerce. They created this bold alliance because they knew the best way forward was together, united as business leaders around shared goals of prosperity, progress and social benefit. They knew business had a key role to play. Along with government and others, business contributes to building strong communities and addressing social challenges.

Recognizing the need for one unified voice to champion the interests of the Canadian business community, in 1925, a group of business leaders gathered in Winnipeg to form the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, known then as the Canadian Board of Trade.

In 1929, we were incorporated under the Companies Act by letters of patent issued by the Secretary of State of Canada. In 2014, we were continued and are currently governed by the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.

Founding Members

We’d like to recognize the innovative spirit of our founding members – many of whom continue to support us today – and thank them for their leadership and for their commitment to helping businesses succeed and our families, communities and country flourish.

Founding Chambers of Commerce

Bathurst; Belleville; Brantford; Cobourg; Cumberland; Drumheller; Edmonton; Fernie; Fort William; Galt; Halifax; Hamilton; Kamloops; Kitchener; Leamington; Medicine Hat; Moncton; Montreal; Morden; Nelson; Newcastle; New Westminster; North Sydney; North Vancouver; Okotoks; Olds; Peace River; Portage la Prairie; Prescott; Prince Edward Island; Prince Rupert; Princeton; Quebec; Red Deer; Regina; St. Stephen; Sarnia; Sackville; Selkirk; Smithers; Stewart; Toronto; Unity; Vancouver; Vegreville; Victoria; Welland; Winnipeg and Woodstock.

Founding Corporations

Bank of Montreal; Banque Nationale du Canada; Bank of Nova Scotia; Bell Telephone Co.; Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; Canadian National Railway; Canadian Pacific Railway; Canadian Westinghouse Co. Ltd.; Goodyear Canada Inc.; Great-West Life Assurance Co.; Henry Birks and Sons Ltd.; The Hudson Bay Company; Imperial Oil Ltd.; James Richardson & Sons Ltd.; Remington Typewriters Ltd.; Royal Bank of Canada; Southam Press Ltd.; Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada; The T. Eaton Company Ltd.; Toronto Bank.