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The province of Alberta, Dominion of Canada : a handbook of information regarding Canadian Pacific Railway… Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Department of Colonization and Development Jul 31, 1910

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The Province of
Dominion of Canada
Part I.
"The farmer is the most independent man on earth. He
is in partnership with nature, and with her assistance pro-
duces;what all the world must have—food. There is a never-
ending demand for this product. Agriculture holds forth
to the young man the promise of independence, comfort,
peace, and full enjoyment of life."
"Back to the Land" is the cry heard from the densely populated
centres" of the world. The last generation developed our great
industries and most of the enormous fortunes gained in financial
and commercial pursuits. In the meanwhile agriculture made
strides of a kind. But the urban population increased in greater
ratio than the rural population, until the world had unemployed
problems, housing problems and many others, indicating unhealthy
economic conditions.
Now the city man joins the farmer in the "Back to the Land"
call. Our social system is out of balance. The congestion of cities
must be relieved and the surplus population diverted to the farm.
Rural life is becoming more and more convenient and attractive
and, what is quite as important, more profitable, and there can be
no doubt that a reaction has set in and that the tendency in the
future will be towards the healthier and more independent country
life. "God made the country and man made the city." It is the
natural destiny of humanity gradually to drift back to the soil and
to those surroundings most favorable for the creation of happy,
prosperous homes, where children can be raised and educated
amidst the elevating influences of nature, healthy in body and mind.
The Canadian Pacific Railway invites all those who are looking
for farm homes to investigate the various openings available along
its lines in Western Canada. The immediate purpose of this publication is to bring to the attention of those interested, the exceptional opportunity now offered in this direction within the "Irrigation Block," located in Southern Alberta, Canada, which is at
present being colonized by that company.
The United States is now practically settled. Its agricultural
lands are more than spoken for, and its citizens are looking to
Western Canada as the one spot where good land can still be bought
cheaply. The question now being asked by those who wish to
avail themselves of the present opportunity is, "How long will
these lands be open for settlement at the present prices?" The
answer is that it cannot be for long, as the world's available supply
of unoccupied land is rapidly decreasing while values are steadily
increasing. A   Handbook   of   Information
As part of the consideration for the construction of a transcontinental line through Canada, the Canadian Pacific Railway
Company was given a land grant in Western Canada, consisting
of some twenty-five millions of acres. Six million acres of this
land in the Province of Alberta still remains in the hands of the
railway company and is handled entirely by the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company, Colonization Department, Calgary, Alberta.
These lands may, broadly speaking, be divided into two sections,
namely, (1) The Bow Valley Irrigation Block, and (2) the Central
Alberta lands.
This tract of land is situated along the main line of the Canadian
Pacific Railway, east of Calgary, has an average width of forty
miles, and extends for 150 miles eastward. This Block contains
some 3,000,000 acres, about one-half irrigable and the balance
non-irrigable lands. Special information concerning the possibilities of the Bow Valley lands will be found on pages 22 to 37,
while on page 33 will be found a map of this tract.
Terms of Sale.—The price of this land ranges from $13.00
to $18.00 per acre for non-irrigable areas, and for the irrigable areas
the average cost of construction per acre for the district is added.
The price of irrigated land is $30.00 per acre and upwards. These
prices are, however, subject to revision.
The terms of payment are such that the settler will have made
more out of his land long before his final payment becomes due
than the land has cost him. The terms upon which the Company-
disposes of these lands are: One-tenth of the purchase price in
cash and the balance in nine equal annual instalments with interest
at 6 per cent, on the unpaid balance.
While we will dispose of any area of non-irrigable land to one
individual, we will not, however, sell any client more than 160 acres
of irrigable land, nor any combination of areas including more than
160 acres of irrigable land. Only, in very exceptional cases, will
we depart from this rule. It is our experience that such irrigable
tracts are ample under our conditions of soil, climate, etc. Intelligent effort upon the part of the owner of such an area will result
in the gaining of an independence in a very few years.
Crop-Payment Terms.—A uniform initial cash payment of
one-tenth of the purchase price of the land will be required on all
lands sold on crop-payment terms. The purchaser undertakes
to cultivate his farm according to regulations set forth in the contract, and within one year from date of purchase agrees to erect
upon his land a habitable house, a stable, sink a well and fence
his land as set forth in the regulations.
Payment of the unpaid balance due upon land purchased under
crop-payment contract is required to be made as follows:—By
delivery to the Company of one-half of all grain grown upon the
said lands,  market prices on day of delivery to elevator will be
allowed. The Company also requires a payment of one dollar
per ton for each ton of sugar beets, alfalfa and timothy grown
upon the land. All money so collected by the Company will be
applied against the unpaid balance.
These lands extend north of the Irrigation Block, in an easterly
direction, in what is termed the park country of the province.
Irrigation is not practiced in that portion of Alberta, which enjoys
somewhat greater humidity that the more southerly districts.
The Company owns some 3,000,000 acres of these fertile lands.
A full description of the possibilities of this district may be found
under the heading "Special Information Regarding Central
Alberta Lands," pages 14 to 23, and a map of the district is found
on pages 30 to 32.
The Terms of Sale of the Alberta Lands are slightly different
from the terms under which the lands in the Irrigation Block are
sold. The following briefly outlines the conditions under which
Central Alberta lands are disposed of:
Not more than 640 acres may be bought on the Ten-Payment.
If lands are bought for actual settlement to the extent of not
more than 640 acres, the purchaser must pay the cash instalment
at time of purchase; interest at 6 per cent, on the unpaid purchase
money at the end of the first year; and the balance of the principal
with interest is divided into nine equal instalments to be paid
annually thereafter.
To secure the advantages of the ten-payment plan the purchaser
must undertake to settle upon the land with his family and break
up at least one-sixteenth thereof and make proof of such settlement
and cultivation within one.year to the satisfaction of the Assistant
to the Vice-President of the Company. In the event of any failure
to furnish such satisfactory proof, within the time stated, the
purchaser will be required, at the end of one year from date of
purchase, to pay the balance then remaining unpaid of one-half
of the purchase money with interest at 6 per cent, per annum
on the whole outstanding balance and pay the remainder of the
purchase money in four equal annual instalments with interest
at 6 per cent, per annum. Residence upon adjacent land will be
accepted in lieu of actual residence and the erection of buildings
upon the land. Fencing of the land for pasture, etc., to the satisfaction of the Assistant to the Vice-President, will be accepted
instead of cultivation.
Purchasers who do not undertake to settle upon and
improve the land, as above stated, are required to pay one-sixth
of the purchase money down and the balance in five equal
annual instalments with interest at the rate of 6 per cent, per
Interest at 6 per cent, will be charged on overdue instalments.
'   > Canadian   Pacific   Railway
The following table shows the amount of the annual payments
on a quarter section of 160 acres at different prices under the ten-
payment plan:
Price Cash        First year's Nine instal-
per acre payment interest ments of
160 Acres at $9.00 $215.70 $73.46 $180.00
     9.50 227.70 77.54 190.00
   10.00 239.70 81.62 200.00
   10.50 251.65 85.70 210.00
   11.00 263.65 89.78 220.00
   11.50 275.60 93.86 230.00
   12.00 287.60 • 97.96 240.00
   12.50 299.60 102.02 250.00
   13.00 311.55 106.10 260.00
   13.50 323.55 110.19 270.00
    14.00 335.55 114.27 280.00
   14.50 347.50 118.35 290.00
   15.00 359.50 122.43 300.00
    15.50 371.45 126.51 310.00
   16.00 •   383.40 130.56 320.00
    17.00 407.40 138.76 340.00
First year's
Nine instal
per acre
ments of
160 Acres at . .
...  19.00
•     380.00
...  20.00
When you purchase this land you make your "Contract"
direct with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, the deed to
the land being made by them under the authority of what is known
as the "Land Titles Act, 1894." The "Title" is perfect, and you
are dealing with a corporation which has assets of hundreds of
millions of dollars.
In selling their Bow Valley irrigable land, the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company offers an absolute guarantee of the delivery
of water at an annual maintenance charge based on actual cost,
which has been fixed at fifty cents per acre for the Western Section,
and will also be very low for the Central and Eastern Sections.
Part  II.
Alberta, the great stock-raising, farming and mineral province,
is situated between the Provinces of British Columbia on the
west and Saskatchewan on the east. It embraces 253,540 square
miles, or 162,000,000 .acres. It is within a few hundred square
miles as large as the combined areas of California, Oregon and
Washington. Its present population is slightly less than three hundred thousand; but there is ample room for hundreds of thousands
of prosperous farmers. The district may be divided into three
great sections: Southern Alberta, embracing the area within which
lies the famous Bow River Valley; Central Alberta, which includes
the rich Saskatchewan Valley; and Northern Alberta, stretching to
the north from Athabaska Landing.
Northern Alberta, comprising roughly the great valleys of
the Athabaska and the Peace rivers, has not yet been surveyed
and opened to general settlement. But for many years, vegetables,
coarse grains and wheat, well ripened by the long sunny days of
the northern summer, have grown at the Hudson's Bay Company's
posts and other pioneer settlements. i
Central Alberta is lightly wooded and watered, and the settler
is thus able to provide shelter for his stock at a small outlay. Pure
water can be obtained at a depth of from fifteen to thirty feet.
River and woodland, hill and dale clad with grass and flowers
and dotted with groves of small aspen, poplar and spruce, delight
the eye; the lakes, which abound, reflect the bright blue skies
above, and the magnificent valleys of the Saskatchewan lend
boldness to a landscape otherwise full of pastoral charm.
Southern Alberta—Rolling eastward from the Rocky Mountains, the foot hills extend for some seventy miles, until they
merge gradually into the vast prairie plateau of the province.
This plateau is one of the finest stock and grain-raising areas on
the continent. A few years ago, the whole of Southern Alberta
was given up to ranching. To-day it is making marvellous strides
in grain producing and mixed farming. It is found that its gently
rolling prairies are fairly breaking the hitherto supreme record
of Western Canada in the quantity and quality of its wheat, oats
and barley production. This division embraces the Bow River
Valley, containing the greatest irrigation scheme on the American
The development of Alberta in 1909 was the greatest ever
recorded in any section of the American Continent.
Fully 20,000 acres of land were settled upon every day in the
One new school district was opened for every school day.
Two new towns sprung up every week.
Four miles of railway were built every week day.
The above is only a partial record of Alberta's remarkable
expansion during the year 1909.
Alberta is first of all an agricultural province. But it is not
entirely so. It is wonderfully rich in minerals. There are more
undeveloped coal lands of a high class than in any other part of A   Handbook   of   Information
the world.    There  is timber,   petroleum,   natural  gas and  great
undeveloped water powers.
There is a place for every worthy person. There is a bright
outlook for everyone who is willing to work. There is, in fact,
a greater opportunity to become independently wealthy than in
any other part of America.
The soil of Alberta is amongst the richest in America, and
contains all the valuable constituents that nature has stored up
during past centuries. It only awaits the plow to yield up its
treasures. The opinion expressed by Professor Shaw—the greatest
agricultural economist in America—that "there is greater wealth
in the upper twelve inches of soil in Alberta than in all the gold
mines in America" is nearer the truth than is generally supposed.
The marvellous growth of wild grass (tall bunch grass) with which
these hills and plains are carpeted, furnishes indisputable evidence
of the soil's fertility
Climate is very much a "matter of opinion," and it is a blessing
that opinions differ, otherwise the whole population of the earth
would endeavor to crowd into a few favored spots and those who
could not find room to dwell within the scope of the "ideal" climate
would have to be content with unhappiness elsewhere. Contrast
is the spice of life. Human beings, and crops as well, for their
own best good, must have a variable climate, and agreeable interchange of sunshine and cloudy weather, warm and cool weather.
Such a climate have Central and Southern Alberta, which are
located further south than London, The Hague, Amsterdam,
Cologne, Berlin and Dresden. Alberta is not a gold-laden Klondyke.
It is an agricultural country where fortunes are not made over
night. Those living in such a country must make homes before
they can make money, and the rapidity with which the province
is being settled testifies to its attractions as a place of residence.
The following meteorological statistics, in the Calgary district,
compiled by the Dominion Government, cover a period of twelve
Year Inches
1896 16.05
1897 20.58
1898 16.79
1899 23.01
1900 15.41
1901 21.31
1902 35.71
Year Inches
1903 21.98
1904 11.16
1905 16.51
1906 16.14
1907. . . 16.45
1908 '.'. .17.96
1909 16.15
he rainfall in Central Alberta is greater than the above figures.
The open character of the country in the Province of Alberta,
its clear, dry atmosphere, the abundance of sunshiny days, its
elevation (from 1,400 to 3,400 feet above sea level), and the fresh
breezes that blow across the plains, all tend to make it one of the Canadian   Pacific   Railway
most healthful countries in the world. There is an entire absence
of malaria, and there are no diseases peculiar to the country. The
central and southern parts of the province have a continental
reputation for healthfulness, and are peculiarly favorable to persons
with a tendency to weak lungs. Many who have lost hope of ever
again being blessed with good health have found it in Alberta.
WINTER WHEAT.—This cereal'is the leading crop of Southern
Alberta, and is also grown in the central part. The expansion of
winter-wheat production in Southern Alberta constitutes one of
the most far-reaching Canadian agricultural developments of recent
years. Never in the history of Canada has any single crop in any
part of the country come to the front with such giant strides as
has winter wheat in Southern Alberta. In 1900 the area seeded
to winter wheat was less than 500 acres. In 1901 it was very little
over 1,000 acres; 1902, 3,500 acres; 1903, 8,300 acres; 1905,
32,000 acres; 1906, 43,660 acres; 1907, 84,000 acres; and in 1908,
104,500 acres. Taking as an example the district around Calgary,
which is fairly representative of the whole of the winter-wheat
area of Southern Alberta, we find the average yield of winter wheat
since 1902 has been:—1902, 24 bushels per acre; 1903, 23^ bushels
per acre; 1904, 28*4 bushels; 1905, 32^ bushels per acre; 1906,
26 bushels per acre; 1907, 21^ bushels per acre; 1908, 31.45 bushels
per acre; and 1909, 27.30 bushels per acre. The average yield
per acre for the whole of the United States is as follows:
1902, 14^ bushels per acre; 1903, 13 bushels per acre; 1904.
12^ bushels per acre; 1905, 14 bushels per acre; 1906, 15^ bushels
per acre;   and 1907, 14 bushels per acre.
In regard to quality, Southern and Central Alberta fears no
competition. "Alberta Red" wheat is gradually becoming a
standard. Wheat of this variety took the Gold Medal at the
famous Portland Exhibition, in competition with the very choicest
winter and spring wheats produced in the United States.
Alberta Red has secured many other awards, and we wish to
call attention to the fact that for the last two years this premier
wheat has carried off the championship at the Trans-Missouri Dry
Farming Congress, and in a class open to the world.
Speaking of the 1908 wheat which secured the world's championship, Superintendent Fairfield, of Southern Alberta's Experimental Farm, has this to say: "When the sample was sent to
Cheyenne, I had no idea of its being entered in the competition.
I merely sent a sample of our Alberta Red, grown on non-irrigated
land, to Dr. V. T. Cook, Chairman of the Exhibit Committee,
as he wished Canada to be represented. The sample was not
prepared for competition, but was taken at random from a 2,000-
bushel bin that had been once put through a fanning mill since
being threshed. The field yielded at the rate of 54 bushels to the
W. C. McKillican, of the Canadian Department of Agriculture,
seed branch, in speaking of 1909 Alberta Red securing the world's
championship, at the recent Congress held at Billings, Mont., said:
"The wheat was a very ordinary sample, weighing only 64 lbs.
to the bushel, and was not in any way equal in quality to the wheat
securing the first prizes at our various local seed fairs."
The reader will, therefore, realize that the quality of our wheat
must be vastly superior to wheat grown south of the line.
In 1909 the Alberta Provincial Seed Fair was held in Calgary,
and the championship and Farm Crops Trophy for wheat was
awarded to John C. Buckley, of Gleichen.
Winter wheat in Southern and Central Alberta is one of the
safest crops grown, and gives uniform and satisfactory results.
Winter wheat is produced on summer-fallowed land only, which
ensures economy in time and labor. The crop ripens earlier than
spring wheat, and its culture can be systematically pursued with
the certainty that nothing will intervene to hinder each particular
farming operation in good season.
By way of conveying information on the possibilities of winter-
wheat production, it may be mentioned that Mr. C. Nathe, of
Macleod, threshed 3,700 bushels from 60 acres of land, being at
the rate of 64^ bushels per acre. A. E. Burnett, some forty miles
south of Calgary, recently threshed 4,280 bushels of winter wheat
from 71 acres of land, or at the rate of 60^ bushels per acre; and
P. A, McAnally, near Crossfield, some twenty miles north of
Calgary, threshed 596!^ bushels from nine acres, or at the rate of
&%l4 bushels to the acre. Crops of from 48 to 55 bushels per acre
are common, and a winter wheat crop of less than 35 bushels to
the acre is not considered at all satisfactory. The price this year
ranged from 92 cents to $1.30 per bushel, delivered at the elevator.
SPRING WHEAT.—The prize wheat of the province at the
Provincial Seed Fair in 1907 came from Southern Alberta, and the
wheat which won first place at the World's Columbian Exposition
in 1893, was grown in the Peace River Valley, in Northern Alberta.
When we consider that grain of such high quality can be grown
at the extremities of the province, it speaks well for the possibilities of the crop throughout the whole land. It is grown successfully
in all parts of the province, and each year sees a great increase
in the area sown. The increased acreage sown to this crop for
1908 over 1907 was 52^ per cent., while for 1907 over 1906 it
was 63j£ per cent. The yields have been uniformly good, and
when compared with those obtained in the neighboring states to
the south of the line, have been uniformly higher. 21.27 bushels
per acre over nine consecutive seasons is no mean average for the
whole of the Province of Alberta. In 1898 the average yield was
25.27; in 1899 the average yield was 23.74; in 1901 it was 24.58;
and in 1906, 23.07 bushels per acre.
OATS.—There is no section of the province where oats of
the very highest quality cannot be produced successfully. The
prize-winning sample of oats at the Paris Exposition was produced
in Alberta. While the southern portion of the province has become
famous as a section admirably adapted to growing a high quality
of winter wheat, the central portion of the province has become
equally well known as a district that grows large crops of a superio
11 A   Handbook   of   Information
quality of oats. A yield of 115 bushels per acre is not uncommon
in the central district, and from 50 to 60 is regularly obtained.
While 34 pounds is the standard weight for a bushel of oats, those
that won the first prize at the Provincial Seed Fair, weighed by
the Dominion Grain Inspector for the province, tipped the scale
at 48 pounds. The same official stated that Alberta was prepared
to advocate a standard grade of oats calling for a weight of 42
pounds to the bushel, and also made the statement under oath
that 85 per cent, of the Alberta oats examined by him would weigh
over 42 pounds to the bushel. It is this fact which has led to the
establishment in the province of large oatmeal mills. It is not
unusual to see a large field of oats standing over five feet high.
There is a large market for oats in the Province of British Columbia
and the Yukon territories, also in the Orient, Eastern Canada
and Great Britain.
BARLEY.—There are two varieties of barley produced in the
province, the six-rowed' barley, principally used for feeding purposes, and the two-rowed barley, utilized entirely for malting.
The six-rowed is the principal barley crop in Central Alberta at
the present time, and probably preponderates also in Southern
Alberta, although the production of a high grade two-rowed barley
in the latter district is rapidly coming to the front. Barley is a
heavy yielder in Alberta. Instances are on record during the past
year (1909) where crops have threshed out as high as 78 bushels to
the acre, 40 to 55 bushels are, however, considered satisfactory-
HORSES.—In breeding horses, Alberta occupies a somewhat
similar position to Canada that Kentucky does to the United States.
Owing to the high altitude, dry and invigorating atmosphere, short
and mild winters, the nutritious grasses and inexhaustible supply
of clear, cold water, Alberta is pre-eminently noted for her horses,
which have become famous for their endurance, lung power, clean
bone, and perfect freedom from hereditary and other diseases.
There are, in Alberta, several grades of horses, varying in point
of quality from the hardy Indian pony (cayuse) to the beautiful
well-formed thoroughbred.
Heavy draft horses are now finding a ready sale at highly paying
prices. Teams, weighing 3,000 lbs. and upwards, are worth $500
and more. Between 2,500 lbs and 3,000 lbs., the average price
would be $400, and the value of teams weighing between 2,000 lbs.
and 2,400 lbs. is $250 and upward, according to quality.
CATTLE.—Southern and Central Alberta now supply the
Province of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory with beef.
In addition, a large export business to Great Britain is done. It
is a fact, that the cattle of this province are of much better quality
and breeding than the average run of range stock in the Western
States. The best pure-bred bulls are being used. It is an interesting
fact, that the City of Calgary is the home of the largest individual
pure-bred cattle auction in the world. This takes place in the month
of April each year, and on that occasion stockmen gather from
far and near to purchase their bulls, and to transact other business.
Shorthorns, Herefords, Polled Angus, and Galloways are the chief
beef breeds, while Holsteins and Ayrshires are produced for dairy
SHEEP.—Sheep, in common with other stock, have always
prospered on native Alberta grasses. With the growth of alfalfa
and field peas on the irrigated lands will come a marked extension
of the sheep-raising industry, and the ever-increasing  population
13 Canadian   Pacific   Railway
in the eastern part of Western Canada, where stock raising is not
so profitable, will forever guarantee a satisfactory market.
Those engaged in sheep raising are enjoying unparalleled prosperity. Mutton and wool now command top prices. Flock masters
in Alberta will not be affected for many years to come by the great
fluctuations in sheep products. Woolen mills are being established
in the West, and apart from the local demand there is a good market
for mutton in British Columbia, the Yukon and the Province of
HOGS.—As might be expected in a district where the dairy
industry is growing so rapidly, hog raising, affording as it does,
the most economical method of realizing the largest returns from
coarse grain, skimmed milk, and other dairy by-products, is a
very important branch of farming in Southern and Central Alberta.
The soil conditions and the climate, which are so eminently suited
for dairying, are also productive of those crops which make the
cheapest pork. Calgary, the live-stock centre of Alberta, has an
excellent pork-packing establishment, where top prices are paid. The
production of an acre of barley cost just about one-half of what an
acre of corn does, and will fatten one-third more hogs. The cost
of production of an acre of peas does not exceed $1.50, only about
one-fifth of what it costs to cultivate an acre of corn, and a fourth
more hogs can be fattened from the produce of the same amount
of ground. Pea-fed hogs are becoming famous all through America
for the excellent quality of the bacon.
DAIRYING.—The Provincial Government maintains at Calgary
the largest and most important "dairy station" and cold storage
plant in the West. Some years ago Alberta dairymen became
dissatisfied with the private creameries which were then in operation
throughout the country, and asked the Government to take charge
of these institutions. The Dominion authorities fell in with the
request, placed experts at the disposal of the dairymen, and eventually organized a chain of co-operative creameries all through the
country.   These creameries are subject to the control of the patrons,
through boards of directors, under absolute Government management. Most of the patrons separate their milk at home, by means
of hand-separators, and bring their cream to the dairy station
from three to four times a week. The cream is then carefully tested
and weighed, and at the end of every month each patron gets
credit for the equivalent of his cream in butter, and receives a
cash advance of ten cents per pound.
Here is our dairy proposition. A never-ceasing abundance of
the best food for cows; our nutritious native grasses supplemented
by alfalfa and peas; an abundance of fresh, pure water; with our
provincial creameries taking charge of the cream, manufacturing
it into butter and finding the best market, all at a nominal charge
of four cents per pound; a cheque to the farmer the first of every
month, and a home market already greatly in excess of the production, and constantly and rapidly expanding.
POULTRY.—There is a large field in Alberta for the industrious
poultry raiser. A few acres and a hundred chickens will yield
a good income. With eggs at 25 cents to 50 cents per dozen, and
dressed poultry at from 15 cents to 22 cents per pound on the
Calgary market, little need be said about the profits of this valuable
feature of the Southern Alberta farm.
An excellent market exists in the Province of British Columbia
for poultry products, and this market is enlarging every year.
A co-operative egg-gathering station is maintained in Calgary by
the Government, where the highest market price is paid for eggs,
and from which periodical shipments are made to western points.
Our climate is ideal for poultry raising, and our market is the best
in Canada.
Turkey raising has come to be an industry of importance.
Thousands of these birds are grown and fattened for markets in
the coast cities, and thousands of dollars are brought into the country
every year through this business alone. Where large areas of
wheat stubble may be utilized for forage ground, the expense of
putting turkeys on the market is small indeed.
Part III.
Very extensive special reference to Central Alberta lands is
scarcely necessary, owing to the fact that the full description given
under the general heading of "The Province of Alberta" almost
completely covers this district.
Central Alberta covers that portion of the province which lies
between Townships 35 and 50, and extends ninety miles north
and south, and 210 miles east and west. The Canadian Pacific
Railway Company controls several million acres in this vast tract,
having been granted the odd-numbered sections of land, while the
even-numbered sections were reserved for entry under homestead
conditions.    Until a few years ago, thousands of homesteads were
available in Central Alberta, but owing to the rush of settlers into
the district, all free grant lands of any worth have long since been
acquired. The homeseeker arriving in Central Alberta, therefore,
finds a well-developed country and railway land for sale, adjacent
to the holdings that have been farmed a sufficient number of years
to clearly demonstrate the possibilities of the district.
One reason for the rapid settlement of the district lies in the
fact that well served with railroads.  TheCalgaryand Edmonton
15 A   Handbook   of   Information
branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway traverses it from north
to south, and the northerly portion is served by the line which
that company has constructed from Hardisty, in Alberta, to Wilkie,
in Saskatchewan, the latter town being the first divisional point
west of Saskatoon. Construction on the Moose Jaw-Lacombe
branch is actively progressing, and this line, when completed, will
connect with the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway at
Moose Jaw.
Thriving towns are found everywhere along these lines.
Innisfail, Red Deer, and Ponoka, are busy centres. Lacombe, the
junction poiat of the Moose Jaw-Lacombe line, is a town of 1,500
inhabitants with up-to-date business facilities. Wetaskiwin is a
city of 3,000 people. It is a railway divisional point, has six large
elevators, and is known as the "Elevator City of Alberta." Other
important towns are Daysland, Camrose, Sedgewick and Hardisty,
the last being a divisional point at the crossing of the Battle River.
Stettler was until recently the terminus of the Moose Jaw-Lacombe
branch, from which point the line was extended 35 miles easterly
last season to Castor, on the Beaver Dam Creek, which, although
only a few months old, is now an important business centre. This
season the line will be extended east of Castor. Rossyth, Amisk,
Provost and Castor, are cities in embryo. The development of
these and other new towns will be limited only by the enterprise
of their citizens.
The soil is generally a rich loam upon a deep clay subsoil and
contains in great abundance all the chemical elements essential
to successful agriculture.
The surface is rolling and park-like, covered with a luxuriant
growth of grass mixed in the partially wooded stretches with pea
vine and vetches. The land is practically free from stones and
the work of cultivation in consequence is reduced to a minimum,
as the cost of clearing whatever brush is on the land is quite
Patches of light timber are found here and there, and an excellent
class of heavier timber suitable for fencing and building is to be
found along the water courses.
Natural gas has been discovered in different places, and will
no doubt soon supply light and power at many of the important
business centres.    The average rainfall is sufficient.
The principal stream is Battle River, which crosses the Calgary
and Edmonton Railway line at Ponoka, flowing easterly through
the centre of the district. Lakes of varying size abound, adding
interest to the landscape and furnishing homes for millions of
duck and other wild fowl, so attractive to the sportsman, and an
appetizing addition to the food supply of the settler. The most
important of these is Buffalo Lake, about thirty miles east of
Lacombe. It is a great shooting resort and the centre of an excellent grazing and mixed-farming section.
Yields of both spring and winter wheat frequently run to fifty-
five bushels to the acre, and oats to one hundred. Barley and flax
also give generous returns. The common table vegetables grow in
abundance and to a large size, and the small native fruits grow wild
in profusion.
But little attention has as yet been given to fruit cultivation,
although there is no doubt that the small fruits will amply repay
attention.    As an evidence of this may be mentioned the garden
17 Canadian   Pacific   Railway
of Mr. C. A. J. Sharman, who farms in the Red Deer district.
Mr. Sharman's garden is a revelation of the results that can be
obtained. On being asked the question: "Do you think that
fruit raising will be.a success here?" he replied, "I don't think
anything about it, I know it will."
The winter climate is affected favorably by the warm winds
from the mountain passes. Horses thrive on the open range. The
horses and cattle of this part of Alberta are of a high grade. Many
of the farmers turn their attention to the fattening of cattle during
the winter, selling in the spring with profitable results.
There is a large unsatisfied demand for hogs, and poultry, which
can be raised with considerable profit.
Sedgewick, Alberta, April 6, 1910.
The Canadian Pacific Railway, Colonization Department,
Calgary, Alberta.
Gentlemen.—Since arriving in Sedgewick six years ago, I
have made a very pronounced success of my agricultural operations.
I have secured crops of wheat which averaged 28 bushels to the
acre and oats averaging over 60 bushels per acre. Last year I
had a crop of spring wheat which threshed 2,200 bushels. This
I sold at 88 cents per bushel, giving me a return of almost $2,000.
This does not represent the total profit from the farm last year,
as I was able to sell some fat stock and secured a considerable
return from the garden and hens. Shortly after arriving here
my wife planted out six apple trees, and last year one of these
commenced bearing. I have every reason to believe that the
hardier varieties of fruits will be very successful in this section,
and in fact apples are being grown in the vicinity of Wetaskiwin;
this town lies to the west of us. Raspberries, gooseberries, currants,
strawberries, saskatoons and the other small fruits give exceptionally
good returns. I have had very great success with my garden,
having grown citron, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn and beans, besides
all the other standard vegetables. In the fall of the year, I always
have a few days' shooting, and find prairie chicken, ducks and
geese very plentiful, the former especially, as they have been protected for the past four years. It is safe to say that I have gathered
more money in the past six years than I was able to save during
all my previous experience.
Appreciating the fact that a number of landseekers desire to
be advised regarding the cost of clearing brush land in Northern
and Central Alberta, I wish to take this opportunity of advising
that my own experience has been $2.00 per acre will fully pay for
all work of clearing and burning. This is the maximum figure,
and allows for all work to be done by hand. On my own place,
I have cleared it at a price much less than this. If a settler purchases a brush cutter, which only costs $40.00, it will be possible
to clear from four to five acres a day at a cost of from 75 cents to
$1.00 per acre. Four horses handle this machine with ease. No
attendants other than the driver are required. It is well to commence clearing immediately after the first freeze up when there
is no sap in the brush, the cutting in consequence being made
very easy. The following spring this land may be plowed, and in
so doing the roots are overturned in a way permitting of their
being picked by hand and hauled off to be burned. Settlers who
are not in a position to buy a brush cutter use an axe or grub hoe.
Yours very truly,
(Signed)    W. F. BROWN.
19 A   Handbook   of   Information
Stettler, Alberta, Oct. 1, 1908.
Canadian Pacific Railway Colonization Department,
Calgary, Alberta.
Dear Sirs.—My first visit to Canada was in September, 1904.
I came as far as Lacombe by rail and from there to Red Willow by
horse power. Here I bought a section of land at seven ($7.00)
dollars per acre. Returned to my home in Arkansas and brought
out my family the following March. Sold said land that fall for
$10.50 per acre. Then I bought five quarters at $7.00, $9.00 and
$10.00 per acre, put about $800 worth of improvements on the
quarter I paid $9.00 for and sold it last April for $3,500. Invested
this money in two and a half quarters more. All this land is well
worth $15.00 per acre;   could get it to-day.
I have made four crops since being here. In 1905 my oats went
about 50 bushels per acre, barley the same. In 1906 had only
spring wheat that went 28 bushels per acre. In 1907 my oats were
This year I harvested 36 acres of oats, yielding 64 bushels
per acre. All of these crops were harvested from sod and backsetting.   When we get our land in a fine state of cultivation, what
will the yield be? The farmers of this vicinity have been experimenting with fall wheat and it is proving to be a grand success,
yielding from 30 to 45 bushels per acre, and matures two to three
weeks earlier than other grain.
Vegetables of all kinds do extraordinarily well. I put in a crop
of potatoes this year on backsetting, plowed them once; they are
simply fine. Sugar beets do equally as well. We have had corn,
beans, tomatoes and cucumbers ever since we have been here.
The following berries grow here in profusion: Strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, cranberries, currants, cherries and saskatoons.
I was raised in the South, where the winters are mild and the
climate considered great, but since living in the Stettler district
of Alberta, Canada, no more South for me. We have no blizzards
here. The winters are dry and only a few weeks of real cold weather;
never too cold to work out-of-doors. Don't think there is a healthier
country on the globe. I have talked with people who came here
with weak lungs, kidneys and stomachs, but now are hale and
hearty.    Some few I know of have sold their land and went back
to their old homes, but have returned and are glad to get back
again to "Sunny Alberta," the greatest mixed farming and healthiest country in the world, in my judgment. We had our first killing
frost in this vicinitv the morning of the ninth of September.
Another farmer who had obtained results exceeding his most
sanguine expectations is Mr. T. C. Gorrell, who four years ago,
with his family, came from Yakima. Washington.    Mr. Gorrell's
farm is located about fifty miles due east of Stettler. He and his
four sons secured sufficient land to make up two whole sections.
For a short time they lived in a log house, but by dint of persevering
labor, coupled with a favorable environment, they have increased
their holdings to such an extent that to-day they have 200 acres
in crop, and are rapidly increasing the area under cultivation; two
threshing outfits, horses and cattle,  100 pigs, as well as modern
21 Canadian   Pacific   Railway
and substantial farm buildings. Speaking of her experiences,
Mrs. Gorrell said:
'' I consider this the best country on earth. We have had three
crops and never had a single failure. We would not go back to
Washington on any account. Of course we miss the fruit, but we
are experimenting with small fruits and feel sure that they will
grow here. I, for one, am perfectly content to spend the rest of
my life here."
In the Ponoka district, Jacob Beck relates a similar story of
increasing prosperity. He came a few years ago from Minnesota,
having also farmed in Indiana and Dakota. He has now 250 acres
of land under cultivation, and two years ago threshed over 7,000
bushels, his oats on new breaking, going over 100 bushels to the
acre.    He says:
'' Although I started with very little, I have cleared, apart from my
living, over $1,000 a year for every year I have been here, which is
more than I could do in the Western States, although I worked hard.
"This is a fine country for vegetables. I have taken prizes at
the Ponoka Fair for cabbage for the past few years, this year's
prize cabbage weighing forty pounds."
Records such as these are repeated from every district in Central Alberta. In the district of Lacombe, Mr. P. A. Switzer tells
of having come from Ontario several years ago with less than
$1,000. To-day he owns a section of land, well fenced, and nearly
all under cultivation. His farm buildings are models of neatness
and comfort and he owns a fine herd of registered Shorthorns.
He estimates his holdings as being worth at least $25,000.
The Lacombe district is famous as a centre for pure-bred cattle,
and has annually captured an enviable proportion of the prizes
awarded at the Dominion and Provincial exhibitions. A sale of
pure-bred stock is held annually at Lacombe under the joint auspices
of the Alberta Department of Agriculture and the Alberta Cattle
L3reeders' Association.
Part  IV.
In the year 1894, the Dominion Government withdrew from
sale and homestead entry a tract of land containing some millions
of acres located in Southern Alberta, east of the City of Calgary,
along the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The object
of this reservation was to provide for the construction ultimately
of an irrigation system, to cover the fertile Bow River Valley.
It was realized that such a project could only be successfully accomplished by so administering the lands embraced within the tract
in question that the promoters would not be hampered by any
vested interests created by transfer from the Government of any
of these lands. This tract was transferred to the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company as part of its land grant upon their undertaking
to construct gigantic irrigation systems, which now utilize the
waters of the Bow River to irrigate the land in this reserve.
From the fact that the main and branch lines of the Canadian
Pacific Railway traverse the tract throughout its entire length
and breadth, it will be realized that these lands are amongst the
most desirable in America to-day; not alone from a standpoint of
quality, but also on account of location, proximity to markets, and
to all the social and educational advantages to be found in big cities.
The project, the greatest on the American continent, is now being
pushed to completion, and comprises three million acres of the best
agricultural lands in the Bow River Valley now open for colonization. The tract has an average width of forty miles north and
south and extends for 150 miles to the east of Calgary. It is
bounded on the southwest by the Bow River and on the northeast by the Red Deer River.
While it has been clearly demonstrated that the winter-wheat
land in Southern Alberta is of the richest soil to be found, and,
without the aid of irrigation, is producing maximum crops, there
is, taken in connection with the production of winter wheat on non-
irrigable lands, a still more attractive and profitable opening for
the new settler—the purchase of a "combination farm."
The Canadian Pacific Railway Company's Irrigation Block
contains about equal proportions of irrigable and non-irrigable
areas, and offers to the purchaser an opportunity to engage in
mixed farming under almost ideal conditions. Here can be secured
in the same quarter section, side by side, land lying above the
canal system for the production of winter wheat and the grazing
of live stock, and irrigable land for other crops, such as alfalfa,
barley, vegetables, etc., requiring abundant moisture. For farm
purposes there is a never failing supply of water, which ensures
crops when the seed is placed in the ground, while the problem
of a constant supply of water in every pasture for the use of the
live stock is also solved.
The irrigated portions of the land will raise all kinds of grain
and root crops and a sufficient supply of fodder for winter feeding.
The non-irrigated sections will grow winter wheat or furnish
the finest pasture for live stock to be found in the world.
Combination farms in this block may perhaps be regarded as
one of the best agricultural propositions on the North American
23 A   Handbook   of    Information
An examination of the rainfall tables presented in this folder
will reveal the fact that there is a sufficient precipitation every
year to successfully mature cereal crops such as winter wheat.
But with the increase of population and prosperity more scientific
methods of farming were naturally discovered and utilized, and
the general introduction of irrigation marks an epoch in the
history of Southern Alberta. As a matter of fact, farmers are not
satisfied with returns more or less in accordance with the accident
of rainfall, but are aiming at perfection in the development and
maturity of their crops. It would therefore appear to be a sinful
waste not to utilize the means which have been placed at the
disposal of settlers in districts favored with an adequate water
supply to supplement the efforts of nature. Having water available in his ditch or reservoir, the irrigation farmer is able to distribute it on his crop at such season of the year and in such quantities
as experience has taught him are the mose propitious to favorable
results. He is not at the mercy of the weather. The contention
of the experienced irrigationist is, that those farmers cultivating
without the aid of irrigation in any portion of the world where
water supply by gravity can be economically secured are playing
an unskillful game of hazard in trusting solely to the bounty of
nature and omitting to take such precautions as have been placed
at their command. The irrigation farmer, on the other hand,
controls his water supply absolutely, and has, other things being
equal,   a   crop   assured   beyond   all   peradventure.     In   Southern
Alberta the farmer is able to ensure his crop against drought just
as effectually as he insures his life. Both are designed to protect
the prudent farmer and his family against losses from uncontrollable
Irrigation farming is simplicity itself. The most successful
community of irrigation farmers in Southern Alberta to-day is one
composed wholly of settlers who never saw an irrigated farm before
they came to the province. To irrigate land does not require
any more skill than it does to plow or harvest a crop, and, contrary
to the general idea, irrigation farming is not only scientific farming
but "business" farming.
The great irrigation development in Western North America
has been the result of the efforts of people who migrated from the
East and the Middle West, with no knowledge of irrigation.
The sprinkling of a lawn, the watering of a plant, is irrigation
in its simplest form. Without it the lawns and parks, which give
to the city life a touch of nature's beauties, would be devoid of all
that makes them attractive.
In studying the economic side of irrigation, the first fact that
must be clearly grasped is, that the backbone and foundation of
any  irrigation  enterprise  is  not  the  production  of  either fruits,
25 Canadian   Pacific   Railway
garden truck, or other expensive crops, but the feeding and finishing
of live stock and the development of dairying in all its branches.
This has been the history of irrigation expansion everywhere in the
United States. The proof of this contention is that out of the total
irrigated acreage in crops in the United States at the time of the last
decennial census, 64 per cent, was in hay and forage crops.
ALFALFA.—The modern popularity of alfalfa lies in the fact
that it is perhaps one of the oldest known forage crops, and yet
it may be justly regarded as the agricultural revelation of the
latter part of the last century, at least, on the Continent of America.
The most instructive data in regard to alfalfa that is applicable
to Southern Alberta, may be obtained by studying the records
of the State of Montana. The climatic and soil conditions of
Southern Alberta are so much like those of Eastern and Central
Montana, that it may almost be taken for granted that any plant
growing successfully in those parts of Montana will be equally
suited to the southern portion of the Province of Alberta.
Professor Emery, for many years Director of the Agricultural
College of Bozeman, Montana, is responsible for the statement
that alfalfa fields there have been cropped for sixteen consecutive
years, and that this plant has been tested in almost every irrigated
county in the State of Montana, and, as a rule, succeeds remarkably
26 '■   ■--,.      f'j
well. In the lower parts of Montana, three crops are cut each
season, and this has also been done in Southern Alberta. The yield
runs from two to seven tons of hay per acre, depending on the con- •
dition of meadow, the stand, the water supply, etc. Four tons
may be considered a fair estimate of the yield per acre. The average
cost for cutting and stacking runs from 75 cents to 90 cents per ton.
The certainty of the irrigated lands of Southern Alberta producing alfalfa as a leading crop opens up a vista of possibilities
in many directions. During the early years of settlement in this
province, the claim was made that Alberta possessed all the natural
conditions to make it one of the greatest live-stock countries of
the world. When farmers invaded the ranchman's domain later
on, and numerous crops of winter wheat and other coarse grains
were successfully harvested, year after year, Alberta's fame as the
foremost stock country faded, and the world henceforth knew it
only as a great grain-producing district. The advent of irrigation
and alfalfa growing will again bring the live-stock industry to the
front rank in Southern Alberta;   history thus repeating itself.
Where irrigated lands command the highest value per acre,
and where the climate admits of the tender fruits being grown,
alfalfa is still one of the leading crops, and greatly outranks in
importance fruit growing and truck farming. It is not at present
claimed that Southern Alberta will grow the more tender varieties
of fruit, but it has been demonstrated beyond doubt that the
irrigated lands here can and do produce alfalfa, which is regarded
as being the  more valuable and  profitable crop in those states
.- ' ■-,...       . 27 A   Handbook   of   Information
where it is grown side by side with fruits. Hence it is reasonable
to say that the rich virgin lands of the Canadian Pacific Railway
Irrigation Block are fully equal in value, acre for acre, to the average high-value irrigated lands in the Western States, which generally
sell at from $100 to $300 per acre.
TIMOTHY.—Alberta soil has proven itself particularly adaptable to the growth of timothy, and returns large yields in this
crop. Under irrigation it has a fine head and a sturdy stock and
grows to a good height. Three tons to the acre is no unusual crop,
and timothy hay finds a ready market at from $12.00 to $18.00
per ton. Last year a farmer at High River raised under irrigation
a crop which realized $52.00 an acre. Owing to the ever-increasing
mining development in British Columbia and the Yukon, these
sections will afford a sure market for the timothy crop of Southern
SUGAR BEETS.—No industry lends itself more readily to
profitable development under irrigation in Southern Alberta than
sugar-beet production. With a view to encouraging beet growing,
the Canadian Pacific Railway has arranged to reduce its transportation charges on beets from points in the Irrigation Block, east of
Calgary, to the nearest sugar factory, located some 200 miles
from that city. The Provincial Government pays a bonus on beets
through the sugar companies, and other industries contribute as
well toward the rapid development of this important industry.
The result is that the price paid to farmers for sugar beets at the
nearest railway station in the Irrigation Block is about $5.00 per
ton f.o.b. cars. The average price paid for beets for the whole
of the United States, according to the last census, was only $4.18
per ton. In the State of Minnesota a minimum price of $4.25 per
ton has been established by law. The price paid for beets in Utah,
one of the foremost of beet-growing States, was $4.25 a ton, with
an average yield of 11.4 tons an acre. It is generally considered
that 15 to 16 tons to the acre is a fair crop. It is only a question
of a year or two until factories will be established within the Block
itself; the transportation cost will then be saved to the farmer
and the beets will net him from $5.50 to $5.60 a ton at the station.
FIELD PEAS.—The field pea grown in the Bow River Valley,
owing to the climatic conditions and long hours of sunshine in
Alberta, is a small, hard, round pea. It makes a splendid crop under
irrigation, and excellent feed for live stock when cut green and fed
as hay.
WINTER WHEAT.—Sufficient has been said in the preceding
pages to convince the most sceptical reader that winter wheat can
be and is -being most successfully produced on the non-irrigable
lands of Alberta. Winter wheat in Southern Alberta is essentially
a non-irrigated crop. Nevertheless, while we are anxious that no
misrepresentation should exist in the mind of the prospective
colonist in regard to the fact that the non-irrigable areas of Southern
Alberta are undoubtedly the most productive and cheapest winter
wheat lands on the  Continent  of America to-day, we desire  to
maintain that the production of winter wheat under irrigation is
a still better paying proposition, especially should a dry year occur
SPRING WHEAT.—Spring wheat is most successfully grown
anywhere in the Irrigation Block; but it is not as popular a crop
as the former. Yields of spring wheat reaching over 45 bushels
per acre within the Irrigation Block were recorded during 1908.
OATS.—Oats give large yields under irrigation, and are of
first quality. Not a few instances are recorded in which irrigated
oats weighed from 40 to 48 lbs. to the bushel. Oats are always
in demand and at prices ranging from 30 cents to 60 cents a bushel.
BARLEY.—Conditions for the raising of barley are almost
perfect in the Irrigation Block, and the quality and yields are of
exceptional character. In fact, irrigated barley from the Bow River
Valley is of such a superior quality that the farmers in the Irrigation Block have a standing offer from the grain buyers of ten cents
a bushel in excess of the prevailing market price for barley. The
greatest yield was that of John McEwen, at Gleichen, who raised
91 bushels to the acre in 1907. This was an exceptionally heavy
crop, but 50 to 60 bushels to the acre is no uncommon yield in
this district.
The following article, taken from "The Farm and Ranch
Review," the leading agricultural paper of Alberta, will be of
interest to prospective settlers:
"The wiseacres who infested the country some years ago and
who missed no opportunity of informing the new comer that 'irrigation was not needed,' are now, we are thankful to say, largely
conspicuous by their absence. The fact that millions were being
expended on the construction of irrigation systems all through
Southern Alberta, and that there were 272 individual irrigation
systems in operation in Southern Alberta, with almost 1,000 miles
of ditches capable of irrigating over 3,000,000 acres of land, was
powerless to influence the preconceived notions of the individual
who thought that because irrigation was being made available,
erroneous impressions would go abroad and Southern Alberta
would be classed as an arid desert.
"Irrigation should be recognized as an agricultural art of very
wide application and importance. Its association with the idea
of desert reclamation has blinded the eyes of the public to its value
for regions where the task of reclamation is not required. Irrigation
is not a mere expedient to flood the ground because it will not
rain. The farmer suffers losses as great because it rains too copiously
at the wrong time, as he does because it does not rain when the
crops need it most. Rarely does all his ground need water at the
same time. Some crops thrive under moist conditions; others
are destroyed by moisture. Irrigation is a system of improved
culture to be applied, like other means of improvement, when the
soil needs it. No one questions the wisdom of the saving and
storing of  manures,  nor,  with  the worn-out  soils,  the generous
29 Canadian    Pacific   Railway
A   Handbook   of   Information
For General Information Concerning the Province of Alberta see pages 6 to  15,  inclusive.
For Information Concerning  the Irrigation Block see pages 22 to 37,  inclusive. Canadian   Pacific   Railway
E"? £6 25 £4       ,£3 £Z El £o 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 IE II IO 9 8
£8 £7 £6 £.5 £4- £3 ££ £1 £0 19 18 17 16 15 14 13
l£ II 10
For General Information Concerning the Province of Alberta see pages 6 to  15,  inclusive. A   Handbook   of   Information
(V\(\P DF
For Information Concerning the Irrigation Block see pages 22 to 37, inclusive. Canadian   Pacific   Railway
outlay for commercial fertilizers. The same is true of soil improvement by drainage. There should be a similar attitude in regard
to irrigation. The two greatest drawbacks to irrigation development in Southern Alberta are undoubtedly, first, the notion that
irrigation is of importance only in arid regions and under desert
conditions; and, secondly, ignorance of the ease and cheapness
with which a farm water supply can be distributed.
"It was only in 1906 that experimental work under irrigation
was inaugurated and the Dominion Experimental Farm for Southern
Alberta established.
"The farm is divided into a 'dry' farm and an 'irrigated' farm.
The duty of the superintendent is to gain the best possible results
under dry-land culture, on the one hand, and, on the other, to
demonstrate the value of irrigation in Southern Alberta. It will,
therefore, be carefully noted that it is not, in any shape or form,
the duty of Mr. Fairfield, the Superintendent, to demonstrate the
value of irrigation as compared with dry-land farming. Any
conclusions reached on the farm can, therefore, be relied upon as
being absolutely unbiased and disinterested.
"While the object of establishing the experimental farm was
not to encourage irrigation farming at the expense of dry land
farming operations, it is possible to make instructive comparisons
between results upon the same farm and under the same management, of- crops grown under irrigation and those grown on the
non-irrigated area.
"The comparative figures as embodied in the Farm Report
for the years 1908 and 1909, all that are available since the inauguration of the comparative tests, are of more than ordinary interest.
Comparing the results secured under natural rainfall conditions
with results secured under irrigation, the following crops show, as
the result of adopting the latter, the percentage of increase set
opposite each:
Potatoes  260%       Mangolds  102%
Turnips  200%       Field Peas  73%
Sugar Beets  184%       Barley (two-rowed)  69%
Carrots  141%       Barley (six-rowed)  45%
Corn  128%       Spring Wheat  33%
"The following five varieties show results with and without
irrigation. The increased yields under irrigation are most significant :
Irrigated. Non-Irrigated.
Yield       Average Yield      Average
in             vield in            yield
Varieties tested.              1909        2"years 1909       2 years
bu. lbs      bu. lbs. bu. lbs.    bu. lbs.
Percy A   43  . .        43    5 31   . .         33  . .
Preston   41   . .         41 48 31   . .         31 50
Huron   39  . .         39 55 27  . .         28    5
Red Fife Hard   37  . .         35 43 29  . .         31 25
Stanley   34  . .         28 23 28 30        28 50
"The same remarks also apply, more or less, to six-rowed barley.
The difference in the yield per acre in favor of the irrigated lands,
will be noted by figures below:
2 years
bu. lbs.
bu. lbs.
41 12
48 16
41 12
39 28
48 36
45 25
31 42
34 43
Yield Average
in yield
Varieties tested. 1909 2 years
bu. lbs. bu. lbs.
Claude   63 36 61 37
Odessa   61 12 52 42
Mansfield   58 36 54    8
Mensury   53 36 45 23
"It has always been maintained by irrigation experts that
two-rowed barley is distinctly an irrigated crop in Alberta. This
is the barley generally used for malting purposes. Not only is a
higher yield insured in the production of two-rowed barley by the
use of water, but the application of water at certain stages of the
growth clears the grain and renders it more valuable for malting
purposes. A perusal of the figures below will clearly show the
value, or even necessity, of irrigation in the production of this
Irrigated. Non-Irrigated.
Yield       Average Yield     Average
in yield in yield
2 years 1909       2 years
Varieties tested.
bu. lbs. bu. lbs.
Swedish Chevalier   68 36 65  . .
Standwell   64 18 67    9
1909 2;
bu. lbs. bu. lbs.
43 36 49 28
35  . . 42 14
'' While the season of 1909 was a most favorable one all over
Southern Alberta, and while the difference in yield per acre between
the irrigated and non-irrigated lands should be less marked in such
a year than in an average season, the enormous increase in the
tonnage of potatoes on irrigated lands as compared with non-
irrigated lands, marks that crop distinctly as an irrigated crop in
Southern Alberta.
"The following figures clearly prove the value of irrigation
to this crop:
Irrigated. Non-Irrigated.
Yield 1909. Yield 1909.
bu.    lbs. bu.      lbs.
State of Maine   646    48 149      36
Empire State   618    12 198
Irish Cobbler   605    . . 159      30
Morgan's Seedling   587    24 160      36
"Figuring out the four highest yielding varieties of sugar beets
under irrigation, the average yield per acre was 22 tons and 1,787 lbs.,
while the four highest yielding varieties without irrigation made
an average of eight tons and 332 lbs., or a difference of over fourteen
and a half tons per acre in favor of irrigation. This means an
additional $70 per acre to the farmer at an increased expenditure
of only a dollar or two. Truly an important result. The following
are the individual yields:
35 A    Handbook    of    Information
Irrigated. Non-Irrigated.
Yield 1909. Yield 1909.
tons    lbs. tons    lbs.
Kleinwanzleben   24    1,500 6    1,860
French, very rich    24       510 9       810
Vilmorin's Improved   24       510 11       760
Kleinwanzleben (Raymond seed)..  18       630 4    1,900
"There is scarcely any room for doubt in the minds of thinking
men regarding the value of irrigation for truck farming. The
people of Southern Alberta are to-day paying enormous prices
for garden stuff, owing to the fact that it can apparently be more
cheaply produced under irrigation in the Province of British
Columbia and shipped to the prairie provinces than it can be raised
by the farmers on the non-irrigated lands in Southern Alberta, who
appear to be too busy with grain farming to enter this branch of
agriculture. The results shown below from crops of turnips, mangolds and carrots, with and without irrigation, make the point
Irrigated. Non-Irrigated.
Yield 1909. Yield 1909.
tons      lbs. tons     lbs.
Half Sugar White   24       840 13       400
Gate Post   23       200 11       440
Crimson Champion   22       880 10       460
Mammoth Red Intermediate   22       220 12       420
Giartt Yellow Intermediate   21       900 9    1,800
Irrigated. Non-Irrigated.
Yield 1909. Yield 1909.
tons     lbs. tons  lbs.
Mammoth Clyde   25       160 	
Skirvings   24       880 	
Halewood's Bronze Top   23       860 3   1,920
Perfection Swede   21    1,560 	
Hall's Westbury    19       280 9      480
Irrigated. Non-Irrigated.
Yield 1909. Yield 1909.
tons    lbs. tons   lbs.
Ontario Champion    14    1,700 6       830
Half Long Chantenay    13    1,720 6       830
White Belgium    12       750 6    1,860
Improved Short White    12       750 5       890
"The five highest yielding varieties of fodder corn with irrigation, figured out at 13X tons per acre, while the five highest yielding
varieties on non-irrigated lands averaged only 6^ tons per acre.
The following are some of the results:
Irrigated. Non-Irrigated
Yield 1909. Yield 1909.
tons    lbs. tons   lbs.
Early Mastodon    15    1,130 6       430
Superior Fodder    12       850 4    1,680
Mammoth Cuban    12    1,300 5    1,220
Compton's Early    11    1,430 6       100
Eureka    10    1,780 5    1,550
"The foregoing records are the first official facts and figures
bearing on the value of irrigation in Southern Alberta that have ever
been produced. Furthermore, the almost ideal season and copious
natural rainfall in 1909 rendered the conditions enormously in favor
of the non-irrigated farm. Again, these results were obtained on
newly broken land, while it is readily admitted that irrigation farming will not begin to yield maximum results until several crops have
been taken off the land and the soil has thus been reduced to a good
mechanical condition."
As a general rule, once a corporation that is in the land business
has sold a new settler a farm, its interest in the transaction ceases.
The Canadian Pacific Railway Company is in an entirely different
position. When a parcel of land has been finally sold, that Company's interest in the transaction does not cease. In fact, it only
commences. The Railway Company is vastly interested in the
success of every individual purchaser, who at once becomes a valued
patron of the road.
The Company realizes that the bulk of the settlers coming
into occupation on its irrigated lands, will be more or less ignorant jl
of the proper methods of handling and applying water for irriga-l
tion, and it therefore places at their disposal expert advice and
assistance. The Company operates at central points farms devoted
to demonstrating the agricultural possibilities of the tract. The,
staff of the Company's Demonstration Farms is always ready to!
assist new colonists. On some of the farms are maintained purebred bulls and boars for the free use of the settlers. The maintenance of these demostration farms is in line with the general
policy of endeavoring to create prosperous agricultural communities in Alberta. The Company realizes the difference between
land-selling and colonization, and that a somewhat paternal administration accelerates the result the Company is striving for, namely,
the greatest possible measure of development in the shortest
possible time.
It is of great importance that the laws under which irrigation
is practiced should be so framed as to avoid any litigation that
might possibly arise over water rights. In many of the States of
the Union where irrigation is in vogue more money has been spent
in litigation over water rights than upon actual irrigation development.
The Canadian irrigation laws and their administration are1 acknowledged by the leading irrigation experts of the continent to approach
perfection as nearly as possible. The United States Departmenl
of Agriculture, in Bulletin 96 of that Department, recommends
the Canadian law to the consideration of those whose duty it wil
be to prepare irrigation laws in the future for use in those states
where irrigation is practiced" or is likely to be practiced. Undci
these laws the waters of AlbeYta being recognized as the property
of the Crown, the title given for a water right is equal to and as
good as is the title given forland. During the ten years irrigatior
has been practiced in Alberta there has not been a single law suil
involving water rights.
37 Canadian   Pacific   Railway
: ' : L
Part V.
It has been well said, that "the Home is the Cornerstone of the
Nation." There can be little doubt, that the most serious business
of Western Canada is Home Building. It is a tribute to the healthy
economic conditions prevailing in the Province of Alberta, that
nine family men out of ten own their own homes. The proportion
of home owners is probably greater in the Province of Alberta
than in any other portion of the civilized world. This applies to
the city and town population as well as to the strictly rural communities.
Farming in a new country differs from other lines of human
activity inasmuch as a colonist cannot establish a farm without,
at the same time, establishing a home. Under the circumstances,
it is scarcely possible to devote too much thought and care to the
selection of the place where the colonist is to undertake the task
of carving out for himself a successful business and a comfortable
The time was when the terms "Farm Making" and "Home
Making" were not synonymous in Western Canada: when the sole
aim and object of the settler was to make as much money as he
possibly could in a few years, then to retire to his native state or
province. This attitude on the part of new settlers is now, however,
a thing of the past.
With the enormous development of Western Canada, the
settler can practically surround himself with nearly all the conveniences and comforts that make life on the farm, under proper
conditions, the most healthy, agreeable and interesting of occupations, not alone for the head of the family, but also for every other
member thereof, irrespective of age and sex. With the rapid
extension of rural telephones, railways and other means of communication, which has rendered towns and cities easily accessible to
almost every settler in Western Canada; with the dawning of
the new era, when the farmer or his wife can carry on conversation
with friends and relatives residing hundreds of miles away, life
on the prairies has lost its most serious drawbacks, and, with still
more dense population and the cutting up of the present large
farms into smaller holdings to provide for the grownup sons,
conditions of prairie farming will be up to a standard much higher
than that prevailing at present in the old settled districts of the
39 A   Handbook   of   Information
A great many farmers visiting Western Canada in search of
new homes, come with the idea of taking up Government lands
under the Homestead Regulations. It can readily be shown, however, that with the liberal terms offered by this Company, the
average farmer will, in the end, be better off by purchasing railroad
land, for in the first place, he does not have to acquire land thirty
to forty miles from transportation facilities in the hope of railways
being ultimately extended. He can obtain land within a few miles
of the railway, and in close proximity to a shipping point.
It will be readily understood, that with the great rush of people
that has taken place into Western Canada during recent years,
all homesteads of any value at all, within close proximity to transportation facilities, have long ago passed out of the hands of the
Government, and such being the case it is submitted that it will
pay the practical farmer better to purchase land close to railroads
than to accept as a free gift a homestead lying remote from transportation facilities and perform the irksome conditions imposed
by the Homestead Regulations. Those who acquire homesteads
in Western Canada must become naturalized citizens before patent
is issued.
While the average farmer will secure land with a view to home-
making, he need not eliminate entirely the speculative feature
from his proposed investment. Almost as much clear profit has
been made out of the farms in Western Canada from enhanced
land values, as from the products of the soil itself. This is the general
experience in all new countries. The fact should not be lost sight
of that the only elements that give value to land are population
and transportation. Without these, the best land is worthless.
In Southern and Central Alberta transportation facilities of the
very best already exist, and, with the system of branch lines now
under construction, the area will be better served than any other
in Western Canada. The inauguration of the crop-payment plan
ensures actual settlement at the earliest moment, and consequently
substantial development and increased land values within a short
period. The capitalist speculator is not wanted, but the farmer
speculator is welcomed with open arms.
The pendulum of prices on most commodities swings backwards
and forwards. Not so, however, with reference to the value of
lands. They are going higher every year, and because each year
sees the number of people to be fed increasing, nothing can check
41 Canadian   Pacific   Railway
the upward movement of land values. The time to secure land is
now, while it is cheap, so that advantage may be taken of the rise
in values which is rapidly increasing with the settlement of the
land. If you own land now that is worth $50.00 to $150 per acre,
you can sell it and secure several acres in Southern and Central
Alberta of the most productive land in the world, for every acre
you now own elsewhere. The increase in land values here will
be as marked as it has been in older settled communities. You
can readily estimate what this increase will mean to you.
The Railway Company has grasped "time by the forelock"
and has prepared its propaganda for its colonization campaign on
a   broad   and   comprehensive   basis.     In   addition   to   the   regular
terms of sale, the Company is prepared to offer an alternative
proposition to those who do not care to assume the financial obligation involved in an outright purchase. The Company's offer is
nothing less than a general invitation to farmers in overcrowded
districts to come to Southern or Central Alberta and go into partnership with the Canadian Pacific Railway. This is no mere catch
phrase. It means what it says. The Company will offer new
settlers a land contract under which the land pays for itself. No
crop, no payment.
Perhaps the most striking feature of this novel departure from
past policy is the apparent confidence the Company has in the
ability of the land to pay for itself. The record of the past few-
years, particularly the present season, has, no doubt, something
to do with the determination of the Railway Company to extend
to farmers this unique proposal. To the average well-informed
observer, it looks a safe proposition, when it is taken into consideration  that  a  vast  number of farmers  in  Southern  and  Central
Alberta have for years been getting sufficient out of the land to
pay for it in full almost every year. Be that as it may, the proposition is undoubtedly one that will appeal to the average farmer.
The practical farmer will by this time have come to a conclusion
as to whether or not Alberta appeals to him. Whatever his decision
has been there is a business side to the question.
Are You the Owner of a Farm Clear of Incumbrances?
If so, it is probably worth up to $100 an acre, perhaps more. We
would submit for your consideration whether it would not be
good business on your part to dispose of this property and with
the proceeds therefrom purchase a farm from the Canadian Pacific
Railway, from two to four times larger than the area you how
' own. The chances are, that the land thus purchased would give
you, acre for acre, net returns amounting to twice as much as your
old farm would, and where you can buy four acres with the amount
you now have invested in one acre, a very simple calculation will
demonstrate that you can . practically increase your net annual
income eight-fold by making the change.
You have probably old friends and relatives living all around
you now, and your present conditions of life are quite satisfactory,
. yet an increase of several hundred per cent, in your annual income
is an attractive proposition.
Or, perhaps, your family is growing up, and the problem presents itself as to how they are to be provided for. Are the boys
to be sent to the city to swell the army of underpaid and underfed
humanity? By securing more land, you can start your boys in
life with chances of success equal to what you had yourself. By
sub-dividing your old farm you will probably doom them all to
disappointment and poverty.
Are You the Owner of a Mortgaged Farm? If so, the
remarks made above apply equally in your case. Furthermore,
you are probably tired of paying so large a portion of your net
earnings out in interest. You may be able to effect a sale of your
farm and realize considerable capital, and in addition, you have
your equipment. The first payment you will require to make
upon a good-sized farm purchased from the Canadian Pacific
Railway on a basis of one-tenth cash and the balance in nine equal,
annual instalments, will probably be a good deal less than you are
now paying out annually in interest to a mortgage company.
Are You a Renter? If so, you are thrice welcome. A large
experience in Western colonization has taught us that the ex-renter
makes, perhaps, all things considered, the most successful colonist.
You no doubt started on a rented farm with very limited capital.
If your capital had been ample, you would never have been a renter.
Since then your landlord has taken most of the profits, and you
have been face to face not alone with paying rent and keeping
your family, but also with augmenting your slender capital as you
went along. You have probably by this time a considerable farm
equipment, some grain and live stock, and perhaps a little balance
43 Handbook
in your bank. Fortunately, you are not tied up with property
interests, and you are, therefore, a free man, to go or stay, just as
you please. Of course, your lease is an obstacle at present, but
that will expire sooner or later. In the meanwhile, like a wise man,
you are looking around with a view to bettering your condition.
If your capital is very limited, we can sell you land on the crop-
payment plan, provided that you have a working outfit and are
prepared to go into occupation of your farm within, a reasonable
time. You will find that within a few years your farm in Alberta
will have paid for itself, and instead of paying half of your profits
out in rent every year, as you are now doing, you will be an independent land owner in comfortable circumstances.
This booklet will no doubt be largely read by farmers in the
Eastern and Central States, and it is, therefore, well to point out
that the cost of starting a farm on the plains of either Southern
or Central Alberta and getting it to the productive point, is much
less than it would be elsewhere. There is not any grease wood or
sage brush or other rank weeds to destroy; there are no stones to
pick. The prairie, covered with a carpet of luxuriant grasses, is
ready for the plow, harrow and seeder, and, if the breaking is
carefully done and performed in proper season, as good a grain crop
can generally be obtained the first year as at any future period.
Again, the climatic conditions of the Southern and Central
portions of the province are such that no expensive stables or
barns are required for the accommodation of the live stock. The
winter is dry and bracing, and it has been clearly demonstrated
by actual experiment here that stock wintered out in tight sheds
do better than those housed in closed stables. This is an important
source of economy.
A few words on the subject of the farmer's dwelling would be
appropriate here. Those who have the capital available and can
afford to do so, generally erect comfortable houses on their holdings.
Many Alberta farmers boast of commodious homes with every
modern convenience and provided with every luxury that the
average man could  demand.    These are often built by people in
easy circumstances who have been accustomed to similar surroundings where they came from and had the means to provide them
in their new homes, but in most cases they are owned by farmers
and ranchers who have acquired a competency in Alberta and
who, in many cases, started with little or no capital. Thousands
of colonists have, however, lived with a certain amount of comfort
in small shacks built by themselves, until such time as they had
the means available to provide adequate quarters. Lumber is
fairly cheap, and if the means are limited, it is surprising how comfortable a family can make itself with an expenditure of less than
$100 on lumber and a firm determination to make the best of things-
The amount of capital required is a very elastic question indeed
In no two cases almost will the requirements be exactly the same.
So many items affect the matter, that when everthing is said and
done, the whole question must be answered with generalities
rather than with definite and decisive information. In the first
place, the size of the family has an important bearing on the subject. Secondly, whether or not the would-be colonist has had
previous experience in farmmg. Whether he has been used to
manual labor of any sort. Again, so much more depends upon
the man than upon the capital. We can point to men who came
to Alberta years ago with only a few dollars, and who are now
worth upwards of $100,000. On the other hand, we can cite any
number of cases of men who came to the country with almost
an unlimited capital, and who have succeeded in losing everthing
through bad business methods, irregular habits, and lack of energy.
Under the circumstances, and desiring to present matters
exactly as new settlers have actually found the conditions entering
into their early efforts to make homes for themselves here, the
Company herewith submits a few letters which deal with actual
facts only, and which, in some cases, itemize as far as possible the
expenditure settlers have thought fit to make.
45 Canadian   Pacific   Railway
Langdon, Alta., October 25, 1908.
The Canadian Pacific Railway Colonization Department,
Calgary, Alta.
Gentlemen.—Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars does not seem
a very heavy capital on which to start large farming operations,
and yet, that is the amount of cash I had when I landed at Langdon
seven years ago, and began my farming venture. I tell you it
took lots of faith, but that I had in abundance, and stories of the
old ranchers failed to check my movements. I have lived to see
all the prophesies come to naught, and have never witnessed that
exodus which they so stoutly claimed would depopulate this
country, and leave it forever the unchallenged domain of the rancher.
I came from Cambridge, England, and had a vague idea of what
it meant to farm as it is done here. It makes me smile now as I
look back and see how little I actually did know about farming.
But to give some idea of my own operations, I purchased the
E.K, Sec. 23-23-28 and the N.K 14-23-28. Land does not look
good to me to own unless a good portion is broken and in crops,
so I have broken and am cropping 500 acres, and will break more
next spring.    For the past seven years, I have never seen a season
when the crop did not pay over $10.00 per acre, and, mind you,
never a failure. My crop this year consists of 350 acres of oats,
which turned me 60 bushels to the acre. They were very heavy,
too, and weighed 44 lbs. to the struck bushel. My experience is
that it pays to summer-fallow, as it gives you not only time to plow
your land, but also keeps it free from weeds.
I have 30 head of horses, 30 cattle, and all sorts of implements,
a threshing outfit, and with another year like this, and we will
get it, I can swing clear of debt. Not too bad for a green Englishman, who started on a capital of $250.00 is it?
To conclude, will say that the climate and country suit me
perfectly. (Signed)    P. HARRADENCE.
Strathmore, October 1, 1908.
The Canadian Pacific Railway Colonization Department,
Calgary, Alta.
Gentlemen.—In  reply  to  yours   of   September  19th,   would
say that I have found that the following is cash required to start
a farm of 160 acres in this country, counting on coming about the
first of April and having a crop available about October 1st:—
47 A   Handbook   of   Information
Tools $    5.00       Barn $100.00
Feed    115.00       Fencing    120.00
Implements  400.00       Stove     30.00
Harness     88.00       Furniture     40.00
Team of Four Horses.... 540.00       Kitchen utensils      15.00
Cow     30.00       Living expenses    100.00
Poultry ...     10.00       Seed grain      50.00
House   300.00
Making a total of $1,943, although the kind of house and barn
may be more or less according to the fancy of the builder.
Yours very truly,
Formerly of Home, Pa., U. S. A.
Gleichen, September 14, 1908.
The Canadian Pacific Railway Colonization Department,
Calgary, Alta.
Gentlemen.—Your letter  received and contents noted.    To
commence to operate a farm, say 160 acres, the following is necessary:
One three-horse team... .$500.00 Poultry house, hog pen,
Implements,     breaking cowshed   100.00
plow     50.00 Share of  fence  on   160
One disc harrow      50.00 acres   110.00
One disc drill    100.00 Furniture, stove, etc... .   150.00
Hand   tools,   fork, Seed grain for 50 acres. .    60.00
shovels      10.00 Feed for horses and hogs
Harness for three horses.    60.00 from seeding to harvest 125.00
One cow     40.00      Hay till harvest     25.00
Three hogs     25.00 Living   expenses,    four
Two   doz.   chickens   or persons, six months. .   144.00
hens      12.00 Incidental expenses. . . .    39.00
Living house   300.00 	
Barn    100.00 Making a total of... .$2,000.00
The above is a fair estimate of what I required to have, Upon
the other hand, a team of three good horses need not spend all of
the six months on fifty acres, and consequently can earn some money
outside breaking, say $150.00 to $200.00, and the implements do
not always require all cash down, so that a person might venture
on less than $2,000.00 if industrious and a good manager.
Yours truly,
(Signed)    P. J. UMBRITE.
Formerly of Chico, Wash., U.S.A.
The married man who cuts adrift from his old home, gathers
together his family and effects and settles on the prairie of Southern
or Central Alberta, with a view to creating a home for himself,
is naturally more or less dependent on his capital and the production
of his farm to succeed in his enterprise.    The bachelor settler with
limited capital, is, however, able to supplement his finances bv
leaving his holding during the winter time and working out in
the mines or lumber woods, located in the Rocky Mountain Region
west of Calgary.
During the summer time, there will be for years to come
considerable amount of construction work going on in close proximity to the lands that we are selling, and good wages will be paiH
to competent men. This opportunity for employment is, of course
equally open to married and single men. The summer season is
not, however, a good time for the settler to be absent from his
holding, unless he is acting under compulsion, and we would not
advise men with families to locate on the land unless they are
largely independent of outside work to make a living, until such
time as they have a crop to realize on. The bachelor, however
enjoys the advantage of coming and going more or less as he
pleases, and can proceed with the development of his land as fast
or as slowly as his means will permit him. There is, of course
always a considerable amount of work available locally, which
can be taken advantage of by the family man.
If there is one thing above any other that places the Canadian
Pacific Railway Irrigation Block in a class by itself, it is, that it
is essentially a home-making enterprise. One has only to travel
through the highly developed, irrigated areas of Western America,
and compare them with the non-irrigated, treeless areas in the
Dakotas, and wherever farming under natural rainfall conditions
is practiced, to be struck with the conviction that home-making
where irrigation is available is so quickly and efficiently accomplished
that the irrigated farm generally looks in point of development ten
years further advanced than the non-irrigated farm, which was,
perhaps, started at the same time.
Trees, with an abundant supply of water, grow like weeds.
The banks of canals and ditches in a few years will be covered
with a dense growth of willows, which completely changes the
whole character of the landscape. Small fruits, and hardier standard
fruits of all sorts, strawberries and garden truck, are produced
without the slightest difficulty. Periodical reverses, owing to dry
seasons, encountered from time to time, almost everywhere on the
American continent, and which put a stop to all expense of beautifying a home and making it more comfortable, are unknown in
the irrigated sections. There are many apparent reasons why
home-making under irrigation is so much easier, and there are
evidently a great many reasons that do not appear on the surface.
The sum and substance is, however, that any irrigated community
four or five years old, generally presents the appearance of an old
settlement, while colonies started on non-irrigated lands often show
little evidence of settled conditions for two or three times that
49 Canadian    Pacific    Railway
Part VI.
The utmost religious liberty prevails in Canada. There is no
State Church. Christian churches of various beliefs are found in
the country towns as well as in the cities. The number^of specified
denominations of religious thought in the Dominion, according
to the census of 1900, was 142. Nowhere is the Sabbath more
respected than in the Canadian West.
One-eighteenth part of the whole of Western Canada, or two
sections in every township, is set aside as a school grant for the
maintaining of schools. This provides a very large school fund,
which will assure the maintenance of an adequate and advanced
school system. The schools are non-sectarian and are national
in character. In connection with the educational system, the
Government maintains at various points throughout the West,
experimental farms, which are regarded as among the finest on the
continent. The school system of Alberta is acknowledged to be
equal, if not superior to any on the continent.
Its management is vested in one of the Ministers of the Government. The organization of school districts is optional with the
settlers.    Districts formed cannot exceed five miles in length or
breadth, and must contain at least four actual residents liable to
assessment, and eight children between the ages of five and sixteen,
The cost of maintaining a school is small, owing to the liberal
assistance given by the Government; the public grants paid to
each school are from $250.00 to $300.00 per year. Each teacher
employed must have a certificate of a recognized standard of
education, and a thorough system of inspection is inaugurated,
each school being visited twice during the year. In the schools
of the larger towns, the higher branches of study are taught and
pupils are prepared for university matriculation and teachers'
Calgary alone has thirteen public schools, including a High
School, complete in every essential, the Provincial Normal Schools,
the Western Canada College for boys, the St. Hilda's College for
ladies, and the St. Mary's Convent for girls, a staff of fully 125
instructors being employed in the various educational institutions
of the city.
The rural taxation system of Alberta is based entirely on the
land. Improvements, live stock, chattels of personal property of
any kind is exempt absolutely. The Province pays a large share
of the cost of education and public works, and as it derives its
principal revenue from the Federal Government by annual per
capita grant, it is unnecessary to levy any considerable local taxes.
As soon as the Canadian Pacific Railway disposes of a parcel
of land, the same becomes liable for Local Improvement and
General • Provincial Educational taxes, which, when levied by the
Government, will not exceed a total of 2Vz cents an acre. If, however, the district in which this land is situate, is erected a School
District or Local Improvement District, or both, a tax may be
levied up to a rate of 15 cents per acre. The maximum tax that
may be levied under the Educational Tax Act being 10 cents per
acre, and under the Local Improvement Act, 5 cents per acre, thus
making the total of 15 cents per acre. These rates are, of course,
subject to be changed by the Provincial Government should it
be found advisable.
The following table will furnish some idea of the difference in
taxes paid in Alberta and in some of the Middle and Western
That as nearly as possible an actual comparison may be made,
the taxes paid on a farm of 320 acres located in Alberta is taken
as a fair example of the amount of taxes paid in that province,
while the tax schedules furnished by various county treasurers in
51 A   Handbook   of   Information
the States have been used in arriving at the amount of taxes that
would be collected there on a piece of farm land with improvements
and personal property of the same valuation.
Valuation.      Taxes.
Alberta  $ 48.00
Pottawattamie County, Iowa $11,000 319.00
Gallatin County, Mont    11,000 232.00
Cook County, 111     8,800 278.96
In selecting the foregoing figures, those dealing with the States
have not been selected from counties with the highest or the lowest
tax rate, but from counties that most nearly meet the average tax
of all the counties in their respective States.
Canadian naturalization laws are very liberal, much more so
than those of the United States. Those, who formerly were residents of or were born in any country other than Canada, but now
are located in Canada, may transact business and own real estate
here as much or as long as they choose without becoming naturalized.
They are also allowed to vote (providing they own property) on
all but national issues, and upon becoming naturalized the privilege of voting upon national issues is extended to them.
In Alberta one of the advantages awaiting the coming 0f the
settler is the telephone. The Provincial Government controls all
telephone lines in the Province, and is continually extending their
system into the rural districts as settlement demands it. This
system provides a most economical, complete and up-to-date
rural service.
An abundance of good well water is readily obtained by digging,
driving or drilling. The cost ranges from $2.00 to $3.00 per foot
completed. In many sections springs abound, and reports are
continually being received from well drillers and others to the
effect that they have, during the course of their operations, secured
heavy flows of artesian well water. The province of Alberta enjoys
the reputation of an excellent domestic water supply.
Coal in abundance is found in nearly every section of Southern
and Central Alberta. Generally speaking, the coal is lignitic in
character, and in many instances is covered with resin or bitumen,
which gives it a superior burning quality. Numerous coal mines
are now in operation, and all are subject to the supervision and
rules of the Dominion Government. In many localities settlers
are able to dig out their own supply from the banks of the rivers
and creeks. Mining engineers state that the deposits of lignite
are so extensive that it is practically impossible to compute the
tonnage. In township 39, range 15, a mine is being operated by
the Esperanza Coal Company. There are also numerous exposures
in the neighborhood of Castor. A seam of coal five feet in thickness, with very little surface covering, has been located north of
Sullivan Lake. Mines are being operated in township 39, range 16.
which supply the local demand. Very large deposits of lignite
have been found on the banks of Meeting Creek, and a number of
mines are operated along this stream. On Red Willow Creek, the
Glen-Hayes Mining Company have a number of mines. Two
mines are in operation near Nevis. In township 39, range 22, there
are also two openings in the banks of Tail Creek, and a mine has been
developed there to a capacity of 100 tons a day. The banks of
the Red Deer River are also very rich in coal deposits. The question
of fuel for all time is therefore solved. Calgary has an unlimited
supply of both anthracite and bituminous coal surrounding the
53 Canadian   Pacific   Railway
^ ''at
'      '■':■:■■,,, .. .....
■■■-..■.. . . ... ■ : :
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!?:>:: Wi^SSr.Si?£5.' -jivKs^SMSS
The clumps of trees that are invariably found along the banks
of the rivers also provide the best of fuel. Many settlers use wood
exclusively and make a considerable saving in their fuel bill.
Natural gas has been found at Calgary, Bassano and Brooks,
and exhaustive tests prove that the entire district east of Calgary
is underlaid with a gas-bearing strata.
Considerable attention is also being devoted to the development of water power, and at this time there are under construction
such plants capable of developing 100,000 horse power.
More railroads are projected into Calgary than into any other
point west of Winnipeg. This year the Grand Trunk Pacific will
reach' that city from the north, the Canadian Northern from both
east and north, and both these roads will branch south from
Calgary. The Great Northern has started work upon its extension
to Calgary, and it is expected that this line will be in operation
before the close of 1911. The Canadian Pacific makes Calgary a
general divisional point, and besides the main line the branches
south to Macleod and north to Edmonton start here. The Canadian
Pacific is also exerting every effort to further add to the existing
transportation facilities. In 1909 they completed a line running
north from Langdon and serving the western section of the "Block."
Irricana was made a junctional point on this branch, and work
upon a new line running east and west was started. This line will
practically parallel the main line of the Canadian Pacific. In the
northern portion of Central Alberta the company has constructed
a line from Hardisty, Alberta to Wilkie, Saskatchewan, the latter
town being the first divisional point west of Saskatoon. The
Moose Jaw-Lacombe branch, now practically completed, will
connect with the main line of the Canadian Pacific at Moose Jaw.
Thriving conditions exist in the towns already established along
these lines, and it is safe to assert that these same conditions will
be speedily apparent and attendant upon the berth of every new
town along these lines of railway. Sedgewick, Provost and Castor
are cities in embryo. The development of these and other new
towns will be limited only by the enterprise of their citizens.
The settler is allowed to bring in duty free the following, which
are classed as settler's effects in clause 705 of the Customs Regulations of Canada:
Wearing apparel, books, usual and reasonable household furniture and other household effects, instruments and tools of trade,
occupation or employment, guns, musical instruments, domestic
sewing machines, typewriters, bicycles, carts, wagons and other
highway vehicles, agricultural implements and live stock for the
farm, not to include live stock or articles for sale or for use as a
contractor's outfit, nor vehicles, nor implements moved by mechanical power, nor machinery for use in any manufacturing establishment; all the foregoing if actually owned abroad by the settler
for at least six months before his removal to Canada, and subject
to regulations prescribed by the Minister of Customs.
Provided that any dutiable article entered as settler's effects
may not be so entered unless brought in by the settler on his first A   Handbook   of   Information
arrival and shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of without
payment of duty until after twelve months' actual use in Canada.
On threshing machines, including engines and separators, the duty
is 20 per cent, of their valuation; automobiles, 35 per cent.; engines
alone, 271/2 per cent.; engines for farming operations, 20 per cent.
One head of horses or cattle fot each ten acres of land purchased
or otherwise secured up to 160 acres, and one head of sheep for
each acre of land will be admitted free. Other stock may be admitted
up to any number on a payment of 25 per cent, of valuation at the
point of entry. However, any number of registered stock may be
brought in duty free provided certificates of such registration  are
shown to the proper Customs officials. It may be well to take
special note that it does not pay to undertake to smuggle anything
in that is dutiable, otherwise such goods or chattels may be confiscated, or if not, an amount can be assessed against such articles
that would make it equivalent to confiscation. The owner or a
competent attendant should accompany the shipment to the
point of entry in ordir to pay the proper duty charges unless a
suitable certificate is secured before starting. Goods of every
nature may be forwarded in bond to any point of delivery, which
must be in that case a port of entry. Otherwise such shipment
will be sent to Calgary or to some other port of entry, and back
57 Canadian   Pacific   Railway
freight will be charged.    Very great inconvenience may be saved
by obtaining full information before making shipment.
Cattle, horses and sheep will be passed only upon a certificate
of a quarantine inspection officer. Swine are subject to quarantine
and should not be brought into Canada.
The Commercial Centre of Alberta.
Calgary is a live city with upwards of 300 retail stores, 115
wholesalers, 43 manufacturers, 17 banks, branches of practically
all the friendly societies, one morning and two afternoon daily
papers, several weekly and monthly publications, five clubs (The
Ranchers, St. Mary's, Alberta, Canadian and Young Men's), and
Young Men's Christian Association building costing $90,000;
excellent public schools, and various other educational institutions,
including High School, Western Canada College for boys, St. Hilda's
for girls, and Provincial Normal School completed at a cost of over
$150,000; General offices of the Canadian Pacific Railway western
officials, Government Offices, such as Land Titles Office, Court -
house, and Provincial Public Works Office, the palatial Grain
Exchange Building, costing upwards of $200,000, beautiful churches,
street-letter delivery, in fact, everything necessary to make an
up-to-date progressive city. The famous Calgary sandstone, which
is used so extensively in the erection of business blocks, public
buildings, wholesale houses, and manufacturing plants, gives the
city a beautiful and substantial appearance, which is most favorably
commented upon by all visitors. Calgary's business blocks, schools,
. churches, and many of its residences would be a credit to the larger
eastern and United States cities. A municipally owned street-car
system adds to the convenience of city life in Calgary, and two
companies have only recently completed very large street-paving
contracts. The 1910 building campaign is of the most aggressive
in the history of the city.
The city owns its sewer, electric light, street railway and gravity
waterworks systems, the latter being completed at a cost of $340,000.
Water is by this means taken from a point ten miles west of the
city, and in sufficient quantity to supply a city of at least 200,000
people. Brick and tile clay are to be found in large quantities in
the immediate vicinity.    Calgary can justly claim a population
59 A   Handbook   o
f   Information
of over 40,000 people. The latest returns show that since the
previous census, taken in July, 1907, the increase in the population
has been 12,000. At the same percentage of increase this city will
within the next two years have a population of 50,000.
Retail Prices of Commodities at Calgary.
In the preceding pages information has been given in regard
to the productiveness of our lands, the markets for agricultural
products raised there, prices and terms upon which farms can be
secured, and other information that may be of interest to the
To the farmer with limited resources, however, it is important
to know how far his capital will go and how it should be expended.
The cost of living is also a vital feature entering into his calculations.
The Company is anxious that every settler shall become prosperous
No. 1 Dimension
:■   ■■: :■.;•■ ;    V- ■%■ ■■-:                                    ■    "
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and satisfied, and it is, therefore, important that they should labor
under no misapprehension in regard to the conditions prevailing
in this country, so that they may not overestimate their resources
or fail today out their capital to the best advantage.
Wishing to obtain absolutely correct information, the Company quotes herewith the actual prices prevailing at Calgary on
the first day of July, 1910, upon various materials. It might be
mentioned that a discount of about 5 per cent, is often given for
cash, and that there is no reason why prices in the various towns
throughout the Irrigation Block and Central Alberta, on the commodities quoted, should be any higher than they are at Calgary.
In fact, owing to the smaller expense in connection with carrying
on business in a small town, the prices should, in some eases at
least, be lower.
The wages paid ordinary farm laborers ranges from $15.00 per
month upwards. Skilled hands generally receive $25.00 per month
for a year's engagement and $30.00 to $40.00 per month for a
summer's job.
2x 4
12 to 16 S.I.SJ.E....
2x 6
... 26.00
2x S
... 26.00
... 27.00
... 27.00
Add $1.00 per M for every 2 inches
over 12 in. wide.
Add $1.00 per M for every 2 ft. over
■   12 ft. long.
10 ft. stock same price as 20 ft.
Cedar dimensions $2.00 less than above.
3 in. plank, 10 to 16, rough $28.00
4x4    10 to 16, rough  28.00
6x6    10 to 16, rough  28.00
8x8, and larger, 10 to 16, rough 29.00
Add $1.00 per M for every 2 ft. over
16 ft.
No. 1 Common Boards.
4 in. wide, S.I.S $23.00
6 in.    "      "         24.00
8 in.    "       '        :   26.00
10 in. ■ "      "         26.00
12 in.    "      "           27.00
Cedar Boards, $1.00 per M less.
1-2 in. Shiplap    17.00
4 in.     "         24.00
6 in.     "         26.00
8 in.     "        27.00
4 in. and 6 in. No. 1 Mountain
Flooring  40.00
4 in. and 6 in. No. 2 Mountain
Flooring  37.00
4 in. and 6 in. No. 3 Mountain
Flooring  29.00
4 in. and 6 in. No. 1 Ceiling  40.00
4 in. and 6 in. No. 2 Ceiling  37.00
4 in. and 6 in. No. 3 Ceiling  29.00
1x6 No. 1 Drop Siding  40.00
1x6 No. 2 Drop Siding  37,. 00
1x6 No. 3 Drop Siding  29.00
No. 1 Cedar, Pine or Fir Lath.. 6.00
No. 1 Fir, Spruce and Larch Lath    6.00
No. 1 XXX Shingles  4.00
No. 2 XXX Shingles  3.00
No. 2 Lath  3.75
Nails     4%c per lb.
Barbed Wire     4}£c per lb.
Tar Paper $1.00 per roll
Building Paper     90c per roll
Gaspipe, 1 in.     10c per foot
Gaspipe, % in    Qy2c per foot
Stoves, Tools, Tinware,
10 per cent, above St. Paul
Harness and Saddlery.
Good     average     work
Harness  $45.00 per set
Collars, hand-made        $3.50 each
Single Buggy Harness....$15.00 and up
Halters     85c to $2.00
Saddles $4.50 to $75.00
Robes, Whips, Blankets, etc.,
Same as St. Paul
Steaks, Round  12i4c to 15c
Steaks, Porterhouse      18c to 20c
Roast Rib.      15c to 18c
Roast       8c to 15c
Corned Beef.       8c to 10c
Mutton Side 12%c to 15c
Mutton, Chops      15c to 18c
Mutton, Fore Quarter  I2y2c
Pork      15c to 20c
Sausage 12%c to 15c
Dressed Chicken      15c to 25c
Lard, bulk     48c to 20c
Salmon Steaks 12%c to 18c
Turkeys      25c to 30c
Potatoes  60c to 75c per bu.
Butter 30c to 35c per lb.
Eggs  30c to 45c
Gran. Sugar  6J£c per lb.
Brown Sugar  6c per lb.
Rolled Oats  2V£c per lb.
Fancy Flour $3.00 to $3.40 per 100 lbs.
Ham  24c per lb.
Bacon  26c per lb.
Tomatoes       12i4c per tin
Corn  2 tins 25c
Evap. Apples  2 lbs. 25c
Evap.      Peaches     and
Pears         12'/ic per lb.
Evap. Prunes    10c to 12'^clb.
Oranges   30c to 50c doz.
Lemons   25c to 35c doz.
Apples      $2.50 per box
Salt, bbl  $3.25
Soda Biscuits  10c per lb.
Tea   25c per lb. up
Coffee   25c per lb. up
Rice  5c per lb.
Beans  5c per lb.
Onions    3c to 5c per lb.
Tinned Salmon  15c to 20c
Jams, pure      5 lbs. for 75c
Table     and     Cooking
Syrup         75c per gal.
Cheese  20c per lb.
Baking Powder  25c per lb.
Kerosene Oil         40c per gal.
Gasoline  40c per gal.
Vinegar         60c per gal.
Starch  10c per lb.
Turnips  lc per lb.
Tinned Beef   20c—2 for 35c
61 Canadian   Pacific   Railway
Condensed Milk    15c—2 for 25c
Codfish   15c—2 for 25c
Spices . Same as St. Paul
Crockery Same as St. Paul
Live Stock.
Work Teams, 2,000 to 2,400 lbs. $250.00
Work Teams, 2,500 to 2,800 lbs. 350.00
Work Teams, 3,000 to 3,400 lbs. 500.00
Saddle Horses, well broken... 100.00
Steers, selling on foot.. 3^4c to 41/2C lb.
Grade Cows, fat $25.00 to $40.00
Sheep, off car 5.00 to     6.00
Hogs, off car 9c to 1054c lb.
Milch Cows, good $40.00 to 60.00
Pure Bred Stock.
Bulls $50.00 to $200.00
Heifers  40.00 to   100.00
Rams   15.00 to     40.00
Boars   12.00 to     30.00
Sows   10.00 to     40.00
Farm Implements  (Canadian).
2-furrow 12-inch Gang $ 65.00
16-disc 18-inch Disc Harrow... 49.00
Three-section   spike   tooth
Harrow     17.00
Single Disc 10-ft. Drill   100.00
Mower, 5-ft. Cut     65.00
Horse Rake, 10-ft     39.00
Binder complete, 8-ft   180.00
Wagon complete, 3-ton   100.00
Farm Implements (American).
Gang Plow, 2-furrow S 90.00
Disc Harrow, 16-16     47.00
Harrow, 3-sectkm spike tooth.. 30.00
Drill, 16-disc, 10-ft    115.00
Mower, 5 ft. cut $65.00
Horse Rake, 10 ft     38.00
Binder, complete, 8-ft   175.00
Wagon, complete, 3-ton   105.00
Dry Goods and Clothing.
Staple and Fancy Woolen Goods 10 to
25 per cent, cheaper than St. Paul.
Cotton Goods 25 p.c. higher
Boots and Shoes 10 p.a higher
Silks 10 p.c. cheaper
Wood-seat Chairs $  .55 upwards
Leather-seated Chairs... 1.50
Common Kitchen Tables 3.35
Dining Tables '.. 6.90
Sideboards 13.40
Bureaus  8.45
Washstands 3.85
Kitchen Cupboards 12.50
Iron Beds 3.55
Wire Springs  2.90
Mattresses  2.55
Wire Camp Cots 2.55
Canvas Camp Cots   2.00
Pillows, 3 lbs. each 60
Couches  6.35
Window Shades 40
Sheeting, plain or twill,
per yard 30
Sheets, per pair   1.50
Blankets, white, per pair 3.65
Blankets, grey, per pair. 2.10
Carpets,    all-wool    and
Union 35-52c
Carpet Squares, all-wool $7.45
Carpet Squares, Union.. 4.45
Toilet Sets    1.75
Lethbridge Coai $6.50
Clover Bar   6.50
Galbraith Domestic   5.50
Coal in Irrigation Block    1.50 to $2 at mine
Brick $16.00 per M
Lime     2.25 per bbl.
Publications of the Canadian Pacific Railway Colonization Department.
Besides this free booklet, the following publications may be
obtained, postage prepaid, on application to the Company at
Calgary, Alberta, Canada:
"THE STAFF OF LIFE." A folder dealing with wheat
production, giving land values, markets, expert opinions, comparative crop statistics and possibilities of the non-irrigated lands
of  the  Bow Valley. FREE
"IRRIGATION FARMING." Diversified farming and
stock raising is the foundation upon which all irrigation projects
rest. This book gives the business aspect of the industry in the
Irrigation Block, and shows that upon its rich alfalfa meadows
live-stock feeding and dairying lead to certain success. Every
up-to-date farmer nowadays is a stockman, and this book will
appeal to that class FREE
"PUBLIC OPINION." A publication giving the opinions of
the most prominent writers and agricultural experts of the continent
who have visited the Bow Valley, coupled with the statements of
farmers actually settled on the land FREE
"SETTLER'S GUIDE." A text book, useful to any farmer,
giving valuable information in regard to farming practice upon
irrigated and non-irrigated lands in northerly latitudes. This
work was compiled for the Company at great expense both with
regard to time and money FIVE CENTS
album of views, measuring 10 x 12 inches, bound with heavy silk
cord, and in every respect a work of art, and an interesting souvenir
of Southern Alberta. These twenty-four views bring the varied
beauties and possibilities of the great Province of Alberta and the
Irrigation Block within the range of your vision ONE DOLLAR
(Subject to change at any rime.)
Carload lots Less than
of 24,000 lbs. carload lots.
Portland, Oregon, via Sumas, B.C $152.00 $1.52 per cwt.
Chicago, via N. Portal, Sask     85.00 1.27
Kansas City, via N. Portal, Sask.. .    101.00 1.52
Omaha, via N. Portal, Sask     99.00 1.47
St. Paul, via N. Portal, Sask     45.00 .67
Denver, via St. Paul & N. Portal, Sask..   175.00 2.52
New York, via Buffalo    195.60 1.63
New York, via Odgensburg   173.40 1.50
Buffalo, New York    156.00 1.24
Helena, Montana   109.00 1.36
Idaho Falls, Idaho   298.40 3.32^
Spokane, Wash    118.40 1.32^
From Ontario Points    136.50 1.14
For Further Information "Write
Pacific Railway
Calgary, Alberta,
General Agents
618 Riverside Avenue
American Edition, July, 1910
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