Fourth.-The Lumber and other Canadian Trade.
By a statement furnished by Mr. Dawson, it appears the Lumber Trade of 1852 was in square timber and sawed deals, plank and boards, (including the District West of Toronto,) reduced to board measure as follows:
The report on trade and navigation for 1853, made to the Canadian Government by Mr. Hincks, Inspector General, shows the value of imports from the United States to have been for that year 2,945,536 pounds currency. The recent commercial treaty may be expected to materially increase this trade, especially that branch of it that would be opened by the connection with Lake Champlain, and through it with the New England States. By reference to the tables in the report above referred to, it will be seen that trade from the United States embraces to a great extent the class of articles that gives the greatest tonnage for their value.
The most important benefit that the general trade of Canada will derive from the proposed improvement will be in opening for a large part of it either a new market or greatly improved facilities of transport to those now existing for her products, and especially for the lumber that now descends the St. Lawrence and finds its principle market at Quebec ; a portion of this trade now finds its way to New York. If such improvement in its transport can be effected as will reduce the cost to Troy and Albany to nearly the same it is to Quebec, a choice of market will be presented of great value to this branch of trade. From what I have been able to learn, it appears the market at New York generally ranges higher than at Quebec, and if the New York market was so opened as to take one-half of the lumber that now goes to Quebec, no doubt a very material improvement would be made in its market value. In 1853 over one million three hundred and forty thousand (1,340,000) tons of lumber arrived at Albany and Troy from the Canals, or near 50 per cent. more than was received at Quebec. Large quantities of lumber are received at New York from the State of Maine, which are brought coastwise. This is mentioned to show that it is a large market for lumber. The sources of this lumber within the State of New York are not of that extensive character, especially for pine, that are found in Canada. Of the lumber of 1853, by Canals, about 550,000 tons were from other States and Canada; 220,000 tons were from Lake Erie, a source that will be materially interfered with by the demand that is rapidly growing up in the Western States, where very little pine is found. Chicago has become within a few years an important lumber market, and at all the principal ports on the upper Lakes large quantities of lumber find a ready sale; and the time must soon arrive when very little pine from the upper Lakes will go east of Lake Erie for a market. As before observed the pine districts in the State of New York, that are available to the New York market, are not extensive. They are rapidly being reduced by export to tide water, and by consumption in the interior. These circumstances are mentioned as indicating the probability of an improved price for lumber in the New York market, which must be of great importance to the lumber trade of the St. Lawrence and its tributaries.
It appears from Mr. Dawson's statement, that from the districts cast and west of Toronto, there was sent to the United States in 1852 near 300,000 tons of lumber. The proposed improvement would doubtless divert a large portion of this lumber by the St. Lawrence and Champlain route, even with the Champlain Canal of New York as at present, and if that Canal be enlarged as heretofore suggested, nearly the whole would follow this channel.
Some portion of the lumber of the St. Lawrence, as before observed, now finds its way to New York by way of the Chambly River and Canal. This passes down the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers to Sorel, from whence it proceeds up the Chambly to St. Johns, which we may for the present consider the foot of Lake Champlain.
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