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DIRECTION

a

HE region here referred to

as the Canadian West »

is the country lying between Winnipeg and the Rocky Mountains. In truth, however,

the whole country between Lake Superior and the Rockies, a distance of twelve hundred miles, may properly be included under this head. British Columbia is of course a part of western Canada; but it is separated from the immense plain country by great ranges of mountains and has a char

acter so much its own that it must be considered as a A MANITOBA HARVEST

distinct section. In the same way the coast States of STOOKS TO THE HORIZON IN EVERY

the Union have a history and an outlook different

from those of the States between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains. From north to south the width of the area under consideration is about four hundred miles, though there is undoubtedly great wealth in the practically unexplored country stretching from the Saskatchewan Valley to the Arctic Ocean. Taking Manitoba, which is three hundred miles square, as basis, this region from Lake Superior to British Columbia, containing about half a million square miles, has room for about six provinces, and is equal to all the provinces of eastern Canada put together, if the northern unexplored parts of Quebec are left out of calculation.

This great western territory, formerly known as Rupert's Land or Hudson Bay Territory, came into possession of the Dominion of Canada by purchase from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1869, and became part of the Confederation in the following year. The Province of Manitoba was created and united with the other provinces in that year, while the rest of the country was given a territorial government. The Dominion Parliament has gone on granting increasing measures of self-government to the part not included in Manitoba, until in a very near future the greater part of what is now known as the Northwest Territories must be admitted to full provincehood.

As has been said, this Territory first became a part of Canada in 1870, but until the advent of railways in the early 'eighties it made very little progress. In Manitoba, in 1881-82, the construction of railways and the sudden opening of the country caused the famous boom which inflated real-estate values to an absurd figure, and left the Province, when the tide receded, with a bad reputation that it never deserved. Towns that have since become thriving centres of local trade were mapped out on the lines of great cities, and they undertook to aid public works, especially railways, in a measure altogether out of proportion to their means. There was of course the inevitable reaction, when values went as much below their real level as they had previously been affairs. This famous company has beabove it. The next ten years were spent come a great departmental store and land in apparently discouraging but really solid corporation in the south, while in the far development. The Canadian Pacific Rail- north it still carries on the trade in furs way was completed to the western coast, around the shores of Hudson Bay and and many of its branch lines were built, up through the Mackenzie River district opening up the great wheat fields in the to the Arctic Ocean. Though the fur south and centre, the lignite and bitu- trade has declined considerably, it is still minous coal inines in the Territories, in the aggregate very important, the anand the great park or mixed farmning nual exports of furs from Manitoba avercountry in the north. The railway mo- aging over $600,000. nopoly was abolished, and the Northern When at length, in the early 'nineties, Pacific railway entered the Province, the tide began slowly to turn toward while less noticeable but none the less Manitoba, the Province had all her instiimportant improvements were the exten- tutions established and ready to receive sion of wagon roads, the draining of large the newcomers, while in like manner the areas, the building of bridges and school- framework of industrial, political, and rehouses, and generally the framing of the ligious life was laid in the whole western municipal system and the development country. This slow development, while of industries subsidiary to the leading very disappointing at the time, may have ones of grain-growing, ranching, and been one of the causes why Manitoba and lumbering, - namely mining, fishing, and the Territories never had any of that dairying. The once sole industry of the (wild west” life which marked the opencountry, the fur trade, had steadily de- ing of States to the south; for property clined for a number of years in the south, and life were always as secure as they but the traders, chiefly the Hudson's Bay were during the same period in eastern Company, turned their attention to other Canada. out of this immediate territory, Lakes 300 miles long and 60 miles wide. There Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Winnipegosis are, as has been said, these diversities, but may be mentioned as promising still the general characteristics are as pointed greater things in this regard. Whitefish, out, — the centre the great bread-basket sold all over the continent, is the chief of the world, and the west the great pas. product, while of late years the prepara- ture-land. tion of caviare from sturgeon roe has been To confine the view to a still more becoming a matter of importance. The limited area, take Manitoba as representfish exports from Manitoba are already ing the central portion. Manitoba is the over $200,000 in value per year.

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Looking at the whole country thus Woods, partly in Minnesota and partly in spread out, it may be broadly divided into Ontario. The logs cut here along the three great sections. From Lake Supe- Rainy River are towed across the Lake of rior to the eastern boundary of Manitoba the Woods and cut in the big mills at Rat there is a stretch of nearly four hundred Portage and Keewatin. The annual cut miles of mining and lumbering country, in these mills is about 50,000,000 feet. with a great deal of arable land inter- The waters of the Lake of the Woods spersed. The most important metal is reach the sea at Hudson Bay after a course gold, which is being produced in steadily of something over a thousand miles, while increasing quantities. There are sub- the waters of the Mississippi and the St. sidiary metals, such as silver and copper; Lawrence, which take their rise in this while other useful but less noticed min- same region, only reach the sea after traverals, as limestone, brick and pottery elling more than twice this distance. The clays, emery, etc., are being found and

consequence is that the northern rivers, developed as the population increases and for part of their courses, are a series of railways and roads are extended. Iron waterfalls, thus producing almost unlimore is found on the shores of Lake Winni- ited water-power. With the advance of peg, but mines have not yet been devel- electricity these powers will be made oped owing to impediments in the navi- much more valuable, and even now one gation of the Red River.

big power plant is ready, while some of

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best developed of all this territory, and The next four hundred miles from Win- yet the Provincial Premier, the Hon. nipeg (roughly speaking, half-way to the Thomas Greenway, himself a farmer and Rockies) include the great hard-wheat a master of agricultural statistics, says fields of Manitoba and the Northwest Ter- that not one th of the arab lar

of ritories. The remaining stretch of four the Province has yet been taken up. The hundred miles to the foot of the Rockies Hon. Clifford Sifton, Minister of the Inte

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is the great ranching ground, where rior, in a recent speech gave the figures thousands of cattle browse summer and more exactly, stating that Manitoba's winter, to be shipped, when fattened on great crops had been raised upon 4,500 the prairie grass, by hundreds of train square miles of land.

When it is seen loads to England, as well as to other parts that the total land area of the Province, of Canada, east and west.

excluding lakes and rivers, is placed at In each of these sections there are great 73,000 square miles, it will be realized diversities. There is a great deal of grain- that Preinier Greenway was well within raising in the western part of the Terri- the mark in his statement. Yet this Provtories, particularly along the eastern slope ince, with only the fringe of her lands of the Rockies, northward toward Edmon- cultivated, last year produced, as the reton. The Territories have their coal de- sult of the labor of 32,000 farmers, about posits along the Saskatchewan‘and toward

30,000,000 bushels of wheat. As an illusthe international boundary, while on the tration of what these figures mean, take other hand Manitoba has her forests of the great State of Minnesota, which is respruce, tamarack, and jack-pine in the ported in the American press as being the northern part around those three great greatest wheat-producing State in the lakes that have already been mentioned, Union. In the same year Minnesota prothe largest of which, Lake Winnipeg, is duced 78,000,000 bushels. The population devoted to other crops, but this will be many times more than offset by the great increase of wheat production in the Territories. Besides this, Manitoba produced among other farm products in 1898: 17,300,000 bushels of oats: 4, 300,000 bushels of barley ; 2,400,000 bushels of roots; 3,250,000 bushels of potatoes; and dairy products to the value of $410,000.

There were 42,000 head of cattle and 23,000 hogs exported or packed in the Province, and farm buildings to the value of $1,469,000 were erected. These figures do not include the Territories, but are restricted to Manitoba alone, and they are for an average, not an exceptional year. In Canada, so far as the production of wheat is concerned, Manitoba stands first now, producing about fifty per cent more wheat than the Province of Ontario with ten times the population.

These facts are scarcely yet realized in eastern Canada, which has passed through three stages in regard to the great West. First there was a stage of undue expect

ancy in the period of the boom, followed Hox. THOMAS GREENWAY, PREMIER OF MANITOBA by a period of cynical doubt and unwar

ranted depreciation. The West came to of that State is over 1,500,000; that of be regarded as a costly appendage to the Manitoba is about 250,000, and there is other parts of the Dominion, when as a every reason to believe that with ten times matter of fact the West in her hardest her present population and area under years paid more than dollar for dollar for cultivation Manitoba will be producing all the benefits she received from the East. 200,000,000 bushels of wheat annually, This stage of neglect and lack of appreand thus be the greatest wheat-producing ciation continued until within recent State in the world. It is quite possible months, when certain indisputable facts that with the increase of mixed farming caused Canadians to revise their former a larger proportion of the land may be opinions. There is first the constantly

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