The Museum’s Blog

Capes Escape: Women’s History Month

Image from The Land of Plenty

October is Women’s History month in Canada and this year’s theme is Strong Girls, Strong Canada: Leader’s From the Start. Here’s an interesting related story about the Capes sisters – two young women who were way ahead of their time.

Katherine and Phyllis Capes sure made the front page headlines in the Toronto Daily Star newspaper back in August of 1933. With $8 between them and 30 pound packs on their backs, they hitch hiked their way across the country. In total, they had 28 traveling days. They slept most nights in their sleeping bags in or outside any type of building. On average, they only walked up to five miles a day; the rest of the time they hitched car rides or rode the freight rails. They started their adventure by hitching rides up to and through the Crow’s Nest Pass and then learned how to ride the freight trains from Kenora onwards. With help from motorists, trainmen and hobos, the Capes sisters made their way across the country, quite an adventure for two teenage sisters back in the 1930s.

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