By 1914, the street railway had been operating in Port Arthur and Fort William for two decades. The two cities had recently begun managing it as two separate transit systems, rather than running under the control of a joint commission. Providing free transit service to enlisted men would become an ongoing issue throughout the war years.

Another issue that emerged at this time was the defence of City infrastructure. A Home Guard would form, under military authority.

Port Arthur City Council, September 8, 1914:


Port Arthur Council approved the suggestion that recruits would be able to travel to and from the Rifle Range without cost. Tickets would be paid for by the City.

At the same meeting:




Council endorsed the Home Guard, so that men who could not serve overseas (because of family or other commitments) would still participate in the formal defence of City infrastructure. Action would be taken to encourage military service both in the Home Guard and as part of the 96th Lakehead Regiment.

Fort William City Council, September 22, 1914:


Clause No. 1 of the Street Railway Report relating to the carrying of the 96th Regiment to and from the Rifle Pits was rescinded. The text of that report was not included in the Minutes of the Meeting of September 8.  

Port Arthur City Council, September 28, 1914:


A patriotic fund would be a means for the citizens of Port Arthur to contribute financially, as a group, to the war effort. The fund would be managed by the City: in this case, the question was referred to the existing City Relief Committee, which dealt with support for the unemployed and the poor.

Note: Some photographs and scans of original documents have been retouched for clarity of viewing only.