The Making of Canada
Originally planned to serve a political purpose, writes George Woodcock, the Canadian Pacific has played an important part in the general development of the modern Dominion.
In 1841, on the first stage of a voyage around the world, the Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Sir George Simpson, set off across the unsettled territories that now form central and western Canada. He started from Lachine, near Montreal, proceeded by canoe and portage to Fort Garry on the Red River, rode by horse across the prairies to the trading post at Edmonton, went through the Rockies on the trails used by the fur brigades, and finally reached the Columbia River, down which he sailed to the Pacific coast at Fort Vancouver. Simpson travelled by the fastest means available in his day, and it took him almost three months to go from the St. Lawrence to the Pacific.