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HISTORY OF CANADA.   281

the Canadian ministry, Hincks, Tache and Young, proceeded to Halifax, and a final conference was had with Howe and Chandler. At this stage Howe grew lukewarm and failed to accompany the other delegates to England. He thought, apparently, that to the scheme, as now proposed, the Imperial authorities would turn a deaf ear. So it turned out. The offer of an Imperial guarantee was withdrawn, and the project of an intercolonial railway—though several times discussed between the provinces—was left to find its fulfilment in the larger project of Confederation. Hincks procured the assistance of British capitalists, and the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada was the result. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, after a short delay, took up, each upon its own account, the work of constructing such local lines as the trade of those provinces required.

Navigation.—In an earlier chapter a short account was given of the introduction of steamboats, and of the improvement of the great waterway of the St. Lawrence valley by the building of the Lachine, Welland and other canals. The establishment of the Cunard line of ocean steamships was also mentioned. Further progress in this direction was made during the period before us. Canal construction along the St. Lawrence went on apace. In 1852 the Canadian parliament offered a liberal subsidy to aid in the establishment of a transatlantic line from Montreal to Liver-pool. Out of this enterprise grew the well-known Allan line, which was in regular operation by the year 1856, running in sunimer from Montreal and in winter from Portland and Halifax.

Railways in Canada.— This, however, is pre-eminently a railway era. Scarcely were the Canadian canals in good working order when railway competition in the United States threatened to divert traffic from them. Shrewd Canadians saw that they, too, must build railways. As early as 1845 a charter was obtained for the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway, to run between Mont-real and Portland. This was afterwards made part of the Grand Trunk. The year 1849 saw many charters granted, and an Act passed guaranteeing payment of the interest on loans to railways more than seventy miles in length. This gave a great impetus to railway projects. In 1850 there were not more than forty miles actually open for traffic ; before the close of 1853 the Grand Trunk was completed between Montreal and Portland, the Great


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