5' 4

made out a total valuation of over $30,000,000, and in 1883 the figures rose to $32,883,270, the point at which inflation in this respect ceased, and a. decided turn in the other direc— tion set in. In 1882—3 the city had a population of over 25,000, made up largely of a floating class, thousands of whom had to live in tents. The decline in population set in during the year last named, and in 1884 the decline in assessed value of property came also,'when the total figures dropped to $27,444,700. This went on until 1886 when the figures went down to $19,286,905, and the city’s population did not exceed 19,000. The addition of solid buildings had mater— ially increased the actual value of city property, but inflated values in 1886 were only a dream of the past. The specula— tive driftwood of the boom had all left. the city; the half— breed rebellion of the North Saskatchewan in 1885 had given the city a hard blow in a temporary sense, although it afterwards turned out to be a great advertisement of the vast resources of the Canadian North—West. The people left were those who meant to stay. They were all more or less engaged in the work of laying the foundations of a great city in Winnipeg, for while there was many a tight squeeze for the remaining citizens after the collapse of inflation, the de— cade of the eighties was after all


The boom of 1881—2 was not all effervescent trash, for genuine progress was made during those two years, especially 1881. A carefully compiled pamphlet on the city’s business published in the beginning of 1882, the gist of which was afterwards recapitulated in an annual report of the Board of Trade, gave some very interesting if not startling figures. The figures therein given included the following: Over fifty mercantile houses doing more or less of a wholesale or job— bing business; thirty—three commercial travellers on the road representing Winnipeg houses. The aggregate of wholesale business done in 1881 was placed at $6,236,000, and the total mercantile business of the city at) $20,120,000, the value of imports from outside Canada at $2,994,838, and the customs duties collected at $652,898.28, a wondrous showing for a city which two years previously had only about 12,000 popu— lation.

Possibly Winnipeg would have. dwindled to much smaller proportions after the collapse of the boom, had it not been for the energy and enterprise displayed by the new C. P. R. syndicate. Before the close of 1883 the main line construc- tion was nearing the South Saskatchewan, and the C. P. R. South—Western branch was open as far as Manitou, 100 miles. By the close of 1884 communication with Port Arthur on Lake Superior was open, and the constructors westward were laying rails at the foot of the Rocky Moun— tains. By the close of 1886 a clear all—rail route over this road was completed from Montreal to the Pacific coast. This energy stimulated the citizens of Winnipeg and under all the presence of depression, they kept steadily organizing the business affairs of their city. In 1883 the great new roller mill of the Ogilvie Company was completed and in full swing, as was also the roller mill of the Hudson’s Bay: Com— pany, and the city mill of Captain, now Sir D. H. McMillan, was remodelled and fitted with roller machinery. That year Winnipeg was raised to the position of grain inspection centre

for Manitoba, and the late Majior Clark appointed the first inspector. Next year a hide and leather inspector was also appointed. Later on. a Grain Exchange was organized, and has since grown into the great mart that it is. In 1887 a plethoric crop of all products was reaped, and through Win— nipeg were exported over 10,000,000 bushels of wheat, be— sides other products in such abundance as to bring the total. exports from that crop up to an aggregate of nearly $11,000,— 000. Before the close of the decade the railway monopoly held by the C. P. B. Company, which had been such a fruit— ful cause of discontent, was swept away by Dominion legis— lation, and when the city entered on the decade of the nineties the Northern Pacific Railway was into the city and spread- ing its lines over the Province, thus giving the railway com— petition by the south so long clamored for.

Winnipeg went back considerably during 1883-4-5 after the collapse. of the boom, but when the nineties were entered all was gained back, and more added, and the city had entered upon its


Solid progress indeed was made in 'Winnipeg during the closing decade of the past century. In 1893 a Bank Clear— ing House was established in the city, and that has since fur.- nished the most reliable of all proofs of the city’s progress. Taken beside the figures of grain exports, a perfect index to the trade feeling, not, only in the city but the whole North- West, can be had. Grain exporting had commenced as early as 1878, when about 11,000 bushels of the wheat crop of 1877 went up the Red River in steamboats to go east via Duluth. When the C. P. R. opened to Port Arthur in 1884, furnishing the first all—Canadian route for freight to Eastern Canada, the country had over 4,000,000 bushels of wheat of that year’s crop to go out. The big crop of 1887 marked another important export point, and in 1894 the export fig— ures had risen to 15,000,000 bushels, while the bank clear— ing returns made a total of $35,540,647. The crop of 1895 was an enormous one, and the exports from the same aggre~ gated 29,000,000 bushels, and the clearing house returns for the year footed up to $55,873,630. The year 1896 brought probably the poorest. crop in, the history of the North—West, and exports dropped to about 14,000,000 bushels, while bank clearing returns increased in aggregate for the year to $64,146,438. record went to the aggregate of $84,435,832, while the ex— ports from that year’s wheat crop went up to 22,000,000 bushels. The crop of 1898 increased the year’s exports of wheat only about 1,000,000 bushels, while the. clearing house returns for the year went up to $90,674,325. In 1899 a good crop increased exports therefrom to over 30,000,000

During the following year the bank clearing

bushels, and the clearing house returns for the year went up to $107,786,814. The year 1900 brought a partial failure of crop, and wheat exports for the year went down to a, little over 17,000,000 bushels; yet the clearing house returns for the year showed only a trifling falling off, the aggregate fig— ures being $106,956,792.

So the century closed in these matters, while. other branches of business prospered in keeping. During the last three years of the century closed, building operations in, the city called for an annual expenditure of at least $750,000,