You are here

The Tide of Immigration

Accession number: 
Production Years: 
1919 to 1921


Film Properties: 
Length (feet): 
533 (28mm); 627 (35mm)
Length (minutes): 
Holding Institutions: 

Library and Archives Canada: 28mm, 35mm, digibeta, VHS.
"This consists of footage of immigrants coming to Canada and beginning their lives here. The footage is interspersed with intertitles. Some intertitles include the Canadian National Pictorial logo and others include the words "Canadian National Pictorial". The first story is about immigrants at Saint John, New Brunswick. The first intertitle states: "Receiving The New-Comers" and it is followed by another which reads "The Department of Immigration and Colonization has made extensive improvements to its building at St. John [sic], all of which tend to the comfort of the Newcomers". The next intertitle reads: "Neatness and Cleanliness in Dining Room and Kitchen". The first sequence shows men in a large room, seated at long tables, eating. Next, staff work in a kitchen, including a woman slicing bread, a man slicing other food on a table from which pots and pans are hanging, a woman carrying a pitcher and other workers in the background. The next intertitle reads "A Section of the Men's Dormitory". The following sequence shows a room containing beds. An intertitle then reads "All the comforts of a home in the Detention Room" and this is followed by shots of men, women and children, including some women wearing kerchiefs and some men wearing a uniform of peaked caps and double-breasted suits. The next intertitle reads "A comfortable first class Dormitory for Women" and this is followed by a close-up of rows of beds, with pillows and mattresses. Other footage shows beds with sheets and blankets on them and a child lying in one of the beds. The next intertitle reads "The Canteen, where the immigrants may supplement their rations". The footage shows people standing at a canteen. The next intertitle is "New arrivals in the Landing Room, waiting for Medical Inspection". A large group of men stand and look at the camera. Some of the men standing at the back of the room take off their hats and wave them at the camera. There is a large Union Jack faintly visible at the back of the hall. The next intertitle, "The General Inspection Room", introduces shots of a man in uniform standing at a tall desk, looking over papers as he talks to a man in a suit. Other men stand in line. Another official, also at a desk, talks to another man. A man walks in the foreground. The next intertitle reads: "Some of the fine type of young women immigrants from the British Isles, who may find in Canada a home, in more ways than one." This is followed by footage of a group of women looking at the camera, including one with a child. The women smile at the camera. Next is a shot of people standing below a sign which says Canadian National Railways. An intertitle reads "The new steam-heated Rest Room" but no images follow. The next intertitle reads "As many as 1,200 letters, [sic] have been written and mailed "back 'ome" at the Post Office in the building, in a week". Footage shows a woman writing on a piece of paper as she is seated at a wicket with a mesh screen. Next to her, some men are standing and holding some papers. Some other people are seated at a table to the right. Next is an intertitle which reads "Mrs. H. Lawrence, of the Canadian Red Cross (left), and Mrs. G.M. Perry, of the Immigration Department", followed by two women looking at the camera. The next intertitle reads "Grand Beach, Man." and "An Outing At Grand Beach". The footage shows women and children in summer clothes and large-brimmed hats, boarding a train, a crowd on a train platform, a sign reading "This Train Leaving For Winnipeg"; a large crowd standing on shore facing the camera, as some children and adults walk in the ankle-deep water; a large wooden building visible in the background; more shots of people in bathing suits, wading in the water; and a view from shore, showing bathers and two boats in the water. The next intertitles read "Red Deer, Alta.", "Home Sweet Home Studies For Brides" and "Old County girls who have recently accepted Canadian husbands are entertained by the City of Red Deer, and instructed in butter-making by the Soldier Settlement Board". The footage shows groups of girls and women in the audience, with several of them taking notes; some little children among the women; a w o man cranking a barrel churn as the audience, dimly visible in the background, looks on; a man operating equipment (the equipment is not clearly or wholly visible) as women look on; a woman with a child; a woman scooping butter out of a churn and placing it in a shallow bin; the woman pushing the piles of butter around with a small paddle; intertitle which reads "A Visit to the Diary", followed by footage of a group of women and children watching a woman milk a cow in Red Deer; a close-up of the woman milking the cow and smiling at the camera. The next intertitle reads "Galt, Ont.","Irish Colleens Among Newcomers To Canada" and "In Galt they are employed in a knitting factory". The footage shows a group of young women standing at the entrance to a building, a close-up of the women as they smile for the camera; two women operating machinery inside a factory; large spindles of yarn nearby; and women operating machinery with piles of fabric or garments next to them. The next intertitles read "St. John, N.B. [sic]", "Peopling The Western Plains" and "Sixty British farmers and their families have crossed the Atlantic on the SS Minnedosa, bound for Saskatchewan as Homesteaders". There is a pan shot of people standing on a deck or platform. One man holds a little girl. Some smile for the camera. A woman in the group wears a fur coat. The next intertitle reads "They have come prepared, for together they have $175,000, to invest in fertile Canadian land". A group of men, women and children looking at the camera, including a little girl holding tightly onto a doll. The camera pans across them. Some men smile, take off their caps and wave at the camera. The next intertitle reads "A party of thirty domestics for the Saskatchewan government". The footage shows a group of women looking at the camera. The next intertitle reads "Another party - thirty-four women from the Williams Settlement Society, bound for Saskatchewan". The camera p ans across a group of women looking at the camera, including a woman with a baby. The final story is introduced with the intertitles "Peterborough, Ont.", "Newly Arrived Barnardo Girls At "Hazel Brae" Their Canadian Home" and "At the Dr. Barnardo Girls' Home in Canada, they are re-visited by Mrs. J.W. Hobday, who, with her husband, brought them over from England." The footage shows a longshot of a large, two-storey brick building; girls wearing identical dresses, in front of building and lining up to go into the building; woman standing on the verandah of the building; girls run onto the verandah and hug one of the women; other girls running past the camera, laughing; slow pan across a group of girls; a man standing in the back row of the group shot raises his hat and leads the girls in a wave to the camera; intertitle which reads "A future Canadian bride", followed by a close-up of one of the girls with a ribbon in her long hair; intertitle "Receiving the savings they placed in Mr. Hobday's charge while on board ship", followed by footage of a man seated at a small desk, with a man and a woman standing beside him, and girls lined up to the side; he hands one of the girls something as other girls wait their turn; other girls coming up to get their money; girls holding hands and dancing in a circle, on a lawn; the girls fall down and laugh; a girl standing in the centre of the ring looks at the camera; the girls get up, form the circle again and dance. The next intertitle reads "The dinner bell". The footage shows a woman standing at a door of the brick building and a woman in a white dress and headdress, probably a nurse, leads girls into the building. The film closes with "The End" and "Province of Ontario Pictures".