An Economic History of Canada

By Mary Quayle Innis | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
WHEAT, 1885-1914

Thousands of labourers grading, tunnelling, and blasting; large gangs of skilled workmen trestling and bridge-building; hundreds of freighters engaged in carrying provisions and other necessaries from the head of steel into the camps.1

The pioneer sod and log stables are fast giving place to commodious frame barns.2

The demand for all kinds of farm produce in the Kootenay country, has already created a lively demand for grain of all kinds, flour, feed, etc. [even vegetables] and the farmers [near Edmonton] are getting cash for their grain as fast as they are able to bring it to the towns all along the line.3

Porcupine could not have been opened up for years to come had it not been for the energy and money of successful Cobalt investors. The rapid increase of urban population and the large immigration into our western provinces, where grain growing is the rule, has created such a home demand for food products that in many lines of production our domestic trade is much more important than our export trade.4

The competition of iron and steel destroyed a magnificent achievement [the wooden ship-building industry], an integration of capital and labour, of lumbering, fishing and agriculture, on which rested a progressive community life. The linchpin was broken, and industrialism continued its inroads upon the people of the Maritime Provinces.5


THE PRAIRIE REGION

Settlers entered Lower Canada by the great river, and Upper Canada by arduous journeys up stream and lake, over corduroy road and bush trail. But invention and capital gave a new facility to the opening West which settlers could enter rapidly and at ease by the railroad. Railroad extension to the Pacific coast not only

____________________
1
Bickersteth J. B.: The Land of Open Doors, pp. 98-99.
2
Sessional Papers, 25, 1902.
3
S. P. 13, 1897.
4
S. P. 15a, 1914.
5
The Cambridge History of the British Empire, Vol. VI, Canada, p. 663.

-236-

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