Here is another installment of the Small Town series. Today's country is Canada. All of these small towns have 50,000 inhabitants or less. I will be covering 10 different towns in today's post. I have included as much as I can about each small town.
Cornwall is a city in Eastern Ontario, Canada, and is Ontario's easternmost city, located on the Saint Lawrence River.
Cornwall lies on the 45th parallel, approximately 100 km (62 mi) southeast of Ottawa, the national capital, 120 km (75 mi) southwest of Montreal, Quebec's largest city, and 440 km (270 mi) northeast of Toronto, the provincial capital and Canada's largest city. It is named after the English Duchy of Cornwall; the City's coat of arms is based on that of the duchy with its colours reversed and the addition of a "royal tressure", a Scottish symbol of royalty. Aboriginal peoples have lived in and around the area of present-day Cornwall for millennia. Though accounts suggest Europeans filtered into the area and had scattered settlements for some time, the first documented European settlement was established in 1784 by United Empire Loyalists, primarily from the former British colony of New York. After the war for American independence, former colonial soldiers loyal to the Crown and other disbanded soldiers and their families began to settle at the site of Cornwall, then called New Johnstown. Many of the new arrivals were of German origin, with the town being named for Johnstown, New York where many came from. The main group were led by Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Johnson and were soldiers from the First Battalion King's Royal Regiment of New York and a contingent of the 84th Royal Highland Emigrants.
Following the success of rebellious colonists in the American Revolution, many of those on afraid for their lives or uncomfortable in the newly independent United States would become "United Empire Loyalists", as they were later called, and migrated to Canada. The British government helped them settle throughout the Canadas as a reward for their loyalty and to compensate them for their losses in the United States. One of the chief settlement regions was the St Lawrence River valley, from Kingston to Cornwall, which would later be known as "loyalist country". They founded a settlement on the site formerly called Pointe Maligne by French colonists and renamed it "Royal Settlement #2", and, later, "New Johnstown".
It was later renamed Cornwall by the British for the Duke of Cornwall by proclamation of Prince George, and in 1834 the town became one of the first incorporated municipalities in the British colony of Upper Canada. The construction of the Cornwall Canal between 1834 and 1842 accelerated the community's development into a regional and industrial economic "capital" for a growing hinterland of towns and villages. In 1846, the population was about 1,600 and there were many brick and stone houses as well as a stone courthouse and jail. Several government offices were located here. There was little industry, except for a foundry and two tanneries, but many independent tradesmen of various types worked there. Other amenities included two bank agencies, eight taverns and a ladies' school.Canal and lock construction in the late 1800s and early 1900s brought work and international business. The Grand Trunk Railway (now CN Rail) built an east–west line through Cornwall in 1856. The New York and Ottawa Railway (NY&O) followed with a north–south line crossing the St. Lawrence, with a station in Cornwall dating to 1898. Canadian Pacific created a succession of subsidiaries and plans for a Cornwall line starting in the 1880s, culminating in the Glengarry and Stormont Railway in 1915, which connected to CP's Ontario and Quebec Railway mainline to the northeast, creating an alternative route to Montréal.
These Railway connections provided connections between Cornwall and local communities that required access to public services in Cornwall itself, such as high schools and medical services, and helped cement Cornwall's position as a regional centre for a large, rapidly expanding and increasingly populated rural hinterland. The network of villages and towns surrounding Cornwall helped make the city a local entrepot for business, commerce, media and services. In 1944, the city was rocked by the magnitude 5.8 Cornwall–Massena earthquake. There were no deaths or injuries reported, but several chimneys were destroyed or damaged, along with heavy damage to historical masonry structures. For example, the Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School received heavy damage from masonry work falling through the roof of the gymnasium. Situated west of Cornwall along the St. Lawrence River were several smaller communities. Now known as the Lost Villages, the communities were permanently flooded in 1958 during the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway as the massive Moses-Saunders Power Dam at the western end of the city required a reservoir. The villages were flooded when it was filled. Much of the Cornwall region's local character also changed at this time.
Vernon- 47,274 inhabitants
Vernon is a city in the Okanagan region of the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada. It is 440 km (270 mi) northeast of Vancouver. Named after Forbes George Vernon, a former MLA of British Columbia who helped establish the Coldstream Ranch in nearby Coldstream. The City of Vernon was incorporated on December 30, 1892. With this population, Vernon is the largest city in the North Okanagan Regional District. A resident of Vernon is called a "Vernonite". In 2005, on an episode of The Early Show, Vernon was ranked as one of the top six most desirable communities to retire to in North America by Consumer Reports.
The site of the city was discovered by the Okanagan people, a tribe of the Interior Salish people, who initially named the community Nintle Moos Chin, meaning "jumping over place where the creek narrows". This name refers to a section of the Swan Lake that passes through Downtown Vernon, the community's central business district. Some of these were part of the Okanagan Indian Band, a First Nations government part of the Okanagan Nation Alliance. This was followed by Priest's Valley, which serves as an Indian reserve, and its present name, in honour of Forbes George Vernon, a pioneer member part of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Yale. The Okanagan people settled around the city's two lakes, Okanagan Lake and Swan Lake, obtaining seasonal sources of food. In that same decade, a section of a road near Fort Kamloops became its first road. Pleasant Valley Road, north of that street, was also historically developed. In 1811, fur traders began travelling around the area. After one of these, David Stuart, began working with the Pacific Fur Company, which was bought out by the North West Company; Luc Girouard became the first white settler. However, the North West Company was forced to merge with the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821. Fur traders decided to camp in Vernon, which started to develop in 1863, following a gold discovery at the Cherry Creek, Monashee Mountains, Mission Creek and the east side of Okanagan Lake. After the development began, numerous ranches were constructed. Centreville, the community's original central business district, was formed in 1885. That same year, a post office, hotel, general store, and school house was constructed. A Hudson's Bay Company store was established in 1887, in a rough wooden structure. Historically a major economic hub destination in the Okanagan, Vernon was home to many cattle ranches and fruit orchard areas, attracting British families.
Vernon's growth accelerated beginning in 1891, after the Canadian Pacific Railway was opened in the Okanagan and Shuswap regions of the British Columbia Interior, connecting in Sicamous, a town in the Shuswap area; services by this railway were offered to Vernon by 1891, in addition to its neighbourhood of Okanagan Landing. Shortly after, the stern-wheeler S.S. Aberdeen was launched by the Canadian Pacific Railway for use on Okanagan Lake in 1893 connecting Vernon to Penticton at the south end of Okanagan Lake, and points between. Fruit trees were planted in Vernon, which first grew by the early 1890s, while water supplies were shipped to the community by canal in 1906 for use at local orchard or farm areas. In 1908, the Okanagan Mounted Rifles military program was formed in it, thus bringing a number of people to the area during World War I and World War II for lessons. Vernon was incorporated as a city on December 30, 1892, with a city hall formed in 1903 for the governing body, which included a fire hall and a public reading space. The following year, it was declared the largest municipality in the Okanagan and first of which to contain a bank and telephone. As population expanded, more services were made available at Vernon, while its city centre switched from Coldstream Road to 30th Avenue. A school and Vernon Jubilee Hospital were public services made available in 1909. Despite a growth drop during World War I, citizens voted to open a new high school, sports stadium, and, later, a shopping mall, Village Green Centre, and library, in the city.
Timmins- 42,997 inhabitants
Timmins is a city in northeastern Ontario, Canada, on the Mattagami River.The city's economy is based on natural resource extraction and is supported by industries related to lumbering and to the mining of gold, zinc, copper, nickel and silver. Timmins serves as a regional service and distribution centre. The city has a large Francophone community, with more than 50% bilingual in French and English. Research performed by archaeologists indicate that human settlement in the area is at least 6,000 years old; it's believed the oldest traces found are from a nomadic people of the Shield Archaic culture. Up until contact with settlers, the land belonged to the Mattagami First Nation peoples. Treaty Number Nine of 1906 pushed this tribe to the north side of the Mattagami Lake, the site of a Hudson's Bay trading post first established in 1794. In the 1950s, the reserve was relocated to the south side of the lake, to its present-day location.
Gold discoveries in the Porcupine Camp during the early years of the 20th Century attracted investors to the area. According to local folklore, on June 9, 1909, Harry Preston slipped on a rocky knoll and the heels of his boots stripped the moss to reveal a large vein of gold, which later became the Dome Mine. Another theory on how gold was discovered in the Timmins region is that an Indigenous man led Harry Preston to the location where he knew gold would be found. These however, are only folklore stories commonly known by citizens of Timmins. The true way gold was discovered remains unknown. On October 9, 1909, Benny Hollinger discovered the gold-bearing quartz dike that later became known as the Hollinger Mines. Brothers Noah Timmins and Henry Timmins bought Benny Hollinger's share from him, thus partnering with Hollinger's employers, the McMartin brothers. On the same day as the Hollinger discovery, Sandy McIntyre discovered the McIntyre Mine near Pearl Lake, four miles away.
These mines are known as the "Big Three". Hollinger Mines was incorporated in 1910 with five equal partners consisting of former Mattawa, Ontario shopkeeper brothers, Noah and Henry Timmins; Duncan and John McMartin, also brothers; and Mattawa attorney David Alexander Dunlapes (1863–1924). In November 1912, 1,200 members of the Western Federation of Miners Local 145 held a strike at all three mines in response to a proposal to lower their wages. Mine operators hired gun thugs, who fired on the picket line and were ordered out by the provincial government. After months without work, many men chose to leave the settlement; only 500 miners returned to work in July 1913. The strike won the men a nine-hour workday and a pay increase. The Great Depression did not adversely affect the economy of the area, and jobs were available in mining and lumber. The gold mines declined in the 1950s.
The area became home to dozens of prospectors during the "Porcupine Gold Rush" who explored the areas around Porcupine Lake and the Frederick House River. Rich ore deposits in the Canadian Shield led to Timmins being founded as a company town to house Hollinger employees. In 1912, mine manager Alphonse "Al" Paré named the mining settlement for his uncle, Noah Timmins, who was President of Hollinger Mines. Most settlers grouped around Porcupine Lake and the Dome, one mile from the lake. Four miles down the road, around the McIntyre Mine, the hamlet of Schumacher was established. The rail system that began to operate around Timmins in 1911 accelerated the growth of the camp. That same year, two days after the first train arrived in the Porcupine, the entire camp was destroyed in the fire of 1911, although the area was rebuilt within two months.
In 1917, a dam was built at Kenogamissi Falls, downriver from Mattagami Lake, to provide power for the Timmins-Porcupine mining camp; Mattagami Lake was consequently flooded.
In 1973, 35 townships covering 1,260 square mile, including Porcupine, South Porcupine, Schumacher, and Timmins were organized into the City of Timmins. In the 1990s, the City of Timmins became a regional service and distribution centre for Northeastern Ontario.
Charlottetown- 42,402 inhabitants
Charlottetown is the capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, and the county seat of Queens County. Named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom, Charlottetown was originally an unincorporated town that incorporated as a city in 1855. It was famously the site of the Charlottetown Conference in 1864, the first gathering of Canadian and Maritime statesmen to debate the proposed Maritime Union and the more persuasive British North American Union, now known as Canadian Confederation, although PEI itself would not join Confederation until 1873, six years after it was formed in 1867. From this, the city adopted as its motto Cunabula Foederis—"Birthplace of Confederation".
Early history (1720–1900)
The first European settlers in the area were French; personnel from Fortress Louisbourg founded a settlement in 1720 named Port La Joye on the southwestern part of the harbour opposite the present-day city. This settlement was led by Michel Haché-Gallant, who used his sloop to ferry Acadian settlers from Louisbourg. During King George's War, the British had taken over the Island. French officer Ramezay sent 500 men to attack the British troops in the Battle at Port-la-Joye. The French were successful in killing or capturing forty British troops. In August 1758, at the height of the French and Indian War, a British fleet took control of the settlement and the rest of the island, promptly deporting those French settlers that they could find in the Ile Saint-Jean Campaign (this being fully three years after the initial Acadian Expulsion in Nova Scotia). British forces built Fort Amherst near the site of the abandoned Port La Joye settlement to protect the entrance to the harbour. Charlottetown was selected as the site for the county seat of Queens County in the colonial survey of 1764 by Captain Samuel Holland of the Royal Engineers.
A year later, Charlottetown was made the colonial capital of St. John's Island. Further surveys conducted between 1768–1771 established the street grid and public squares which can be seen in the city's historic district. The town was named in honour of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen consort of the United Kingdom as the wife of King George III. On November 17, 1775, during the American Revolution, the colony's new capital was ransacked by Massachusetts-based privateers in the Raid on Charlottetown (1775). During the attack, the colonial seal was stolen and several prisoners, including Phillips Callbeck and Thomas Wright, were taken to Cambridge, Massachusetts and later released. In 1793, land had been set aside by Governor Fanning on the western limits of the community for use by the "Administrator of Government" (the Governor), and as such it became known informally as "Fanning's Bank" or just "Fanning Bank". On November 29, 1798, St. John's Island was renamed to Prince Edward Island in honour of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn who was the Commander-in-Chief, North America. In 1805, the local British garrison constructed a harbour defence called "Fort Edward" to the west of the capital's waterfront and the "Prince Edward Battery" manned this facility. In 1835, "Government House" was constructed at Fanning Bank as a residence for the colony's Governor. Today, it serves as the official residence for the Lieutenant Governor.
Between 1843 and 1847, a new legislative building was constructed in the community. Named the Colonial Building originally, following Confederation with Canada it gradually became known as "Province House". The completion of this structure with Isaac Smith as builder/architect was an important milestone in the history of the capital and it is still in use today as the provincial legislature as well as a National Historic Site, and is currently the second-oldest legislative seat in Canada. On April 17, 1855, Charlottetown was incorporated as a city, holding its first council meeting on August 11 of that year. The community had 6,500 residents at the time of incorporation. Prince Edward Island entered Confederation on July 1, 1873. Aside from being the seat of colonial government, the community came to be noted during the early nineteenth century for shipbuilding and its lumber industry as well as being a fishing port. The shipbuilding industry declined in the latter part of the nineteenth century.
On June 14, 1873 the "Government House Farm" at Fanning Bank was designated a municipal park, named Victoria Park in honour of Queen Victoria. In August 1874, the Prince Edward Island Railway opened its main line between Charlottetown and Summerside. The railway, along with the shipping industry, would continue to drive industrial development on the waterfront for several decades to come. The province's first health care facility, the Charlottetown Hospital, was opened by the Diocese of Charlottetown in 1879, which was followed by the publicly operated Prince Edward Island Hospital in 1884.
Modern history (1900–present)
Religion played a central role in the development of Charlottetown's institutions with non-denominational (i.e. Protestant) and Roman Catholic public schools (Catholic Queen Square, Notre Dame, and St Joseph's vs. Protestant West Kent and Prince Street), hospitals (Prince Edward Island Hospital vs. Charlottetown Hospital), and post-secondary institutions (Prince of Wales College vs. St. Dunstan's University) being instituted. St. Dunstan's was originally developed as a seminary for training priests, and the Maritime Christian College was founded in 1960 to train preachers for the Christian churches and churches of Christ in Prince Edward Island and the Maritime Provinces.
As with most communities in North America, the automobile shaped Charlottetown's development in the latter half of the twentieth century, when outlying farms in rural areas of Brighton, Spring Park, and Parkdale saw increased housing developments. The Charlottetown airfield in the nearby rural community of Sherwood was upgraded as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and operated for the duration of World War II as RCAF Station Charlottetown, in conjunction with RCAF Station Mount Pleasant and RCAF Station Summerside.
After the war the airfield was designated Charlottetown Airport. Charlottetown's shipyards were used extensively during World War II, being used for refits and upgrades to numerous Royal Canadian Navy warships. Further post-war development continued to expand residential properties in adjacent outlying areas, particularly in the neighbouring farming communities of Sherwood, West Royalty, and East Royalty.
In 1959, the suburban village of Spring Park was amalgamated into the city, extending the city's northern boundary from Kirkwood Drive to Hermitage Creek and included the campus of St. Dunstan's University.
To commemorate the centennial of the Charlottetown Conference, the ten provincial governments and the Government of Canada contributed to a national monument to the "Fathers of Confederation". The Confederation Centre of the Arts, which opened in 1964, is a gift to the residents of Prince Edward Island, and contains a public library, nationally renowned art gallery, and a mainstage theatre which has played to the Charlottetown Festival every summer since.
In the 1960s, new public schools were constructed in the community, and in 1969 the city became home to the amalgamated University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), located on the campus of the former St. Dunstan's University. Together with the federal Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food's Charlottetown Experimental Farm (also known as Ravenwood Farm), these properties comprise a large green space surrounded by the city. The Prince of Wales College downtown campus became part of a new provincial community college system named Holland College, in honour of the island's famous surveyor. The PEI Comprehensive Development Plan in the late 1960s greatly contributed to the expansion of the provincial government in Charlottetown for the next decade.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital opened in 1982. In 1983, the national headquarters of the federal Department of Veterans Affairs was moved to Charlottetown as part of a nationwide federal government decentralization programme. In 1986, UPEI expanded further with the opening of the Atlantic Veterinary College. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, there was increased commercial office and retail development. A waterfront hotel and convention centre was completed in 1982 and helped to encourage diversification and renewal in the area, leading to several residential complexes and downtown shopping facilities. The abandonment of rail service in the province by CN Rail in December 1989 led to the railway and industrial lands at the east end of the waterfront being transformed into parks and cultural attractions. In the late 1990s and 2000s, the retail landscape changed with the opening of big box stores on the site of former traditional shopping centres and in new developments in the northern suburbs, particularly the neighbourhood of West Royalty, which is a key road junction. On April 1, 1995, Charlottetown amalgamated with the Town of Parkdale and the incorporated communities of East Royalty, Hillsborough Park, Sherwood, West Royalty, and Winsloe. At the same time, the amalgamated Charlottetown annexed Queens Royalty. The central business district continues to undergo incremental expansion as government and private sector office space is constructed and new institutional space is built or retrofitted, however retail space in the CBD has suffered as a result of outlying big box retail construction in recent years.
Grande Prairie- 41, 462 inhabitants
Grande Prairie is a city in northwest Alberta, Canada within the southern portion of an area known as Peace River Country. It is located at the intersection of Highway 43) and Highway 40 (the Bighorn Highway), approximately 456 km (283 mi) northwest of Edmonton. The city is surrounded by the County of Grande Prairie No. 1. The city adopted the trumpeter swan as an official symbol due to its proximity to the migration route and summer nesting grounds of this bird. For that reason, Grande Prairie is sometimes nicknamed the "Swan City". The dinosaur has emerged as an unofficial symbol of the city due to paleontology discoveries in the areas north and west of the Grande Prairie.
Grande Prairie was named for the large prairie which lies to the north, east, and west of it. In the 18th century, the prairie was occupied by bands of the Dane-zaa (Beaver) peoples, who began trading with the North West Company at Dunvegan in the early 19th century. The earliest recorded reference to the prairie was by trader Samuel Black in 1824. In 1880, a Hudson's Bay Company post called La Grande Prairie was established by George Kennedy 15 mi (24 km) northwest of the present city. In the late 19th century, the prairie was settled by Cree and Iroquois from around Jasper and Lac Ste. Anne. When 17 townships were surveyed for homesteading in 1909, a land rush soon followed, with many settlers arriving over the Edson Trail. In 1910, the Grande Prairie Townsite was sub-divided. By 1912, it included a bank, hotel, post office, and land office, making it a district metropolis. In 1916, it became the terminus of the Edmonton, Dunvegan and British Columbia Railway from Edmonton.
The Edson Trail from Edson to Grande Prairie was opened in 1911 as a means for settlers to reach the Grande Prairie area. It was basically nothing more than a tract of clear cut bush and forest, and thus was a very difficult route for many settlers, especially during wet weather. Because of this, large scale settlement came late compared to other major farming regions further south in Canada. Grande Prairie was incorporated as a village by the Province of Alberta in 1914. It was not until the arrival of the railway in 1916 that farmland quickly expanded as waves of settlers came into the Peace region. This drove up Grande Prairie's population past the 1,000 mark, allowing it to incorporate as a town on March 27, 1919. A local recession in the 1920s caused a temporary depopulation of Grande Prairie. But the population rebounded afterwards by the 1930s, by which time the population had reached 1,464. Settlement continued unabated even into the 1930s during the Dust Bowl era because the Peace Region was able to escape the severe drought conditions that plagued the Canadian Prairies further south at the time.
The Second World War saw the US and Canadian military establish Grande Prairie as a part of the Northwest Staging Route for the construction of the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek to Alaska. Although Dawson Creek was chosen as the major starting point of the construction of the Alaska Highway, Grande Prairie was a major stopover point for military aircraft during the war, and benefited economically from this.
Although Grande Prairie was well located in the southern edge of the Peace Country, it was competing with the towns of Peace River and Dawson Creek for the title of the most important centre of commerce and agriculture in the region until the late 1950s, when its population growth began to outstrip these towns as oil and natural gas exploration was underway in the Peace Region, especially since the first major discovery of oil further south in Leduc near Edmonton in 1947 and the construction of a large pulp mill in the early 1970s. The construction and paving of Highway 43 (originally sections of Highways 2, 34, and 43 from the BC border to the Yellowhead Highway just west of Edmonton) in 1956 cut down on the travel time by road significantly, further enhancing Grande Prairie's accessibility and economic status.
The town was incorporated as a city in 1958. At that time, its population was approximately 7,600. The opening of the Procter & Gamble kraft pulp mill in 1972 and the discovery of the Elmworth deep basin gas field spurred an economic boom. Grande Prairie's population went from just over 12,000 in the early 1970s to over 24,000 by the time the oil boom went bust in 1981. A tornado struck the downtown area and east side of Grande Prairie on July 8, 2004. Although the tornado was considered a very weak one (F0-F1 on the Fujita scale) and the weather was not severe at the time, it was still strong enough to damage houses and flip vehicles. There were no casualties or deaths.
Pointe-Claire- 30, 161 inhabitants
Pointe-Claire is a suburb of Greater Montreal in Quebec, Canada. Pointe-Claire is largely residential in character, but is also the site of much economic activity, such as retail activity, light manufacturing, various corporate offices, and a hospital.
Pointe-Claire was first described by Nicolas Perrot in his account of 1669, and the name Pointe-Claire appeared on a map as early as 1686. Although Samuel de Champlain canoed through the area in 1613, he reported no village or dwelling visible. The toponym Pointe-Claire refers to the peninsula, or point, where the windmill, convent, and the Saint-Joachim de Pointe-Claire Church are sited. The point extends into Lake Saint-Louis and has a clear view of its surroundings. The first grant of land under the seigneurial system was in 1684 to Pierre Cabassier, for a lot just east of Pointe Charlebois. Under the seigneurial system, the Sulpicians had to build a mill for the colonists, who in turn had to grind their grain there at a set fee. In 1707, after the Great Peace of Montreal was signed in 1701, the Chemin du Roy (now Lakeshore Road) from Dorval to the western tip of Montreal Island was opened having been ordered by intendant Jacques Raudot, and the parish was subdivided in three côtes: St. Rémy (present-day Boulevard-des-Sources), St. Jean and St. Charles. Between côtes St. Rémy and St. Charles lay 33 lots (numbered 145 to 177). These were generally three arpents wide by 20 or 30 deep. Up to this time Pointe-Claire had only been accessible by boat.
In 1713 the seminary formed a parish on the land that now includes Pointe-Claire and much of the West Island, and in 1714 a church was built at the point, at the site of the present-day church. Up to that time the area was served by an itinerant missionary priest. Initially the church was called Saint-Francois-de-Sales, but it was renamed six months later to Saint-Joachim de la pointe claire. The church and presbytery, both built of stone, formed a fort about two arpents (7000 m2) in area, surrounded by stakes. The construction was ordered by Governor Beauharnois out of fear of the Iroquois. The point was used as a stopover by voyageurs en route for the back country. In 1728-9 the first lots were granted, near the fort, to a blacksmith and to a carpenter. By 1765 there were 783 residents, 74 lots owned by 35 individuals, and 19 houses, some built of stone, but most of wood. In 1854 the municipality of Saint-Joachim-de-la-Pointe-Claire was defined, and the name eventually shortened to Pointe-Claire. The Grand Trunk Railway built a line in 1855, linking Pointe-Claire to Montreal. This brought people, and with them property development in an area that up to then had been largely agricultural. It also improved the welfare of farmers by providing a ready market for their goods. Suburban development began in 1893 when Otto Frederick Lilly acquired land spanning Boulevard Saint Jean. He used his influence with the Canadian Pacific Railway to have a station added to the line at the end of Cedar avenue, which he also paved from there down to Lakeshore Road. Both sides of Cedar Avenue were built up by 1920. Provincial highway number 2 (now Autoroute 20) was built alongside the railway in 1940, following expropriation of property. This led to a move of much of the town from the south to the north of the highway, namely the town hall, recreation centre, police station, and fire station.
After the British North America Act of 1867 Pointe-Claire was included in the new federal riding of Jacques Cartier. In the election of the 7th of August, the men (suffrage did not extend to women until 1940) of Pointe-Claire elected the Conservative Guillaume Gamelin Gaucher. In 1900 a major fire destroyed much of village. It was discovered in an uninhabited building around 02:00 on the morning of 22 May. The wind caused the fire to spread to surrounding houses. The only water supply was from village wells or carried in buckets from the river. A small two-wheeled hose reel and hand pump was the only village fire protection. Locals failed to put out the fire and asked for help from Montreal. Equipment was sent by train but did not arrive in time to help. The worst of the damage was on the rue de l'église. In all about 30 buildings were destroyed, including the post office, the town hall, and the residences of about 200 people.
Whitehorse- 23, 272 inhabitants
Whitehorse is the capital and only city of Yukon, and the largest city in northern Canada. It was incorporated in 1950 and is located at kilometre 1426 (Historic Mile 918) on the Alaska Highway in southern Yukon. Whitehorse's downtown and Riverdale areas occupy both shores of the Yukon River, which originates in British Columbia and meets the Bering Sea in Alaska. The city was named after the White Horse Rapids for their resemblance to the mane of a white horse, near Miles Canyon, before the river was dammed. Because of the city's location in the Whitehorse valley and relative proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the climate is milder than comparable northern communities such as Yellowknife. At this latitude winter days are short and summer days have up to about 19 hours of daylight.
Archaeological research south of the downtown area, at a location known as Canyon City, has revealed evidence of use by First Nations for several thousand years. The surrounding area had seasonal fish camps and Frederick Schwatka, in 1883, observed the presence of a portage trail used to bypass Miles Canyon. Before the Gold Rush, several different tribes passed through the area seasonally and their territories overlapped. The discovery of gold in the Klondike in August 1896, by Skookum Jim, Tagish Charlie, and George Washington Carmack, set off a major change in the historical patterns of the region. Early prospectors used the Chilkoot Pass, but by July 1897, crowds of neophyte stampeders had arrived via steamship and were camping at "White Horse". By June 1898, there was a bottleneck of stampeders at Canyon City, many boats had been lost to the rapids as well as five people. Samuel Steele of the North-West Mounted Police said: "why more casualties have not occurred is a mystery to me." On their way to find gold, stampeders also found copper in the "copper belt" in the hills west of Whitehorse. The first copper claims were staked by Jack McIntyre on July 6, 1898, and Sam McGee on July 16, 1899. Two tram lines were built, one 8 km (5 mi) stretch on the east bank of the Yukon River from Canyon City to the rapids, just across from the present day downtown, the other was built on the west bank of the river. A small settlement was developing at Canyon City but the completion of the White Pass railway to Whitehorse in 1900 put a halt to it.
The White Pass and Yukon Route narrow-gauge railway linking Skagway to Whitehorse had begun construction in May 1898, by May 1899 construction had arrived at the south end of Bennett Lake. Construction began again at the north end of Bennett lake to Whitehorse. It was only in June–July 1900 that construction finished the difficult Bennett Lake section itself, completing the entire route. By 1901, the Whitehorse Star was already reporting on daily freight volumes. That summer there were four trains per day. Even though traders and prospectors were all calling the city Whitehorse (White Horse), there was an attempt by the railway people to change the name to Closeleigh (British Close brothers provided funding for the railway), this was refused by William Ogilvie, the territory's Commissioner.