Media Advisory - Provincial plaque commemorates French-Canadian settlement and the CPR in the Mattawa area

    TORONTO, Oct. 22 /CNW/ -

    Date:              Monday, October 27, 2008 at 1:45 p.m.
    Location:          Mattawa and District Museum, Explorer's Point
                       285 First Street, Mattawa
    Directions:        From Highway 17, turn onto Main Street (Highway 533).
                       Cross over the Mattawa River Bridge. The museum is
                       located on the north side of the road.
    Photo opportunity: Unveiling of a provincial plaque
    Contact:           Liane Nowosielski
                       Assistant Marketing and Communications Coordinator
                       Telephone: 416-325-5032

    Join the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Mattawa Bonfield Economic
Development Corporation for the unveiling of a provincial plaque commemorating
the French-Canadian Settlement and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in the
Mattawa Area.
    Situated at the confluence of the Mattawa and Ottawa rivers, the small
town of Mattawa saw its first permanent settlers when the Hudson's Bay Company
opened a fur trading post there in 1837. It was not until the arrival of the
CPR, however, that the region's population grew. By 1880, there were 4,000 men
working on the railway line. The CPR also benefited several towns to the west,
including: Eau Claire, Bonfield, Astorville and Corbeil.
    Although living conditions were harsh, half of the workers and their
families remained in Mattawa following completion of the railway in 1881. Of
the men who stayed, 1,000 were French-Canadian. Population growth due to the
booming lumber industry eventually led to the construction of churches and
    The introduction of the CPR contributed greatly to the development and
prosperity of Mattawa and other towns in the area. Opportunities presented by
the construction of the railway also attracted many French-Canadian settlers
who left a lasting imprint on the region's culture and heritage.
    The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates
significant people, places and events in Ontario's history. Since 1953, over
1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.
    The Trust gratefully acknowledges the Ontario Office of Francophone
Affairs for its assistance and the Department of Canadian Heritage for its
financial contribution to this provincial plaque through the Canada-Ontario
Agreement on French-Language Services.

                         Aussi disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Liane Nowosielski, Assistant Marketing and
Communications Coordinator, Telephone: (416) 325-5032, E-mail:

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