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NOTE.—The Bytown mentioned in the foregoing chapter is now called Ottawa, and is a candidate, in conjunction with Montreal and Toronto, for the honour of permanent metropolitanism.
[Footnote AQ: Originally Uttawa, wherein Moore has shown alike his good taste and respect for antiquity by adhering to the original and more beautiful name.]
Colonial Education and Prosperity.
Toronto is prettily situated, and looks flourishing and prosperous; the way in which property is increasing in value here is wonderful, and the hits some people have made are quite fabulous. A property which had been bought for 30,000l., was, within a month—before even the price was paid in full—resold in lots for 100,000l. The position of the town is admirably adapted for a great commercial city: it possesses a secure harbour; it is situated on a lake about 190 miles long by 50 broad; thence the St. Lawrence carries its produce to the ocean, and the Rideau Canal connects it with the lumberers’ home on the Ottawa; the main trunk line of railway, which will extend from the western point of the colony to Halifax, passes through it; a local line, traversing some of the richest land in Canada, is now in progress to Lake Simcoe and Lake Huron; one iron horse already affords it communication with Waterloo—nearly opposite Buffalo—whence produce descends by the Erie Canal and the Hudson to New York: besides all which advantages, it enjoys at present the privilege of being one of the seats of government and the radiating point of education. Surely, then, if any town in Upper Canada ought to flourish, it is Toronto; nor is there, I trust, any reason to doubt that it will become a most wealthy and important place. The influence of the young railways is already beginning to be felt: the population, which in 1851 was only 25,000, amounted in 1853 to upwards of 30,000, and is still rapidly increasing. Having been fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of Mr. Cumberland, the chief engineer of the line of railway to Lake Simcoe, he was kind enough to ask me to accompany him to that lake on a trip of inspection, an offer of which I gladly availed myself. I was delighted to find that the Canadians had sufficient good sense to patronize first and second class carriages; and, also, that they have begun to make their own carriages and locomotives. The rails appeared very solidly laid down, and the road fenced off; but, despite the fences, an inquisitive cow managed to get on the line, and was very near being made beef of in consequence. The progress of cultivation gave the most satisfactory evidence of increasing prosperity, while the virgin forest-land told what a rich harvest was still in store for the industrious emigrant.