Lesson #82: The Trans-Canada Highway

8/3 edit: My dad informed me yesterday that the TCH is not, in fact, always Highway 1. In fact, it’s not Highway 1 pretty much everywhere east of Manitoba. Anyway, he would know because I think he’s probably driven on about 7500 kilometres of it, so I’ve changed the post for accuracy.

The Trans-Canada Highway runs the width of Canada from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia over a distance of 8,030 kilometres. On the way, it passes through some of Canada’s biggest cities, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver (or Ottawa and Edmonton if you take the northern route). Its highest point is Kicking Horse Point, between my maternal grandfather’s hometown of Revelstoke and Golden, BC, at 1643 m. The midpoint of the Trans-Canada Highway is Batchwana, Ontario.

The Trans-Canada Highway Act was passed in 1949 with a goal of connecting the 10 provinces with a paved highway by Canada’s centennial year.* It was officially opened in 1962 and completed in 1971. It is the third longest highway in the world behind Australia’s Highway 1 (25,000 km which actually circles Australia) and Russia’s Trans-Siberian Highway (11,000 km).**

Autobiographical note: On my list of things to do before I die is drive this from one end to the other, although I’ve been on much of it on the east coast.


**More information can be found here and here.

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