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The Real Cobalt
Toronto - The Queen City

WHEN I had finished my work in the north country, with its vast mineral wealth; had seen its broad areas of timber and rich farming lands; when I had looked upon its waterfalls, destined to furnish power for mighty works; when I had gone up and down its rivers and lakes, through beauties yet to be found by the spying tourist; when I had collected my manuscript, feebly telling of a few of the things to be seen in that land of wonders, I felt that my months spent among such kindly people, and amid so much that was pleasing, had been the most enjoyable months of my life. And now I am off for the Queen City, which I am to see for the first time.

On my way from Cobalt to Toronto I learned the location of many a town whose name alone I had known. One must see to know location.

From North Bay I went by way of a branch of the Grand Trunk Railway, whose ever-growing system is reaching into every nook and corner of the Dominion. Muskoka lakes, always seemed away off towards Georgian Bay, but in a vague way. Passing through Bracebridge and Gravenhurst, by which these marvellous lakes are reached, I could see the picture clear and distinct, never again to be vagued in location. Then The Lake of Bays was but a name—passing Huntsville the name and location became real and fixed identities.

From North Bay to Toronto are a score of towns, and two score of stations, in the 226 miles of distance.

Along this branch are South River; Sundridge, from which is reached the new and very rich copper country, 16 miles to the west; Burk’s Falls, with its mills; Scotia Junction, where is crossed the old Canada Atlantic Railway, now an important branch of the Grand Trunk; Huntsville, as above, from which is reached the charming summer resort of The Lake of Bays; Bracebridge, a beautiful town of 3,000 people, from which you can get into the famous Muskoka lakes to the west; a short distance, Graven-hurst, with its widely known sanatorium for consumptives. This is another entrance to the Muskoka. Twenty-five miles further along, on the north shore of Lake Simcoe, we come to one of the best known towns in Western Ontario, Orillia, made so by its live, wideawake people, who are sparing nothing to bring its name and manufacturing advantages before the business world. Near by is one of the great asylums of the province—a beautiful building three miles to the south. Barrie, with its retired farmers, is some twenty miles below, and the railroad town of Allandale, near by, both on the western arm of Lake Simcoe. Bradford, Newmarket, and Richmond Hill are the names familiar of towns we pass before we reach Toronto.

This is but a hurried run through one of the most marvellous lake countries in the Dominion, which means in the world. Tens of thousands of people yearly come to visit these lakes, not only from Canada but from many parts of our own country and Europe, and as they become wider known, more tens of thousands will pass here their summers rather than go far to visit less of beauty.

I Had Heard of It Before

Before coming to Canada in 1901,1 had heard of Toronto, when I got to Canada I heard of Toronto, when I "met people from that city I heard of nothing else. I grew to thinking that Toronto must be IT—now I know it—for I’ve been there.

A kindly people have a beautiful city—made so by the greatest civic pride I have ever met with in any country—unless it be Virginia in their love of State. The people are as loyal to their city as the Virginians to their State, and as kind and courteous to the stranger. I once met a round-the-world traveller from

Australia. I asked him, “What is the most beautiful city you have seen”? “There are two, Honolulu and Toronto.” From this and all that I had heard in praise of the Queen City, I was prepared to like it—and I do. Ask of any one you meet for a direction and he will stop and direct you, often going out of his way to do so, and that cheerfully.

I was in the greatest church in the city one night. It was crowded to the doors. The minister, after preaching a beautiful sermon, invited all strangers to tarry and meet in the lecture room that they might become acquainted. I tarried. Now, I’m going to make a criticism. I did want to meet that preacher —to meet and know him and some of his people, for I was lonely that first night in the city. I tarried. The lecture room was crowded. Where was the preacher? Where were his people? Before I left I had learned that all had gone their way, leaving the “strangers” to get acquainted. I never after went into that lecture room. I could meet and know the strangers outside of it. That’s all—aside from the coldness of its churches—now so general in all large cities—Toronto is ideal.

Toronto a Tourist City

Nobody thinks of coming to Canada without including in the tour Toronto. For this reason hundreds of thousands have come, seen the city, and carried its famed beauty into every land.

There is not only much to please and interest the tourist or passing traveller, in the city itself, but in every conceivable direction there are places worth visiting—by trolley, by steam cars and by steamboat. From all I can gather from those who have spent summers here, these people are all a committee of one, and the duty of that committee is to see that not a soul leaves town without carrying away a good opinion of its beauty and the kindly hospitalities of its people. I may speak from my own knowledge next summer—but if their summer hospitality may be judged by their winter courtesy, my opinions are already formed.

The Queen and Her Brilliant Satellites

Within a radius of 120 miles of Toronto are many prosperous cities and large towns. Hamilton at the very western point of Lake Ontario, with a population of 60,000, is 39 miles southwest. It is reached by the C.P. and the G.T. railways, as are most of the cities and towns named. Brantford, with 20,000 people, lies directly west of Hamilton; a little northerly of Brantford, and westerly from Toronto, are a number of the busiest manufacturing centres in the Dominion—Brampton (22 miles from Toronto), Guelph (48 miles) Galt (57), Berlin (63), Brantford (63), Stratford (88), Woodstock (88). On a wider circle westerly of Toronto and north from Lake Erie, are St. Thomas (122), and the beautiful city of London (115), with its 52,000 population. To the north-east are Peterboro (76 miles), a busy city of 15,000, famous for one of the greatest lift-locks in the world, and Lindsay (69) not far away. Besides these are scores of other places of interest, such as: Port Credit, Oakville, Dundas, Burlington, Milton, Cooksville, Streetsville, Acton, Weston, Woodbridge, Aurora, Markham, Uxbridge, Port Perry, Whitby, Oshawa, Georgetown, and—but “too numerous to mention”—many of them with great paper mills, agriculture implement manufactures, etc. When I think that once I knew but the names of Toronto, Hamilton and London, and then find this comer of the province so full of such places of note as the foregoing, I feel it an imperative^duty to name them, that my readers may not be as ignorant of their existence as I was before I came to Canada.

Toronto is so near our country that it seems like one of our own cities. As the bird flies, and the steamers run, it is but 27 miles, across Lake Ontario, to Niagara-on-the-Lake, 14 miles from the Falls. By rail to Niagara, via St. Catharines, another important city, it is much farther, by reason of having to go around the head of the lake.

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