"According to "The Golden Years of Trucking" published by the Ontario Trucking Association in 1976, this was a gas-electric four-wheel-drive truck built by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Co. of Windsor, Ontario. It had an electric motor on each wheel, was 20 feet long and had an 81-inch track. The four cylinder engine produced 20 HP. The truck was sent to England to visit "every town and village in the country." Because it was so underpowered it never made it out of London. Presumably it was left in England.
The sides could be hinged up to expose examples of the wonderful Canadian produce." - writes Jimmytruck.
Just imagine yourself as a turn-of-the-century Cockney lad from Lambeth or Southwark, with no future (just like the Sex Pistols' song, just 70 years earlier), suddenly seeing this sweet chariot in the street, promising free land, lots of space, healthy life and prosperity, with color bulbs blinking: C-A-N-A-D-A!
Other comments are even more interesting, revealing the motives for building this wonderwagon:
"When it came to platitudinal boosterism, nobody beat the Canadian Government in the early 20th Century." - writes Anonymous Tipster. - "Free land, mild climate, peerless soil, and the promise of happy, rosy-cheeked offspring playing amongst the wheat. Of course they never really told you that the land wasn't really free...there was a $10 service charge when you got to the Dominion Lands Office which some simply didn't have, having spent the last of their money on Canadian Pacific passage. And there was always a chance the surveyors' maps were off and you'd land was mostly under water. And the least said of the weather the better.
But still, an admirable (and fantastical) showing from the fair Dominion. Considering the speed at which the Last Best West was settled between 1890 and 1914, it seems to have worked!"
Another one, from Madhooks: "The Canadian Pacific Railway was instrumental in promoting immigration to Canada and settling the western provinces, in particular. 1905 was a pivotal year because that was the formation of the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. Since the CPR had the only available transportation method of getting settlers into these new provinces, and they had a vested interest in encouraging both the agricultural future and the urban future of the west, they made it their business to encourage settlement. Since they also had a vested interest in getting settlers from Europe via their steamship line, they were VERY interested in advertising both the method and the reason for getting to Canada.
They advertised in the form of lectures and through films (William Van Horne hired film maker James Freer to film all aspects of Canada (discouraging the use of winter scenes)."
And another (or the same) Anonymous Tipster gives us an example of a bit less advanced promotional wagon:
Special thanks to Shorpy!