(A). A military encampment.
“The Grand Master assented, and they proceeded accordingly, ... avoiding the most inhabited parts of the canvas city.” —Sir W. Scott: The Talisman, chap. x.
“In 1851, during the gold rush, a town of tents, known as Canvas Town, rose into being on the St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. Several thousand inhabitants lived in this temporary settlement, which was laid out in streets and lasted for several months.” —Cities of the World; Melbourne.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894