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Canada Northwest Land Ltd. fonds


Physical Description:
13.8 m of textual records

The Canada North-West Land Company (Limited) (CNWLC), a British-Canadian syndicate, was incorporated as a British company in 1882 when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) agreed to sell it 5,000,000 acres (2,000,000 ha) of land in the North-West Territories. This land comprised the odd-numbered sections in each Township along the CPR main line, except 11 and 29 which were reserved for school lands. The objects of CNWLC included: to act as agents or trustees for the buying or selling of farm and townsite land; to erect buildings for settlers, lay out town lots, and construct roads and ditches; to market timber and minerals; and to act as emigration agents. In 1883, the contract was modified to 2,200,000 acres (880,000 ha) exclusive of town sites, and the company's head offices were moved from Toronto to Winnipeg. The CNWLC also held trusteeship to forty-seven towns on the CPR main line. The trusteeship was terminated in 1908 and the unsold townsite properties divided between the CPR and the CNWLC. The original directors included the Duke of Manchester, Lord Elphinstone, Sir Roland Blennerhasset and F.H. Evans in England, and in Canada, Donald Smith, W.B. Scarth, and E.B. Osler. By 1893 the direction and ownership of the company became increasingly Canadian. The company went into liquidation when the British investors saw that settlement was slower than expected, and therefore a new company with the same name was incorporated in Canada to take over the business and property of the organization. The new president was W.C. Van Horne and the vice-president, E.B. Osler. The board was rounded out by persons closely connected with the CPR such as Donald Smith, R.B. Angus, and T.G. Shaughnessy. In 1894 the CPR Land Department took over the administration and sale of the company's lands. Beginning in 1906, the directors began to liquidate the company by selling lands and distributing part of the proceeds to the shareholders. As the company's lands had been acquired before the alienation of mineral rights to the Crown in 1905, the company began to lease some of its lands to oil companies in 1949 and receive royalties. By 1957 the company was declared to be no longer "in liquidation" and became an operating oil company. After 1966, it began to invest in exploration activities. It was restructured in 1969 and renamed Canada Northwest Land Limited. Offices were moved to Calgary, Alberta, other companies acquired, and offices opened in London, England and Denver, Colorado, USA. The company subsequently changed its name to Canada Northwest Energy in 1982. For further information see Land to Energy, 1882-1982 / Charles S. Lee, editor. - Calgary : Canada Northwest Energy, 1983.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of articles of association and bylaws (1882-1964); minutes (1882-1965); annual reports (1883-1968); legal documents and agreements (1882-1914); shareholders' records (1882-1966); records of townsite sales (1882-1910); records of farm land sales (1882-1968); applications and contracts with individual purchasers (1917-1934); registers of deeds transfers (1883-1977); some land examination records (1913-1927); correspondence of the Land Commissioner, especially Virginie Smith (1887-1977); financial records including cashbooks, journals and ledgers (1882-1968); and records related to mineral rights and oil and gas leases (1930-1969). Includes records of the company's affiliate, Western Provinces Land Company (1925-1969).
RECORDS RELATED TO THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS ARE ALSO IN THIS FONDS. SEE INVENTORY FOR DETAILS: ALBERTA TOWNSITES: Bantry, Calgary, Canmore, Cochrane, Dunmore, Gleichen, Irvine, Langdon, Medicine Hat, and Namaka. SASKATCHEWAN TOWNSITES: Arcola, Balgonie, Belle Plaine, Boharm, Broadview, Burrows, Caron, Dalzell, Dumas, Ebor, Estevan, Fleming, Forget, Grand Coulee, Grenfell, Halbrite, Indian Head, Kaiser, Kennedy, Maple Creek, McLean, Manor, Moose Jaw, Moosomin, Neelby, Parkbeg, Peebles, Pense, Percival, Pilot Butte, Qu'Appelle, Red Jacket, Regina, Rocanville, Rush Lake, Sintaluta, Stockholm, Stoughton, Summerberry, Swift Current, Wapella, Wawota, Weyburn, Whitewood, Wilcox, Windthorst, and Wolseley. MANITOBA TOWNSITES: Alexander, Amana (school district), Argyle, Brandon, Broomhill, Elkhorn, Griswold, Hargrave, Kemnay, Landsdowne, Lorne, Oak Lake, Ohanah, Pipestone, Rathwell, Sinclair, Virden, Wallace, Whitehead, and Woodworth. PEOPLE AND COMPANIES: Ewen Cameron, Alexander Campbell, Angus Campbell, Canadian Agricultural, Coal and Colonization Co., Canadian-American Land Co., Lady Cathcart, Robert Cowan, Nicholas Flood Davin, William A. Ducker, Edward VII, Frederick Thomas Griffin, Harry Gullet, Henry Hitchie, James T. Kelly, Joseph Le Poder, Hugh John MacDonald, Alexander McDougall, Donald McFayden, Charles McMillan, John McQuaid, Manitoba South Western Colonization Railway Co., Morton (Ontario), John Niebergall, Peter Pilloud, John Rathwell, Eric Reford, Richard A. Webb, and William White.

Source of Acquisition:
Gifts of Canada Northwest Energy Ltd., Canada Northwest Land Limited, and Jason Oils Ltd., 1969-1990.

The material is in English.

Originals and Reproductions:
The Regina townsite sales register is also available on microfilm.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M-2274, M-6531, Microfilm-CNWL

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