Kristin S.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Red River Heritage Fair

Ribbon of Steel: Building of the Canadian Pacific Railway

My project covers the actual construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. I looked at the difficulties of building, the people who worked on it and much more. I used all the information I acquired to answer the question "What effect has the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway had on the new country of Canada?" In a nutshell, Canada as we know it today, would not exist, as is. Workers blood and sweat, and the dedication of Canada's leaders made this historic event possible.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

It was all very interesting to learn about. I was shocked to find how important the railway actually is to Canada! It connected the country for the first time. Mail could be sent with ease, families could visit each other in far off towns, fashion, news and ideas could spread across the country. It was really the first thing that connected ALL of Canada, and it is the base of much of Canada's success. Therefore, the actual importance of the railway is what I found most interesting!

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

Firstly, I want to tell all Canadians not to take this event for granted. It took 14 years of surveying and building to complete the railroad. Even though we have more high tech transportation today, the railroad was fundemental in the development of Canada.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

The Chinese workers on the railroad were treated very poorly. No one cared about them. 600 died during construction and many more from disease. I have realized that the everyday things like healthcare, were a big luxury to the workers. Therefore, my life is like royalty compared to the lives of the workers.