Emigration to Canada


During the 1920’s record numbers of Scots left Scotland for employment and resettling in Canada.

By 1927, Canada’s luring influence on Scots showed no sign of waning. Between January and May 1927 the number of Scots who had gone Canada by far exceeded the entire 1928 tally, and so the exodus went on.

For large families, all of the ideal type for populating the Dominion, it was a record year, and there was every indication at the time that people were settling there comfortably.

In Lanarkshire, Blantyre by far led the way with the largest family—one of thirteen, who sailed during May 1927 from Glasgow by the Anchor-Donaldson liner ‘Letitia’. The vessel carrying over 800 passengers, had might well be termed the ‘family ship’, for since the opening of 1927 she has carried to Canada over 50 families of eight and more members, all intent on leaving the mining town of Blantyre for better times.

My grandfather, John Duncan was one of these people leaving to go to Canada. When he arrived in 1929, he found Northern America in the midst of The Great Depression and finding employment wasn’t as easy as he thought. John is pictured in 1929 in Canada on the left with his hands in his pockets.


He soon returned to Blantyre back to his job at the Co-op, as a boot salesman close to family and friends. Just as well he did, for it was just after in Blantyre that he met my grandmother Mary Danskin.

Partly from “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c)

Also pictured are scores of Scots pouring off the Canadian trains , having recently arrived in Canada in 1927.


On social media:

Joy McLennan 1880.s..from Dundee ,and then 1913, Blantyre, and the Orkney s about the same! Wonderful settlers and pioneers to Canada! VICTORIA, BC CAN. All of them. First came around the HORN, before the railway, and the Panama Canal…not an easy time!
Elizabeth Dobson Grieve Think if I lived during that time I’d go to Canada and deffo not come back

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