MP-0000.2328.13 | Immigrants arriving at Winnipeg station, MB, about 1909
Immigrants arriving at Winnipeg station, MB, about 1909
Canadian Pacific Railway Company
About 1909, 20th century
Ink on paper - Halftone
10 x 7 cm
Gift of Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
© McCord Museum
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Keys to History
These immigrants detraining at the Winnipeg station had likely come under the policy crafted by Sir Clifford Sifton, named Minister of the Interior in 1896. Faced with a shortage of labour that was preventing Canada from meeting the growing demand for its wheat, the Minister resolved to populate the Prairies. To attract large numbers of immigrants to the West, he conducted aggressive recruiting campaigns in Europe and the U.S. The Canadian Pacific Railway ran special trains to carry the newcomers to their Prairie homes. The transcontinental train had been operating since 1886, and the towns and villages that had sprung up along the tracks flourished with the arrival of these neo-Canadians.
Source : Disasters and Calamities [Web tour], by Nathalie Lampron (see Links)
The Canadian Pacific Railway opened its Winnipeg station in 1904. Over the following decade, thousands of immigrants crossed the Beaux-Arts Classical style building on the way to their new homesteads.
In the final decades of the 19th century, newcomers to the Canadian West settled on lands adjacent to the railroad, which played a major role in the development of the Prairies.
In July 1886, a passenger train crossed Canada from east to west for the very first time, travelling from Montreal, Quebec, to Port Moody, British Columbia.
Clifford Sifton (1861-1929) was Canada's Minister of the Interior from 1896 to 1905 under Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier. The Sifton Plan was an aggressive immigration policy that drew thousands of new immigrants to the country.