By: Yvonne Fox
The lobbying for a permanent crossing at the Strait of Canso in 1883 and 1902 was motivated largely by a concern for the coal and steel industries which were located in the Sydney and area towns.
The strong winds, fog, but most importantly ice conditions, played havoc with ability for even a ferry loaded with cars of coal and or steel to cross without lengthy delays in the winter.
“Strait Is Ice Bound” was the headline in the April 14, 1933 newspaper followed by “C.N.R. Car Ferry Is Two Hours Making Trip Across To Mulgrave.”
It was a labour intensive job taking the trains apart and putting the cars on the ferries in Point Tupper and reassembling them in Mulgrave and vice versa. This created as many as 300 jobs in these two communities between the railway and ferries so they were happy with the situation.
By 1925, with regard to the auto ferries, the following was a letter submitted in August to The Sydney Post from a Mrs. MacRitchie. In her lengthy, detailed letter of complaint about the service, she began, “Sir: There has been considerable time and money spent in the last year advertising our scenic beauties, wonderful climate conditions, fishing and hunting attractions, splendid highways and so forth, but has it occurred to anyone to comment on transportation facilities across the Strait of Canso, in particular?
This is the second in a series of columns from the Port Hastings Historical Society celebrating the 65th anniversary of the opening of the Canso Causeway, and marking the closure of the Mulgrave to Point Tupper ferry.