Stories

The 200 story nodes created in commemoration of the Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial can be searched by more than twenty themes, through the pins on the interactive map and by date on the timeline. 

You're viewing 13 stories about “Railway

The Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway

1800-1900

With no Highway 401 connecting Kingston to the rest of Ontario, Kingston’s location on the shores of Lake Ontario contributed to its significance. The Great Lakes and the St.

Sir George Étienne Cartier by Notman & Son. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

George-Étienne Cartier and Sir John A. (colleagues)

1815-1873

Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George-Étienne Cartier were close friends, political colleagues, and shared a vision of a continental Canada.

Hon. John A. Macdonald, Hon. George-Etienne Cartier and Lieutenant-Colonel John G. Irvine. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

George-Étienne Cartier and Sir John A. (confederation)

1815-1873

Macdonald and Cartier were united in their commitment to integrate the Maritimes into Confederation at the Charlottetown Conference (1864).

Sir John A Macdonald circa 1888. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Patriarch of Canada

1815-2015

John A. Macdonald is rendered as the "patriarch of Canada" in an era when the concept of nation-state had not yet been articulated.

Map of the system of the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada. Direct route to all points in Canada and United States, the great International Route between the east and west. 1887. Matthews, Northrup & Co. Buffalo, N.Y Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Rail and Kingston

1871-1885

Negative feelings in Kingston and Macdonald's opposition to the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) can be attributed to: a timetable that was inconvenient to local business; it bypassing the city by two mil

Sir George-Étienne Cartier, after 1882. Montréal, Quebec. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

British Columbia Becomes the Sixth Canadian Province

July 20, 1871

In 1871, British Columbia became the sixth Canadian province, joining Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba.

Personnel of the North-West Mounted Police, Dawson, Yukon. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Establishment of the North-West Mounted Police

May 23, 1873

On May 23, 1873, Queen Victoria, acting on the advice of Sir John A., approved the act to establish the North-West Mounted Police, later to become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, one of the most

Russell House Hotel by William James Topley, circaa 1893. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

John A. Resigns as Prime Minister

November 5, 1873

On November 5, 1873, plagued by scandal over accepting funds for a new railway during the 1872 election campaign, Sir John A. resigned as prime minister.

Chinese camp (Canadian Pacific Railway), Kamloops, British Columbia circa 1886. Source: Library and Archives Canada. 

The Results of the Royal Commission on the use of Chinese Labourers in the Construction of the CPR

1885-1923

In 1885, the Royal Commission reported that, while the Chinese were not an inferior race, were good workers and should not be excluded, future arrivals should be regulated by a head tax of $50.

More than ten thousand people filed past Macdonald's coffin as he lay in state in City Hall. Source: Queen's University Archives.

Sir John A.'s Death

June 6, 1891

Macdonald died on June 6, 1891, and, following several days of ceremonies in Ottawa, his steel-casketed body arrived in downtown Kingston on June 10, symbolically, by rail.

Funeral of Sir John A. Macdonald, Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston, ON by James W Powell. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Sir John A.'s Funeral

June 11, 1891

On June 11, the day of the funeral, the horse-drawn hearse proceeded to Cataraqui Cemetery along streets lined with mourners from across Ontario and Quebec, and Kingston expressed its mourning by t