ln 1905, the Canadian Pacific Railway chose Port McNicoll to be its new Georgian Bay port. Named after David McNicoll, a vice-president of the CPR, Port McNicoll replaced the terminal at Owen Sound where the steep grade of the rail line prevented the company from running trains longer than 40 cars into town. The new port, located on Maple lsland in Severn Sound, made it possible for the CPR to haul twice as many freight cars to Georgian Bay with the same number of steam engines. But first, a new town had to be put in place. Once where there was only swamp, the CPR began to build what would turn into an engineering marvel that would give work to a community of 1,000. Two concrete piers, 3,000 and 3,600 feet long lay at the end of a channel that was created by dredging 3,000,000 cubic yards of mud. Freight sheds as long as two city blocks were constructed and a new station house went up. There was a roundhouse for turning train engines and rows of traditional, red-painted company houses. The centerpiece of the new port was a massive grain elevator. Work began in May, 1909 and when the building handled it first shipment in the fall of 1910, it was able to hold over two million bushels of grain. ln 1913 and again in 1926, additional grain bins were built until, with a capacity of seven million bushels, the Port McNicoll facility was the second largest grain elevator in the world. After the construction of a long railway trestle that allowed steam engines to make their way over the surrounding wetlands, Port McNicoll was ready. A new "Chicago of the North" was open for business.