Canada, Summer Playground of America

W. G. FANSHAW June 1 1909

Canada, Summer Playground of America

W. G. FANSHAW June 1 1909

Canada, Summer Playground of America

W. G. FANSHAW

THE rural resident is getting ready for the summer boarder and the summer boarder in turn is getting ready for the rural resident. The latter is mowing the lawn, painting the verandah, trimming the trees, overhauling the boats, putting new seats on the capacious arm chairs and giving the big democrat wagon a fresh coat of varnish. The summer boarder is thinking of where he will go this season for a holiday, wondering whether lie can stand the same spot again, and asking himself if the landlord overcharged him last year, or whether he could not get richer cream, riper apples, newer eggs, more luscious berries, better fishing, and a more beautiful outlook from a picmo

turesque and financial standpoint some place else. Then, there is the question of associations and the associates. He thinks it all over, and, after calm reflection, decides that he will try another hotel or boarding house. Distant fields appear green, the valley beyond seems more inviting—and accordingly a change is agreed upon.

There are two things which give the tourist traffic of Canada its present large and steadily growing proportions. The first is improved transportation facilities and better hotels, along with the fact that the great majority of people are now firmly convinced that money and time spent on a holiday or vacation at some distant point are well invested and bring pro-

fitable returns physically and mentally. The second reason is that all persons like to shift. They believe that change is the law of life. They want to see as much of Canada’s majestic landscapes and lovely waterways as their purse and everyday pursuits will permit.

Each of the nine provinces in the Dominion presents peculiar attractions and quaint charms. The railways and navigation companies issue an abundance of neatly printed and superbly illustrated folders which are scattered over the country from Halifax to Vancouver and from Maine to California, while the ticket agents in every city and town are obliging, thoughtful and well-informed with respect to roads, routes and rates. They are veritable storehouses of facts and figures. Thousands of persons depend solely on the advice of the ticket or tourist agent, who cheerfully furnishes them with all the data that they desire.

The number of questions the average ticket seller or his clerks have to

answer, the amount of knowledge geographical, climatic, piscatorial and otherwise, which they are supposed to possess, would stagger the ordinary man who, if asked the hotel rates in his own town or how far it is located from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Halifax or Quebec, would not be able to tell. A ticket agent must be a compendium of knowledge, a handbook of routes, an authority on rates, and a railway hotel directory, all in one. He must know the exact distance, the time of arrival and departure of trains, alternative lines, the sights to be seen on the way and at the destination, and a score of other things. He has little or no time to consult reterence literature, for if is a busy season for him, and his office is filled with persons anxious to secure his advice and assistance.

How is he made familiar with all these details? Principally by the traveling passenger representatives of the various transportation lines, who cJl upon him severed times during the vear and ask him to include their line■-

in his railway rate sheets, so that he can issue direct tickets to travelers good over their routes. Transportation companies, where their roads do not touch competitive points, thus reciprocate or interchange. Each lists the other in their rate sheets. Even where an opposition road runs to the same destination as his own, if a traveler insists upon it, the agent will make him out a ticket over a rival route..

The ticket often takes a wayfarer over half a dozen roads. While the strip of cardboard or colored paper may appear almost as long as the journey itself, every section serves a purpose. I he coupon that belongs to each line, is torn off or lifted by the conductor and is forwarded to the audit office of his company. It is a voucher, and. on presentation to the issuing road, settlement is made with the company for the transportation granted in response to the reading on the coupon. Thus the respective lines

get their just share for the portion of

a trip executed by them on their cars or boats. A ticket agent in California or f lorida issues a slip good over several lines and saves a traveler the inconvenience and annoyance of purchasing a ticket at different points or junctions en route. The system is a wonderfully perfect one and works smoothly and satisfactorily.

Railways and steamboat companies spend thousands of dollars in advertising countries, districts and towns. Of course, they do it primarily to make money for themselves, but manv localities, which have never expended a dollar to make their own advantages and beauties known, reap the benefit. Places that would never be heard of beyond a limited local area arc world famous through the agency of the railways, and yet, in some instances, have not sufficient local pride to keep their streets clean, provide suitable hotel and hoarding house accommodation and afford other facilities which the stranger naturally expects.

All Canada has been richly dowered by nature; yet how many communities of their own accord, have evinced any enterprise in seeking to deserve the patronage bestowed upon them by holiday seekers and travelers. Many have not expended a .dollar and yet they give the railway companies little or no credit for making their charms and resources known to the great outside world. There is a big profit in the tourist trade. Summer vistors are generally persons who have money to spend. They are not parsimonious if they receive fair value and are accorded some measure of attention, but if any centre wishes to reap the fullest harvest from this profitable traffic there must be some little spirit of give and take manifested.

Roughly speaking, there were fortyfive million passengers carried on the twenty-five thousand miles of Canadian railways last year. What number were pursuers of pleasure it is impossible to tell, but, so far as can be learned from the various transportation companies, probably a million tourists from the United States come

to Canada annually in search of health, rest and recreation, it is estimated that over a quarter of a million roam New Rrunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, while another quarter of a million visit the Pacific coast and the far-famed Rockies. Fully half a million come to Ontario and Quebec.

The liveliest months are in June, July and August, when railway coaches and steamers are crowded to their fullest capacity if times are good and money plentiful. If business conditions are stagnant and commercial depression exists the falling off in the tourist trade is enormous. People either postpone their annual outing until a more favorable occasion or else take shorter trips. The traffic last year was dull, but this season, with the return of prosperity and the freer circulation of money the outlook is most encouraging. The different resorts and hotels throughout the Dominion are preparing for a record summer and the number of inquiries from all over the continent is large.

For Ontario and a large portion of Quebec, Toronto is the great distributing centre. Nearly all of the half-million American vacation seekers in these two provinces pass through the capital of Ontario every summer on their way to Muskoka, the Upper Lakes, New Ontario, the St. Lawrence river and Gulf. Of this number between three and four hundred thousand travelers are brought to Toronto every summer across Lake Ontario by boat. The exodus alone to Muskoka is fully fifty thousand people, one-quarter of whom are visitors from the other side of the line In the great Muskoka district, fittingly termed the Highlands of Ontario, there are over t.ooo cottages and scores of first-class hotels. Over 50,000 passengers are carried every season by boat down the famous St. Lawrence river through the beautiful Thousand Islands to Montreal, on to the historic City of Quebec, Murray Bay, Tadousac and the picturesnue Sagucnav river. About seven-

eights of this large traffic is composed of visitors from across the border. Other Americans who come to Toronto take rail for points on Lake Huron and wend their way by the upper lake steamers to Manitoulin Island, Sault Ste. Marie, Port Arthur or Fort William, and the Rainy River district. Still others make their way to Cobalt, Haileybury, New Liskeard, and the famous Temagami district.

The splendid stretch of waters known as the Kawartha Lakes, and the 30.000 islands of Georgian Bay also claim a fair share of American tourist traffic.

The holiday spirit is encouraged not only by Canadian transportation companies, but also by various educational and business organizations. The employes of many commercial concerns hold an annual excursion to some objective spot ; the Y.M.C.A. has a flourishing bovs' camp on the shores of Lake Couchiching, and the Upper Canada College students have a permanent resort on Lake Temagami.

Canadians appreciate a vacation. On every public holiday and every Saturday afternoon during the heated term the number who leave the crowded city centres for week-end jaunts taxes all boat and rail lines to their utmost. Taking Toronto as a fair example, there is a wide choice of routes. There are twenty-three excursion steamers plying from Toronto to near points and their combined capacity is 20,147 passengers, Some idea of the travel by rail may be gained from the fact that, during a recent holiday period, when single rates prevailed, the number of persons who passed through the Union Station was 75,000, and this is not an unusual experience.

To St. John, Yarmouth and Halifax, in the east, thousands of American tourists are brough by boat every summer, from Boston, Portland and New York. On the west coast of Canada lines of steamers ply between Seattle and Victoria and the business in the warm months is heavy.

The pure air of Canadian summer resorts drives away all malaria, asthma and hay fever. That is why so

many thousands of Americans flock to the watering places and sylvan retreats, which every province affords. To cover the whole range of recreation grounds and specialize on their grandeur and charms, the fishing facilities, the hunting paradises, the bathing conveniences, the carriage drives and canoe trips would require volumes, and then the half would not be told. All that can be done is to give a general indication of the principal points, their height above the sea level and the average temperature for the three vacation months—June, July and August.

The higher the altitude the less depressing, of course, is the heat, and the less dense and humid the atmosphere. Persons suffering from lung trouble should spend their holidays on the more exalted spots. For those, who desire a more even temperature the year round, the lake or sea shore is preferable, as water tends to equalize temperature.

The following table should prove of interest.

Average Temperature.

Place

Vancouver ...............

Nelson ..................

Edmonton ...............

Victoria .................

Banff ...................

Kamloops ...............

Calgary .................

Dawson City .............

Port Simpson ............

Prince Albert ............

Regina ..................

Winnipeg .................. 760

Port Arthur ............... 644

Southampton ......■........ 656

Parry Sound ............... 635

Elevation.

J 3^

1 76O 21 58 85

4542

1245

33§9

1200

26

M32

1885

Port Stanley

Toronto ......

Kingston .....

Ottawa .......

Gravcnhurst . .

Bala .........

Jackson's Point

Montreal .....

Quebec .......

Father Point . .

St. John .....

Chatham, N.B.

Halifax ......

Yarmouth .... Charlottetown . St. John’s, Nfld.

592

350

285

294

770

740

729

187

299

20

70

2 r

88

95

38

125

52

Oo

57

57 5L

94 59

58

54

58

59

62

56

61

61

9>4

9>4

9 3 65

63 63 93

95 61

53

59

60

58

55 58

51

July.

93 97

Pi

GO

59 68

60

60

57 P2

94 66 62 66 66 69

69 ( >8

70 97

( )C ) 68 99 66

58

Pi

P6

9)4

61 94 60

August.

60 64

59

Po

55

68

59

55

57

59 ( >2 94 ( )0 9.5

94 97 ()7

07

66

95 r>4 95 9>7 94

56

9 3

94

95

61

55

60

Extremes. Highest Lowest during summer months.

39

34

25

39

25

35

26 26

31

23

21 21

32 3' 32

28

34

39

29

32

38

35

28

35 .O 35

30

32

29

92

94

94

90

91

102

95

95 88

96 lot)

103

95

99

95

90

99

92 <18

97 95

94

99

88

89

98

93

84

92

87

The railways of Canada on May ist each year reduce their rates to distant points and issue tourist tickets good to return until November 20th. These tickets differ from the ordinary ticket in that certain stop-over privileges are allowed. To encourage local traffic, from every large citv week-end rates, which are good within a limited radius, are in effect from May ist to October 31st. A return journey can be made for single fare plus ten cents, the tickets being good to leave on Saturday and return the following Monday. On all public holidays single rates return prevail, covering a period from four to six davs.

The main question—the personal problem—around which a holiday centres, is the cost. The length of a sojourn must often be measured by the size of one's purse. For instance, should a person desire to visit the Pacific coast, Vancouver. Seattle or any other point in the extreme west, the rates are very low this season owing to the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle. Tickets going any time from now up to the end of September and good to return until October 31st, with stop over privileges at all the principal cities en route, either in the United States or Canada can be purchased from Toronto tor $74.10. A first-class sleeper would

cost each way $17 or a tourist sleeper $9. Not including hotel hill or meals, one may make the journey from Ontario to any point beyond the Rockies and enjoy berth both ways for 81 OU or $125. The different transportation companies, in view of the exceptionally favorable rate expect that many Easterners, who have never traversed the Prairie Provinces, will take advantage of the present inducements.

A return tourist ticket from Toronto to Halifax should one desire to see the country down 'by the sea, so ful of historic interest, early struggle and the strange blending of the archaic with the modern—costs $42.70 and a sleeper about $6 each way.

One may take a boat ride from Toronto up the Great Lakes to Fort Wilian and Port Arthur and return for

$30.10 including meals and berth, the outing occupying about a week. The expense lor a continuous water voxage doxvn the St. Lawrence to the Saguenay and return from Toronto is $43.50 including meals and berth, tin journey lasting about ten days including a stay of several hours in Montreal and a day in Quebec city.

A sail from Toronto to Montreal and back (meals and berth included! may be enjoyed for $23.50. These rates apply individually, but, in the event of a party of ten or more going, a substantial reduction is secured. A round trip to Winnipeg costs $50 and to Edmonton $80. A traveller may go by boat one way if chooses for $5 more. Many other figures might be given but an indication is furnished herein of the average outlay for a long or short jaunt.