spiking it

LAC print of dignitaries adding ‘the last spike’ in 1885 in BC

Toronto. When I was in high school , I enjoyed playing volleyball and (briefly) announcing.  It is fitting that on the last year of the day we feature an historical event – placing ‘the last spike’ on the CPR line in BC.

We are a very large country geographically, and rather small population-wise. One concession demanded by BC was to be linked by rail to the east within Canada before they agreed to join the Dominion.   Pierre Berton wrote about the 5 years spent building the CPR line west to BC in his book. “The Last Spike“.

The event was guided by an American steeped in railroads – Willian van Horne.Van Horne and family moved to Montreal to guide this massive undertaking by the CPR. Van Horne lived the rest of his life in Montreal where a street was named ‘Van Horne’ in his honour.

The photographs used are courtesy of the LAC and we thank our good friend and fellow photo history enthusiast, George Dunbar for bring them to our attention.

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