Virtual Museum Canada

Sir SandFord Fleming - The Knight Of Time

A Man Of His Time

A country built on rails

Map of North America in 1850
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In a country as vast as Canada, the railway provided unhoped-for possibilities for development. In fact, the country was literally built on rails: several Canadian provinces agreed to Confederation only because they were promised a railway link to the rest of the country.

Fleming's 1877 proposal
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As a surveyor and civil engineer, Sandford Fleming worked to expand the Canadian network – a project to which he was deeply committed. He quickly understood the crucial importance of communications and transportation in his adopted country.

Coal cars
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His goal was to unite Canada from coast to coast through a rapid, efficient and modern transportation network. Trains ensured the circulation of goods and people, fostered trade and contributed to the development of cities located on the network.