Canada was still an importing country in 1905. In other words, it imported more goods than it exported. However, many industries were expanding and some Canadian products were being exported all over the world. This economic growth was mostly driven by large investments by U.S. companies.

Pulp and paper

Newspapers were being created across the globe and Quebec’s papermaking industry was booming. Quebec’s forests were largely made up of coniferous trees, which were ideal for papermaking. In the early 20th century, Canada was the world’s largest producer of newsprint, and 86% of its exports were sent to the United States. The value of paper production jumped from $5 million per year in 1900 to $14 million in 1910 and $75 million in 1922. To create jobs in Quebec, the government encouraged companies to turn wood into paper locally.

Metals and minerals

In the early 20th century, Quebec’s mines produced several metals that were exported worldwide. The Abitibi region produced gold and copper known for their high quality. Asbestos extracted from mines in the Eastern Townships was used in several products such as roofing and later, car brakes. Finally, the aluminum production company Alcoa created Alcan in 1902. This company would one day become one of the largest aluminum producers in the world.

Author: Alexandre Lanoix