The Projected Railway System to Tap to Richest Country in the World.
The Ontario and Rainy River Railway which is being built across the extreme southwest corner of Ontario, will connect the Port Arthur, Duluth and Western line with the east terminus of Winnipeg and Southeastern Railway, and complete a direct chain of railway communication between Winnipeg and Port Arthur entirely independent of the C.P.R. Other projecting lines running north and west from Winnipeg will eventually take the completing line as far west of Edmonton and then the further continuation across the mountains by way of the Yellow Head passage and on to the coast will only be a question of time.
It has not been easy to satisfy our local legislators, and the general public of the necessity of such a line, but this has been entirely from the lack of knowledge of the actual resources of the district and its need for better transportation facilities. Not only will the line serve as rich s gold-bearing territory as exists in Canada, some say in the world, but it touches the Atikokan iron ranges, which have been declared to be the largest iron deposits in the world, it is being estimated that in one plot alone of 160 acres, there is 2,000,000 tons of ore in sight. In addition to this there is the copper region in the vicinity of Shebandown Lake, and when the line strikes the vicinity of Fort Frances it will serve a splendid agricultural district a hundred miles long and of considerable depth, extending along the north bank of the Rainy River, and already dotted with scores of thriving and well- cultivated pioneer farms.
It is no exaggeration to say that there are hundreds of most promising mining propositions throughout that district. The islands of the Lake of The Woods are full of gold, etc., and the mainland, not only along the shores of the big lake, but around Rainy Lake, Seine River and their various tributaries, prospectors report most promising indications. But capital is required for to develop these, and certain conditions must be met before capital will be attracted. Chief of these conditions is the existence of reasonably good transportation facilities, and when that has been provided development will follow of its own accord. The Ontario and Rainy River Railway will undoubtedly do very much to supply this deficiency, and there appears to be good hope that, as one result of the recent legislative tour, money will be forthcoming in the near future to push forward more rapidly the building of colonization roads. The Legislature, of course, can only spend so such money as the people approve when satisfied of the necessity of the expenditure.
It is a mistake to imagine that money being spent in opening up a new section of the country, as for instance, this Rainy River section, is alone benefiting the immediate locality concerned. the development of the of New Ontario will mean the establishment of hundreds of camps and the settling in that territory of thousands of miners, where now it is all an unpeople solitude. This means that immediate expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in machinery and a steady market for supplies and manufactured goods of the eastern farmer and manufacturer. One part of the country does not prosper without the direct benefit of the whole, and he can see but a very short distance in front of him who questions the judicious expenditure of funds in legitimate public works in a section so full of promise, simply because he happens to be located a few miles away.
If indications are worth anything, the territory lying between the head of Lake Superior and the Manitoba boundary will some day be as rich and prosperous as any section of Canada, and whether that day be hastened or retarded depends almost entirely upon the speed and thoroughness with which transportation facilities are provided. There has been no period in the history of the Empire when British capital is more readily available for safe investment, and New Ontario should be at once placed in a position to compete for its share. — Port Arthur Herald.