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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 44

Chapter I. — Introduction

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Chapter I.


The Province of Manitoba contains about 9,000,000 acres. It is however, comparatively a speck on the map of the vast territory, belonging to the Dominion of Canada, out of which it has been formed. It is situate in the centre of the continent of North America, nearly equally distant between the pole and the equator and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The soil is for the most part prairie, of great depth and richness, and covered with grass. Its climate gives the conditions of decided heat in summer and decided cold in winter. The snow goes away, and ploughing begins in April, which is about the same as in the older Provinces of Canada, or the Northern United States on the Atlantic seaboard, or the States of Minnesota or Wisconsin. Crops are harvested in August and September. The long, warm days of summer bring vegetation of all sorts to rapid maturity. Autumn begins about the 20th of September, and lasts till the end of November, when frost sets in. The winter proper comprises the months of December, January, February and March. Spring comes in April. The summer months are part of May, June, July, August and part of September. The days are warm, and the nights cool. In winter, the thermometer sinks to 30 and 40 degrees below zero. But this degree of cold in the dry atmosphere of the North-West does not produce any unpleasant sensations. The weather is not felt to be colder than that in the Province of Quebec, nor so cold as milder winters in climates where the frost, or even a less degree of cold than frost, is accompanied with dampness. The testimony is universal on this point.

Snow does not fall on the prairies to an average greater depth than eighteen inches; and buffaloes and horses graze out of doors all winter.

The general fact seems to be that the climate of Manitoba is un-doubtedly very healthy; that the soil gives very large products; that the drawback is occasional visitation of grasshoppers, which is common to it and the State of Minnesota and others of the Northwestern States.

The whole of the North-West Territory of the Dominion comprises page 4 an area of about 2,750,000 square miles, and British Columbia, 220,000 square miles. Altogether, the Dominion of Canada comprises a territory about the size of the whole continent of Europe; and nearly half a million square miles larger than the United States, without Alaska.

Until the completion of the Canadian Railway system, the best way for emigrants to reach Manitoba, from the old Provinces of Canada, is via Lakes Huron and Superior, to Duluth; thence by the Northern Pacific Railway, to a connection on the Red River; and thence by direct steamboat communication to Winnipeg. There are regular lines of boats from Sarnia and Collingwood, which are reached respectively from Toronto by the Grand Trunk and Northern Railways. Favourable fares are afforded to emigrants, and the time between Toronto and Winnipeg is about seven days.

It may be stated that links of Railway are about being completed "which will give, during the summer of 1878, an all-rail connection with Winnipeg.

It may be further stated that the immense water system of the interior of the continent, west of Winnipeg, is being opened up by steamboat navigation to the base of the Rocky Mountains.

The emigrants who go to Manitoba for settlement should, for the present, be of (he agricultural class, and possessed of sufficient means to begin with. Sometimes high wages are given to labourers and artisans; but the labour market, in a new country, being necessarily restricted, persons going to seek for employment should have special information before they start.