CANADA FROM BAST TO WEST.
An Address by the Right Rev. J. P. DuMoulin, D.D., D.C.L., Lord Bishop of Niagara, before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto, on Nov. 24th, 1910.
Mr. President and Gentlemen:
When one intends to speak of Canada from East to West he naturally begins with the East-with those fine old Maritime Provinces that some of you know so well. There, as you all know, a number of independent and noble men came and settled, notwithstanding the difficulties and disadvantages at the time, and laid firm and sure the foundation of those ancient and prosperous Provinces. These Provinces are well worth a visit and of intelligent attention from all who call themselves Canadians. No books, no writings, no lectures, no speeches, can convey to the Canadian the reality and greatness of the country that he is privileged to call his own. In those old provinces you have the great mills for the manufacture and exportation of steel-the very ore that is necessary and the facilities for the making and transporting of that precious metal, bringing wealth and prosperity to so manv. Then there is the great fish industry and the pulpwood, and the fruit industry of the great Annapolis valley, which I regret to say last summer has not been very successful. These provinces are very beautiful, there is a mixture of land and water that must charm the eyes of everyone who has a taste and desire for the beautiful. But these are comparatively small considerations when weighed against the character of the people of these Maritime Provinces. They have yielded to Canada as a whole some of her proudest and noblest sons--at the Bar, on the Bench, in the medical profession, in abstract sciences, in the matter of the study of the country itself, and in political science. We have drawn from those Maritime Provinces in the days gone by, and particularly in the days of Confederation and those that immediately followed, as you know well, some of the proudest in this land.
When you have done your duty to these Maritime Provinces, have visited them and seen with your own eyes some of their capabilities; then you proceed westward-that you can do, as you well know, by two great routes. One was made by the Supreme Power that made all things-the magnificent St. Lawrence, that, rolling down from the great mountain regions, mingles with the vast and mighty ocean-that splendid river, as if a mighty giant had put his hand to the work, and had cloven through the whole continent to make a great waterway.
Then, as you know, there is the Intercolonial Railway, the product of the greatest man who ever governed Canada. We hear a great deal said rather disparagingly about the Intercolonial, but it is one of the most beautiful land routes over which you can travel from the East to the West. It pursues its way carefully along the bank of the great St. Lawrence. Its scenery is charming, and it opens up a country that is full of interest. By either of these great routes you reach beautiful Quebec. There it stands as you come up the noble river-the Gibraltar of Canada-lifting its proud head in defiance of any enemies who might have the temerity to approach it either by land or water. There is the splendid Canadian fortress, and surrounding it and lying below it is one of the most interesting cities to be found in the length and breadth of Canada. There you hear the French tongue, there you see the French customs that date so far back; all this mingled together with our English influence and providing a bridge that must ever prove beneficial to our deepest and best interests.
From that to the next great city, Montreal, you pass up the waterway or either of the two great railroads, and there we come to one of the most beautiful of our Canadian cities, lying between Mount Royal as it lifts its proud head, and the noble river, as it sweeps by with rushing current the beautiful city of Montreal. It is distinguished for many things-for its natural beauty and because of its great harbour standing at the head of navigation, and because there two races have learned to work and live together in harmony and prosperity. 400,000 people find in Montreal their home and their business, and their happy and fraternal life. There is a refinement, a politeness, yea, there is an elegance and grace about the poorest FrenchCanadian and his children to be found in Montreal that I am sorry to say our Western portions of the land are largely destitute of. The French-Canadian by his origin and traditions which he has faithfully conserved, is a gentleman, though he may be a poor man. He always greets you with his native courtesy, and I have felt during my experience in the fifteen years I lived in Montreal and during the summers in which I have visited the watering places along the St. Lawrence, the greatest admiration within myself for the life and character of the French-Canadian. He is simple in his habits, generous and kind, obedient to those who are over him either in civil or religious matters; he is a quiet citizen; he is very fond of a little "boodle" (when he can get it), and it is looked upon as one of his virtues which he sometimes pursues to an unwholesome extent; he is called up and rebuked for it, goes away and soon begins to do it again. This is one of .his amiable failings.
The great lesson that one learns from the beautiful city of Montreal is that it is possible in this great Empire, to which it is our proud privilege to belong, so to fuse the foreign, and even strange and dissimilar races that they will be filled with common patriotism and common loyalty, and that they will lift up their eyes and see the old Union Jack waving over their cities, because they know it is to them and to any country where it unfurls itself, a guarantee of liberty, progress and enlightenment.
Let us waive an affectionate farewell, now, as we pass (r)n our way up the great waterway, through the great lakes, or by one of the great railroads to this proud city of Toronto. Here we have an approach to the population of Montreal-some 300,000 people, and here you will observe one distinguishing characteristic. Montreal is a city, I must say, slow, conservative in its movements and in its business methods. You will see this by the appearance of the people on the streets. They move slowly and methodically; there is nothing like jostling. You see a great deal more of that here. Being nearer the American border you have acquired the habit of rush--quick lunches, quick movements, everything done in that rapid style which is not at all conducive to a pleasant life 'and longevity. It would be poor taste, indeed, for me-though I was once happy to be a citizen here--to say any more about Toronto; you all know her, her progress, her great prospects--which are actually unlimited.
We must take the train and get on to Owen Sound and then proceed by the beautiful waterway to Sault Ste, Marie. There I intend to halt for a moment and describe the independent and intelligent business men. Wonders have been wrought in that place during the last five years; tremendous industrial achievements which you see there as witness to their energy and enterprising efforts; the great canals both on the Canadian and American side of the river, providing transportation into Lake Superior. There we have the "Ocean of Canada" magnificent, powerful, deep and cold, which can be as boisterous and as unpleasant as the great ocean itself, but in those palatial steamers provided by the several companies you cross Lake Superior, unless the weather be very adverse indeed, with not only comfort but in luxury and enjoyment. A day and a night bring you across that great inland ocean to where the mighty giant rock solemnly reposes in .his everlasting and undisturbed slumber, and there you come to the Twin Cities that are the "Golden Gate of the West" destined soon to be fused into one; that will be a vast and great city; that will be the Chicago. of Canada. You take your leave of this place, so full of promise and so full of coming wealth and present prosperity, and you make your way all day through a barren and deserted wilderness, and the chief lesson you learn is one of patience as you go along hoping that it will come to a speedy conclusion.
It would seem to tax one's patience to the extreme to pass through it, but you very soon come to the outskirts of Winnipeg, to the pleasant lakes, and to the picturesque country that introduces you to the great prairie city; and now when you roll into the station you stand in a city that no language can portray as regards its present prosperity and its future and certain prospects. It is one of the most wonderful cities in the world. Some of us sitting here today (myself among the number) are old enough to look back to the time when five to six hundred people, Indians and halfbreeds, and a Hudson's Bay factor or two, had made their dwelling where the proud city of Winnipeg now stands,. Then you roll into the station that has 150 miles of track and, if you stand there long enough, you will see out of the numerous trains that like serpents wend their winding way into that great station come people from all parts of the world, old and new--from old France and Italy and Latin races of Europe, the Teutonic, and from this part of Canada, and from the United States, and what they call "Dagoes," all pouring themselves into this vast country, and entering the station with the one fixed idea that they have come to make this country their future home. It is to them the "Land of Promise," they have often heard about it, the more intelligent of them have read about it, and studied it, and they know its capabilities, and know what they can do as men. That means resolution and power and if, firmly, they plant their feet there with determination they will go forward in an. ,honest, upright, and industrious course. Everything we have been taught to hold most sacred and true must vanish from our sight and fade from our grasp unless the prosperity of this country is realized to the honest, true and enterprising men who are making a beginning there.
It is a wonderful sight to enter that railway station and watch the trains as they empty themselves out and the people that they bring. That leads one to stretch his imagination. What is going to be the future of that bright boy, that strong, stalwart young man, that man )f graver life and more advanced years, of those children, of that toiling woman with a couple of them on her back? As you look at these people you see the material that is going to make the future of the great Northwest. Now when you enter the station at Winnipeg after your long ride through the wilderness you naturally desire a little rest, and I know not any place where you can enjoy it with greater luxury than in the same city of Winnipeg. There is one of the most beautiful hotels there to be found in any city. It is furnished not only for the comfort of its guests, but with downright luxury. Now that you are done with the station, enjoyed a rest and had a good meal at the hotel, you brace yourself up and want to take a walk or a ride through some of the beautiful streets in this new Queen City of the West, standing there at the entrance of the prairie country. It is now a place, or it was last year, when I was there, of 140,000 people. I suppose it is now at least 150,000, and at that ratio it will go on to an illimitable and incalculable extent. There you will see one thing that will contrast very strongly with the beautiful city we now live and enjoy ourselves in--Toronto. You have no Yonge and King streets crossing at right angles, so narrow and congested as to be dangerous to life and limb.
Winnipeg stands, as you know, at the entrance of the prairie country. I have heard people say, "Oh, .I was so tired of that prairie, a day and a night going through it, and it was so monotonous." I wonder how anybody could express himself or herself in such a way as that. To me it was intensely interesting. There you enter upon a journey of 36 hours through that most wonderful country. Magnificent is not too great a word to describe it when you think of its extent and fruitfulness. There is nothing else like it in all the world. A thousand miles in one direction and four hundred in any other; as far as any man can compute 30 million acres are there; and how the human eye could lack interest in going through- such a country to me is simply inexplicable. When you think that this is not merely a grass wilderness, but that there is the most arable and fruitful land to be found in the wide, wide world! When our fathers came here to Ontario how different for them. What confronted the first settlers here? Great forests, and they were compelled to spend all their available capital in buying horses and such implements as were to be obtained in those days. First they had to attack the underbrush, then cut huge trees down, and get the oxen and chains and drag them out of the way, then get up some buildings between the stumps, and break up little patches of land, cast in the seed in rather a downhearted way, and come back in the fall to reap a very poor, miserable return indeed, and this for many long, long years before there was anything like a clearing. But here in this magnificent, boundless country, as far as the eye can reach, just as when you stand on the deck of an ocean steamer and look out you see nothing but water, so here as you look from the railway window, as far as the eye can pierce, there is nothing but the beautiful golden grain.
This is the land that the Government gives 160 acres of for $10. They won't sell it to speculators or land grabbers, but give it to settlers for $10, if they will only settle there and work it for three years. The settler there finds himself in a veritable paradise compared to that of our fathers who settled in Ontario in the early days. He has only to put in the plow and turn up the richest loam to be found on the earth, scatter his seed generously and go back in the fall and reap 25 bushels to, the acre, or 30, and in some places it has run to 40 bushels of the finest wheat ever sown and reaped and gathered in. Wheat enough for the whole Empire, and as you go along you see elevators springing up near every settlement and every city. I stayed with a son of mine for 10 days in the city of Moosejaw, a place of some 12,000 people--it may be 20,000 now! One thing that struck me forcibly was the multiplicity of railway tracks at Moosejaw--the rush of business-10 or 12, all doing a thriving business; and the tremendous elevators of enormous capacity for storing up the grain brought in by the farmers; who put it in, get their receipts, which are as good as money, as they take them to the bank and get gold. This is the sort of thing that is going on all through this prairie country. We cannot realize it-nobody can until they go and see it for themselves.
Now we have passed over the prairie and arrive at 'Calgary, standing as a sentinel at the entrance to the Rockies. Calgary is a curious city. You meet a lot of young fellows there who have studied at Eton and Oxford; their fathers have given them 50 pounds and they have made their way as far as Calgary, they soon spend their 50 pounds and become "remittance men." They are not all like this. I met a very polite, attractive young -man when I entered a railway office with my son, and I asked him who that extraordinary young fellow was. He told me he had only been there a week. When he came he looked around for employment, and the Mayor of the place told .him there was nothing to do except a job outside on the streets with a pick. He got a barrow and a pick and started in. But the people said he was too good for that work and the Mayor spoke to the local railway manager, and he gave him work in the office. Gentlemen, that young man will rise until he reaches the pinnacle. That is the kind of man we want to settle the Northwest with. Calgary is a very remarkable place indeed, but we must leave it, and soon we find ourselves at Banff, and I would like to say much about this place, but time warns me that I must leave you to draw conclusions for yourselves, or get the information from the maps. It is a magnificent spot, a favourite with tourists, but we did not enjoy the company of some of the settlers-mosquitos; monstrous big fellows.
Now the Rockies-here language would fail even an Edmund Burke, a Charles James Fox, .the Earl of Chatham, Cicero, or Demosthenes. What man of them could do justice to the glories of the Rockies? You slide out of Calgary and you have a dozen Switzerlands as you look from one mountain peak to another, as they lift their snow-capped peaks to the heavens, but it becomes monotonous as---a look all day long at those mountains. There is the great geyser, the rushing, roaring rivers, and you begin to think what an insignificant creature man is; but as you roll over a tremendous bridge spanning an awful chasm that makes you shrink back from the car window with horror, you think, well, man is not so small after all and you realize that he has conquered and overcome almost insurmountable obstacles and has placed a railway through such places as you now behold. Then you come to the shoulder of the mountain, and the great engine pants like a living thing as it slowly but steadily rolls the train to the summit, and then descends to the depths on the other side. Then comes the great glacier that covers, we are told, 200 square miles, a vast field of ice and snow, pouring down here and there as it melts, in mighty cataracts. But you have now passed the Selkirks and are in a beautiful country and a beautiful climate.
You soon enter the busy station of Vancouver and gaze out on the beautiful harbour, the "Liverpool of Canada." There you see ships from India, Australia, China, and Japan, there you hear a babel of tongues, see many strange men in their Oriental costumes as they walk about in their curious way. Here you have a city of a hundred thousand people, or more, beautiful buildings, broad streets, and such parks! Stanley Park is one of the most beautiful places on the continent, rich in natural scenery; there in that park you see giant cedars, one of , them measuring 47 feet around and 18 feet in diameter, giant trees of beauty that nature has lavishly supplied. Would that we could dwell at Vancouver, but must now take one of the most beautiful salt-water trips that a person could wish for, as we take steamer for the city of Victoria. What a magnificent city l What a salubrious climate l What English refinement l What a place to reside in l When the day comes that I can work no wore I should like nothing better than to be able to spend the rest of my days in Victoria on the Pacific. The Provincial Parliament Buildings in Victoria are a sight in themselves worth going some distance to see, second only to those in Ottawa, and a very striking fact it is that they were erected for less than a million dollars! It shows that those who have the handling of the money in the public treasury there do not indulge in that which appears all too common today-graft.
Now let us go from the West to the East again, nearer home, and consider the future position of Canada. We have the proudest inheritance to be found in the wide world. We in this city of Toronto hear a good deal about Imperial Federation, and if it ever comes to pass, and come to pass I believe it will, this Dominion of Canada is going to be the most important and dominant factor in that Federation, because she is nearest to the head and heart and centre of the Empire, and because she is the mightiest and nearest to the English centre of any of the Dominions beyond .the seas. I am glad they have ceased to call us colonies, and now we look for a more glorious future as the most important part of the Empire outside of Great Britain herself.