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Quarter-section

In present-day southern Ontario, Quebec and elsewhere, rural property was commonly divided into counties, then townships, sections and quarter-sections, equivalent to 160 acres. This system of division was transplanted to western Canada when the region was opened for settlement. From 1900 to 1914, almost three million settlers arrived in Canada, most of them destined for the west. They were attracted by the offer of one quarter-section of land, providing they built a permanent dwelling and resided on it for three years, cultivated thirty acres and paid a ten-dollar registration fee. They could later take over adjacent quarter-sections if they demonstrated an ability to expand their farm operations beyond 160 acres. The division of land into quarter-sections is an enduring feature of the Canadian prairie landscape, though increasing mechanization and rural to urban migration have led to the consolidation of quarter-sections and even sections into larger units.

Aerial view of Benson Farm

Aerial view of Benson Farm