A COUNTRY SO liberally endowed with natural resources as Canada, and possessing also the abundant water-power that exists at so many advantageous points, could not fail to become the home of a number of important industries. Canadians have all along been fully alive to the importance of utilizing the resources at hand, and it is only the fact of the need of further capital which has prevented a much more rapid industrial development. Many of the industries, however, have grown beyond the enthusiastic predictions of those who were in former days most firmly convinced of the great future which lay before the country.
The agricultural development of Canada has attracted so much attention abroad that until comparatively recent times little notice has been devoted to the importance of the manufacturing industries. In 1905, when an intercensal inquiry was officially undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the Census and Statistics Act of that year, it was found that there were no less than 15,796 industrial establishments with a total capital of 846,585,023 dollars. That these figures have increased in the meantime is beyond question, and an immense amount of capital has entered the Dominion for investment in industrial enterprises of various kinds during the past years. The number of persons employed was 392,530; their salaries and wages amounted to 165,100,011 dollars, while the value of products was 718,352,603 dollars. Of the employees no fewer than 308,378, or seventy-eight per cent., were in Ontario and Quebec, which indicates very clearly the importance of these two provinces from the manufacturing point of view. Indeed, it may be said that the manufacturing industries of the country are largely centred in Eastern Canada.
Taking the various groups of industries, it will be found that the value of products under the heading of ” food products ” is highest, being 172,017,002 dollars in 1905, and the number of establishments is also the largest. Of the sum mentioned 56,703,269 dollars is represented by the flour and grist milling industry, which is a great and rapidly expanding one. A leading firm in the business claims to have a daily capacity of 17,500 barrels (196 lbs.) of flour with a total elevator capacity of 5,800,000 bushels. Another concern has a daily capacity of 21,000 bags. Other milling companies which have been established more recently are prepared to operate on a large scale, while the number of similar concerns is increasing as the new agricultural areas are being opened up throughout Western Canada.
Next in order of importance comes the making of cheese and butter. The pioneer cheese factory promoter was Mr. Harvey Farrington, who started in Oxford county, Ontario, in 1864. His example was soon copied in the central part of the province, and a little later on in the more eastern sections. In Quebec the first factory was started at Durham, Missisquoi county in about 1865, but little progress was made in the industry in Quebec until after the year 1880. While the bulk of cheese and butter is produced in Ontario and Quebec, a good deal of attention is now being devoted to dairying in the Maritime provinces, and there has also been a gratifying development in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
The methods of manufacture adopted in the very numerous cheese factories and creameries, and also by individual farmers have been vastly improved as the result of facilities provided by the Dominion and Provincial governments for giving instruction in the most approved style of manufacture, storage and transportation. The establishment of cream-gathering creameries, central establishments whose operations can be made to cover a large area, has enabled many districts to take up buttermaking when perhaps, owing to limited milk production, a cheese factory could not be adequately supported.
A trade of great importance, and to the province of British Columbia in particular, is the canning of salmon for export. The pack each year is enormous, and the introduction of machinery of late has been a marked feature. It has been said that one might visit a good many factories or similar institutions in any part of the world without finding such an array of machinery as in the British Columbian canneries. The salmon are taken from the boats by a huge conveyer to the inside of the building where they are placed in a machine fitted with an intricate arrangement of knives and cutters by which thousands of fish are dealt with hourly. The other machinery used in the process has been so perfected that it may now be claimed that after the fish leaves the boat all handling of it ends.
The business of canning lobsters is carried on principally in Nova Scotia, where there are 236 licensed canneries, Prince Edward Island, 203 ; New Brunswick, 190 ; and Quebec, 94. As a commercial commodity the lobster occupies the first place in the fisheries of the Maritime provinces ; in 1907 there were some 8,660,550 lbs. preserved.
Many factories where the canning of fruits, vegetables and meat is extensively carried on have been established, the majority being in the province of Ontario. Large quantities of apples, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, pears and plums, as well as tomatoes, beans, Indian corn and other vegetables are grown for packing purposes, and the goods are exported to many distant markets.
Slaughtering and meat-packing, and sugar refining, are other leading industries under the same heading of ” food products.
The Canadian lumber industry ranks second as regards the value of products which amounted, in 1905, to 109,500,970 dollars, and it employs the largest number of wage-earners (77,968). The export of forest products at the time of Confederation amounted to about thirty-five per cent. of the total, and the industry has all along been one of the greatest value and importance to the country. Factories for the manufacture of household, school and office furniture, organs, pianos, mouldings, doors, sashes, blinds, woodenware, and many other classes of goods into which lumber enters, have been established in the different provinces, and the machinery employed is of a varied and ingenious character. For the production of wood pulp, chemical and mechanical, there are twenty-two factories with a total capital of 11,164,768. The manufacture of carriages and waggons, railway cars and other vehicles is carried on extensively and is an industry which is bound to assume greater importance in the immediate future.
Aided by the payment of bounties the production of iron and steel has attained considerable proportions in Eastern Canada, more particularly in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, there being as many as sixteen blast furnaces. The output of pig iron in 1908 was 630,835 tons valued at 8,111,194 dollars, not including the pro-duct of two electric furnace plants at Welland (Ontario), and Buckingham (Quebec), making ferro products. Prior to the year 1896 Canadian pig iron was made almost exclusively from ore mined in Canada, but since that date nearly six million tons have been imported, largely from Newfoundland and the south shore of Lake Superior. The ore from Belle Isle, can be laid down at Sydney more cheaply than that obtainable locally, and generally speaking, the reasons for these large importations may be said to be economic, for there are undoubtedly numerous and valuable deposits of iron ore in many parts of the Dominion. The following are the leading companies owning blast furnaces :The Dominion and Steel Company, Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia ; The Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company, Ltd., New Glasgow, Nova Scotia ; the Londonderry Iron and Mining Company, Ltd., Londonderry, Nova Scotia ; Messrs. John McDougall and Company, Montreal, Quebec, the Canada Iron Furnace Company, Ltd., Montreal; Deseronto Iron Company Ltd., Deseronto, Ontario ; the Hamilton Steel and Iron Company, Hamilton, Ontario ; the Algoma Steel Company, Ltd., Sault Ste Marie, Ontario ; the Atikokan Iron Company Ltd., Port Arthur, Ontario. There is also a furnace at Midland, Ontario. The total daily capacity of the sixteen furnaces is about 2,665 tons, and the number of men employed in 1908 was reported as 1,380.
Steel is produced by eight companies, the total output in 1908 being 588,763 tons of ingots and castings, valued at 10,916,602 dollars. Of the steel works and rolling mills in Canada five are in Nova Scotia, six in Quebec, twelve in Ontario, and one each in New Brunswick and Manitoba.
The consumption of iron and steel in Canada is very large as the result of the railway construction now going on, the rapid growth of population and the consequent building operations, so that an enormous quantity of iron and steel has still to be imported. It may, therefore, be safely assumed that the iron and steel industry of the country will continue to expand at an even greater rate than it has done in the past.
A branch of the industry in which Canadian makers have won international fame is the manufacture of agricultural implements of various kinds. Stoves and heating apparatus are also turned out in considerable quantities.
In the manufacture of textile fabrics, there were, in 1905, no fewer than 55,822 wage-earners employed, the value of the products being 84,370,099 dollars, an increase of 16,645,260 dollars over the figures for 1900. These industries are well established, and products of the factories enjoy a high reputation. The capital employed in the manufacture of leather and its finished products is 27,681,935 dollars in 321 establishments, 138 of which are devoted to turning out boots and shoes and supplies for that branch of industry. There are in addition a number of factories where saddlery, harness, bags, etc., are manufactured.
In the paper and printing trade there are over 600 establishments employing some 19,000 persons. The brewing and distilling trades and the manufacture of tobacco are centred for the most part in Ontario and Quebec, and show a large increase in the value of their products in recent years.
The production of Portland cement has grown very rapidly within the past few years, the figures for 1904 were 967,172 barrels of the value of 1,338,239 dollars, while those for 1908 were 2,666,333 barrels, valued at 3,709,954 dollars. The total consumption of Portland cement in 1908, including both Canadian and imported cement, was 3,134,338 barrels (of 350 lbs. net), and the demand will be an increasing one. In the year mentioned there were twenty-three operating plants with a total daily capacity of 27,500 barrels, distributed as follows :One in Nova Scotia using blast furnace slag, one in Manitoba making only Portland cement, three in Quebec, two in Alberta and one in British Columbia, using lime-stone and clay, and fifteen in Ontario, in the majority of which marl is used. A good deal of capital has been invested in the cement industry and other plants are in course of erection.
The manufacture of carbide of calcium, metallic roofing and flooring, abrasive goods, cooperage, rubber goods, etc., are successfully carried on and in some instances the trades have assumed considerable dimensions.
No reference to the manufactures of Canada would be complete without mention being made of the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association, an incorporated body having its head office at Toronto and branch offices at other great business centres throughout the country, viz.: Montreal, Quebec, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Halifax. This body watches over the special interests of the various manufacturing industries and the proceedings at its Annual Congress attract wide attention.