Concept

Harvest excursion

Summary
A harvest excursion was a common practice in Canada in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century where large numbers of workers would travel to the Canadian prairies to participate in the fall harvest. There were long severe labour shortages on the Canadian prairies and these became extreme during the weeks of the fall harvest when millions of acres of crops needed to be brought in during a short period of time from September to October. Thus in 1890 harvest excursions were organized by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in which special trains would transport workers from Eastern Canada to the prairie centres. There they would be hired by agents and travel to farms across the prairies. The labourers were given low fares by the CPR as the railway knew that they would later earn a great deal from transporting the harvest. The CPR was also the largest landholder in the west and it hoped that some of the excursioners would decide to settle in the west and buy some railway land
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