Queen's Avenue, Toronto.
Like most of the prosperous cities of America, Toronto has a record of development, which to the Old World seems almost incredible. In 1793 it was still a wilderness. A dense and immemorial forest then stretched from the unknown north down to the very margin of the lake. Yet, where at that time clustered filthy wigwams tenanted by savages, to-day thousands of handsome houses and imposing buildings frame three hundred miles of paved and lighted streets. Where the barbarian cowered, terror-stricken, at the lightning's flash, the men who have succeeded him make electricity their servant, lighting their streets and homes with fairy lamps, which would have seemed, a hundred years ago, as unattainable as stars. The ominous war-whoop, echoing through the woods, has given place to friendly and commercial words sent rhythmically over an electric wire by the same tireless force that brings to every portion of the city, along one hundred miles of well-laid track, luxurious street cars freighted with humanity. Trees are still here in beauty and profusion; but they no longer form a gloomy and repellent barrier. Ranged in symmetrical lines, they cast a grateful shade on sidewalks, gardens, lawns, and pleasure parks; while, far above their foliage, rise - often made of delicately colored stone - spires of churches, summits of lofty public edifices, and towers of educational institutions. Gaze from an elevation, therefore, on this beautiful and progressive city, you, who complain of lack of romance in this western world ! Behold its throngs of well-dressed, cultured men and women, its busy-thoroughfares, brilliant shops, enormous manufacturing establishments, and crowded docks. Observe the scores of steamers entering its noble harbor, or taking their departure thence for towns that gem the shores of the great lakes. Notice the numerous lines of railway radiating from it to every prominent district of the Prov-ince, and forming close connections with routes to every part of the United States. Admire its magnificent law courts, where even-handed justice has replaced the brutal violence of savages. Appreciate especially the crowning glory of the city, - the stately group of buildings which constitute the home of the Toronto University, illustrious in itself, yet with which twelve associate colleges form a federation, including schools of medicine, agriculture, music, pharmacy, and dentistry. Then, having formed a just conception of the mental, moral, and material value of this throbbing nucleus of intellectual, spiritual, and commercial energy, tell me if there be any surer antidote for pessimism, or better reason for belief in the improvement of mankind, than such a marvelous transformation, wrought within the possible limits of a single lifetime, and on a tract of land which, less than one hundred years ago, was purchased from the Indian by the white man for - ten shillings!
Osgoode Hall. Law Courts.
Knox College, Toronto.
A railway journey of four hours from Toronto brings the Canadian traveler to the spacious antechamber of Lake Huron, known as Georgian Bay. From its chief harbor, Owen Sound, those who prefer to change for a time their mode of transcontinental progress find one of the comfortable steamers of the Canadian Pacific Line in readiness to convey them to Fort William, on the western shore of Lake Superior, where the agreeably interrupted railway trip can be resumed. On a fine summer day, the sail through this remarkably beautiful, but alas! to Americans almost unknown, bay is a delightful experience. Not only are its depths of wellnigh unexampled clearness, and of a color exquisitely blue, but on its glassy and unruffled surface thirty thousand islands duplicate their varied forms. This number seems at first incredible, yet it is moderate compared with other estimates that have been made. Thus David Thompson, the renowned explorer of northwestern Canada, is authority for the statement that Lieutenant Collins, of his survey party, counted more than forty-seven thousand of these Georgian islets! In any case, it should be remembered that this arm of Lake Huron is one hundred and twenty miles long, and fifty wide, and hence has ample room for such an archi-pelago. This is, moreover, a region where everything in the form of water assumes vast proportions. The area of Lake Huron alone is about three times as large as the State of Massachusetts; while Lake Superior, its immediate and greater neighbor, has a length of four hundred and twenty miles, and a breadth of eighty, and is preeminent as the largest body of fresh water on the globe. In fact, the total volume of the great lakes is thought to be sufficient, even though unrenewed from any source, to maintain for a century the torrent of Niagara. It is not strange that such phenomena are almost inconceivable by those who have not actually seen them, and an amusing instance of the incorrect notions about Canada held even by Great Britain less than a hundred years ago is seen in the fact that during the war with the United States, in 1812, the British Admiralty sent to Lake Ontario, where the English fleet was stationed, a quantity of well-filled water casks, in the belief that the liquid contents of that lake were salt! The connecting link between Lakes Huron and Superior is St. Mary's River, some forty miles in length. This, far from yielding gracefully to the requirements of commerce, opposes them successfully by means of turbulent rapids, known as the Sault Ste. Marie. These can be safely enough descended in canoes, but have a sufficient fall to make ascending navigation quite impossible, and to compel man to employ great ingenuity and skill in overcoming the annoying obstacle. Accordingly, both the United States and Canada have built, on their respective sides of it, canals and locks well worth the millions they have cost. For, difficult as it is for any one unfamiliar with the subject to believe it, the annual tonnage carried through these inland waterways is double that of the Suez Canal; and this, although navigation here is practically limited to only eight months of the year, beginning usually about the first of May and ending in December. Yet, even under these conditions, there passed between Superior and Huron, in 1896, more than eighteen thousand vessels, having a registered capacity of eighteen million tons, and carrying, among other articles of freight, over ninety million bushels of grain, and eight million tons of iron ore. One cannot help admiring the ingenuity of man in making natural forces, which thwart his plans in one direction, serve him in another. Thus, though the rapids of St. Mary's River success-fully resist his progress, and force him to resort to difficult and costly modes of transportation, he uses for his manufacturing purposes the very strength by which those rapids, in respect to navigation, triumph over him. Near the Canadian canal, for example, stands the largest pulp-mill in the world, to which the impetuous river is constrained to furnish an amount of energy equivalent to nine thousand horse power, resulting in the production of one hundred and ten tons of pulp per day.