Mann, Sir Donald

Sir Donald Mann, railway builder (b at Acton, Canada W 23 Mar 1853; d at Toronto 10 Nov 1934). Mann studied for the Methodist ministry but took up work in the lumber camps of Ontario and Michigan. In 1879 he was in charge of the barge that brought the first railway locomotive to Winnipeg. He completed a number of earth-moving and grading contracts on the CPR's prairie and mountain main line in the 1880s. With James ROSS, William MACKENZIE and Herbert HOLT, he built a number of branch lines in western Canada, Maine, and in South America and China. In 1895 he joined Mackenzie to purchase and complete the Lake Manitoba Railway and Canal Co, which later became the CANADIAN NORTHERN RY.

Rapid expansion and numerous amalgamations transformed the Canadian Northern Railway into a transcontinental system by 1915. Financial difficulties, however, led to nationalization in 1918 and the subsequent merger of the Canadian Northern with other government railways to form CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS. After 1918 Mann devoted himself to mining and other smaller business ventures. He was created a KB in 1911.