History

Because Business Matters

In 1750, a group of forward-thinking business leaders came together in Halifax to form North America’s first chamber of commerce. They joined together because they recognized a simple truth: the role of business is more than just creating and providing goods and services people want or need. They knew then what we know now: business matters in more vital ways. We invent. We innovate. We invest and build wealth. We create the jobs that allow us to provide for ourselves and our families. Along with government and others, we contribute to building strong communities and to addressing social problems.

Recognizing the need for one unified voice to champion the best interests of the Canadian business community, in 1925, a group of businessmen gathered in Winnipeg, Manitoba 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.