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PEN PICTURES FROM CANADA.

• | From Our Own Correspondent. ] Canada, has just been celebrating the twenty-second birthday of her confederation. " The Dominion," chosen as the title of the new confederacy, though somewhat vague, has at least one precedent in early colonial history, the colony of Virginia having been thus termed in some of the seventeenth century patents.' Even now, especially by the descendants of the early settlers, it is spoken of colloquially' as tho "Old Dominion." These twenty-two years of our Dominion's existence represent a vast amount of procress. Two great railway systems—the Intercolonial and the Canadian Pacific—havo been constructed, the first covering | 1,202 miles, and the second hating 4,979 miles in operation. The Intercolonial connects the maritime provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with the railway systems of Old Canada; while tho Canadian Pacific—always spoken of astheO.P.R.— belts the continent at its widest point, and joins the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The idea of spanning the wide stretch of land of mountains and valleys between these two mighty seas had long been in the air, having been mooted as early as 1851, when the Canadian Legislature appointed a committee to inquire into tho feasibility of the undertaking, there being at the time only ninety-three miles of railway in the whole of tho British North American provinces. The Committee, though concluding it could not be attempted then, yet deemed it their duty to state " tiie scheme ought not to be regarded as visionary and impracticable." Tho germ of confidence in this report grew like the mustard seed. Governments waxed and waned, and sometimes energy flagged ; but when in ISSO the contract was signed— Sir John M'Donald's Government having recognised a company—in four years and nine months from that date the road was completed, and the contract became law. Sir George Stephens was the president. He made the road and the road made him. When tho celebrated Wykeham, of Henry VIII.'s days had completed Windsor Castle, he inscribed over the principal entrance, in ktters of stone " Hoc fecit Wykeham." The King was wroth. It was his money that had built it, and he brought the architect to task. "Oh," said the astute courtier, "I meant that this work made Wykeham, not that Wykeham made it," and the letters remain to this day. In like manner, may be read in both ways, " Hoc fecit Stephens." He went into the work plain George, with plenty of brains and few dollars, and came out Sir George, a man of fame and fortune too. In gratitude, or pleased with success, he presented tho wife of the Premier, Lady M'Donald, with a set of diamonds costing 25,000d01. There were those who Baid this was a bribe ; but whoever heard of a bribe being given when the contract had been carried out ? However, a short time after, when Sir George gave half a million dollars towards the building and endowing of a hospital, ill-nature had nothing to say. Besides the Intercolonial and the C.P.R., we have the Canada Atlantic running from Ottawa to Rouse Point, New York State, a distance of 135 mile 3. Although a comparatively new line, it has earned for itself an enviable rcputatiou, being the first railway in Canada running trains lighted by electricity—the Jnlien storage system being used—and the first to have them heated by steam from the engine; so that there is neither furnace nor oil lamp in the whole train, and although outside the thermometer may be many degrees below v.ero, inside it is like summer, and reading in the car is as easy as in the best hotel. Altogether Canada lias at the present time 13,000 miles of completed railway. Toronto, the seat of the Provincial Government, stands on a gentle slope on a bay of Lake Outario, The province of Ontario is the wealthiest, most populous, and most advanced in culture and all the arts of moelern civilisation, but the worst named. It sounds as if the province lay mostly or wholly on that lake, whereas it reaches to Hudson Bay in the north, and has her western coast washed by the waters of Lakes Superior, Huron, and Erie—all inland seas ; not counting what wo call the Little St. Clair, which, however, if in England, would be reckoned amongst the great lakes. So that you will agree with me tnat " Lakeland " would have been a much more appropriate name. Toronto isnoted for its schools and churches. There are two universities. The Nou sectarian is an imposing structure of beautiful design in stone, in a spacious park, and as a seat of learning is second to none in the Dominion. Trinity, the Anglican University, in her ecclesiastic teachings inculcates the tenets of the High Church party ; Wycliffe College those of the Low ; while Knox instructs the Presbyterian youth in the belief of their forbears; M'Master Hall gathering under her care the Baptist youth ; and St. Michael's instilling into the young who enter her doors Roman Cathoreism. There are two schools of medicine, one of chemistry, one of dentistry, and a veterinary college, a normal and two model schools, a collegiate and three free public schools the Ryer son, the Wellesley, and the Dufferin—of which any city might be proud, besides a vast number of respectable free schools in every part of the city, I said Toronto was noted for her churches. Their name is legion, and that they are not merely for ornament is shown in the fact that the city is the most orderly and most Sabbath-observing of any city of her size on tho continent. Go where you will Sunday mornings you will see people flocking to church in every street and down every lane. In the evening the panorama is repeated, and in the afternoon the children everywhere are crowding the pavement on their way to Sunday school. Toronto is a wealthy city, but has few millionaires. The wealth ia happily divided amongst a great many people, and though there are seen few lordly palaces, there is a vast number of very fine residences, one beauty about them being the great variety of their architecture, unlike the Dutch gardens, where " each alley hath its brother." In tho residence streets the fences have been removed, exposing the beautifully kept lawns, thereby adc'fctg ereatly to the appearance, for the fences were seldom uniform either in pattern or material. Even if they were, this man kept his trim, that let his go shabby. One was every now and then giving his "picket" fence a fresh coat of paint; the other said " It's a rentod house; I'm not going to paint another man's old fence if it's never painted "—thus giving* patchy look to the whole. The streets are lined on either side with trees of thick foliage, and with a wide grassy boulevard (commonly pronounced " bullyvard," and in time, I suppose, will even get written " bully vard"). Such is the American ten dency. Lengthwise, on the other side of Toronto harbor, is the Island, an accessible pleasure resort for the people in summer, where the children run barefoot on the fresh water sea shore, and are as happy as the day is long. On the western extremity is Hanlan's hotel; and it was in an old tavern on the same spot where the once famous sculler was born, and in Toronto harbor where he learned his skill. He learned to be fearless in the water in his early days when he used to sail in a tub, being too poor to own a boat. In fact he almost grow up on the water. One day he rowed away to avoid a creditor, turned up at an American regatta, beat every oarsman and sculler at it, and came j back a hero. Nobody knew or cared any- j thing about his departure. His return was i a triumph. Every steamer was out in the bay packed with humanity. There was no,t a schooner in the harbor that waa not crowded to her topmost yards with people eager to shout him a welcome home. The boys, when the boats and canoes ran out, I took to the water on rafts, and some there were on single planks. In the evening he was the honored guest at a great banquet, : His history is another instance of the muta: bility of human affairs. .Every newspaper , resounded his name, and proposals were even made to name the island after him, to make him free of taxes, to exempt him as a kind of eacred character. Now "there is none so poor as to do him reverence." He comes and goes without a word. The Ist of July is New Canada's birthday. It ia a. public holiday, and the hum of business is not heard. This year the day was kept as befits a young country proud of her achievements. In Torpnto one of the ' principal features of attraqtion. yfas a, mon-

ster representative procession three miles in length, headed by our city f athersin carriages. After thenTmarched co'nipanies of our best drilled volunteers with their military bands, followed by some of our Jack tars. The • sots of England, of-Scotland, and of Canada, all in their colors, tramped by the sound of music. The Orangemen were not far behind with their flags and fife and drum bands, and in the same procession were happy Irishmen wearing their favorite green. Amongst those who called forth the loudest cheers from tho crowds thronging the sidewalks were companies of boys from our public schools. They had been well drilled, and they walked behind their banners with regular step and form erect—with a look that Eeemed to say "We won't disgrace our school." All tho professions and trades were represented, but it was the butchers that bore away the palm. They were there in hundreds; all in uniform (white coats and cap 3), and all mounted on splendid horses, every horse's head being decked with long feathers, of bluo, orange, green, red, purple, and white. The restive steeds with their nod, nodding, kept the gay plumes constantly waving, and when the 'prentice boys came by, all in white too, and mounted on decorated ponies, a striking drama was complete. No one seemed to kno wTorontohad scmany butchers, butwhen we remembered we were 175,000 beef-eaters, their numbers did not seem so incongruous. Another eulogised part of the procession was the fire brigade. Their fine stature and I brave appearance, their new red clothes, ' and the freshly painted bright red reels, [ carts, hook and ladder waggons, etc., all j added picturesqueness to the panorama. ! The van of the procession landed in the Exhibition grounds just as the rear was leaving the City Hall, tho starting place. Food for the tired and hot wayfarers was awaiting them, and when the inner man had been refreshed fun and frolic began, such as tugs-of-war and the throwing of hammers, all requiring strength, but it was ! not work. If they did not like they need not engage in it, and they went at it with a will and determination that duties and obligations seldom call forth. The question of questions—that of Jesuit incorporation and endowment—about which public opinion has for the last year been in a condition of continually increasing expectancy and excitement, and which threatens to divide the cnuntry on the lines of religion and race, obliterating the old party distincti- r,s of Conservative and Reformer, ' :■■". now reached fever heat. The troui-.c Li-gun, as you doubtless have heard, in liio passage of the now celebrated Act of the Quebec Legislature in the session of 18S8, placing 400,000d0l at the disposal of the Pope as compensation for certain estates which, before the dissolution of the Order by Pope Clement XIV. (1773), had belonged to the Jesuit fathers. Ia 1774, just after the conquest cf Canada from the French, the British Government instructed the Governor of Canada " that the Society of Jesus should be suppressed and dissolved, and no longer continue a body corporate and politic, and that all their rights and privileges should be vested in the Crown for such purposes as the Crown may hereafter think fit to appoint." So that the argument set up by the Jesuits that Clement's order to dissolve was not published in Canada has nothing to do with the matter; the British Government's order forbidding their existence was published, and that is what concerns us. With the humanity that marks British rule all members of the Order in Canada in 1774 were granted life pensions. For more than three quarters of a century no Jesuits entered our land, but forty-eight years ago a little band of them appeared, anel when, a few years since, France ttraed the plotters adrift, Quebec received them with open arms. No sooner were they domiciled than they began their old tricks. Their first demand was for 990,000d0l of public Canadian funds, which their procurator termed "my reasonable and moderate proposition." After a species of haggling between Premier Mercier, the Jesuits, and the Pope, the sum was brought down to 400,000d01, about which the Pope's agent wrote, in his official capacity, to Premier Mercier: "Small as they (the offers) are, yet, hoping that the Holy See will agree to them, and be pleased to ratify them, I have the honor to be—A. D. Tprgeojt." Holy See aijrce to and be pleased to ratify what is to be done with 400,000d0l of our public money ! Do you New Zealanders allow the Pope to dispose of your public funds ? I trow not. Neither do we mean to let His Holiness put his bands into our Canadian treasury. A subject of such grave importance cannot be treated satisfactorily at the end of a letter. I will make it plainer next month, and let you in' o the secret of our plans to keep Canada for the Canadians, and not let any foreign potentate, be he who he may, usurp authority that belongs to our beloved Queen. Toronto, July 20.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890831.2.33.7

Bibliographic details

PEN PICTURES FROM CANADA., Evening Star, Issue 8000, 31 August 1889, Supplement

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2,332

PEN PICTURES FROM CANADA. Evening Star, Issue 8000, 31 August 1889, Supplement

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