- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 2 Dec 1915, p. 12-19
- Grant, Sir James, Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The speaker's interest in the movement started 15 years ago by the late Lord Minto who organized a Canadian Association for protection of our people from tuberculosis, and his visits to all parts of Canada with regard to this endeavour. His impression with the development of central Canada and its great future, its industrial importance, and its contribution towards the advancement in commerce of this great City of Toronto. The speaker's happy report that in many districts visited there has not been a single case of tuberculosis. Factors which went into wiping out this disease. Some personal anecdotes, reminiscences and biographical notes. A panoramic view of some parts of central Canada—Sudbury, Cobalt and Porcupine—whose development and evidence of life and vitality are truly remarkable; ways in which that is so. Sudbury as one of the most remarkable mineral centre today in the whole world. Some statistics on nickel production and employment provided. Silver production in Cobalt. Discovering that many of the largest mines were properties of the American people. Gold production in Porcupine. The growing town of Timmins. Some optimistic comments about the war.
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- 2 Dec 1915
- Language of Item
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- Full Text
- THE OUTLOOK OF CENTRAL CANADA
AN ADDRESS BY SIR JAMES GRANT, M.D., K.C.M.G.
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto December 2, 1915
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN,--Fifteen years ago the late Lord Minto organized a Canadian Association for protection of our people from tuberculosis. Since that time I have been visiting all parts of Canada, in the interests of that movement. I have been so impressed with the development of central Canada and its great future, its industrial importance, and: its contribution towards the advancement in commerce of this great City of Toronto, that I am delighted to have an opportunity of expressing my views here.
I am very happy to report that in many districts visited I have not been able to find a single case of tuberculosis, that disease having been wiped out by the education imparted by the Government at Ottawa and the various local governments, who actually shower the country with pamphlets by the million showing how to detect tuberculosis, and how to card for it when it occurs. I had the pleasure forty-five years ago of introducing into the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in this City a resolution making hygiene compulsory as a line of scientific education in the educational institutions of our country. That resolution was received most charmingly by those in charge of the Government of Ontario, and no one took a deeper and more abiding interest in forwarding science in medicine and surgery in connection with that College than the late Sir James Whitney. I feel confident that the mantle of that great man has fallen most gracefully on the shoulders of Premier Hearst and his worthy associates, who will discharge the duties of their honorable positions so as to develop beyond all precedent the outcome of this Province, which is today recognized as the brightest Province in this Dominion.
While a student at McGill University in Medicine in 1849 and 1850, I was a guest of the late Hon. Allen Macdonald, ex-chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, and there I met seven or eight ex-chief factors of that Company who assembled there with Sir George Simpson, the Governor of the Hudson's Bay territory, who resided at Lachine. He was a man of small stature but extraordinary intellectual and physical capacity, of sharp observation, thoroughly up in the affairs of the world, with perfect knowledge of what was necessary in order that Canada might attain the position that it today enjoys. He made fully fifty trips by canoe from Lachine to Red River, and crossed from Hudson's Bay to Vancouver by canoe and portage. His notes, which are today in my possession, are extremely interesting and instructive, and compare most favorably with the records that are cropping up now from time to time. The chief discussions of those ex-factors had reference to that great western country, and I had the pleasure of listening to them. In 1854, after graduating, I settled in Bytown, now Ottawa, thanks to the late Sir John Macdonald, who recommended that idea to our late Majesty Queen Victoria, hence Ottawa, one of the most beautiful cities in our Dominion, enjoys the privilege of being the capital of Canada.
In 1860 I was invited by the Mechanics' Institute of Ottawa to deliver a public address, and took for my subject the union of the different portions of the Dominion of Canada, and the placing on them of an iron splint, to strengthen the very fibre of our country, and to promote as far as possible trade, and commerce, for the advantage of our people. Shortly afterwards, Sir John Macdonald called me to his residence at Stadacona Hall and asked. me where I got the information for my address. I told him, from Sir George Simpson and the chief factors of the Hudson's Bay Company. He then said I must come into Parliament, which I consented to do, becoming a member of the Dominion House in 186'7 at Confederation, for Russell County. Seated in that house in 1872, Sir John Macdonald sent to me Sir John Ross with a bill in his hand, saying, "Sir John wishes you to introduce this bill in your own name, and to make the speech for the Government," which I was delighted to perform. Shortly afterwards I was invited into the private study of Sir John Macdonald at Stadacona Hall and found him sitting in a large arm-chair reading a book. I noted a yellow marker in the book, and after ascertaining that he only had a slight cold, Sir John pulled that marker out of his book and handed me to read. A cable received the night previous from Grenfell, London, announcing the completion of arrangements for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Sir John said, "I thought after receiving such a cable as that, this Saturday night, that the best thing I could do this Sunday morning was to read my Bible and thank God for what he had done for Canada." Gentlemen, is it any wonder that this C.P.R. should have attained such marvellous success, after such a presentment? The greatest living corporation today in the known world; a road that has so far never touched anywhere, that we did not afterwards find two blades of grass where previously there was only one; a road which has contributed marvellously towards the development of that great western kingdom to the north and made it today the surprise of the nations of the world. This year it has produced 36o million bushels of wheat alone, irrespective of millions of bushels of other classes of grain, and out of only one-tenth of the arable land of that vast region. What will we be when the other nine-tenths are brought under cultivation by the scientific progressive agricultural appliances of the present day? It will require the entire carrying capacity of the three present transcontinental roads to cope with the great transportation problem. Again, our progressive administration is today forging on the construction of that Hudson's Bay Railway, as an additional accessory towards this transportation problem; and so soon as that road is completed, it will bring Winnipeg, the Mecca of the North American Continent, as near to Liverpool, via Hudson's Bay, as Montreal is today via St. Lawrence. Is not that a marvellous development? If any one doubts about the Hudson's Bay on account of ice, let him read the history of the St. Lawrence Gulf, the Amazon of Canada, which today is plowed by the great leviathans of the deep, with a degree of safety and freedom perfectly remarkable; and that history will be repeated in the navigation of the Hudson's Bay. Is it not remarkable also that the Czar of Russia has fast ice-breakers, clearing up the great port of Vladivostock, in order to keep that channel free for the coming trade? No sooner will this war be over than the Empire of Russia will have reciprocity of trade with the Empire of Canada, that will advance the imperial interests of this Dominion, in a way that will surprise and encourage our people from ocean to ocean. Is it any wonder, under all these circumstances, that the aphorism is so absolutely correct--that Canada is today the brightest jewel in the colonial coronet of the Empire?
I will now give you a panoramic view of some parts of central Canada-Sudbury, Cobalt and Porcupine whose development and evidence of life and vitality are truly remarkable; in the lumber camps, pouring out lumber, to meet the requirements of this Province; in the millions of acres of agricultural land, open today for the incoming of many thousands of strong and vigorous agriculturists, who will make a reputation for Ontario far beyond what it now enjoys.
Sudbury is without doubt one of the most remarkable mineral centres today in the whole world. It produces 80 percent of the nickel of the world, and the money paid to its operatives is developing a whole country and contributing also to the progress of this great city, Toronto. Thousands of men are employed every day. The Mond Company and the Copper Cliff Corporation are the chief industrial Companies now operating and extracting the nickel from the area first discovered 43 years ago by the C.P.R. in its cuttings through the rocks in that immediate neighbourhood, as I saw even at that time, but unfortunately did not know much about it.
Sudbury today is only in its infancy. They are taking copper and often times, gold, out of that ore to pay for the removal of the nickel, which they sometimes have absolutely free. Those two corporations and others operating there now have actually made millions out of Sudbury and are going to make many, millions more. Why, may not the gentlemen before me have the opportunity of enjoying such privileges which are just at their front door. That nickel is used to harden the great steel plates of the monitors and leviathans of the world, that they may not be penetrated as easily when this war is on as they were formerly. I would say to Admiral Tirpitz, that if he would just take out, for a holiday in the North Pacific, that German navy he has locked up so securely in the Kiel Canal, he will learn without doubt that Great Britain holds in its grasp today, and will continue to hold, the maritime supremacy of the world.
Cobalt is one of the most remarkable mineral centres in Canada. When I was there I thought I was in the war regions, seeing vast aeroplanes, as I supposed, flitting through the atmosphere; but on closer investigation I found they were great iron tubs carrying a large quantity of ore taken from the earth, lifted up on high, transmitted along those wires to the great concentrator, where the silver was extracted from the ore, and piled up in blocks worth from $1,115 o to $ i, 17 5 each, waiting for the war to pass over, so that the price of silver may rise to normal value. I examined the country not only on the surface, but I went down into the bowels of the earth, as I sometimes do with a private individual, to find out how the silver digestion was going on, and I assure you I got a tremendous surprise when I saw those lengthy channels lit up by acetylene, rows-upon-rows of lamps, and men taking out that ore and accumulating it in a marvellous manner. Within the last few days another property, called the Peterson, has had all the water carried off that lake, and it is now supposed to be one of the most valuable areas discovered in the whole section of Cobalt. I supposed that the mines were far distant from each other, but they are clustered in an extremely small space, which has already produced 200 millions of ounces of silver and given to its shareholders $800,000,000. The millionaires turned out from Cobalt are now residing in Montreal, Toronto, St. Catharines and other parts of Canada, and there are ample opportunities open for many other individuals if they wish to be millionaires to go in and do likewise. But what did I find? that many of the largest mines--The Cobalt, the Nipissing, the Kerr Lake and others--were properties of the American people. I was delighted to learn that our great American neighbours were coming in here now and expending large capital in the development of our resources. Only a few days ago Winston Churchill, the great American novelist, in addressing the Canadian Club at Ottawa, made this charming allusion, "that at no time in the history of his people were they more British in sentiment and feeling than they are today."
Gentlemen, His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught, Governor-General of Canada, since his arrival in this country a few years ago, has expressed himself so warmly, so enthusiastically, so encouragingly to our people under the very fringe of the Magna Charta and the British constitution, that his bright intellectual ideality, radiated into the Republic, and is now circulating through the veins of the Magi, of that great and prosperous country, and stirring up the very existence of that charming sentiment of Churchill, that as a people they never were more British in their sentiments and their feelings than they are at the present time.
Porcupine is really a wonderful centre, and what Cobalt has done in the production of enormous wealth from silver, Porcupine is going to do in the production of vast amounts of gold. Your local authorities here say that it produced over $5,000,000 last year and the year before. There is a large territory there holding this Keewatin Rock; and, gentlemen, you know that bald rocks are often like bald heads-they contain a great deal under them. I found fissures charged with gold which stimulated thousands of people to go in there and take up land with the prospective idea of becoming millionaires in the near future. Today there are 40 mines operating, but only about 2o are in active development. The Martin, Timmins and Dunlop are the chief pioneers in the early development of the gold of that section; their Hollinger mine is down now 1,200 feet, and lately they penetrated the rock, with a diamond drill, 500 or 600 feet more, and this Keewatin rock was found to be as rich in gold at the lower end as at the top, so that they have from ten to twelve years' work ahead of them to extract gold from the Keewatin rock now in sight. The Dome and Dome Extension are enjoying very much the same experience, and their stock today is standing at a very high figure. The Thompson mine, one of the very last developments, only a few days old, has already almost given jaundice to the men operating it, the quantity of gold is so great. At Swastika, half way between Cobalt and Porcupine, there are three or four mines in operation and, though only partially developed, gave almost fifteen percent profit already, which I consider a very fine return for a recent investment.
Go where you will today in Porcupine, you become thoroughly convinced of the extraordinary feature awaiting its development. Mr. Timmins has laid out a town there called after his name, which has 500 or 600 inhabitants now, with all the modern advancements for happiness and prosperity, and a very fine hotel. That is not all; the day is not far distant when Porcupine will be to Canada what Johannesburg is to South Africa, as a gold producer', that will arouse the people of this country, within the next few years, as to the extraordinary advancement and development that are here awaiting the energy, the activity and determination of the worthy people of Ontario.
With all these blessings that a kind Providence is today showering on our people, should we not have a feeling of happiness and joy that we have been so blessed in what is surrounding us? The Government war loan, though brought before the people only a few weeks ago, has been doubly subscribed, an evidence of a confidence of the public of Canada in our present administration. We are living in a very serious time. The greatest war the world ever realized is now in progress. It is a fight for freedom and democracy against tyranny and autocracy; a fight in which the equilibrium of our people is disturbed today from ocean to ocean; in which the pulse of the industrial and commercial life of the world is beating in abnormal form; in which public and private property in the midst of this whirlwind is of precious little account; a fight in which jurists and diplomatists find the greatest degree of difficulty in defining the bed-rock of principle. Yet is it not a source of pride and satisfaction to us to con over the very bravery and heroism of our sons, who have achieved a niche in a temple of fame of a truly imperishable character? Right and justice are gradually coming our way; and I feel as certain of a great victory for Britain and Allies as that there is a sun shining over our heads today, and by its radiation stimulating and encouraging our people in the belief that we are now nearing that period when we will again enjoy peace, comfort, happiness and prosperity, the normal heritage of our people; and I think that I must ask you now, one and all, to join with me in the, present sentiment
"Then hoist the British flag on high, And nail it to the mast, That all the world may see it fly; Great Britain's roused at last."
The vote of thanks was moved by Col. Dr. Bruce, and seconded by Very Rev. Dean Harris.