The decline in passenger business due to the Depression led Canadian Pacific and Canadian National — with the approval of the Canadian parliament — to begin pooling train service between Toronto and Montreal as well as Toronto and Ottawa in 1933. This meant that, instead of scheduling two competing trains at the same time, the railways would operate just one train. Both railways contributed equipment to the trains, but as this 1946 menu shows, Canadian Pacific didn’t hesitate to advertise its own services when a CP diner was on one of the pooled trains. Pooling continued until 1965.
The cover of this menu features a painting by British marine painter Norman Wilkinson, who was credited with developing a type of camouflage painting for ships in World War I. The painting depicts the Beaverdell, the first postwar member of Canadian Pacific’s “beaver fleet” of fast cargo ships used in trans-Atlantic service. No doubt CP hoped that some of the business people riding pool trains between Montreal and Toronto would import or export freight on these ships.