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Ontario was very leery of Montreal being the terminus and having control of this transportation system! It is likely that they were fearful of losing their grip on "NEW" Ontario (their portion of Ruperts Land!)
  1. In 1885 Ontario played it's first "trump card!"
    So they utilized that 7,000+ year old passageway (made by migrating caribou and aboriginals who followed them) up to the foot of Seven League Lake and improved it to Colonization Road status under the name of the Mattawa - Temiscaminque Colonization Road (Ontario Sessional Papers 1885 - 1913) right up to the foot of Seven Leaque Lake. which was the docking berth or home of the steamboat "L'Emerillon."
    1. This "highway" was then capable of taking stage coaches and livery wagons up to that point and it also cut the steam boat's L'Emerilion's water trip by 19 kilometres leaving only the 13 kilometres of the 25 kilometre length of Seven League Lake left
    2. passengers and cargo could loaded at Mattawa and transferred to the boat here.
    3. of course, this ate into the ridership of the Quebec based river steamboat/scows and the drudgery of walking and hauling luggage over those 3 portages
        The Oblate order could not stop people from boarding that boat or using their railway around the rapids because public monies were spent in acquiring both. If somebody was willing to pay the fare they were obligated to accommodate them. To counteract this the Oblates re-approached the Federal government for funding and the following year they laid done poles for tracks and put horse drawn tramways over each of those 3 portages! This carried the baggage but the "passengers" still had to unload , walk and then load again.
  2. Ontario played it's second "trump card" and in 1889 that Mattawa - Temiscamingue colonization road was extended along that old trailway to right across the river from the docks from where the lake steam ships took off from . Stagecoaches and livery wagons soon delivered to there. Even fewer people used the river steamboats and portages.
  3. In the meantime and in order to better connect "NEW" Ontario with Toronto the Ontario Colonization Roads branch started yet another colonization road that they named the North Bay - Temiscaminque Colonization road which eventually terminated at the mouth of the Montreal River and there was a roadway from there which connected with New Liskeard. The intent here was to bring Toronto rather than Montreal into Northern Ontario's focus.
  4. In 1894 the Oblate Order obtained and played an even better "trump card" having convinced the federal government to finance the CPR to build a spur railway line from Mattawa to the Lake Temiscamingue steamship port. It seemed like they won this crazy game.
    • NEW Ontario was doing well according to the Canadian Newsmen who visited there via this transport system. New Ontario by then had about 5,000 registered settlers and that was continuing.
    • the rail and water passageway thrived and constantly gained in popularity with the inclusion of this CPR spur line up until to 1905 but it was strictly an "open water" operation, operating from mid April to mid November for the rest of the year ice made the steamships inoperable.
    • That CPR spur line really limited the usefulness of the Mattawa - Temiscamingue Colonization road except for travellers and/or cargo wishing to go to lumber camps mostly on the Ontario side.
    • It is also important to remember that boat travel on Lake Temiskaming was impossible when there was ice and this old road was still used as vehicle and a winter road communication by sleigh but it was easier and far safer to use the aforementioned North Bay - Temiscaminque Road for sleigh access, which in 1891, after the Gillies Lumber Company made generous donations, to complete it which met Lake Temiskaming at the mouth of the Montreal River eliminating the continuously open waters of the Colton and Opimican narrows and mouth of the Kippawa River.
The following map is an update on the 1897 map which essentially shows the T&NO Railway that was built by Ontario in 1905 without the help of Federal Government that I know of.

click for a pdf

The 1905 completion of the T&NO sounded the death knell of the earlier Mattawan and North Bay - Temiscaminque Colonization Roads and the Steamships on Lake Temiscamingue


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