WESTWARD from Centralia, described in the previous chapter, there is a chain of provinces touching the international boundary all the way to the Pacific coast; these are Manitoba, Saskatchewan (till recently Assiniboia and Saskatchewan), Alberta and British Columbia. These Prairie Provinces, especially the first named, are well known, and also fairly well developed and populated. Since much has been said in praise of them, we will not, therefore, dwell upon them; it is sufficient to say that the Prairie Provinces east of the Rocky Mountains represent the very best sections of the Dominion, and are fast filling up. This section of our country will compare favorably with any portion of the world in the fertility of its soil and quality of its products, and is capable of sustaining many millions of inhabitants. Each section has its individual features, though great similarity prevails throughout all the prairie region. The towns of today must become the cities of to-morrow, and the thousands of the present are only prophetic of the millions that shall be. The heart throbs of this great country must, in the near future, find their centre somewhere in this section of the West. Such is the evident trend of development at the present time. Looking to these fair young provinces of the West, enthusiastically we greet them in the words of Kipling :
” To the far-flung fenceless prairie, When the quick cloud shadows trail ; To our neighbor’s line in the offing; And the time of the new-cut rail ;
To the plough in her league-long furrow, With the gray lake gulls behind ; To the weight of a half year’s winter And the warm, wet western wind.