Impact of Railways on Winnipeg
             Transportation in the Canadian West, 19th Century

The departure of the first regular train to-day from St. Boniface station
marks an era in the history of Winnipeg which will not soon be forgotten. 
The time will probably come -- indeed, is not very far distant -- when the
Province will be seamed throughout its length and breadth with iron
highways, and when the vast volume of railway business centering here will
dwarf into insignificance the facilities we have just obtained, and of
which we feel reasonably proud, but it will not dim the recollection of to-
day, or lessen our appreciation of the importance of the stride we have
just made.  Distance, which isolated us in so great a degree from the older
settled communities, and made us feel almost alone in this great country,
has been in a measure annihilated, and we are now enabled to take our stand
on a basis of equality in many points, and superiority in others, with the
older members of the family of Provinces which compose our great Dominion. 
Our trade will feel the impetus at once, and the railway will be the means
of turning the stream of emigration towards us to an extent it has not yet
reached.  The field for an agricultural population is practically
limitless, and our countless acres now lying waste only await the vivifying
touch of the settler to transform them into fruitful and productive sources
of wealth.  Our work is as yet only begun.  A great country lies to the
west of us, which will soon be covered by multitudes of industrious people,
and it behoves us to so devote our energies and apply our resources that
they may be made a source of great wealth to us.  The prospect is an
inviting one, and only requires judicious co-operation and persistent
effort to build up the country and make Winnipeg what nature seems to have
destined her to be -- the 'Chicago of the North-West.'

Source:    9 December 1878.