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Preface, Canada Directory

Having been engaged for some years in preparing and publishing works of a statistical nature, relating to Canada, the idea had frequently occurred to the Editor of the Canada Directory, that a volume which would give the amount and nature of information relative to the Province which is contained in the present one, could not fail to be of much practical utility and value to the public.

The difficulty, however, of finding a publisher who was willing to risk the heavy outlay incidental to bringing out such a work (as, added to the ordinary expenses, nearly all the information had to be collected by traveling agents, employed expressly for that purpose,) was the cause of its being delayed from time to time.

This difficulty having at length been obviated by the arrangements made with Mr. John Lovell, of Montreal, the publisher of the present volume, active operations in collecting the requisite material, (in which the Editor and eight intelligent assistants were employed,) were commenced in September, 1850, and the result of their labors is now submitted to the public in the contents of the following pages.

How far the Editor has succeeded in the design of producing a useful book, it will be, for the public to decide, but this much he can confidently say, that the labor bestowed upon it has been great, and the task an arduous one, and that no exertion nor expense have been spared in procuring the necessary data.

Should, however, any errors or omissions be discovered, and in the first edition of a work such as the present, it is almost impossible but that to some extent such should be the case, it is hoped that a reasonable degree of allowance will be made for them, when the difficulties of collecting and arranging such a mass of information as is here given are duly considered.

His thanks are due to many gentlemen residing in remote localities, for furnishing him with the necessary information regarding them, and his acknowledgments are particularly due to the Hon. James Morris, and the Hon. Joseph Bourret, for the promptitude and courtesy with which the information relative their several departments was supplied.

Indeed, with few exceptions, all who were applied to for information, kindly and cordially responded to the call, and to the gentlemen of the Canadian press, generally, his obligations have been numerous, and his thanks are sincere.

It was stated in the Prospectus of the Directory, that the names of the subscribers would appear in Small Capitals, heading the list of names in their respective Towns or Villages, and that plan has been strictly adhered to throughout, no disparagement of those who are not subscribers was originally meant, nor is now intended by this arrangement, which was designed simply as a fitting acknowledgment for the encouragement and support received from those who subscribed, and as such, will, he hopes, be accepted by them.

When the Directory was projected, it was intended that Villages having a population of less than from four to five hundred, should not be included in its pages, and it was supposed that returns from two hundred and fifty to three hundred places, at most, would be given. It will be observed that this resolution has not been adhered to, as it was found that many places having a less population than that designated, were growing so rapidly, that previous to another edition of the work being issued, they would probably exceed the intended limits, and the consequence of this extension of the original plan is, that returns from over Five hundred and fifty different localities are embodied in the present volume.

Some of the agents employed in receiving orders, inadvertently received advertisements for insertion, which, from their nature, were deemed inadmissible, and consequently do not appear. Other advertisements received, were ordered to appear on certain designated pages, and these also are declined, as the plan of the Directory is an Alphabetical Arrangement, either by names or businesses, which is the only fair and equal one for all concerned.

A few also sent advertisements, the extent of which so greatly exceeded the limited space which was ordered, that no alternative but rejecting them altogether seemed possible.

In the course of his tour through the Province, while collecting the materials for the present work, the Editor found, that a very strong desire existed for A. General Gazetteer Of The British North American Provinces," and many of the most influential gentlemen in every section of the Country that he visited, pledged him their co-operation and support in such an undertaking.

He has, consequently, much satisfaction in being able to announce that a large portion of the data necessary for the work is already in hand, and that arrangements have been perfected, which will enable him within a very brief period to place a comprehensive Prospectus of The Gazetteer Of British North America" in the hands of the public.

It is intended to issue a new and corrected edition of "The Canada Directory," early in 1854 and trusting that in the mean time the present one will be found to answer all the requirements of the Professional and Business Community.

He has the honor to be,
Very respectfully,
Their obedient servant,
Robert W. S. Mackay.
Montreal, November, 1851

Canada Directory, November, 1851


Canada Directory

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