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I CANADIAN NEWS JOTTINGS. I. L^ROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) MONTREAL, DEC. 27TH. So far there has been no really cold weather end Montrealers who love the city best when the snow is piltd so high on either side of the sidewalks that you cannot see across the street ilre t'cginniug to complain. The only happy peop are the building contractors, and those who have been spared the expense of a winter in California. The effect of the mild weather :iti building operations is very apparent from figures in the possession of the building inspector, He estimates that this year the total vahit: of building permits issued for Greater Montreal will be nearly £ 8,000,000. In the present month the building permits issued totalled £ 238,256, compared with E137,137 dti-ing the whole of December last year. Many of the ancient liuddled-together dwellings in narrow streets of the French section of the city have been razed to the ground aud more up-to-date dwellings erected on the sitei. I GOLDEN GRAIN. I Talking of a warm autumn, the weather has had a most beneficial effect on the pockets of the farmers of the West. Figures compiled at the Calgary Grain Exchange indicate that 75 per cent, of the Alberta grain crop has already been marketed. The exceptional earliness of the season, together with the fine weather which prevailed all fall, cnahled the railways to get. most of the crop to the head of the lakes before the close of navigation. Of the 25 per cent, of the crop remaining in farmers' hands nearly one half will be required for seed, leaving onlv from 12 to 15 of the whole to be marketed. As a result of this state of affairs money promises to be somewhat easier after the first of the year. Implement houses and other lines of business which deal largely with the agri- cultural community are reporting that their col- lections are very good, and many of the big job- bing firms in Calgary have had to put on extra staffs to handle their big cash receipts. I NOT SO VERY BAD. I By the way, the most exaggerated reports were circulated through the Press of the damage done by fire during the recent water famine. The only serious fire was that in Ontario-street, which is not near the business centre of the city as stated in the papers, and not a street of any importance. True, the owners of the block destroyed lost consider- ably, but the general feeling of property owners ia the vicinity is that the conflagration was a disguised blessing. A newer, better building will be erected in the place of the shambling affair that was burned. THE OIL OF ATHABASCA. t A number of the local real estate men are intensely interested in the Athabasca River country, 140 miles north of Edmonton, since the reports of Dr. A. T. Shillington, of Ottawa and Mr. Oscar T. Ross, of the same place, have been published. They have just returned from the North-West, and claim that there is an oil field on the shores of the Athabasca River which may rival that of California on a smaller scale. The prospectors ;in question have shown their belief in the country by securing from the Govern- ment some 34,000 acres of land. The proposition is a somewhat unique one in that it represents oil prospecting by a somewhat new method, a strictly scientific one. Oil pro- specting in Canada in the past has been conducted along the lines of find the oil and then develop your field." The manner in which the two Ottawa men have approached it is one in which they first attempt to find the field and now propose to look for the oil. ADVENTURE FOR THE ADVENTUROUS. I Reminiscent of the days of the pioneers is the story that comes from the bush near fiurbidge, Quebec. Here lives Louis Angers, a wood chopper. Angers was out in the woods about a quarter of a mile from his hut when he heard the long-drawn howl of a wolf in the distance which was quickly answered by others. Being armed with nothing more than a sheath knife and a stick, Angers took to his heels and a Marathon ensued, the like of which has not been seen even at the Olympic games. With three large wolves in pursuit Angers sprinted for dear life, just managing to fling the door of his cabin shut as the foremost of his hungry pursuers landed with a thud against it. When he had recovered his breath, the wood- chopper fired a couple of shots at the animals iitill skulking about, without killing one. It is still possible for the lover of excitement to enjoy incidents snch as this; but he has to go pretty far afield for them now—right into the back back- woods." Still, it is refreshing for us, who have to take ourexcitements second-hand from the moving pictures, to realise that such things happen at places which are, at any rate, on the same continent. T THE PUSHING NEWSBOY. I An interesting little story reaches me from A Western correspondent, which illustrates very well the type of immigrant, British or foreign, of whom Canada is most in need. By dint of hard work and rigid saving, Benjamin Dworkin, a little Russian lad, of 14 summers, who daily sells papers on the streets of Calgary, has accumulated enough money to bring his father, mother and five little brothers and sisters from Russia to the land" ot promise the Canadian West. The boy em- barked for Canada about fourteeen months ago and, arriving at Calgary, at first worked at odd jobs around the city. He soon discovered that more money was to be made in business for himself so he started as a "newsie 011 the streets. Furthermore,selling papers gave him a chance to go to school, and he took advantage of the night classes for foreign-born citizens which arc con- ducted by the technical education board of the city. Young Dworkin's dreams were realised the oilier day when his family, seven in number, arrived fi-oni Russia and all secured work, which will take a big burden off his shoulders. QUEBEC. There are to be big developments in t during the coming year. Two (.lays before Chi ist. Inan the agreements were signed for the building of the huge new railway terminal works into which all the railways entering Quebec will nll. The station is designed to be the finest in Cunada and will be used by both the Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk' as lessees. A tunnel beneath part of the city will connect the station proper with the actual terminus at the riverside. This is to occupy the site of the old Champlain Market, and, while lovers of the picturesque will lament the loss of the ancient huddle of build- ings which gave such quaintness to the river front, the terminus will be admirably situated from a commercial point of view. Car shops at St. Malo covering 200 acres, and a large freight yard at Ste. Foye—where one of the minor battles which preceded the Plains of Abraham waa fought are included in the scheme. The (--at- ferry which will connect the Quebec terminus with the railway IHJCK at Levis, on the other side of the St. W Lawrence, is now being built in England,;and will be delivered, it is cxpecb d, in 4u» KDvijvf w*