Young Immigrants to Canada

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Fairbridge Society

Kingsley Fairbridge, of Rhodesia, went to England in 1909 as a Rhodes Scholar. Disturbed by the many homeless and orphaned children that he saw he devised a plan. He had a vision of a farm where homeless boys and girls could be brought and trained. His first attempt to do this in Canada failed, even though the government of Newfoundland agreed to give him the land he required. However, in 1924 his followers started working on a plan for a farm in British Columbia.

Located at Duncan, BC, on Vancouver Island, the farm consisted of about 1,000 acres. It was located about 40 miles north of Victoria, BC, the provincial capital. In 1935 the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School was opened and in September of that year the first children arrived.

The children were to be between the ages of six and sixteen (a fact which was not sure as you can see from the first passenger list of children) with about 150 children on the farm at a time. Cottages, each housing about 12 children, were used and training was given in agricultural practices.

The farm was closed about 1948.

Fairbridge did send children to Australia and Rhodesia as well.


The archives of British Columbia and the Library and Archives of Canada have material relating to the farm. A history of Fairbridge in Canada has a webpage.

If any one has additional information on any of these children please contact me.

UWInfo | Young Immigrants | 19th Century Immigration | Genealogy | Local History

© Marjorie P. Kohli, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1998-2010
Last updated: October 26, 2010, and maintained by Marj Kohli