Impact of Railways on Winnipeg Transportation in the Canadian West, 19th Century ------------------------------------------------- The departure of the first regular train to-day from St. Boniface station marks an era in the history of Winnipeg which will not soon be forgotten. The time will probably come -- indeed, is not very far distant -- when the Province will be seamed throughout its length and breadth with iron highways, and when the vast volume of railway business centering here will dwarf into insignificance the facilities we have just obtained, and of which we feel reasonably proud, but it will not dim the recollection of to- day, or lessen our appreciation of the importance of the stride we have just made. Distance, which isolated us in so great a degree from the older settled communities, and made us feel almost alone in this great country, has been in a measure annihilated, and we are now enabled to take our stand on a basis of equality in many points, and superiority in others, with the older members of the family of Provinces which compose our great Dominion. Our trade will feel the impetus at once, and the railway will be the means of turning the stream of emigration towards us to an extent it has not yet reached. The field for an agricultural population is practically limitless, and our countless acres now lying waste only await the vivifying touch of the settler to transform them into fruitful and productive sources of wealth. Our work is as yet only begun. A great country lies to the west of us, which will soon be covered by multitudes of industrious people, and it behoves us to so devote our energies and apply our resources that they may be made a source of great wealth to us. The prospect is an inviting one, and only requires judicious co-operation and persistent effort to build up the country and make Winnipeg what nature seems to have destined her to be -- the 'Chicago of the North-West.' Source:
9 December 1878.