As in other parts of the Empire what passed as 'football' was being played in Canada before the advent of the Association laws.
Here is a timeline of Association Football in Canada:
1876The first game played under Association rules takes place in Toronto .
1877The Dominion Football Association formed in Toronto, the first  Football Association outside the British Isles.
1880 - The Western Football Association formed in Berlin, Ontario.
1885 -The Western Football Association sends teams to New Jersey to play both indoor and outdoor matches against teams representing the American Football Association. These are sometimes incorrectly labelled as full international matches between Canada and the USA.
1885 - The Western Football Association defeats the American Football Association 1-0 in East NewarkNew Jersey.
1886- The American Football Association defeats the Western Football Association 3-2  in East NewarkNew Jersey.

Canada 1888

1888- A Canada side tours Britain. Playing 23 games,they won nine, lost nine and drew five. Heart of Midlothian, Sunderland, Midlesborough and Newton Heath were amongst the sides the Canadians beat. Details of the tour here: http://www.thesoccerhalloffame.ca/en-us/halloffame/virtualhalloffame/teamofdistinction/teamcanada1888.aspx
1896- The Manitoba Football Association formed.
1896Hamilton Spectator Cup first played- St. Matthew’s win the first three editions.

                                Manitoba College Football Team, 1896-97

1901- The Ontario Football Association  formed in Toronto.
1901- Competition for the Ontario Cup begins, Galt Football Club win the first edition. 
1904 Galt Football Club represents Canada in a round robin tournament against 2 US teams at the St Louis Olympics (actually at the World's Fair some months after the Games). Galt win the competition , which the IOC later classify as being a gold medal victory for Canada.
1905 -The Saskatchewan Football Association  formed

                                                                   Calgary Callies 1907

1906The People Shield, presented by the English Sunday newspaper,begins. It is seen as an unofficial national championship. First winners were Toronto Thistles-  a history of the competition can be found here: http://www.canadiansoccerhistory.com/National/People%20Shield.html
1910 - First professional game played in Vancouver between the Callies and Rovers.
1911Province of Quebec Football Association was formed in Montreal.
1911 - The Alberta Football Association formed.
1912- The Dominion of Canada Football Association founded. 
1912 - The Dominion of Canada Football Association  joins FIFA.
1913 - The Connaught Cup,  awarded to the first  official national champions, but open only to amateurs - is won by Norwood Wanderers.
1926 - The DCFA resigns from FIFA. 
1926-The National Soccer League was formed with teams in Ontario and Quebec.
Westminster Royals

1928 - The Connaught Cup is opened to professional sides and becomes The Canadian Challenge Trophy. Westminster Royals win the first edition.
1928 - Former Hamilton Thistle player Robert 'Whitey' McDonald signs for Glasgow Rangers from Bethlehem Steel (USA). He went on to represent Ireland.
1931 - Montreal-born goalkeeper Joe Kennaway signs for Glasgow Celtic.

                                                                     Toronto Scottish

1933 - Toronto Scottish won a North American club championship in by beating holders and US champions St. Louis Stix 2-1 at Chicago's Soldier Field .