Research post on “Painters and posters” (1850 – 1895)

141 Survey of design

Canada started to become more “civilized” by gaining workers for the country in forms of immigrants from all over the world. Many of those new immigrants to Canada were poor people in their own country and saw the promises of land given to them, where they could grow their food and live, as an appealing offer.   People would learn of such promises from posters in their own country that would look extremely promising which would give hope for a better life.

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“Build Your Nest in Western Canada” Immigration Poster

Almost all of such newcomers became farmers and greatly contributed to the profit of their new home country. However, agriculture wasn’t the only area of progress. In February of 1881, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company was incorporated to spur westward construction through the rugged mountain passes and deep canyons of British Columbia to a terminus at Burrard Inlet, Vancouver. At first, the process was slow and only 211 km was built in the first year which lead to chief engineer and general superintendent to get fired. After establishing a contract with thousands of Chinese workers, the building of the rail began again.

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Chinese workers constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway

Even though Chinese covered 6 miles with rail tracks in only one day, their payment was terribly small. Their jobs weren’t the safest either since they had to work with highly explosive dynamite. Two Chinese workers would die for every mile of truck laid. The rail road was finished around 1885, following by 1886 the first transcontinental train leaving from Montreal and Toronto to Port Moody.

Train of Canadian Pacific Railway

After the completion of the railway, the C.P.R. promoted the settlement of the Prairie provinces through the sale of farm land. This brought even more travelers and future workers to Canada.


“The New El Dorado” – Attracting Settlers to the West

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