The earliest Canada patents were issued beginning in June 1824 after the Province of Lower Canada—what is now the more populated portion of the Province of Quebec—passed patent legislation in March and a Patent Office was established in June. These patents were for 14 years, and that length of term was maintained until 1869 when the patent legislation was complete rewritten. In 1826 the Province of Upper Canada—what is now the more populated portion of the Province of Ontario—passed their own patent legislation, modeled on that of Lower Canada, and began issuing patents.
In 1841 the two Provinces were united into the Province of Canada, with Upper Canada becoming the Canada West section and Lower Canada becoming the Canada East section. Patents were issued substantially as before, with East and West maintaining their pre-existing Patent Offices and each granting patents that covered only their own section. In 1849 new patent legislation was passed to consolidate the two sets of legislation and to make minor amendments, the most important being a provision for extending a patent for 7 years. In 1851 the legislation was amended so that patent rights granted by one Patent Office applied automatically to both sections, East and West.
In 1860 Patents of Canada from 1824 to 1849 was published by Canada's Department of Agriculture and Statistics. This publication listed the patents issued in both sections of Canada between those years, with illustrations of a select few patents that were still in effect in 1860. This document also numbered the patents with the two Patent Offices' patents united in a single numbering system. In 1865 the same Department published Patents of Canada from 1849 to 1855. This was the last such volume. An 1882 book, List of Canadian Patents From the Beginning of the Patent Office, June, 1824, to the 31st of August, 1872, provides number, date, inventor and title, most notably for those 1855 to 1869 patents that are otherwise difficult to research.
In August 1869 new patent legislation began Canada's modern era of patents. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office website provides the ability to search and view images of all patents issued from 18 August 1869 onwards.