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Handbook to Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba
Notes on some of the chief points to be visited on the Western Excursion.


REGINA is the capital of the Province of Saskatchewan, and is situated on the main line of the Can adian Pacific Railway, three hundred and fifty miles west of Winnipeg. As capital of the province it is the seat of government. Here the Legislative Assembly meets, and all the Departmental and Executive Offices are situated. In Regina also are the headquarters of the Royal North-West Mounted Police, and the seat of the Supreme Court of the province.

Regina is the centre of the most famous wheat growing district of Saskatchewan. The country in all directions is level prairie, with the exception of a district some mne or ten miles away in a north-easterly direction where the land is somewhat rolling and there is a growth of small poplar trees.

In 1908, the total yield of all grains in crop districts 1, 2, 4 and 5, an area 204 miles square, of which Regina is practically the centre, was 93,134,482 bushels, and the total acreage under cultivation 5,250,857 acres From the other five districts which comprise the rest of the province, each district being of an equal area, the total yield of all grains was 12.859.,932 bushels, and the total acreage under cultivation 721,444 acres.

Regina, itself on the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, is also the terminus of the same Company’s line from Areola, which is continued through to Brandon, a line tapping a very rich and well settled country to the south-east. The Canadian Pacific Railway has also under course of construction a line running in a northerly direction from Regina to connect with their Pheasant Hills' line at a point at or near Bulyea. It is expected that this will be completed early in the present season. This gives easy access to Last Mountain Lake, a beautiful sheet of water some sixty miles long, the foot of which is distant only twenty-five miles from the city; this will undoubtedly become a very popular summer resort for the citizens of Regina.

Regina is the southern terminus of the Canadian Pacific Northern Railway Company’s line from Prince Albert, and is also the terminus of the same Company’s line from Brandon. When continued through to the Great Lakes, this will give Regina the benefit of a competitive road through to the head of navigation.

The Grand Trunk Pacific Branch Lines’ Company hold a charter for a line running from Regina to Melville, a divisional point on the main line of their great transcontinental railroad, about ninety miles north east of Regina. This line will be continued to Yorkton, and is one of those for the construction of which the bonds of the Company were guaranteed by .the Provincial Government at the last session. It is hoped that it will be completed this year. As soon as this line is completed, work will be commenced on the same Company’s Line in a south-easterly direction, for which the charter reads: “In a south-easterly direction from Regina to a point on the International Boundary at or near North Portal." Charters for many other lines are held by various Companies. Regina will almost certainly become the great distributing centre of the middle West.

The citizens of Regina have always been firm believers in the principle of municipal ownership, and the city owns and controls the electric light plant and the water works system. The electric light plant not only gives an excellent service at a very low rate, (nine cents per thousand kw. hours for light) but also yields a fair profit, which goes to reduce the rate of taxation. The water supply is derived from springs at Boggy Creek, a distance of about eight miles from the city, where a dam and reservoir have been constructed with a capacity of over 700,000,000 gallons and a fall of 85 feet from the reservoir to the power house basin. In laying the pipe line from the reservoir to the city, numerous springs were struck, and these have supplied the city without the necessity of drawing upon the reservoir. The water is well adapted for domestic purposes for use in steam boilers and other industrial purposes.

The city hall built at a cost of $175,000, is one of the handsomest buildings in the city. It contains offices for the Civic Officials, a large auditorium capable of seating a thousand people, a public library and a handsome and well fumished council chamber.

The city has reserved large areas for park purposes. The Victoria Park in the centre of the city, contains about seven acres; Wascana Park, situated on the banks of the Lake and facing the Parliament Buildings, contains about forty-five acres and has been tastefully laid out.

The educational requirements of the city are well served by the five public schools, the "separate school,’' and the collegiate institute. All these have been recently erected.

Among the churches may be specially mentioned, the Metropolitan Methodist Church, the Knox Church, St. Paul’s (Anglican) and St. Mary’s (Roman Catholic). There are many handsome business blocks, and perhaps the finest building in the city, is the new Post Office.


At a point on the main line of The Canadian Pacific Railway, 642 miles east of Vancouver, on the Pacific Coast, and 840 miles west of Winnipeg, the City of Calgary is picturesquely situated in the valley of the Bow River, at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow. To the west, the snowy peaks of the Rooky Mountains are clearly visible. To the north, the country is of a rolling nature, and is well adapted for diversified farming. Southward to the International Boundary, much grain is grown, although there are many large stock farms throughout this district. To the east of Calgary, for a distance of 180 miles, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company have undertaken the greatest irrigation scheme in the world. It serves a district extending over 3,000,000 acres.

The situation and climatic conditions of Calgary are delightful. Attention may be called to its altitude of 3,389 feet, its large proportion of sunny days, and to the warm winds from the west and south-west, known as Chinook winds. The comparative mildness of the winter is in marked contrast to the cold of the more central regions of Canada. The following table shows the average temperature and rainfall, for the ten years prior to 1908, as recorded at the Government Meteorological Station at Calgary .

The large business blocks and public bu.ldings are built of the famous Calgary sandstone, which is found along the banks of the river. There are about a dozen quarries within the city limits. The following buildings are under construction or have been completed within the past twelve months.

There are more than nine Public Schools, a High School and a Normal School, a “Separate School,” a Convent, the Western Canada College for boys, and St. Hilda’s College for girls. During l‘JU8, there were 3,566 pupils in the Calgary Schools. These pupils represent eighteen nationalities and speak fourteen different languages.

The twenty-five churches in Calgary represent the following denominations: Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, Moravian, Lutheran, Salvation Army.

The numerous Commercial, Industrial and Financial Institutions established in Calgary, place it in the position of the Commercial Metropolis of the “Last Great West.” The Bank Clearings for the last six months of the year 1908, were $38,526,454.00, an increase of $3,284,363.00 over the last six months of 1907. The clearings for the last week of February, 1909, show an increase of 81.5 per cent,. The Customs receipts for 1908, were $426,425.00.

Three daily papers, tour weeklies and 'three monthlies, are published in Calgary.

Calgary was founded in 1882, and incorporated as a city two years later. The population in 1901, was 6,557; to-day it is more.than 25,000 The city water supply is of the best, and is brought from the Rockies via the Bow River.Steam coal may be obtained in Calgary, at $2.75 per ton upwards, natural gas has been discovered and negotiations are in progress for the development of water power on the Bow River. Calgary’s railway facilities are excellent and a rapid growth and a prosperous future for the eity are well assured.


Banfl is situated at an altitude of 4,521 feet, and is the station for the Canadian National Park and Hot Springs This park is a National Reservation of 5,732 square miles, embracing parts of the valleys of the Bow, Spray and Cascade Rivers, Lake Minnewanka and several noble mountain ranges, and beyond the ‘ ‘ Divide, ’ the Yoho valley and the country to the west and south of it The park is the largest in the world, being nearly half as large again as the famous Yellowstone Park in the United States. No part of the Rockies exhibits a greater variety of sublime and pleasing scenery, and nowhere are good points of view and features of special interest so accessible, since many good roads and bridle paths have

The notes on Banff are taken, by permission, from the Annotated Time Table of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

been made. _ The railway station at Banff is in the midst of impressive mountains. The huge mass northward is Cascade Mountain (9,825 ft.); eastward is Mount Inglismaldie, and the heights of the Fairiiolme subrange, behind which lies Lake Minnewankci. Southeastward from Inglismaldie, in the same range of the Fairholmes, the sharp cone of Peechee (called after an Indian chief), closes the view in that direction; this is one of the highest mountains visible. To the left of Cascade Mountain, and just north of the track, rises the wooded ridge of Stoney Squaw Mountain, beneath which lie the Vermilion lakes, seen just after leaving the station. Up the Bow, westward, tower the distant, snowy, central heights of the Main range about Simpson’s Pass, most prominently the square, wall-like crest of Mount Bourgeau. A little nearer, at the left, is seen the northern end of the Bourgeau range, and still nearer, the razor-like back of Sulphur Mountain, along the side of which are the Hot Springs, and on whose summit, at .8,030 ft., an observatory has been established. The isolated bluff southward is Tunnel Mountain, while just behind the station, Rundle Peak, 9,665 ft., rises sharply so near at hand as to cut off all the view in that direction. Just before reaching the station, the train passes along a large corral of 800 acres in which are a number of buffalo, the last specimens of the monarchs of the plains. Plans are now arranged by means of which a collection of bears will be placed in a corral in some central location in the park. The village of Banff is a short distance, soulhwest of the station, on the'hither side of the Bow, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Banff Hotel is about a mile further on. A steel bridge takes the carriage road across to the magnificent hotel, built by the Railway Company, on an eminence between the foaming falls in the Bow and the. mouth of the rapid Spray River. This hotel, which has every modem convenience and luxury, including baths supplied from the hot sulphur springs, is kept open from May to October, and thither people from all lands flock in numbers. It is most favorably placed for health, picturesque views, and as a centre for canoeing, driving, walking or mountain-climbing. There are also a sanitarium and hospital in-the village, and a museum of more than local interst has been established by the Government. Eight miles from Banff, is Lake Minnewanka, on which a fine launch has been placed. There is capital fishing, the trout being of extraordinary size. Wild sheep (the big-horn) and mountain goats are occasionally to be seen on the neighboring heights. Some extraordinary fossil remains and markings of mammoth pre-historic creatures are found on the mountain slopes surrounding this lake, as well as on Cascade Mountain. At the upper end of the lake is the valley of Ghost River, a strange region where the mountain rivulets gurgle off into subterranean reservoirs and the granite walls are pitted with caves. Between Banff and the lake is Bankhead, where are located the anthracite mines, operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway, whose output will shortly provide the country as far east as Winnipeg with fuel. The hot springs are at different elevations upon the eastern slope of Sulphur Mountain, the highest being 900 ft. above the Bow. All are reached by tine roads, commanding glorious landscapes. The more important springs have been improved by the Government, and picturesque bathing houses have been erected and placed under the care of attendants. In one locality is a pool inside a dome-roofed cave, entered by an artificial tunnel; and adjacent, another spring forms an open basin of warm sulphurous water. Since the opening of the railway, these springs have been largely visited, and testimony to their wonderful curative properties i* plentiful. Twenty miles south of Banff is Mount Assiniboine, the

Matterhorn of the new world, the ascent of which, after several unsuccessful attempts, was made in the autumr of 1901, by the Rev. James Outram and a party of Swiss guides. The way to it leads through beautiful valleys studded with transparent blue lakes and parklike prairie openings.


Vancouver, the chief commercial capital Of the western half of the Canadian-American continent, is situated on the extreme western shore of the mainland of British Columbia, a distance of fifty miles north of the International boundary, overlooking the Gulf of Georgia, which, with Vancouver Island and the Straits of Juan de Fuea, lies between the city and the open Pacific Ocean. Vancouver was founded in 1886, and has a population of 85,000. Its commercial supremacy is based on the fact that it is the natural gateway for Canadian and British-Oriental trade and that it is the converging point of several transcontinental railway lmes, as well as the port of trans-Pacific shipping. Chief among the transcontinental lines having their terminals at this point, is the Canadian Pacific Railway, with through and direct connections from Liverpool and all European ports via Montreal and St. John, and navigating its own steamships to Japan and China. The journey from Montreal to Vancouver occupies 96 hours. There is a regular steamship service to the Orient from Vancouver. The time from Vancouver to Yokohama is fourteen days; to Hong Kong 22 days, wirh intervening calls at Kobe, Nagasaki and Shanghai.

Next in importance is the trade with the Antipodes, carried on by the Canadian-Australian line, with a trio of ships called the Aorangi, the Moana and Makura. The sailings on this line are monthly, the time between Vancouver and Sydney, (N.S.W.), being approximately thirty days, with calls at Honolulu, Suva and Brisbane. Both the Canadian-Pacific and the Canadian-Australian are Royal Mail S. S. lines and close connections are made with the fast through mails from Liverpool

A “Four-Weekly-Service” between California points, Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador Honduras and Nicaragua is also maintained. The trade between these and Canadian ports is rapidly increasing in importance. Among other “freighters” calling regularly at the port of Vancouver, are those of the Ocean S.S. Co., and the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co., operating a monthly service to Liverpool via Japan, China and the Suez Canal.

The local service between Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle is triangular and three magnificent steamers are engaged in the trade Morning and afternoon sailings are made for Victoria; the distance is 7o miles, and the time occupied, four hours. From Seattle to Vancouver 1/50 miles, the time taken is nine hours.

Daily communication is also maintained with Nanaimo, the centre of Vancouver Island coal mining industries. This port is forty miles distant and the journey occupies three hours. The “Coastwise” service is supplied by a flotilla of steamers operated by numerous steamship companies having their head offices m Vancouver. By means of these the whole coast line as far north as Alaska, Queen Charlotte Island and northern British Columbia coast ports is covered. Sailings are regularly scheduled and average four a week All the Coastwise steamships of the Puget Sound service also call at Vancouver on their way to and from the North.

In addition to the freight and passenger delivery from the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Great Northern Railway operates three trains daily each way between Vancouver and Seattle, while extensive plans for additional terminal facilities have been filed by tnis Company, . and the work of grading and dock building is already under way. Other American transcontinental lines have also charters for rights-of-way to this terminal, and construction is being planned, while several new lines from the interior of British Columbia, having chartered rights to reach the coast, are hastening construction, so as to bring the whole of the vast interior of the province within a few hours travel from Vancouver. Charters were obtained at the last session of the legislature for lines to extend to the north in various directions and undertakings have been given that the work of construction will begin at once.

A single glance at the geographical position of Vancouver will show how suitable was its selection as a terminus for these numerous railways and steamship lines. Burrard Inlet, the landlocked harbour, entered through a narrow channel, wide, deep and sheltered, affords one of the best anchorages in the world, while its fourteen odd miles of water front affords facilities that for wharf and dockage are unsurpassed among the ports of the world. False Creek, a second waterway at the south of the business section of the city, needing only inconsiderable artificial development, affords another channel for docking big ships, and a shore line furnishing many miles of factory and mill front.

The business portion of the city occupies the centre of a gently elevated peninsula, which slopes northward southward and westward to salt water. The oldest and most fashionable residential section is in the West End, occupying the terraces between the business portion and Stanley Park, with its shore line &t English Bay. Otherwise, the suburban residential sections are in the east and across False Creek, from which they slope southward and eastward like the terraces of a vast natural amphitheatre.

In the business section of the city the wide, well paved and well-kept streets and the substantial character and architectural qualities of many of the business houses furnish impressive evidences of material prosperity, and of the confidence of investors in the future greatness of the city. The city is well provided with tram lines. There is also a double track inter-urban service with the city of New Westminster, twelve miles distant, which is being continued through the rich lands of the Fraser Valley to the city of Chilliwack. A further rural extension of the tram line connects with Steveston, the capital of the salmon fishing industry, at the mouth of the Fraser River.

The scenery of Stanley and English Bay forms one of the chief charms of Vancouver. Stanley Park consists of 1,000 acres of natural scenery., Situated upon a peninsula which is almost an island, the park is nine miles in circumference and within its grounds are some of the most magnificent specimens of the big trees of British Columbia. English Bay, the long stretch of water fronting on the Gulf of Georgia, affords bathing facilities unrivalled on the Pacific coast. The Gulf, gemmed with emerald islands studding its placid surface, stretches towards the north and south as far as the eye can reach, while across its hazy distance is the Olympic range of mountains with their snow-capped peaks, and on the north the Cascade range nearer at hand, with the serrated heights severely outlined against the sky.


Victoria being the first port entered by all steamships from Australia, Japan, China and other Oriental countries, having large and varied commercial enterprises, and being the capital of the largest and richest of the Canadian provinces, is of more than ordinary interest to strangers, and is none the less so because it happens to be one of the most charmingly situated cities in the world. It is the Pacific terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway system in Canada, has a population of nearly 40,000 and occupies an ideal situation at the extreme southern end of Vancouver Island, within a few hours’ sail of the mainland of British Columbia and of the United States.

It is agreed that the picturesque situation of Victoria is unsurpassed. From Beacon Hill Park can be seen on one hand the rugged snow-clad Olympians, and on the other, rising proudly in the distance beyond the island studded straits of Juan de Fuca, the lordly Mount Baker. The combination of magnificent scenery and almost perfect climate is destined to render Victoria one of the largest and richest residential cities on the continent. Victoria, has excellent hotel accommodation. The Canadian Pacific Railway have, in the heart of the city, overlooking the picturesque harbour, one of the finest hotels on the continent, “The Empress.”

The public schools of Victoria, which are free to everyone under 21 years of age, are up-to-date in every respect. The High School is in affiliation with the University of McGill, Montreal. Besides its public educational system, the city is the home of a large number of private colleges and academies both for boys and girls. The Parliament Building is acknowledged to be one of the handsomest and most imposing structures on the continent. It is one of the first sights to catch the visitor’s eye as he enters the harbour of Victoria. It stands amid spacious and beautifully kept lawns, the vivid green of which testifies to the mildness of the climate.

Built as it is or the steep banks of the North Saskatchewan and amid the bush which grows out from the river, it enjoys the best and most picturesque situation of any of the prairie cities. The river is both narrow and rapid at that point, and as a result, has bored a deep channel in the plains, leaving high banks covered with trees which give the city, from certain points, the appearance of standing on a hill and differentiates its aspect from other cities which are surrounded on every side by the level prairie. It has been laid out with care and taste. The streets are wide and well arranged, and every convenience such as electric light, street car service, telephones and water supplies have been secured for the inhabitants. The principal thoroughfare is Jasper Avenue running parallel to the river: the other chief streets branch off from it and it contains most of the banks and important business establishments. The city has twenty two hotels, fourteen banks, ten schools and twenty churches, and the visitor will be surprised at the size and excellent appearance of many of the buildings. Edmonton is the headquarters of the Provincial Government of Alberta, and the. Local Legislature’s presence makes it the centre of provincial Society and public business. The Land Titles Office for the whole of the vast territory of Northern Alberta, is in the city and a large new Court House has just been erected.

Edmonton has always been a great fur-trading centre and to day the Hudson’s Bay Company and their great rivals, Revilion Brothers, secure a large proportion of their purchases of fur through their establishment here.

But it has ceased to be dependent on this trade alone, and is now the second largest distributing centre between the Lakes and the Rockies. It is the place from which the country storekeepers of North Alberta and the settlers, traders and construction gangs engaged in the development of an enormous area of territory derive their supplies : as a result, every wholesale house of any importance has a branch or agency and its volume of annual trade is developing in an unprecedented manner. It is also a very important railway centre; the Canadian Northern have had their western terminus there for four years and the Grand Trunk Pacific have just completed their tracks into the city. At present, the Canadian Pacific passenger trains only run to Strathcona on the north side of the river, but this Company intends, in the immediate future, to cooperate with the two cities in constructing a much needed high level bridge for railway and other traffic. At present Edmonton has 25,000 inhabitants and Strathcona about 7,000: a friendly but keen rivalry exists between the two places, but sooner or later they are destined to be harmoniously united. Edmonton, as the capital, has the better prospects but the smaller city has recently received a handsome solatium in the shape of the Provincial University.

Edmonton is particularly fortunate an one respect: it is built on extensive coal beds of fairly good quality and at least half a score of coal mines are in operation in the immediate vicinity of the city. This is ir itself an enormous advantage as it must decrease the cost of living in winter and offer great attractions to the establishment of manufactures. Again, within 20 miles of the city, are extensive marl beds, brick or pottery clay-deposits, asphalt, and, further away, deposits of iron ' successful dredging operations for gold are. also carried on in the river within the city precincts.

Not so long ago Edmonton was regarded as the frontier post of civilisation and settlement in the Northwest, but to-day the Canadian Northern and Grand Trank. Pacific are rapidly pushing their transcontinental lines westward, projecting new branches and planning to open up vast tracts of fertile country. Homesteaders are flocking in, villages are springing up and the wilderness is being tamed by science and labor. At Edmonton the visitor will hear little else talked of but a certain land of promise called the Peace River Valley, to which the eyes of the world are, some day, to be turned as a greater wheat-growing area than the Saskatchewan Valley. The people of Edmonton regard Manitoba ['and Ontario as old decadent civilisations and talk glibly of the greater prospects of the vast country to the north of their city. Their enthusiastic hopes have certain strong foundations in fact and are bound at least to be partially realized. But the future of Edmonton itself is assured though the Peace River Valley should prove to be a very barren tract which is unthinkable and the Alberta capital may yet become a serious rival of Winnipeg for the position of premier city in Western Canada. Happily there is room for two great cities in this vast land and each has a territory larger than most European countries to dominate as a political, social and commercial centre.

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