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Upper Canada, Lower Canada,
Both provinces, United States,
In 1841, In 1851,
Another circumstance has given a vast impulse to the prosperity of both provinces. In 1841 a legislative union of Upper and Lower Canada prepared the way for a more harmonious action of their population. In 1847 the Imperial Government formally abandoned all control over the Canadian tariff; and in their next session the colonial legislature abolished the differential duties upon imports inland, and placed the mother country in the same relative position as foreigners. From 1841 the development of the upper province was most rapid. We have given the population in 1842 at 486,055 souls. In 1851 it was 952,004, having increased nearly 100 per cent in the nine years. The total population of Canada-both provinces-was
" 1840, » 1845,
Increase, 59.34 per cent.
But the increase of the wealth and productiveness of Upper Canada was even more striking than the increase of its population. We quote from the Report of Lord Elgin, presented to Parliament February 15, 1853:
"The first returns of the assessable property of Upper Canada, as taken under the Act of 1819, which I have been enabled to procure, are those of 1825. Its total amount is estimated in that year at £1,854,965 5 0
2,407,618 14 8
3,189,862 14 11
4,608,843 12 C 6,393,630 16 0 Another Act (13 & 14 Vict., Cap. 67) was passed in 1850, requiring the municipal authorities to assess property at its real value, and rendering certain descrip
England and Wales, Ireland,
Lower ports, European Continent,
tions of personal property rateable which were previously exempted from assessment. I have obtained statements which, although not strictly official, are, I believe, tolerably correct, of the amounts of the two valuations (those, namely, for 1851 and 1852) which have already taken
place under the Act; and I find them to
be as follows:
Total assessable Property of Upper Canada in the years—
£36,252,178 7 0 37,695,931 4 8
In order to arrive at the real value, it is believed that 20 per cent at least ought
to be added to these amounts."
The same Report gives us the following statistics as to the increase of the wheat crop of Upper Canada :
To each inhabitant. 3,221,991 6.60 7,558,773 10.45 12,692,852 13.33
Nearly quadrupling itself in ten years.
The wheat crop of Lower Canada had also increased: it was
To each inhabitant. 1.36
In 1843, 942,835 1851, 3,075,868 3.46 The minot is one-twelfth more than a bushel.
This remarkable increase of the population and productiveness of Upper Canada cannot be accounted for, in the ordinary way, as the result of emigration direct to the province; and herein consists a feature which is well worth the serious consideration of the British public. The following are the statistics of the immigration for the last six years into both provinces:
1848. 6,034 16,582
8,980 9,887 9,677 9,276 8,714 23,126 17,976 22,381 15,983 14,976 4,984 2,879 5,477 4,682 1,842 468 1,184 435 1,395 436
870 7,256 7,278
27,839 38,494 32,292 41,076 39,176 36,085
The gross amount of this immigration-215,000 in six years-is certainly large as an addition to a population of under two millions; but it does not by any means represent the accession of numbers which the country has acquired from this source. It is obvious that a large amount of the population of the upper province must have come by the Atlantic ports of the United States; for we find that the shipping using the ports of Quebec and Montreal during the past few years has actually diminished instead of increasing. The following statement of the number and tonnage of vessels from sea, which entered inwards and outwards at the ports of Quebec and Montreal in each of the six years preceding 1852, is taken from Lord Elgin's Report:
States' ports, not because they offer the cheapest route, but because they afford constant facilities. The St Lawrence is only open for traffic during about seven months out of the twelve; and the competition which the United States is enabled to carry on successfully with our shipowners, by means of her efficient internal communications, compels a large portion of our tonnage to go out to British America either circuitously, or in ballast, from British ports. This is most strikingly shown by the following
STATEMENT showing the number and ton
nage of vessels entered inwards and outwards at the port of Quebec, in 1852, with cargoes, or in ballast.
1851, 573,397 His Lordship remarks, in explanation of this falling off,
No ship in ballast can afford to carry passengers, inasmuch as she must pay dock and light dues, &c., which would sweep away the bulk of "During the earlier years of this series, her earnings from such a freight. A while the Canada Corn Act of 1843 was considerable number of our timber in operation, an impulse was given to the ships, therefore, make the outward trade of Quebec and Montreal, by the prevoyage to a United States port, thus ference accorded in the markets of Great diverting the legitimate trade of CaBritain to produce conveyed by the route nada, both with respect to goods and of the St Lawrence. Since that prefer- passengers, through the United States'
ence has been withdrawn, the facilities afforded by the Government of the United States for the transportation, in bond, of Canadian imports and exports through its territory, and the multiplication of railways connecting the southern bank of the St Lawrence with different points on the coast, have diverted a portion of the trade of that river from the Canadian seaports to those of the United States. As this is, however, a point of considerable importance to the interests of the lower province especially, it may be well to look into it more closely, with the view of inquiring whether there be anything in the nature of the route itself, or in the nature of the trade, which places the route of the St Lawrence at a disadvantage in competing with others for the trade of the Great West."
It is a well-known fact that a large portion of the emigrants from this country, whose intended destination is Canada, go by way of the United
territory and routes to the Far West. To show the extent of this diversion of traffic from its natural course, we quote again from the very valuable Report of Lord Elgin :
"The imports, or principal articles of British and foreign merchandise entered for consumption in Canada, during the year ending the 5th Jan. 1852, amounted in value to £4,404,409, 0s. 3d., on which £606,114, 5s. of duty was collected; and the goods in warehouse and in bond on that day were valued at £233,545, 158., subject to £76,660, 2s. 3d. of duty. The corresponding figures of the year preceding were as follows:
In 1851 to the value of £2,475,643 14 7 In 1850 1,979,161 16 2
From the United StatesIn 1851 to the value of £1,718,992 17 2 In 1850 1,355,108 6 4" These imports from the United States are not composed either exclusively or mainly of produce of that country. A portion of them are foreign products, such as sugar, tea, &c.; and the rule is to enter them as belonging to the country where they are purchased, unless they are sent under bond.
The want of an independent route to the Canadian provinces, and the necessity for their imports being made to pay a toll to the United States, have been a serious hindrance, not only to the growth of this portion of our colonies, but to the prosperity of the British and North American shipowners. Unfortunately our colonists have been behind the citizens of the United States in laying out and perfecting railways and canals, to enable them to overcome the difficulties which the climate offers to the navigation of the St Lawrence. They possessed a
route for their products through the United States. They had provided very superior accommodation for the traffic via the St Lawrence through the great lakes; but there were wanting facilities by railway and canal for carrying on their growing internal traffic, and these have only been in course of being supplied within the past few years. The capability of the country, when perfect means of accommodating its traffic shall have been completed, may be estimated by the following returns of the receipts on the canals in connection with the great lakes:
CANAL TOLLS. Gross receipts. 1848, £38,214 1 3 46,192 8 3
Nett receipts. £30,259 19
39,479 13 8
With respect to these canals, which are so remarkably promoting the trade of Canada, we may explain that the Welland and St Lawrence complete a continuous inland navigation to Chicago on Lake Michigan, a distance of 1587 miles from tide-water at Quebec. Properly constructed vessels, conveying 4000 barrels of flour, or from 350 to 400 tons of freight, can pass through them. They possess an advantage over the United States' route, by the Erie Canal to New York-the great rival route from the West-inasmuch as the latter is not capable of transporting vessels of more than 75 tons burthen. The Chambly Canal connects Lake Champlain with the river Richelieu, which enters the St Lawrence at Sorel. This canal has of late had to contend against the competition of a neighbouring railway.
The enterprise of her population,
however, has prepared the way for a vastly increased prosperity for Canada, and for the western province especially. The great grain-growing country of this province, so far at least as it is at present cultivatedfor it is almost without limit-extends along the banks of the St Lawrence, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie, to the town of Windsor, opposite Detroit, in the State of Michigan, U.S., and within
a short distance of the confluence of
lakes Erie and Huron, with a vast expanse of country to the westward. A powerful company-the Great Western Railway Company of Canadahave formed a line from Montreal to Windsor, passing through the important towns of Kingston, Hamilton, and Toronto, with a branch line to Lakes Simcoe and Huron, and an intended continuation to Quebec. Of this line, 228 miles are now open, con
structed at an expense of about £10,000 per mile, with a single line of rails-the large works, however, being formed for a double line; and the receipts since its opening show a traffic not only most remunerative to the shareholders, but promising results calculated to promote the prosperity of the colony. It was first open throughout in January last; and in the week ending the 20th, the receipts were £3000. On the 27th they were £2366; and it must be remarked that winter will always tell considerably upon the traffic of Canadian railways. In March the receipts reached £5130 per week, and they have fluctuated from about this amount to about £4500 down to May last. The Great Western Railway must therefore pay an excellent per-centage upon the capital invested in its construction, were it even dependent upon its local traffic. It is not so, however, as it forms an important link in the chain of communication between the St Lawrence, the New England States of the American Republic, the great grain-producing States of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, south of the lakes, and the rich mineral districts of Upper Canada in the north. A still more important accession to it, and one which must give a vast impulse to the prosperity of the whole of British America, will shortly be furnished by the carrying out of the magnificent scheme of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. This scheme, which may with complete propriety be regarded as a national one, has its eastern terminus on the Atlantic at Portland, in the State of Maine, to and from which in the winter months, when the navigation of the St Lawrence is closed, a line of powerful steamers has been established from the port of Liverpool, with which, very shortly, Canada will have a weekly communication. At the town of Richmond, about half-way between Quebec and Montreal on the east side of the St Lawrence, and in Canadian territory, a line is intended, -although not for the present in course of construction-to branch off to Quebec, and to run along the bank of the river to Trois Pistoles, where it will ultimately be joined by other lines through New Brunswick to St John's,
and to Halifax in Nova Scotia. Another line, and what may be considered the main line, is being carried westward to Montreal, where it will cross the St Lawrence by a tubular bridge two miles in length, to be constructed after the design of Robert Stephenson, Esq., C.E., the eminent builder of the world-famed viaduct over the Menai Straits, on the Chester and Holyhead Railway. This gigantic work has already been provisionally contracted for by an eminent English firm-Messrs Peto, Brassey, Betts, and Jackson-who have also undertaken the construction of the line, 345 miles in length, from Montreal to Toronto, where it joins the Great Western scheme, and connects the whole of Upper and Lower Canada with the great lakes and the Western States of the American Republic. It is scarcely possible to estimate what must be the effect of the opening out of this magnificent route, by which goods and passengers will be transported from the Atlantic seaboard along a distance of upwards of 1400 miles, the greatest portion of it through British territory, to one of the most fertile and productive countries ever brought under the hands of the cultivator. We dare not speculate upon the growth of the province of Upper Canada, when she shall thus have been brought practically within a fortnight's distance from Europe, and a trip to her noble scenery becomes no longer regarded as requiring a greater effort than a journey down the Rhine, or an ordinary run to the Highlands or the metropolis. There are circumstances in the position of the province, both social and industrial, which must exercise a powerful influence in its future development. The tourist, or the casual visitor of Upper Canada, has no longer to report the existence there of a state of society, of which dangerous adventure and hard struggle are the prevailing features. At every step in his progress he will witness social comfort, order, and the palpable marks of a prosperity rarely to be met with in the old countries of Europe, or even in Great Britain, favoured as she has been in her career amongst nations. Thriving towns will be found scattered throughout every por
tion of the province, inhabited by communities essentially British in habits and pursuits. Well-stocked farms, upon which the log-hut has given place to the substantial brick or stone dwelling, diversify the landscape on every side; and what may appear strange at first to the European observer, the occupants in almost every case are privileged to call the soil which they till their own. Amongst the yeomanry of Upper Canada there are thousands who went originally into the woods with little beyond their axe and a few months' provisions, and are now the comfortable possessors of ample incomes, owners of a few hundred acres of the finest land in the world, and of a thousand or a couple of thousand pounds in money, wherewith to meet any emergency, or to push forward any enterprise. This population are universally reaping a rich reward for their past struggles, and temporary sacrifices of what, in an old country, are regarded as the comforts of life. The value of land is increasing rapidly, as new communications are formed with the markets for its produce. Civilisation, educational and religious institutions, are being brought into every district as rapidly as it is cleared for the cultivator; and what is a most desirable feature in a new country, every such district affords sources of profitable employment for the industry of its population of every class and sex by their own hearths. This is a leading feature in the condition both of Upper and Lower Canada, but especially of the lower province. We find every available opportunity of
employing the vast water-power of the country for useful purposes promptly seized. Grist-mills offer themselves upon every stream and canal, to enable the cultivator to convert his grain into the more marketable commodity of flour. Fullingmills assist him in the conversion of his wool into cloth, manufactured by his own spinning-wheel and loom. Asheries enable the woodman to prepare his refuse timber into a valuable commodity; and tanneries, founderies, and other similar works, are readily accessible throughout both provinces. The religious statistics of the country are especially evidence of an advanced state of society. Upper Canada has 1559 churches for 952,004 adherents. Of these churches 226 belong to the Church of England, 135 are Roman Catholic, 471 Methodist, and 148 Presbyterians, the remainder belonging to other denominations. There is thus in the province one place of worship to every 612 inhabitants, and it is estimated that there is accommodation for 470,000 persons. In Lower Canada there are 610 churches for 890,261 adherents746,866 being Roman Catholics. There is in the province one place of worship for every 1459 inhabitants. Upper Canada, moreover, can now boast of a number of thriving towns, which are progressing in population and commerce at an unexampled rate, and must increasingly progress as the result of the completion of the railway facilities which are being provided. The following table gives the value of the imports from all parts of a few of these towns during a period of four years:—