1820 ‘s-1920 ‘s Canada’s Century On Line

1820s A funicular track up from the St. Lawrence River to the Citadelle at Quebec City carried the first steam railway in NA. The track lifted stone to build the new fortress. 1830s The first RR in Canada stretched from St. John’s (St. Jean) on the Richelieu R to Laprairie on the St. Lawrence R. 1840s The Depression of 1837-39 & Rebellions of 1837-38 delayed RR construction. RR Guarantee Act: RRs more than 75 miles (120 kms) were eligible for a gov’t. guarantee of money when ½ of the line was completed (1849). Created the RR boom of the 1850s. 1850s Great Western RR; Windsor-Niagara Falls (1854). Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, longest in world (1855). 1860s Prince of Wales, son of Queen Victoria, at the Victoria Bridge in Mtl.

It was a portage between the Molson steamboat lines (1836).

First mail cars carry the post and make letters much cheaper (1854).

Albion Mines RR, the first in the Maritimes (1839).

Hincks, Author of Guar. Act

Grand Trunk RR (GTR); Sarnia-Toronto, Toronto-Montreal (1856). GTR bridges St. Lawrence R at Montreal (Victoria Tubular Bridge 1859).

He opens the GTR Sarnia to Portland, Maine (ice-free port). This is the longest RR in the world (1860). The Canadian Constitution of 1867 required the Inter-Colonial RR to connect the St. Lawrence R to the Maritimes.

1870s Inter-Colonial RR from Halifax, Nova Scotia started (1872), finished (1876). Linked Halifax to Sarnia, Ont. Sir Sanford Fleming, Engineer on the Inter Colonial RR. Fleming influential in creating World Standard time to aid international communications. (Based on Greenwich Meridian, London).

1880s Canadian Pacific (CPR) starts 1881.

1890s St. Clair Tunnel, Sarnia to Michigan (1890). Electric streetcars create downtown urban areas (Toronto, Ottawa, Mtl.)

1900s Tunnels & bridges improve the CPR lines in Western Canada.

1910-20s GTR Pacific finished (1913). WWI ends immigration, an important RR revenue source. Canadian RRs were important in the WW1 effort. GTR & several RRs go bankrupt & are taken over by the Gov’t to become Canadian National Railways, CNR.

Kicking Horse Pass CPR’s Last Spike, the completion of the line (1885). First CPR train from Montreal arrives in Vancouver, 1886. Victoria Tubular Bridge double tracked & replaced by steel trusses (picture: right) 1899.

Quebec RR Bridge, largest cantilever bridge in the world, collapses killing 75 workmen, including 35 from Kahnawake.

CPR line extended to Saint John, New Brunswick completing Pacific to Atlantic route (1889).

CPR opens a 2nd line (Rockies through Crowsnest Pass, 1899). Great hotels built across Canada by CPR and the GTR.

Before its opening in 1919, machines raising the centre span of this bridge collapsed killing 13 workers.

Windsor Station Mtl. CPR headquarters opens 1888.

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