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To entice Europeans, Americans and even other Canadians to settle Canada's west, the government began a mass campaign of publications and lectures. Brochures and books were produced in various languages and distributed abroad. Government promoters held rallies and travelling exhibits heralded the advantages and opportunities of living in Canada's west. Plots of land were granted to those who signed up. It worked. During the major wave of immigration, roughly between 1896 and 1914, over three million people came to Canada.
Canadian Pacific Railway, c. 1890, title page and last page
Excerpt of a silent film showing Ukrainian immigrants about to embark on a train, 1921
(running time: 25s)
How were they to travel west? Via the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), because it was the country's only transcontinental line. The CPR was well equipped for the task because it too had waged immigrant recruitment campaigns, similarly praising Canada's west. New settlers were relegated to "colonist cars", for their trip.
Canadian Pacific Railway, 1883
Barr colonists in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1903
Trainload of settlers and their effects arriving at Winnipeg from South Dakota, 1891
CPR interior tourist steel car 6206. This car is a 2nd class sleeper, with a kitchen where passengers can cook their own meals. 1925
Interior of a CPR colonist car, 1925
Polish immigrants at Québec City, 1911
Canada North-West Land Company (Limited), c. 1890, front and back
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