As part of our series on Historic Victoria Advertisements, Automobiles & Transportation, 1920-1929, here are some advertisements,, from 1925 and 1926, for rail travel on the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway.
These advertisements also show the locations for the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway ticket offices in downtown Victoria, both of which were in buildings that are still standing on Government Street.
1925 Advertisements for the Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway
In the first advertisements, from 1925, we have included the advertisements for the Canadian National Railway (top) and the Canadian Pacific Railway (bottom).
Notice the Canadian National Railway advertising itself as the shortest route between the Pacific Coast and Europe. Passengers would take the train across Canada to the East Coast and then board a ship for Europe. Notice also that the train left Vancouver at 9:50 p.m., presumably so that the train would be travelling through the BC Interior by dawn and Rocky Mountains during the day, so passengers could see the best scenery of the trip during daylight hours. As shown in the advertisement, the Canadian National Railway ticket office in downtown Victoria was at 911 Government Street.
By contrast the Canadian Pacific Railway advertising focused on its “Express trains”: the Toronto Express and The Imperial, which went to Montreal.
The Toronto Express left Vancouver at 8:45 a.m., which presumably meant it went through the Canadian Rockies at night. The Imperial, which went to Montreal, left Vancouver at 9 p.m., which meant that it went through the Canadian Rockies during the day.
1926 Advertisement for the Canadian Pacific Railway
This 1926 Canadian Pacific Railway advertisement focuses on the speed of travel, as did the 1925 Canadian Pacific Railway advertisement shown above.
Notice the emphasis on travel time: 83 hours from Vancouver to Toronto and 88 1/2 hours from Vancouver to Montreal. The trains left Vancouver at 8:30 p.m. each day, which meant they arrived in downtown Toronto before the start of the business day and in Montreal at about noon.
Here are the locations of the downtown Victoria ticket offices of the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway as they appear today.
911 Government Street – C.N.R. Ticket Office in 1925
1102 Government Street – C.P.R. Ticket Office in 1925 & 1926
C.P.R. Steamship Terminal, Belleville Street – C.P.R. Ticket Office in 1925 & 1926
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