1902 Encyclopedia > Canada > Canada - Railways. Telegraphs. Banks.

Canada
(Part 10)




Railways. - The Grand Trunk Railway, which had been commenced in 1847, was now hastening to completion/ nova Scotia had already its first railway; the important local line connecting the Georgian Bay with Toronto, was developing the resources of Upper Canada; and in the same year, 1854, the Great Western Railway was commenced. By this line Toronto is not only placed in direct communication with Detroit, Chicago, and the whole Western United States; but by the extension of the line from Hamilton to the vicinity of the Niagara Falls, and the construction there of a suspension bridge, on a grand scale, for railway as well as ordinary traffic, the Great Western Railway of Canada has become an important link in the main lines of transit from Boston and New York to the Western States. Since then the building of railways and the development of railway traffic have been energetically prosecuted. The Intercolonial Railway has been completed, as a material bond of union between the older provinces of Canada and the maritime province, and a route through Canadian territory, at all seasons, to the seaboard. This has been followed by the more comprehensive scheme of a Canadian Pacific Railway, the surveys for which have been already made; and its first links are now in process of execution. The actual mileage of the railways within the Dominion completed, up to the close of 1874, extended to 4022 miles. The following tabular view of the railway traffic returns for the two previous years will suffice to illustrate their influence on the rapid growth of Canada in recent years: -

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Telegraphs. - During the same period telegraphic lines of communication have been no less energetically prosecuted. At the end of 1874 the Montreal Telegraph Company had 23,267 miles of wire, and 1288 different offices; and to both additions are being rapidly made. The Dominion Telegraph Company, more recently organized, with its head-office in Toronto, had at the same date 6000 miles of wire, connecting 300, which was assumed by the Dominion Government, at the admission of British Columbia into the confederation, had already placed the head office at Victoria in communication with twenty-one offices, the remotest of which was then distant 557 miles.

Banks. - No less important is the banking system of the Dominion, from the banking returns published in the Canada Gazette it appears that the banking capital has more than doubled since 1870, and this by a steadily progressive increase. The tables are imperfect, owing to some of the banks having omitted to make the requisite returns; so that, while the following tabular statement illustrates the progressive rate of increase, it falls short of the full amount: -

Banking Capital of Canada.

1870 ……………………………$29,801,013
1871……………………………36,415,390
1872……………………………45,134,609
1873 ……………………………55,102,959
1874 ……………………………60,443,445

Besides the Post-Office Saving Banks, established on the same principle as those in Great Britain, there are local and other savings banks, building and other societies, - and the admission of every new province adds to the number of such societies – in all of which large amounts are deposited at interest, without accessible returns. The building societies advance funds for the erection of churches, halls, and other public buildings, as well as for private dwelling houses; and the majority of the residents in cities and towns are proprietors of the houses which they occupy. The following tabular statement affords an illustrative view of the accumulating fruits of industry within the Dominion.

Bank Deposits.

Post-Offices Savings’ Banks……………$3,587,365
Government Savings’ Banks……………3,862,676
Montreal City and District Banks………4,303,509
Caisse d’Economie de Notre Dame……2,732,055
Chartered Banks………………………..78,790,367
Total............................................................$93,275,972





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