Once the railroad moved west, there were no limits to the
goods that could be brought to the west. This made settlement attractive.
Farm machinery, building materials and seed and life stock could be
imported with ease and wherever the railroad went new communities of
immigrants began to emerge. Invitations had been extended to come and farm
this wide country, so under-used to the European/Eastern Canadian
understanding. The railroad brought whole new communities - which in turn
required schools and hospitals. The churches found themselves called upon
to supplement public services: church-run residential schools offered an
opportunity for education to immigrant children who lived far from any
urban centre - regardless of ethnic or religious back ground.
The Hudson's Bay Company no longer set the tone, and the fur trade became
a secondary industry. Logging and husbandry, and the service industries
that they supported (e.g. coal mining), now determined the social fabric.
Schools, hospitals, and general stores were gradually supplied with the
products of technical and scientific developments of the past 50 years:
telephones, printing presses, steam engines and modern medicines.