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   Chapter 32 THE TRADE FEATURES OF CANADA

Up To Date Business By Various Characters: 9909

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


CANADA, PRACTICALLY AN INDEPENDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC

The dominion of Canada comprises all that portion of the continent of North America north of the United States-except Alaska and Newfoundland and the coast of Labrador. (Newfoundland and the Labrador coast is a colony in direct relationship to Great Britain.) Canada is entirely self-governing and self-maintaining, and its connection with Great Britain is almost wholly a matter of loyalty and affection. It consists (1) of seven Provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, and British Columbia, which, in their self-governing powers and their relation to the general government, correspond very closely to our States; (2) of four Territories-Assiniboia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Athabasca, which correspond somewhat to our Territories; (3) of four other Territories-Ungava, Franklin, Mackenzie, and Yukon, which are administered by the general government; and (4) the District of Keewatin, which is under the jurisdiction of the lieutenant-governor of Manitoba. The capital of the whole dominion is Ottawa. Each province has its own capital.

SIZE, SOIL, CLIMATE, AND POPULATION OF CANADA

The area of Canada is immense. It figures up to 3,456,383 square miles, which is almost 500,000 square miles more than the total area of the United States exclusive of Alaska, and not far short of being equal to the area of all Europe. But almost 150,000 square miles of this area are taken up by lakes and rivers; and a much greater portion than this, under present conditions of civilisation, is wholly uninhabitable, being either too cold or too barren. Yet when all the necessary allowances have been made there still remains in Canada an immense area with soil fertile enough and climate favourable enough for all the purposes of a highly civilised population. Over 900,000 square miles are already occupied, and of the occupied area fully one half has been "improved." The older provinces are, acre for acre, as suitable for agricultural pursuits as the adjoining States of the Union. Manitoba, the "Prairie Province," is almost one vast wheat field, with a productivity for wheat unequalled anywhere except in the Red River valley of Minnesota and Dakota. The Manitoba grain harvest foots up to 50,000,000 bushels. British Columbia is a land of almost infinite possibilities, not only because of its mineral and timber resources, but also because of its capabilities for agriculture and fruit-growing. The Territories are so vast an area that no general description of them is possible, but it may be said that the great wheat valley of the Saskatchewan, the sheltered grazing country of Alberta, and the great wheat plains of the Peace River valley in Athabasca, are regions adapted in soil and climate to sustain a hardy and vigorous people. The population of Canada is comparatively small. It is estimated at 5,250,000. Over 1,000,000 people of Canadian birth reside in the United States, and the number of Americans residing in Canada is only 80,000. Out of the 2,425,000 persons who came to Canada as immigrants in a period of forty years, no fewer than 1,310,000, or fifty four per cent., came over into the United States. It is stated that this exodus has ceased, and that if any great movement of population now exists it is toward Canada.

CANADA'S FOREST WEALTH

Canada, like all new countries, depends for her prosperity upon the development and exportation of her natural products. These are of four great classes: (1), the products of her forests; (2), the products of her mines; (3), the products of her fisheries; (4), her agricultural products. Canada's forest resources, when both extent and quality are considered, are the finest in the world. The forest area uncut was in 1891 nearly 1,250,000 square miles, or more than one third of the area of the whole country. The annual value of the timber and lumber produced is about $82,500,000. The annual value of the timber and lumber exported is about $32,000,000. Two thirds of this goes to Great Britain, and over $9,000,000 in lumber and logs goes to the United States. Quebec and Ontario have unlimited supplies of spruce for wood-pulp manufacture, the annual output of which reaches 200,000 tons. The uncut lumber of British Columbia, which includes Douglas pine, Menzies fir, spruce, red and yellow cedar, and hemlock, is estimated to be 100,000,000,000 cubic feet.

CANADA'S MINERAL RESOURCES

Canada is just beginning to realise the largeness of her mineral resources. The most talked of gold-mines are those of the Klondike district, the extent of which is still uncertain. Much more definitely known and almost as productive are the gold-mines of British Columbia and the newly discovered gold-fields of the Rainy River district in northern Ontario. More important than the gold-mines of Canada are its coal-fields. These are principally in Nova Scotia and British Co

lumbia. The latter province is destined to be the coal-supplying region for the whole Pacific coast of North America. The yearly output at present is about 1,000,000 tons; the yearly output of Nova Scotia is about 2,000,000 tons, principally produced by American capital. In Alberta there are said to be coal-fields having an area of 65,000 square miles. Iron is found in abundance in both British Columbia and Ontario. Ontario has in its nickel-mines of Sudbury a mineral treasure not found elsewhere in equal abundance in the world. Experts have estimated that 650,000,000 tons of this ore are actually in sight. Ontario produces petroleum and salt. Silver, copper, lead, asbestos, plumbago, mica, etc., are found in varying quantities. Canada imports annually from the United States nearly $10,000,000 worth of coal and coke.

CANADA'S FISHERIES

The fisheries of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and of the shallow waters bordering on Nova Scotia and Newfoundland have for centuries been the most productive in the world. The Canadian fishing interest in these waters is very great. Cod, mackerel, haddock, halibut, herring, smelts, and salmon, are the principal fish, and the annual "take" is about $15,000,000. About $2,500,000 worth of whitefish, salmon-trout, herring, pickerel, and sturgeon are produced annually from the Canadian lakes. The salmon-fishing of the rivers and great sea-inlets of British Columbia brings about $4,500,000 annually. About one half of the total product is exported to Great Britain and the United States.

CANADA'S AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE

Agriculture, including stock-raising, dairying and fruit-growing, is Canada's greatest industry. Over 23,000,000 acres are under crop and about 20,000,000 under pasture. Over 3,000,000 acres are under wheat cultivation. Ontario exports more than twice as much cheese as the whole of the United States, and her cheese product is recognised as the finest in the world. Canada exports to Great Britain alone $15,000,000 worth of cheese annually. In 1896, in Ontario alone, 170 creameries turned out over 6,000,000 pounds of butter at an average net receipt of 18? cents a pound. By the cold-storage facilities provided by the government Canadian butter can be sent even from far inland points to Liverpool or London without the slightest deterioration. England buys $6,000,000 worth of Canadian bacon and hams annually, and Canadian beef is already famous on the London market. American corn for stock-feeding is admitted to Canada free of duty and about $10,000,000 worth is imported annually. A great deal of eastern and southern Canada is well adapted to fruit-raising. The Niagara-St. Clair peninsula of Ontario is especially famous for its peaches and grapes.

CANADA'S TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES

Canada has made a great effort in the direction of encouraging home manufactures, but her most progressive and most staple industries are those concerned in the conversion of the raw products of the country into articles of common merchandise. Her steam horse-power in proportion to population is the largest in the world. The capital invested in factories as a whole amounts to over $400,000,000, with an annual output of over $500,000,000. Her total annual importation is now over $130,000,000. More than half of this is from the United States. Canada's total annual exportation is about $160,000,000. Of this over one third goes to the United States. Canada's total trade with the United States is about forty one per cent. of her total trade with all countries, and almost equal to her total trade with Great Britain. Canada's total trade with the United States is exceeded only by that of Great Britain, Germany, and France, and her import trade with the United States is exceeded only by that of Great Britain and Germany.

Trade centres of Canada and trunk railway lines.

CANADIAN CITIES

Montreal (250,000) is the commercial metropolis of Canada. It is situated on an island in the St. Lawrence River, and, though 1000 miles from the open ocean, the largest sea-going vessels reach its wharves with ease. It is the headquarters of Canada's two great railways-the Canadian Pacific system, with its 8000 miles of road, and the Grand Trunk system, with its 5000 miles of road. Through passenger-trains run from Montreal to Vancouver on the Pacific coast, a distance of nearly 3000 miles. Montreal is the centre also of the great inland navigation system of Canada.

Toronto (200,000), the capital of the province of Ontario, is the second city of Canada. While Toronto has a great local trade and many important manufactures, it is specially noted as an educational centre. Quebec (80,000) is the oldest city of Canada and one of the oldest upon the continent. Halifax (50,000), the eastern terminus of the Canadian railway system, has one of the finest harbours in the world. Winnipeg (35,000) is destined to be the centre of the great inland trade of Canada.

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