Home >> Comptons-pictured-encyclopedia-vol-02-bro-edi-p3 >> A Folklore Tale Of to Thomas 1795 1881 Carlyle >> Canada_P1


population, century, land, southern, united, northwest and beyond

Page: 1 2 3

CANADA. "The 20th century belongs to Canada," said Sir Wilfrid Laurier, then premier of the Dominion, as the tide of immigration at the beginning of that century began flowing into the great Canadian Northwest. By this he meant that, as the 19th century saw the rise of the United States from one of the smallest and poorest nations to the wealthiest and one of the greatest, so the pres ent century would be marked by a notable expansion in population and wealth in Canada.

For this high hope Laurier had good grounds.

Canada's population of 5,000,000 at that time was concentrated in a narrow belt along the southern boundary, just as the 5,000,000 of the United States in 1800 clung to the Atlantic seaboard. Beyond this belt lay the vast heritage of the Northwest, awaiting only the plow of the settler to make it one of the world's greatest granaries—a region sur passed in its possibilities only by the fertile plains of the Mississippi valley and the remoter West, which had beckoned to American enterprise a century earlier. And, just as in the United States, untold wealth in minerals and timber awaited the magic touch that would bring them into the channels of com merce and turn them to the service of man.

Events have already gone far to realize Lau rier's hopes. Since 1901 more than 4,000,000 have been added to Canada's population, when it came to be known that Canada had the largest area of desirable and unpeopled land within a civilized coun try. The railway mileage has been more than doubled, opening the way into parts of the Dominion formerly inaccessible to the settler and prospector.

The acreage of tilled land has also been more than doubled, and the value of manufactured products Si increased sixfold.


But with all this proves. Canada has not yet realized a twentieth part of its possibilities. In extent, it is itself an empire. Its 3,730,000 square miles comprise an area somewhat greater than the United States and Alaska, and nearly as large as Europe. It ff)rms one third of the land surface of the whole British Empire and would hold the Brit t-I) Isle- 30 tunes over. Its southern cities are in the same latitude as 'toni, .

though its norther sleep in the everlasting arctic ice and snow The 2.700-mile journey from !bliss to Vancouver takes five days in ti,e swiftest through trains. Yet this

immense territory, which could support :10,000,000 people in its habitable por tp ins, has a population less than that of the state of New York, and one-quarter of surface, chiefly in the far north. has Dever been thoroughly explored.

The traveler entering (*amidst from the east, by way of the Gulf of St. comes first to the region where the ax has hewed nearly every inhabited acre out of the " forest primeval." This first division, which includes the St. Lawrence valley and most of the old worn down mountain system called the Laurentian Plateau I get Laurentian Plateau), stretches half-way acme* the continent, to and beyond take Superior.

Thrustine off from it to the southeast are the 'Maritime Provinces—New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island. and Nova Scotia—partly cut off from the rest of the Dominion by the northern part of Maine. The rest of eastern Canada is included in the provinces of Quebec and Untario. Here are about two-thirds of all the people of Canada, chiefly Chls tered along the southern border. The wraith of forests and minerals and water-power hack of this southern fringe is beyond computation.

moving west ward, t he traveler comes tu t he agricultural heart of Canada, its richest treasure house—the three prairie provinces of Nlanitohn, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. For SOO miles va-st plains extend in gently rolling reaching from a little east of Winnipeg to the Rockies. Um. year's wheat crop of Sa.skatchewan alone is worth more than all the gold that ever came out of the Klondike, to say nothing of t he other crops and the cattle that roam over great nmnbers of ranches at the foot of the Rockies. The rich soil already in "bumper" years produces enough surplus wheat to feed hvice the population of the British Isles. ',caving out of account the far northern sections, where the summers are too short and the land too rugged for cultivation, and a few other stretches unsuitable for agri culture, authorities estimate that more than 1.50,000,000 acres in the prairie provinces remain to he brought under the plow. But each succeeding year sees the area of settlement extending and more acres added to the golden wheat fields of the Northwest.

Page: 1 2 3