Clandonald and Scottish Immigration in Canada

As soon as the railway was complete, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company promoted the colonization of Western Canada. The vast areas of land given to the CPR under the railway construction contract were to be settled and sold for revenue.

Immigrants were organized in groups, like the families from the Hebrides and British Isles, who, in 1926, were brought to establish the Clandonald Colony, about 230 kilometers east of Edmonton, Alberta. Given free passage to Canada, each family was provided with the basic provisions needed to start their new life in Canada.

Hundreds of town sites across the prairies followed the same settlement pattern. Under the settlement schemes, the CPR would loan the funds for the purchase of land. Settlers also became further indebted to banks so they could purchase the necessary farm implements and animals. Attracted by “The Wondrous West” they often found themselves struggling against a harsh and unfamiliar climate, forced to break more and more land to meet their financial obligations for the land debt and taxes.

The Chung Collection contains the archival material of Rev. Andrew MacDonell, a minister from the Scottish Hebrides who worked with the C.P.R. to relocate several hundred families from Scotland, Ireland and England to settle in the Alberta colony Clandonald.  The documents include MacDonell's diaries, photographs and correspondence, and include material related to the Scottish Immigrant Aid Society, and maps of Clandonald.

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