Updated: Aug 6, 2022
Importing qualified employees to work on Canada's rails.
"120 St. Vincent Street: Scene Outside of Glasgow's Canadian Pacific Rail Office"
Photo Clip: Canada Weekly Magazine (1913)
It had been only 15 years since the last spike was driven to complete Canada's ocean-to-ocean rail connection, but the competition had grown. By the turn of the century, tracks of multiple railway companies were strewn across the continent, and roads were built to accommodate automobiles. Amidst enormous progress, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR) was determined to provide North America's best transcontinental travel service.
To up their game, the CPR added almost 30 more dining cars to their line and sought to fill them with top employees from the United Kingdom. By spring of 1913, they had imported 500 chefs, cooks and waiters from Glasgow and were hiring 200 more. It was like winning a lottery for those hand-picked from thousands of applications. The men were to be employed year-round and live in new staff accommodations along the line adjacent to each Canadian Pacific Hotel. Private baths, libraries and clubhouses were at their disposal, as well as food and beverages. It was an employee incentive program that worked well for the CPR. It secured the long-term talent required to compete and was not offered anywhere else on the continent.