Train 185: TVO documentary missed some important points – by R.I. Macdonald (Sudbury Star – April 19, 2023)

R.I. Macdonald is professor Emeritus, University of Manitoba and co-author of The Heart of New Ontario.

‘You will notice that several of the above points relate to the important role played by Indigenous individuals in the development of this part of Northern Ontario’

I watched the TVO documentary on Train 185 last evening and congratulate the production team for an interesting documentary. I offer the following points that would have been useful and interesting to have included.

The photography was excellent. The aerial photography in particular provided a dramatic, unique visual description of the Height of Land region of Northern Ontario. The fact that the two-car train photographed from the air was not the three-car train on the ground level shots was obvious and a bit disconcerting.

I offer the following more specific observations which would have been useful and interesting: ā€“ It would have been interesting to note that the route of the CPR over the Height of Land region was influenced by the advice of the Ojibway guides on the CPR survey team, who advised the surveyors that a few miles north of the proposed survey route, the water flowed north.

The surveyors followed this advice, altered the route and this decision allowed the line to avoid crossing the major rivers flowing south and the significant time and expense of constructing major bridges.

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