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A holiday trip. Montreal to Victoria and return. Via the Canadian Pacific Railway [Carmichael, James, 1835-1908] 1888

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Scene.—The Station of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Montreal, 27th June, 1!
Hour, 20 o'clock (8 p.m.)
Cab No. 1 drives up and deposits an Anglican parson, carrying a walking-stick,
portmanteau and satchel—first on the ground—Dean Carmichael.
Cab No. 2 drives up and deposits another Anglican parson, carrying light overcoat,
portmanteau and sundry satchels—second on the ground—Canon Empson, Secretary
of the Diocese of Montreal.
Cab No. 3 drives up and deposits two lay gentlemen, well luggaged—Mr. Richard
White, of Montreal, Manager of the Gazette Printing Co., and Mr. Wm. White, Q.C.,
of Sherbrooke.
It is plain, from the greetings, that these gentlemen meet by appointment, and
equally plain that they constitute a party about to take the longest continuous railway
trip that can be taken, namely, from Montreal, on the St. Lawrence, with its tides from
the Atlantic, to Burrard Inlet, British Columbia, whose tides roll in from the Pacific ;
thence down the inlet by steamer to Victoria, the capital of Vancouver Island—an
island on whose further shore one can stand with the happy thought that nothing lies
between him and Japan or China, save the deep blue sea.
At the start of the journey, some formal business was informally transacted. Mr.
Richard White was unanimously appointed guide, Chancellor of the Exchequer and General Traffic Manager of the party; Mr. W. White, Q.C., was appointed Judge of the
Supreme Court, in order to decide any questions of a legal character that might arise
during" the journey; Dean Carmichael was appointed Secretary, taking notes of travel,
which it was unanimously agreed should be printed, at the expense of the General
Manager, foi private distribution; and Canon Empson was appointed the friend and
companion of all concerned. It was also agreed that, as far as practicable, the party
should keep together, on the distinct understanding that the utmost freedom should
be allowed to all.    After the transaction of this business, the Manager and the Judge 1
disappeared into the smoking-room at the end of the
car, and the clerical members went to bed.
For the benefit of friends
in the Mother Country into
whose hands this record may
fall, it is necessary to say
- something about the two
thousand nine hundred-mile
railroad on which we travelled, the Canadian Pacific
Railway — commonly called
I The C. P. R."
When I came to this
country, in 1859, Canada
was practically confined to
the country watered by the
great River St. Lawrence,
and Lakes Ontario, Erie
and Huron; and the town of
Pembroke, north of the city
of Ottawa, Owen Sound and
Collinffwood, north of To-
ronto, and like places, were
regarded as the frontier
towns of civilization, or, as
they were called, "jumping off places." Beyond these lay the Canada of the Indian and the trapper; and yet further west, the Indian, the trapper and the buffalo;
and yet further, the Rocky Mountains, known only to the Indian and trader; and yet
further, the wild region leading to the Pacific. Then north lay the land of Indian,
trader and buffalo ; right on to the frozen North, the whole, east, west and north
dominated by that company of skins and pelts—the Hudson's Bay Company—which
ruled and traded and piled up money, as in another hemisphere, the East India Company ruled India. Of course, it was not in the interests of that company to disclose
the secrets of this practically untrodden country, and all reports reaching civilization
were antagonistic to settlement—the cold was made colder, the rivers were impassable,
the prairies as graves for white men — and wise men showed their wisdom by
remaining on the fringe of Canada; whilst the real Canada—the coming El Dorado of
the coming wheat buyer, rancher and miner—was left to Nature and the Hudson's Bay
Company. '
Then in 1867, Canada was confederated into one vast Dominion, and the necessity
became apparent of binding the huge country together by one leading trunk line, which
would unite the East and West and become in time the parent of other lines of railway.
The extended charter of the Hudson's Bay Company had expired, and the Government
came to terms with it, paying one million and a half of dollars for remnant rights which
it claimed, and allowing it one-twentieth of the land in perpetuity, and a certain amount
of land around the forts and stations of the company which were widely scattered through
the region over which it had ruled for years with sovereign power.
Thus the doors of this sealed territory were opened, and the idea of a great connecting
line of railway came within view of possibility.
The problem for solution which lay before the enterprise of the young Dominion
was that of uniting together a country that stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and
that presented formidable barriers in the way of both the explorer and engineer. The
problem was in everyway a difficult one, but it had to be met, if the constitutional theory
of Confederation should ever become an established fact. First a private company composed of Canadians and Americans, assisted by the Dominion Government, faced the
problem ; but through political strictures and the consequent defeat of the Government,
it failed to carry out its scheme. Then a new Government proposed using the great water
stretches in connection with rail links, but after building some sections, this effort collapsed,
mainly by the death of the Government itself. Finally a Canadian company, largely
aided by vast grants of money and land voted by the older Government restored to power,
began the work in determined earnest in the year 1881, and on the 7th day of November
1885, the last rail was laid and the first through train passed over the line. During the
following winter trains were run from the Atlantic to the Pacific as circumstances required ; but on the 28th of June, 1886, the first daily passenger train bound for the Pacific
coast quietly steamed out of the railway station at Montreal, with an unbroken iron road
of two thousand nine hundred and six miles stretching out before it. The writer saw that
train start, and as he joined his voice in a speeding cheer, he realized that Canada was at
last developing—and that boldly and bravely—a new-born -faith in its own destiny as an
important factor in the enterprise and trade of the world.
It was by this road, straight through from east to west, that the before-named persons
were to make their journey. Here again, for the benefit of Old-Country friends, let me
say something as to the comforts of such a mode of travelling. The C. P. R. inaugurated
three elements in the comfort of the passenger, hitherto largely unknown to the general
Canadian public, namely: civility, punctuality, and comfortable quarters for emigrant
travellers. Railway porters or attendants on parlor or sleeping cars, up to the C.P. R.
revolution, were, as a rule, amongst the most irritating of Her Majesty's subjects, their
manner constantly ranging from the coolly impertinent to the servilely civil, the latter
stage being reached as each despised passenger neared the close of his journey and shillings became the order of the day. Now all this is changed. The civility, always characteristic of the C. P. R. porter, has already influenced the conduct of servants on other 4 A  HOLIDAY   TRIP VIA
leading lines, and a traveller can now assert his rights as a white man even in the presence of a negro porter—nay, he can get his wishes carried out with lightning expedition.
Then the C. P. R. revolution produced " The Colonist Car," comfortably seated, well
ventilated and with reasonable arrangements for sleeping. One has only to travel with
a train of modern emigrants, and revive his memory of ancient emigrants huddled together and crowded, to realize how thankfully he may " let the dead past bury its dead,"
and accept the " living present" as an evidence that Canada at long last is being made
attractive to the emigrant, and better still to the emigrant's little children.
As for the | Sleeping "
or first-class cars, one
has only to travel a
straight stretch of three
thousand miles in one
of them to give a verdict—all along the line
—in their favor. Each
car is a luxuriously furnished drawing-room, well
ventilated and lighted,
with large plate glass windows giving a wide field of
vision — with bath-rooms
and wash-rooms, and
smoking-room, electric
bells and hot air heating
apparatus, and in the
night, each compartment
changed into a sleeping-
room that one has only
to get accustomed to, to
rest in soundly. Lasting
luxury,cool comfort, such,
tmSMWmW in fine, is the C. P. R.
fiiBBS^SSS    day car for the first-class
Then comes the Commissariat. Enter porter vested as to his upper man
in white. " Dinner ready." Rush out of drawing-room
car into dining-room on wheels ; with waiters standing like soldiers, one to two tables, each table set
as in private dining-room. Bill of fare—soup, fish, entrees, joints, vegetables, pastry, fruit, tea and coffee ;
sit as long as you like and pay three shillings stg. for
as good a breakfast, dinner and tea as any reasonable man would ask to have laid before
The third blessing of the C. P. R. revolution is punctuality. The day has past when
express trains pulled up to allow officials to pick blackberries or to " liquor up," when
travellers - waited five or ten hours at leading stations, or built up fires in a box stove in
the waiting-room of way stations, or lay full-stretch on a form, with a portmanteau for
a pillow.    These are memories of the past.
" Like the dew on the mountain,
Like the foam on the river,"
faithful Scotchmen may sing a Coronach over them, for,
" Like the bubble on the fountain,"
as far as the C. P. R. express trains are concerned,
" They are gone, and forever."
Of course   I   can   only speak from experience, and I know little of local traffic
v  «»..=_ \fc     %^sk\[r\-i/y^  "i/    "l/Fl I on this wondrous line.    I
only know that the C. P. R.
serpent started from Montreal sharp at 8.20 p.m.,
arrived sharp at North Bay
9.55 on the second day,
touched every way station
timed to the very minute
— reached Winnipeg on
time, reached Banff on
time, reached North Bend
on time, and steamed into
Vancouver sharp 1.30 p.m.,
leaving a trail behind it of
two thousand nine hundred
and eighty-six miles, with
a correct record all the way
along. It was just the same
all the way back from Vancouver to Port Arthur. In
fact both going and coming,
if one wished to know
where he was, all he had to
do was to look at his watch,
and then at the time table,
and he fixed his location
straight off.
Interior C. P. R. Dining Car.
Thursday, June 27.—Woke up to find the train passing by the side of the Ottawa
river, through an uncultivated country. Nothing of much interest till we reached North
Bay, on Lake Nipissing.    From this out the country becomes rough and rocky, and is 6
studded with a number of beautiful lakes apparently running into one another. At Sudbury Junction came across Dr. Wylde, who has charge of a section of the railway; Dr.
Williams, his college chum, having charge of another section on the Algoma branch.
Both of them like their work, and Wylde was looking strong and hearty. Arrived
(8.45 p.m) at Chapleau—a divisional railway centre and a very pretty spot. The light
was as clear and bright as if it were only 3 o'clock instead of nearly 9.
Friday, 29.—Woke up on shores of Lake Superior ; air delightfully cool and morning beautiful. The scenery all along this section is charming, and sometimes strikingly
grand, the rail following the coast line very closely. The waters of the lake are of the
bluest blue, and close to the shore are as clear as crystal. No chance, I should say,
for the farmer here, hut glorious ground for the photographer and painter—the clear sky, the
curving coast line, the blue water, the rich salmon-colored granite rocks rising from flats
into mountains that rear their rounded heads to meet the brilliant sunlight. The curves
and twists and turns of the rail are wonderful, giving a ceaseless variety of scenery,
with the lovely lake or inland ocean always present. This scenery which runs through the
scale of—pretty, very pretty, beautiful, grand—runs up and down the notes till we reach
Port Arthur, at the head of Thunder Bay, a glorious sheet of water, hemmed in by lofty
hills, foremost of which
looms   Thunder   Cape
— a    great    frowning
headland   that   stands
sentinel-like    guarding
the entrance of the Bay.
Port Arthur is a brisk,
bustling little town with,
no doubt, a large city
future before it.   Here
the    boats    belonging
to the C. P. Railway,
Thunder Cape. plying between Owen
Sound and Port Arthur, discharge and take in their passengers and cargoes—splendid
vessels, large as ocean steamers   and most  comfortably  arranged.    Here also is the
cemetery where Mr. Van Home has
. buried the time honored A.M. and P.M.
§ of bygone days, for from this on we
s* talk of 13 o'clock and 22 o'clock, right
g out to Vancouver.   Here also the time
o •
jrj itself changes. You arrive at Port Ar-
n" thur at 3.15 and leave  it at 2.25 or
§ 14.25 o'clock.  Back go most watches
u one hour, but I keep mine at Montreal
time,  and deduct the dead hours  as
we leave time behind. THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
From Port Arthur, onward to Selkirk, the country is singularly monotonous—an
interminable swamp composed of a stuff called muskeg, that no doubt in a few geologic
periods would produce good peat.    Not one settler's house to be seen for miles, and te
at some stopping places are neatly painted water tanks with the name of the suppositious
station on them. But the road is in as perfect order as if it were running through a richly
settled country, all the bridges and culverts numbered and the different sections marked;
the travelling easy and everything in first-class condition. After tea the Canon and I sat out
on the hind platform of the car and saw muskeg in every shape and form and depth of
coloring, and the boats, left behind by Lord Wolseley in the Red River Expedition, rotting
away the balance of their lives, no settlers near to break them up. The sun did not go
down till a quarter to nine, Montreal time. There was a good deal of good humored
chaffing as night came on about the berths. There was an invasion of the old settlers
in the train at Port Arthur, and a number of ladies and children squatted on our sections.
It did not matter much during the evening, but there was an unpleasant feeling amongst
the original settlers as to whether the squatters would remain squatted during sleeping
hours. However, it turned out that all the squatters had obtained upper berths, and then
the lower berth gentlemen were taught a lesson in the virtue of resignation. I had an
upper berth all along (memo.—always take an upper berth, it is cool and you can go to bed
early and read) so I had to resign nothing, but our manager, Mr. White, resigned with
spontaneous gracefulness.
The beds were not all made up till 11 o'clock, and when I turned in I was dead
tired, and so was the Canon.
Saturday, June 29.—Up at 6 o'clock—pouring rain and passing still through muskeg—but train on time to the minute at every water tank. The Canon was up before
me, and I found him looking muskegish in the smoking-room, longing for Winnipeg.
Arrived at Winnipeg sharp on time. The car was so full that we found it hard to sort
out our traps, and the Judge came off leaving his umbrella behind him. The station was
a scene of wondrous bustle, and was crowded along the whole platform, which is a very
large one. Everywhere one saw faces well known, and sometimes not seen for years.
Archdeacon Fortin and his curate, and the Rev. Joseph Merrick and Capt. W. Johnston
were waiting for us. Fortin opened fire, at once for three sermons on Sunday, Mr.
Merrick came to take us to his house, and Capt. Johnson came to see that the faintest
wish on our part would be carried out. After a very short delay—for our General Manager
is a rusher—we drove up to the Clarendon, a fine looking Hotel within sight of Fortin's
church, which is well worthy of Montreal, or New York, as far as architectural beauty is
concerned. The Canon and I got splendid rooms, the Judge a very good one, but
someway our General Manager got inferior quarters.    Just as I was shutting my door, he
darted past me—tomahawk in hand, paint and feathers of course right on the war path
for the landlord,—a solemn looking man not accustomed to be run round as he will be
in a few moments when the General Manager gets on his trail.
Saturday and Sunday we spent in Winnipeg—a really wonderful city considering its
history. In 1859 it consisted of a Hudson's Bay Co. Fort, a hotel and few buildings I in
1871 the whole population was 100, and it was known as Fort Garry, and to-day it numbers
a population of 25,000, is a real live city, lighted from end to end with electricity : the THE  CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
main streets laid down in block pavement, street cars running all over, mills, elevators
and first-class business buildings everywhere, proving the reality of trade.«|The only
drunken man I came across on the whole journey told me in a gush of whiskified confidence that Winnipeg would not be worth a blade of grass till it developed manufactories
—but, my goodness, even Winnipeg, I should fancy, requires time to breathe. On Saturday we took the cars out to St. John's, and saw the old Cathedral, built by Bishop
Anderson, and the Church of England College, built by Bishop Machray—the former a
singularly modest edifice with a lovely graveyard round it, the latter a splendid building, 10
City Hall, Winnipeg.
wonderfully endowed and equipped for a new country. Then we took the cars to the
old Hudson's Bay Fort which, instead of being preserved as a monument of early settlement, has been ruthlessly destroyed. We spent the balance of Saturday receiving callers
and old friends, every face reviving a string of memories long buried under the events of
intervening years. Sunday was a lovely day, and we spent it very happily. Went
to Christ Church in the morning, where I read prayers, and the Rector, Canon
Pentreath, preached a faithful and earnest sermon. Considering the heat of the morning,
there was a very good congregation.    The choir was composed of boys and men in sur- THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY. 11
plices and purple and black cassocks, and a fringe of ladies in the back stalls. After
dinner I went to visit some old Clinton friends, the Canon rested, and the General
Manager and the Judge went off with the Lieutenant-Governor, who kindly called and
invited us to stay with him on our return trip. In the night I preached in Fortin's
beautiful church. The service was semi-choraL and the anthem was really splendidly
rendered. There was a crowded congregation, and at the close of the service another
batch of old friends turned up to shake hands and start another series of old memories.
One thing struck me forcibly in connection with the congregation—namely, the magnificent young life of which it was composed. I suppose there must have been from seven to
eight hundred persons present, and yet I doubt if there were one hundred old or even aged
people within the walls. Magnificent, vigorous, young life everywhere—the hymns shouted
with the strength of youth—a splendid gathering, full of promise for the welfare of the country. And the mosquitoes were full of vigorous young life. In older Canada they make
love to you with their deadly " Zooning"—one at a time—but outside of Holy Trinity,
Winnipeg, they rushed at you in a cloud, and settled on you in dozens, and brushed off,
followed you with freshly invigorated blood thirstiness, as if they were passing round the
word, " Go for them, boys, they are tenderfeet, Quebec greenhorns—don't spare the
bayonet—Zoon-Zoon-Zoon." Of course all this, we were told, was most unusual. As a
rule, the Winnipeg mosquitoes are tame, gentle creatures, musical rather than murderous.
Archdeacon Fortin was very much astonished, so was every Winnipegger, but the well
cultivated sweep of the Archdeacon's hand, and the calm way .in which he unconsciously
tied a white pocket handkerchief round his neck, created a suspicion in my mind that he
was more than well drilled in averting what in old Egyptian days might have been
regarded as something approaching a plague.
Monday, July 2.—Up at 7, down at 10 o'clock, and before long we are out on the
prairie—indeed at once, for every western street in Winnipeg ends in it. Passed Portage
la Prairie, a well built city; on through well cultivated fields of grain; on through
rolling land studded with groves of trees; passed Brandon, a wonderful little city with a
population of close on 5,000, with fields of grain covering 800 and 1,000 acres ; out into
the rolling prairie, with signs of prosperous settlement all through it; past Virden, where
I had a shake-hands with my old friend and second churchwarden in Clinton—Russel
Read j passed the little station of Moosomin, sixty miles from which there is a prosperous
settlement of Crofters from the Isle of Skye, hunger and poverty and misery all left
behind them in the Old Hebrides, where it rains nine days out of ten, and where meat is
a luxury not meant for the Crofters.
This is Dominion Day, and every little village along the line has its celebration. It
gave us a good opportunity of seeing the settlers, for all crowded to the stations along
the line, and after eyeing them over we came to the following conclusions: 1st,
They were all young men and young women. 2nd. They were all sober. 3rd. They
were all strong and healthy looking and well dressed. 4th. They were in every way far
ahead (if appearance be a sign of prosperity) of the men who originally settled the coun- 12
ties of Huron, Bruce, and Grey, in Ontario. In fact, I never saw in rural Canada a
more respectable looking crowd of people, and the palpable evidence of the absence of
King Whiskey was singularly refreshing.
Tuesday, July 3.—Up at 6.30—lovely morning, bright sunshine, and warm. The
appearance of the prairie had wholly changed. The first sight I got of it this morning
looked in the sunlight like an Arabian desert, the effect arising from the varied tints of
the short grass—yellow, red, and brown. All along the line, for miles upon miles, it
varied in aspect, until we came into wheat-bearing soil again. How anyone can say that
this part of the journey is uninteresting I cannot think. We saw glorious flocks of wild
fowl, numberless lakelets fringed with golden flowers, regular as if sown by hand, gophers
and squirrels by the thousand, and here and there a party of genuine Indians riding their
ponies, gun in hand. The prairie we are now passing through (it o'clock) is in Assini-
boia, and is rich and fertile, but very thinly settled, miles upon miles of glorious land
waiting for the coming emigrant. Beautiful lakes flit by us, with flocks of gulls screaming
over head, and flocks of ducks floating on the water close to the shore. The prairie here
is rolling, rising sometimes into long ranges of grass-green hills, stretching out like waves,
and far beyond, bright and blue like the sea, a long, low range of mountains, called the
Cypress Hills. A wonderful country, wanting only man to make it bright with happy
homes. How is it that things do not come together? There are thousands and tens of
thousands in Great Britain crying out for land, and here is the richest land, I suppose, in
the world crying out for men, and yet the distinct cries go up and someway never mingle.
12.30 o'clock.—We get out at the railway station at Maple Creek for a few minutes
to take stock in the real live Indian men, women and children (Crees) that were scattered
over the platform. The men were painted lavishly, vermilion and brick-colored faces,
toned down with blue and yellow streaks. The women were remarkable for brilliant
blankets, and some of the girls had large slabs of mother-of-pearl hanging from their
ears. As far as the men and women were concerned, they might as well have been
inmates of a deaf and dumb asylum. There they sat, or leaned against the station, or
stood out on the platform, straight as a Douglas pine, silent and quiet as clams. Two
splendid looking fellows sat with their chins in their hands and their eyes fixed on the
brass work of the steam-engine glittering in the sunlight, and never seemed to move them
once. I should not think that the Crees would make good commercial travellers. Each
Indian had a pair of polished buffalo horns for sale, but they never offered them to anyone; indeed, for the matter of that, they appeared as if it was perfectly immaterial
whether they sold them or not. If you thirsted for a buffalo horn, you had to open up
negotiations. "What do you charge for these?" Up would go two or three Indian
fingers, coupled with the words "bits," implying two or three quarters. Then, if the
bargain was completed, the horns changed hands ; but if not, the Indian looked far
away out on the prairie, ignoring your existence, calmly waiting some other claimant for
his wares.
Here also On the platform are members of the Mounted Police, as soldier-like THE   CANADIAN   PACIFIC RAILWAY. 13
cavalrymen as you would find anywhere in the British army. Major Antrobus—every
inch a soldier—boarded the cars here, in company with his wife, and we had a very
pleasant chat with him between Maple Creek and Forres, the next station, where he left
the cars. These police represent the strong arm of the law through the whole of the
North-West Territory. This territory is under prohibitory law as to all forms of intoxicating drinks, and the police enforce the excise regulations, watch over the Indians, guard
the borders and run down horse-thieves. Certainly, as far as a passing traveller can see,
the whole country is remarkable for sobriety; but one of the mounted police told me
that there was enough drinking done in Calgary to do credit to a good-sized city, and
that it was next to impossible to enforce the law in centres of population as long as ever
the magistrates gave permits to private individuals to bring in drink, the result being that
each permit finds its way into a tavern, Where, if it be raided, the permits of a number of
private individuals are at once produced, and the drink is claimed to be private property.
My informant went in for a license law with heavy fees, and imprisonment for violation.
The present law, he claimed, worked well in the open country and amongst the Indians,
but failed miserably in centres, where magistrates and citizens and tavern-keepers were
banded against the excise, and the police officer that did his duty bravely always suffered
for it in the long run.
At 15 o'clock we reach Dunmore, where a branch line strikes out for Lethbridge, one
hundred and ten miles south-west, the centre of a large coal depositwhich supplies the whole
country east as far as Winnipeg. Lethbridge lay altogether out of our course, but we were
told that it is a flourishing town having one hundred mounted police stationed in it, is close
to a large' reserve of Blackfeet Indians, and that there are splendid ranches all about it.
But our journey lay due west, and on we go till the scenery changes as we draw near to
Medicine Hat, where the prairie is thrown up in rounded and cone-shaped hills, the soil
gravel, and covered richly with wild roses and strikingly beautiful blue flowers. Here
and there you can see the teepees of Indians, and Indians riding on their ponies.
At r6 o'clock we reach Medicine Hat, situated on the South Saskatchewan river,
quite a pretty little village, with about 100 houses in it, and two churches, one evidently
Anglican. The station platform was covered with Blood and Blackfeet Indians, got up*
in paint and feathers, and in every way a more jovial party than our friends the Crees.
One strapping fellow had a tame thrush roosting on his hat, and appeared to enjoy the
fun that this novel head-dress produced.    Another fellow was got up in most gorgeous
style paint and feathers, bright blanket, embroidered sleeves and leggings, dandy shells,
and such like. I felt like asking him : | Pray, sir, are you anybody in particular ? " But
on more private enquiry I was told that the Indians, like the white men, had their
"dudes," and that this was the ".boss dude" of Medicine Hat. All of them had buffalo
horns for sale, but, like the Crees, they never offered to sell, but waited calmly for
negotiations to be opened by the passengers.
Outside of Medicine Hat, on the far side of the river, we saw a ranch, with two
large herds of horses feeding, and further on a large Indian encampment.    The day, so 14 A  HOLIDAY  TRIP VIA
far, has been delightfully cool, so cool that at a quarter past five o'clock (17.15) I had to
close the window, which had been raised all day. Magnificent prairie everywhere stretching away like a vast sea. Just now we passed an enormous flock of sheep (said to number 5,000), attended by a gigantic Indian and sheep-dogs, and wherever you look there is
grass, grass, grass, calling out for more sheep and horses and settlers.
All through to-day's journey, piled up at the leading stations along the road, were vast
heaps of the bones of the earliest owners of the prairie—the buffalo. Giant heads and ribs
and thigh bones, without one pick of meat on them, clean as a well-washed plate, white
as driven snow, there they lay, a giant sacrifice on the altar of trade and civilization. A
leading and well-known Roman Catholic missionary told our General Manager, Mr. White
(who picks up information everywhere and from everybody), that he often longed for
the old days when the buffalo marched in stately strides along its trail, and the Indian
lived out his wild and natural life. One can easily realize the feeling; but surely one
railway whistle—full of prophecy for Church, for State, for Indian and white man—must
in the long run atone a thousand-fold for the loss of all that herds of buffalo implied.
The buffalo, lord of the prairie, meant this magnificent heritage a wild and useless waste;
the whistle means education and religion, and law and order, and, best of all, the grass
supporting men, women and children, instead of herds of beasts. And the stately buffalo
departed this life just at the right time, when utilitarianism marks everything, for every
white bone is worth money. The Indian gathers the relics of his old friends, deposits
them at railway stations, receives their value in current coin of the realm; the Canadian
Pacific Railway swallows them up as freight; and eventually the king of the prairie goes
back "dust to dust" as a fertilizer of the soil, or, as one person told me, is used in
connection with refining sugar.
To-night we bid good-bye to the prairies, and the morning will find us in the
Rockies, and before leaving them one naturally thinks of the possible future that lies out
before these mighty stretches. In such a gigantic country, as in widespread human
society, it is only natural that one might expect to find the good and bad mixed, and
hence the whole prairie should not be regarded as one possible garden. West of the
Red River to the bounds of the Province of Manitoba the coimtry seems providentially
formed for rich and prosperous settlement. Better wheat-growing and cattle-raising land
it would be hard to find, and the same may be said of the North-West Territory from
Fleming station," which stands on the borders of the province of Assiniboia, on to Regina.
From Regina on to Medicine Hat the land is plainly inferior, but inferior only by comparison with the rich soil further east. Then comes the great ranch country of Alberta,
with its four million acres stretching south along the eastern slopes of the Rockies,
regarded by those entitled to judge as unequalled both for richness of grass and purity
of water ; whilst north of Calgary stretches the great valley of the North Saskatchewan, with land equal, it is said, to that in the province of Manitoba. Of course, all
this is the result of enquiry and reading rather than experience, for all that we could take
in was the wide country on each side of us as we passed along—farm and ranch and THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY. 15
specimen gardens, the latter being undeniable witnesses to the fertility of the soil. Outside of all the leading stations a patch of the prairie has been neatly fenced off as a
garden, and each one stands as "a specimen brick" of the whole prairie about it; a
patch of wheat, a patch of potatoes, a patch of tomatoes, and so on. Most of these
gardens spoke eloquently of the richness of the soil, and even the poorest would not be
counted bad in not a few places in Ontario and Quebec.
Surely, it is impossible to suppose that, as the years roll on, such a country can bear
on its fertile bosom these millions of unused acres; that these wondrous fertilizing
streams will rush on through a vast homeless country. Some day must come when these
giant stretches will bear their weight of human life, farm touching farm and ranch ranch ;
when villages and towns, and even cities, will gather round them those smaller holdings
which testify to lasting settlement; and when that day comes, who can doubt but that
the real heart of Canada will beat and throb, not as it does now, close to the mighty
lakes, but in the land over which the buffalo once roamed, and by whose watercourses
the Indian pitched his tent.
July 4.—This has been a white-stone day in our lives, for when we awoke, at 4.50,
we found ourselves right into the Rocky Mountains, drawing near to Banff. I had gone
to bed very sleepy, and had slept like a top, and had tumbled out with but one idea on
my mind, namely, that of being first in the wash-room. The same idea, however, had
long before struck the Canon and several other gentlemen; so, in that flannel-headed
state of brain that getting up at 4.50 is apt to bring about, I went into the smoking-room'
and looked in a stupid way out of the windows. I tell you, the stupidity left me in an
instant, as one glance reminded me where I was. There they were, the most gigantic
and roughest mountains I ever looked at, and so close to you that you felt instinctively
as if you were within walls. Mountains like giant saws, like lonely castles, like humpbacked camels, like the great masses of slate-grey cloud that in summer time, when rain
is coming, loom up grandly over our own mountain in Montreal; mountains that seemed as
if some Devonian or Carboniferous giant had piled them up in a fit of wild and savage
passion, and had- then beaten in their faces with his giant hammer ; no sloping sides or
graceful peaks—nothing but chaos piled up on chaos, till lost in the early morning clouds.
The pine trees run up to a given line, or steal in lonely streaks to greater heights, but as
a rule there is nothing beyond the line of vegetation but the bare, cruel-looking rock, its
mighty ravines filled with ice and snow, and its grey, rugged sides shining like burnished
steel when the sunlight falls on them. I never saw or hoped to see anything so awfully
grand, and I suppose I could never feel again the same feelings in connection with. the
same view, though the sense of awfulness never wholly left me as long as ever we were
under the shadows of these giant piles of rock which seemed to rise and swell like
the waves of an infuriated Atlantic, for over a hundred miles along the railroad track.
Because the railway is right in the mountains, rising sometimes over five thousand
feet in altitude, with the mountains themselves towering four and five and even eight
thousand feet above your head.    How in the world.any engineer ever had the courage to
plan a railroad in such a country is what amazes me.
We arrived at Banff right on time, and were driven in an omnibus along a good road
up to a palatial hotel, standing on a lofty elevation and belonging to the C. P. R. It was
very cold driving up, and the empty grate in the large hall seemed to make it colder,
but after a good wash, and a hearty breakfast, we sat out on the sunny side of the
house, at an altitude of four thousand five hundred feet, with the grandest view of
mountain scenery we could ask to see, lying, out at our feet, the valley of the Bow,
hemmed in with its attendant mountains, a view that would repay a person for the
whole journey. In the meantime, our ever moving Manager, Mr. White, had hunted
up Mr. Stewart, the superintendent of the National Park in which the hotel is
situated, who kindly undertook to guide us through his territory. This park is the
property of the Dominion Government, is twenty-five miles by ten, and contains
within it some of the most striking windings and torrents of the Bow and Spray
rivers, and some of the grandest mountains in the Rocky range. It has been placed
under the charge of Mr. Stewart, who is fast opening it all up with splendid roads,
bringing the natural beauties of the place to the front in a truly artistic manner.
The whole party started under his guidance at nine o'clock, behind two good
horses, and drove up the steadily ascending road, higher and higher, until the hotel
lay in diminished proportions far beneath us. Up we went, higher and higher, until at last
at a glorious elevation of five thousand two hundred feet (that dwarfed what to us from
the hotel seemed lofty mountains) we pulled up at the Sulphur Baths. Here, no doubt,
in a short time, well planned buildings will take the place of the somewhat rough ones in
which the baths are at present. These hot baths are fed from springs that burst out of the
mountain side, and are conveyed by pipes into the buildings ; and, judging by the springs
all about, running over the roads and making cascades for themselves here and there, there
is a sufficient supply of sulphur water to eradicate the pains and aches of all the rheumatic
patients that this continent can supply. Turning back on our road, we then drove to other
springs, over which Mr. Stewart has erected pretty Swiss-like bathing houses. One of
- these baths is entered by a passage made through the rock, dark and gloomy, but opening
out into a splendid chamber of stone, within which lies the clear water with its
bubbles rising to the top with the regularity of a watch tick, as weird looking a chamber
as any one could ask to see, making a picture that would give Haggard (if he only
got a sight of it) a location for a startling story. The other bath is splendid in its proportions,   and is fed by a giant spring in the bath itself—a spring  whose depth has
never been plumbed, and of such force that a strong man can fling himself into it and
. . I
yet float like a cork on its surface.    The General Manager and the Judge,  who were
the daring members of the party, drank deeply of the waters and also bathed, and gave
a unanimous verdict on the sulphureousness of the drink, and the refreshing delights
of the bath.    Then our horses' heads were turned towards the valley, and we drove at a
slapping pace to the junction of the Rivers Bow and Spray, a charming spot, and one that THE  CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
1 18
no doubt, in days to come, will be covered with summer villas for those who can aftord
such luxuries. Then came luncheon, where we met Mr. Cochrane, a charming specimen
of a young rancher, whose rough life seems to agree with him in every way. After
luncheon we started for a ten mile sail in a steam yacht up the River Bow. It was
pouring rain when we left, but young Cochrane changed coats with me, and I sat in an
oilskin covering in one place, very like a sailor in a storm, and Cochrane sat in another
place very like a handsome young clergyman in the same condition.    After a little the
Along the Bow River, Rocky Mountains.
rain stopped, the sun shone out, and we steamed rapidly right to the base of some of
the giant mountains, and up and down a river that presented at every turn a fresh vision
of the grand sombre scenery that hemmed us in no matter where we went.
During the evening a bright log fire roared and crackled in the wide-mouthed grate in
the hall of the hotel, and round it sat the guests talking and chatting till one by one the
circle became less, the fire became low, our party making for bed with the prospect of
an early start to catch the morning train.
Thursday, July 5.—Up at 4.50—coffee—left Banff 5.10, sharp on time. Our journey this morning brings us to the summit of the Rockies, but the grade for a long way is
comparatively gentle, and one scarcely realizes, when we reach the loftiest altitude, that
the great heavy train has climbed nineteen hundred feet within about one hundred
miles. As we ascend, the mountains seem to hem us in closer and closer, maintaining
their fantastic shapes, Castle Mountain towering up like a great fortified wall, whilst Mt.
Lefroy stands out as if it were determined to block our way and end our journey suddenly. Here we enter on the gem of the Rockies—the Kicking Horse Pass and Canyons
—so called because an original explorer, Dr. Hector, was suddenly deposited by his
.beast some distance from his saddle. It would be altogether out of place, even if one
could do it, to attempt to picture closely the awful grandeur of this portion of our
journey. The Pass, up to which the engine climbs, as if straining every bolt and bar in
it, stands at an altitude of five thousand two hundred and ninety-six feet, with wild,
bare masses of rock six thousand and ten thousand feet above our heads, and out before us.
Up we go, the engine breathing like a hard-run man, until we reach the summit, where from
a lake there issues the Kicking Horse Stream, which gradually grows into a river, and
the maddest, the most passionate, the most uncontrollable river for its size that one could
well find.    Soon we glide into the great canyon, and begin to run down a gradient of 20
one hundred and fifty to two hundred feet to the mile, above us the awful looking rocks,
and far down below, the boiling, raging little river. One could fancy a deadly feud between the railroad and the river, as if the wild passion of the latter were a protest against
advancing civilization, and the invasion of primeval rights. Give a voice to the water,
and it seems to say to the railroad : " How dare you come near me, what right have you
here ? Don't you know that I have spent ages on ages in carving out this cramped and
lonely passage for myself, and here you come haunting my course with your cruel shadow,
and at times even running by my very side and driving me into narrow bounds—you
thief, you robber of ground that I had cut out and hollowed and fashioned for myself—
I hate you."
From the upper canyon past the pretty hotel at Field, at the base of Mt. Stephen,
we enter a valley where the railway crosses and recrosses the river, and then we plunge
into the lower canyon where the rail really pushes the river closely, where the giant rocks
become more perpendicular, and draw their sides closer and closer, until at last we are
running on the bare ledge of the mountains on our left, following with dogged persistency
all their curves and twists and juttings, whilst the mad, boiling river, curled up in narrow-
bounds, rushes on beneath us, white with rage, its hatred of the railroad culminating into
fury. On and down, lower and lower, until at last we dash out into a glorious valley,
with the Columbia River flowing through softest stretches of brightest green, and a choice
of giant mountains to feast our eyes on—on one side the great chaotic Rockies, and on
the other those graceful giants that constitute the Selkirk range.
At Golden, the mad little Kicking Horse river runs into the larger and more sedate
Columbia, whilst to the right loom out the Selkirks. This range appears to differ from
the Rockies, in being less savage looking and massive, but far more graceful, breaking
up into a number of sharp-pointed peaks, springing from well defined sloping sides,
peaks covered with snow and ice, and stretching on ahead of us like a well drilled regiment standing on review.
13 o'clock.—For the last hour we have been passing through wondrous scenery. The
line keeps steadily climbing up the Selkirk range at the rate of one hundred feet to the mile,
and we finally strike an exquisite and long continued picture. Far down, one thousand feet
below the rail, the bright green water of the Beaver River, winds its curving way through
a valley of surpassing beauty. Sometimes this valley looks a mile beneath us as the train
runs over a bridge, that left behind, seems to the eye as if it were hung in mid air. Here
we begin to come on the snow sheds, wondrous structures of massive strength, covering
in the line in order to preserve it from avalanches. One should see this part of the journey
to realize its wonders. The train steals along the ledge of the mountains with just room
for itself and nothing more, whilst the lonely valley lies one thousand feet beneath. Here and
there on the steep mountain side above our heads, you see the well worn track of the
avalanche, and under it, covering in the line right in the track of the deadly slide itself,
is the snow shed. One can fancy the train about to enter, and the avalanche starting.
On it comes, carrying everything before it, until it reaches the sloping roof of the shed, llililiiiil
mm'i-r'nraBai 22 ■ A  HOLIDAY  TRIP VIA
which it shoots over with ease—the train all the time.running on inside as if an avalanche
deserved no more consideration than an ordinary snow storm. On reaching these snow
sheds, the porter lights the lamps in the car, for it is one continued plunge in and out of
darkness for about twenty miles, and after a little—as no avalanches are moving to get
up an excitement—it becomes rather monotonous.
We now get into such a regular jungle of mountains, that one begins to wonder how
we are ever going to get out of them. Up we go, higher and higher, with the Hermit
Mountain on one side and Mount Carroll on the other, and precipices of awful depth beneath and over us—rock, rock, rock, towering over five thousand feet above the track,
with rivers of ice breaking the whiteness of the snow-drifts—and here, at last, we are in
the Rogers Pass, and out of it, down, down, down, till we pull up at the base of Sir
Donald, a bare, awful-looking mountain, rising, it is said, a mile and a half above the
beautiful little Swiss-like hotel which we storm, hunger-smitten, at 2 minutes past 14
o'clock, or, according to fossil time records, 2 minutes past 2.
Standing at the door of this hotel, and looking up the mountain to the right, one
can see with ease the clear outline of the giant glacier, the source and spring of the Illicilli-
waet River. We all desired to stop and explore this glacier, but to stay meant twenty-four
hours added to our trip, so we agreed to push ahead. I had a longing to be allowed on
the engine, and liberty was given to myself and our Manager to shift our quarters ; but
when I saw that | on the engine " meant sitting on a hot iron seat, with our feet hanging
over the cow-catcher, and nothing to hold on to but a brass rod, I transferred my pass to
the Judge, and, after taking a tender farewell of Judge and Manager, went back into the
car; and right glad I was I did so, for I firmly believe I would have dropped off the
engine on the road through sheer giddiness. Leaving the Glacier House, we got on
what is called | The Loops," one of the most striking feats of engineering, where the
line, running on lofty trestles, keeps turning back on itself in order to get down into the
valley. On it goes, making a trestled curve, then back on a lower level parallel with the
spot started from, then another curve and a lower level touched, until six lines of railway
hang over one another, and a descent of six hundred feet is gained. Looking' out from
the back of the car, again and again I saw the Manager and Judge holding on bravely as the
engine rounded the curves, with nothing but the bare line before them and the terrible
trestles beneath. It may be a very nice thing to be a Q.C. or the manager of a leading
paper, but as I saw these lights of law and the press I flying through the air " ahead of me,
I really felt as if I would sooner be a Blackfoot Indian, with the solid prairie under my
feet, than either of those gentlemen graduating on a cow-catcher. They returned to the
car at the first station, of course delighted with their trip, and the other.members of the
party were equally pleased, for the graduates were restored to us whole, and not in
pieces, as once I expected they would be.
From this out we run along by the side of the IllicilKwaet, through canyons and
snow-slides, and over dizzy bridges, into the Albert Canyon, where the train stopped to
allow the passengers to look down into the gorge—an awful spot of gloomy shades and THE  CANADIAN   PACIFIC  RAILWAY. 23
fearful depth—and then finally out of the close confinement of the great mountains into
the lovely wooded and watered scenery of British Columbia. Here we pass lake after
lake of surpassing beauty, and at 8 or 20 o'clock are skirting an arm of the Great Shus-
wap Lake—a glorious sheet of water, that from its peculiar shape has been compared to
an octopus spreading its arms out as if to drag within its embrace the mountain ridges
that rise up all about it. The sun was setting as we followed in and out the many windings of this charming lake, and night closed in as we were skirting closely its sandy
Friday, July 6.—Up very early, to find ourselves travelling along the Fraser, the
chief river of British Columbia, rapid in flow, muddy in appearance, and pushing its way
through a magnificent canyon called the Fraser Canyon. We breakfasted at North
Bend at 7.30 and had a rich banquet of fruit, peaches, apricots, large purple plums and
oranges. Leaving the Bend sharp on time we passed through a series of tunnels cut out
of the rocks on the bare mountain side, the river running deep down beneath us. This
whole section of country is very beautiful, as the mountains are wooded in some
places from base to summit. All the workmen you see along the line are Chinamen—melancholy-faced, plaited-haired, low stunted looking Chinamen—some of them the
ugliest looking mortals I ever looked at, but, for men doing hard railway work, unusually
clean looking. At Yale, a village locked up in glorious wooded mountains, we saw from
the track a modest Joss house, just like any other frame house, except that it had vermilion
colored boards, all covered with Chinese characters, hung up on its front. Yale is a
lovely spot, and from this on past Nicomen the scenery is exquisite. The mountains are
much smaller than those we have been passing through, more rounded, and stand apart
from each side of the track far from each other, with a richly wooded and broken up
undulating country lying between the ranges, whilst the Fraser River has widened out
into a large sheet of water. After the canyons and gorges and tunnels one feels as if at
last we were breathing naturally, and the change is in every way pleasing.
At 13.30, to the moment of time, we drew up at the Vancouver Station, the Pacific
terminus of the great railway that we had journeyed on for two thousand nine hundred
and six miles. We were met at the station by Mr. Browning, who not only was kind
enough to meet us, but added to that, the greater kindness of promising to remain with
us and pilot us about Vancouver. Here let me say that it is a capital thing to travel,
as we are doing, under the charge of our General Manager. He knows everybody;
everybody knows him, and everywhere his friends adopted the whole crowd straight off.
The C. P. R. Hotel, in every way a first-class house, gave us splendid accommodation, and when we went into the luncheon room, instead of finding ourselves in a strange
place, we discovered familiar faces from east and west and north and: south. The legal
profession was strongly represented, as a great arbitration case between the C.P.R. and
the Government was in process of investigation, and I was glad to meet Mr. B. B. Osier,
of Toronto, and other old friends and parishioners. After luncheon, Mr. Browning had
a carriage and pair ready and we started for the park.     This park, obtained from the 24
i   r\ ftffliiliiMISI
Government, contains one thousand acres, and the corporation of the city are opening it up
with first-class roads, like those of the Mountain Park in Montreal. Nothing gives one a
clearer idea of the push and energy of Vancouver than the making of this park, for fancy
a city, three years old, levelling arid making roads through a stretch of one thousand acres
for the benefit of a community yet largely to be formed. I always loved the bush, but I
never realized what its full beauty was until I took this drive. The roads wind in and out
of a forest of brightest foliage, studded with trees that might be styled monarchs, emperors,
mikados of forest royalty, from one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet high and of
proportionate girth. Mr. Browning pulled out a tape line and measured two of these
giants.   One, a cedar, measured sixty-five feet three inches at four from the base, fifty THE  CANADIAN  PACIFIC  RAILWAY. 25
feet round when measured ten feet from the ground, and the other, a Douglas pine, forty-
five feet some feet from the base. We pulled down raspberry branches from bushes,
standing ten and fifteen feet high, and picked these aerial berries and consumed them
on the spot. In short, we never saw such luxurious growth, trees and flowers and
ferns all bearing testimony to the teeming life of the soil. On our way into the
park Mr. Browning showed us what I certainly thought was a collection of styes
for a large breed of British Columbian pig, but he informed us that it was a Chinese
squatter settlement, put up by Chinese workmen. We got out of the carriage to explore the settlement, and a queerer place I was never in. The houses were made of
common slab-boards run into the ground and roofed over either with loose slabs or sticks,
and were so low that a five-foot man would, I fancy, have to bend his head when moving
inside of them. Every house had the owner's name (I suppose) written on a piece of
paper in Chinese characters pasted on the door, and every door was locked. I looked
into one of these Liliputian shanties through one of the wide cracks in the boards and
could see a slab table and a slab chair, but no sign of a bed. It was clean and tidy
looking, the mud floor swept and level. Every shanty had a garden attached to it, and I
came to the conclusion that, if Canadians only cultivated patches of ground as Chinamen
do, every inch that belonged to a market gardener would bear its crop. Some of these
gardens were not larger than the cover of a piano, and even the banks that held up the
shanties were cultivated, growing salad, parsley, etc. On our way back we met the
owners of the shanties returning from work. They were a much brighter crowd than
their brethren whom we saw working on the track. They were all young, walked quick,
and had a happy, contented look about them, and were the cleanest looking body of
workmen returning from a day's work I ever saw.
After dinner we walked over Vancouver, which lies spread out along the waters of
Coal Harbor, but is stretching back its streets every day. In 1886 this city was a forest,
and the first buildings were destroyed by fire, leaving only one house standing. It has
now a population of nearly nine thousand, its wide and well planked streets are lighted both
by gas and electricity, the side-walks are broad and well laid, fine brick and stone blocks of
buildings are in course of erection, the private residences are very pretty, and the hotel is
well worthy of either Montreal or Toronto. The harbor accommodation is splendid,
allowing the largest steamers to discharge their cargoes, and the buildings of the C. P. R.
sheds, store-houses, etc., testify to the living faith that the company must have in the
future of the city. During our walk I could not help thinking that Montreal might learn
not a little from Vancouver with regard to the Vancouver method of naming the streets.
At every street corner there are black boards pointing east and west and north and south,
with the names of the streets painted on them in clean white letters that the most nearsighted man could read with ease. Everywhere there are evidences of life and energy and
vigor. In fact the streets thrill with signs of determination to push on and make Vancouver,
what I think it is very likely it will yet be, a great Canadian city binding the east and
west of the world together. 26 A  HOLIDAY   TRIP  VIA
Saturday, July 7.—Up at 8, breakfast at 9 o'clock, and after breakfast walked down
to visit the S. S. " Parthia," which arrived during the night straight from China, with
seven hundred Chinamen on board, the bulk of them going to San Francisco, It seemed
strange, this palpable evidence of the C. P. R.'s success in bringing Canada into touch with
the East. Thirteen days ago this ship left China with her cargo of China tea and Chinamen,
and this morning the tea is piling up on the wharf, and the Chinamen about to land in
Canada are passing the Custom House officer and getting " out of bond," for tea and
men alike are articles subject to duty. We were allowed on board at once, and went
through the vessel. Some of the Chinamen were lying in their bunks, smoking long
opium pipes ; others were getting their heads shaved—dry shaving—the hair being neatly
caught in a spread out fan, held by the gentleman getting shaved; others were getting their
pigtails ornamented, and others were leaning over the sides of the ship, chattering like
monkeys, or crowded round the gangway striving to dodge the Custom House officers, and
land without the usual formalities. As a rule, these men were great strapping fellows,
six feet high and well proportioned. On enquiry I found that they came from the north
of China and from a part of the north renowned for the strength and stature of its
Here I came across George Brown, of Hamilton, who fills a responsible position in
the C. P. R being station master and accountable for Chinese emigrants. He was so
busy that I did not want to bother him, but made an appointment to see him on my
At 2.30—14.30 o'clock—we left Vancouver in the S. S. ,f Yosemite" for Victoria, the
capital of British Columbia. The sail is very beautiful once you strike the islands, which
put one in mind of the islands in the St. Lawrence. Here we got a magnificent view
of Mt. Baker, in Washington territory, thirteen thousand feet high, and covered with
snow, and also of the Olympian range lying along the peninsula, running out into the
Pacific. The captain of the ship, it turned out, was well acquainted with my old friend
Roberts, who, spite of his weak health, is working amongst and greatly beloved by the
Indians on Cupper Island and along the coast.
We arrived in Victoria at 8 o'clock, and walked up to the Driard House, which
turned out to be the most comfortable hotel I ever stopped in. We had lofty well-
ventilated rooms, admirable attendance in room and at table, and the cookery would
have done credit to the best managed club. After we had washed and rubbed off marks
of journeying we started to see the sights by gas light. Victoria struck us as a calm,
take-it-easy kind of a city, as compared with Vancouver. It is full of Chinese, all the
servants and cooks and laborers in the streets, and even sailors are Chinese; in fact, if
you deduct Chinese life from Victoria, you would, I fancy, leave it outwardly at all
events .rather a slow place. As it is, the Vancouverites call the Victorians " Moss-backs,"
because they move so slowly the moss is apt to break out on them. This of course is
libellous, but Victoria gave us the idea of a staid English city rather than a rushing
Canadian one.    Nature has done a great deal for Victoria, which is most beautifully THE  CANADIAN  PACIFIC RAILWAY.
situated, with the sea three parts about it in inlets. The buildings, as compared with
those of Winnipeg, are poor, but the streets are wide and well side-walked, and lighted
with electricity.
Sunday, 8th July.—The air of Victoria is very balmy, but as Mrs. Malaprop would
say, I think it is " debiliating " for strangers, so much so that none of us moved in our
respective beds till half-past 8 o'clock. After breakfast we went to service at the
Cathedral which is " highish " rather than " high." There was a fair congregation, boys'
choir, &c.    The service was intoned, and Archdeacon Scriven preached a good practical
sermon on the text—" I saw no temple there." We rested during the afternoon, and at
7 o'clock went to the church of which the Rev. Percival Jenns is rector. To the eye this
church appears " high," but there was a regular old-fashioned service, and the rector
preached a splendidly thought out sermon on—"Whatsoever a man soweth that shall
he also reap." He is a handsome, intellectual-looking man of uncertain age, and his delivery, althougn peculiar, was to me singularly pleasing. After church we took a long
walk up to the part of the town where the private dwellings are. There are no very
grand houses, but a large number of very comfortable ones with gardens about them. It
is plain that the Victorian climate is very mild, for ivy, holly, and- woodbine grow
luxuriantly, and the arbutus is quite a common tree in the woods. Everywhere the
gardens looked lovely, and such a show of roses I have never seen outside of England.
Twice during the day we came across the Salvation Army, but the climate I think
tells even on it, for the big drum was by no means noisy, the girls' voices were toned
down, the recruits few, and in fact, the whole thing appeared " debiliated."
Monday, 9th July.—Slept like a graven image till half-past eight, when I was awoke
by some one knocking at my door as if the house was on fire. It turned out to be a
morning call by Dr. Walkem on Canon Empson—an old Sunday School scholar hunting
up his old Sunday School teacher. At ro o'clock, the Rev. Mr. Beanfield, the Rector of
the Cathedral, called to bring us through Chinatown and to the Joss House. Chinatown
consists of three cross streets running between two of the main streets of the city; one
part is poor-looking, consisting of old sheds and houses, which we were told are crammed
with the lowest of the Chinese, but the shops in the other part are just as respectable
looking, as clean and business-like, as any of the other shops in the city—doctors, dry
goods, hardware, brass workers, jewellers, barbers, etc. Some of the men we saw were
splendid-looking fellows, and not a few handsome ; but the majority made a panorama of
the most wizened, wrinkled, saddest faces I ever looked at. They all appeared very
civil and good-humored, answering good-naturedly any question you asked them. Under
the kind escort of Mr. Beanfield, we went into the Joss or idol house—a long room that at
first sight had the general appearance of a small ritualistic church, from the banners and
hangings on the walls, and the general glitter of the whole affair; indeed, we could not
help feeling that we were in a place of worship, and all our hats went off naturally. On the
left of the door as you enter, there is a holy umbrella, made apparently of costly material
and most elaborately worked; this hangs from the ceiling. Next, going towards what
might be called the chancel, is a large metal bell, without a tongue, richly painted in
brilliant colors, and then a double row of spears and dragon-headed weapons. On the
other side of the room there is a large painted drum, and beyond that, towards the
chancel, another line of spears and weapons. Then crossing the room at the top are
three wooden structures. The first is an elaborately worked slab,, with table top. The
slab is crowded with carved figures descriptive of some holy story from the sacred
classics, and the table top is covered with sacred sticks in cases, illuminated scrolls,
shining ornaments, banners, etc.    Each sacred stick has a chapter and verse of Chinese THE  CANADIAN  PACIFIC  RAILWAY. 29
Scripture written on it; and the proper thing to do is to take one of these sticks and
bring it over to a pigeon-holed case, in which the whole written text may be found.
This, when drawn out, tells the fortune of the worshipper for that day. Behind this
table is another, bright and glittering, with a sacred lamp burning in front of it, the whole
arrangement having the general appearance of a Roman Catholic altar. Behind this
again is a kind of sacred grotto, in the middle of which is seated a large figure of a man,
with almond-shaped eyes and long hair, and a regular old-fashioned Chinese hat on his
head. We could find out nothing as to what form of Chinese faith this Joss was
connected with ; but as it certainly was not Buddhist, I suppose it was Taoist, and that
the figure was that of Lao Tsze, the old philosopher. This, however, is mere conjecture
on my part. Mr. Beanfield says that the Chinese walk in and out of the place without
the slightest appearance of reverence, but all this may be assumed, for, according to
De Quatrefages, idolaters often purposely assume in the presence of strangers a manner
wholly different from that which is natural, in order to keep their real religious views
hidden from outsiders.
After our visit to Chinatown we went up to the courts and the Parliament Houses,
strange Chinese looking buildings of brick, situated in very beautifully kept gardens.
The Legislative Chambers were given up to an examination of school-teachers, so we only
looked in, but really there was nothing to see beyond a plain room, very old fashioned in
appearance. We then went to the courts where a special court of appeal was being held.
The judges and lawyers were got up in regular Old Country style, wigs and gowns and
bands, but a general spirit of legal languor appeared to rule throughout the precincts. The
judges entered, the Bar, consisting of three lawyers, and the public, consisting of the
Montreal four, all rose to their feet and then an effort was made to begin business. Calmly
the clerk called case after case, with modest gentleness each lawyer stated he was not
exactly ready to proceed, or not at all ready, or being partially ready was willing to
postpone, and in quiet tones the Bench asked the Bar when it would be convenient to go
on; one judge with just a ripple of authority passing over his voice stating " that it was
really too bad to bring the Bench such distances for nothing, but that it was always so
in Victoria," or words to that effect. Finally, after sundry efforts on the part of every
one to oblige everybody else, I think it was decided to adjourn till August, and as none
of the clients were in court, everybody appeared pleased and the Bench bowed to the
Bar and the Bar to the Bench and the crowd dispersed.
After luncheon, Mr. Baker, M.P., called with a carriage and pair, and drove the
whole party to Esquimault, where there is a fine graving dock, four hundred and fifty feet
long and ninety feet wide, with a depth of twenty-six feet. It is a magnificent piece of
stonework, and the machinery in connection with it is well worth seeing. From the dock
we went to the arsenal, whence we had some glorious views. Indeed one could easily
fancy one's self in England, houses and flowers, and the rich green grass, and soft sweet
air, and beautiful harbour all combining to make one fancy he was in the old world
once again.     We drove back along a well made road, wir.iL.ig in and out through a rich
forest and reached our hotel, full of gratitude to Mr. Baker, who not only had given us
one of the loveliest drives a party could well take, but the pleasure of his company which
was a treat in itself.
Tuesday, ioth July.—On board the Yosemite again with faces turned homeward,
ready to retrace our steps to Port Arthur, where we had made up our minds to take the
C. P. R. boat across Lakes Superior and Huron to Owen Sound, and come home by
Toronto. Left Victoria at 2 o'clock a.m., having gone on board at 9 o'clock, and reached
Vancouver at about 9 o'clock on Tuesday morning. After breakfast a number of visitors
called, and at 11 o'clock we brought down our traps to the station, visited George Brown,
and loafed round about the harbour till one o'clock, when the train left. Just as we left, a
kind friend of Mr. White's, Mr. Winch, brought a large box of fruit into the car for our
special comfort along the road—cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, pears, apples—a lavish
present that not only kept us going during the journey, but also our fellow passengers.
Our journey home was just as pleasant as the journey out, for although we passed
over the same ground, we did so with a knowledge of our ever changing surroundings, and
were in a position to look out for special places and things that we had previously left
I have said little about the social aspects of the journey, which are many and very
pleasureable, for just as in an Atlantic steamer, the passengers in due time get chatty and
agreeable, books become common property, and seats lose the aspect of proprietorship so
plainly visible at the start. The smoking-room, however, is the great resort for smoking
purposes, continued conversation, and also for getting a clear view of the country. On
our way out the platform was crowded with ladies all through the mountains, the gentlemen, of course, taking back seats or hanging on to the lower step of the carriage. But
the smoking-room, whether you smoke or not, is the pleasantest part of the car, if only to
hear the cosmopolitan conversation carried on in it. One day a gentleman gave us a
long description of the railway system in India and of the license laws in New Zealand.
We had descriptions of Bismarck, the deceased Emperors, the present Emperor and Von
Moltke from a German gentleman who might well have passed himself off as Bismarck's
brother. We had chats about sleighing in Northern Russia, about sunsets in Norway,
and bush life in Australia, and one would fancy that England, France, Germany, Japan
and China were stations on the road, one heard so much about them. A straw shows
how the wind blows, and no one could ask for clearer evidence of the way in which
the C. P. R. has brought Canada into touch with the most widely separated parts of the
world than the cosmopolitan talk that a silent man can listen to in the well-cushioned
smoking-room of a C. P. R. parlor car.
It is wonderful how the time flies on so long a journey. One can read most comfortably both day and night, and pillows are provided for day snoozers. Those who like
Cards, play cards, either in their compartments or in the smoking room ; little children run
about the long car just as in their parlors at home ; the ladies sew and work, and others THE  CANADIAN  PACIFIC RAILWAY.
write long letters or make notes of the journey.    In fact, once the hand luggage is stowed
away, it is hard to realize that you are travelling by train at all.
The return journey has one advantage about it not found when outward bound,
namely, the superior view that one gets of such places as the Albert Canyon and the
Kicking Horse Pass. On the return, the grade is continuously* heavy, and the train has to
travel very slowly. Then one is prepared for the wonders of these startling places, and
more careful attention can be given to them.
At Port Arthur we changed to the steamer, which left at 3 o'clock on Saturday,
and reached Owen Sound on Monday morning at rr o'clock, having been delayed by a
Canadian Pacific Lake Steamer: Owen Sound and Port Arthur
fog hanging round the entrance to the Sound. The line of boats running between Port
Arthur and Owen Sound have the appearance of ocean-going steamers, and are almost
as long, and the passengers are accommodated with the finest, airest saloons I ever saw on
any steamboat. The private cabins are large and the berths wide; in fact, nothing is
left undone to make what is at times, I fancy, a rough voyage as comfortable for the
passenger as it can be made. On Sunday we had service at 10.30 a.m. and at 8 o'clock
p.m., and the day passed over very happily. We reached Toronto about 3 o'clock, left
at 8.30, and arrived safe, sound, thankful and happy at our starting-point in Montreal on
Wednesday morning at 8 o'clock, having travelled close on six thousand miles between 8
o'clock p.m. Wednesday, the 27th of June, and 8 o'clock a.m. Tuesday, the 17th of July.
The party realized all through the journey, and above all, at the close, when accounts
had to be squared, the wisdom they displayed in their appointment of the General Manager,
who 'ran " the whole trip from start to finish. Nothing could have been better done
(and nothing was left undone) to make things run smooth. He asked questions, laid out
trips, hunted up advisers, paid the bills, and kept up his spirits all the time.    No curious 32 A HOLIDAY TRIP VIA. THE C.  P.  R.
problem was left by him unsolved, although he was not the member of the party who
had the supreme impudence to lean across the counter of a shop in Victoria and innocently ask the salesman: " Pray, sir, could you tell me why the people in Vancouver call
the people in Victoria Moss-backs ? "
And so, home again* once more, the happy party broke up. The Manager went
back to his newspaper, the Judge to his office, the Secretary to his parish work, and the
Canon to a careful revision of the proofs of the report of the Synod of the Diocese of
Montreal for the year 1888. Back they went from pleasure to duty, after three weeks of
unruffled good-fellowship on the longest, the most punctual, and (I think I may fairly
say) the best-equipped line on this continent—the Canadian Pacific Railway. Success
to it.  


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