The Trans-Canada Highway is the main Canadian Highway used mostly if people are driving long distances. The main route on the highway spans a total of 8,030 km across all ten Provinces, thus making it one of the longest national highways in the world!
The main route of the highway through BC is dubbed Highway 1. However, the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) is also considered part of the Trans-Canada Highway.
The "beginning" of the highway is in Victoria, on the intersection of Douglas Street and Dallas Road. A large "Mile Zero" sign marks the start of the highway. The highway travels north from here, passing through the Goldstream Provincial Park to Malahat.
From here, the highway continues north to the town of Mill Bay. North of Mill Bay, the highway drives through a series of traffic lights, each leading to a different town (Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill, Cowichan Bay, and Duncan) before arriving at an intersection that leads to Chemainus.
From Horseshoe Bay, the highway travels east to the district of North Vancouver. East of here, the highway crosses the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing (A bridge that goes over the Burrard Inlet) into the city of Vancouver. From here, it proceeds east to the city of Burnaby. The highway continues east through the city of Coquitlam before crossing the Port Mann Bridge into Surrey.
After leaving the freeway, the highway goes north out of Hope, across the Fraser River. This leads to a route that crosses through seven tunnels, and travels through the towns of Yale, Spuzzum, Boston Bar, and Lytton. It then leaves the Fraser River, and starts following the Thompson River northeast to a junction at Highway 8. The highway then goes north to Cache Creek, where it merges with Highway 97. It then proceeds north through Savona where it merges with Highway 5, and continues to Kamloops.
From Kamloops, the highway travels east through the towns of Pritchard, Chase, and Sorrento, before finally reaching Salmon Arm. It then travels east some more through Sicamous, Malakwa, Craigellachie, Three Valley Gap, finally stopping at a junction with Highway 23 in Revelstoke, located on the Columbia River at the base of Rogers Pass
From here, the Trans-Canada Highway travels along Rogers Pass through Mount Revelstoke National Park and Glacier National Park to Donald, where it crosses the Columbia River into Golden. (There is a Time Zone boundary located between Revelstoke and Donald). It then travels east through Yoho National Park to Field, and goes to the Continental Divide (Via Kicking Horse Pass) into the Province of Alberta.
The route starts in the town of Masset located on Graham Island. From here, it goes south to Port Clements. From here, it continues south along the border of Naikoon Provincial Park through Tlell, and then stops in Skidegate. In From Skidegate, the highway travels across the Hecate Strait via ferry, which docks in Prince Rupert. It then heads east through the Coast Mountains, and follows the Skeena River to the city of Terrace. Here, Highway 37 merges with Highway 16, and they proceed northeast to Kitwanga, where Highway 37 leaves Highway 16 and goes north. Heading northeast some more, Highway 16 reaches New Hazelton, where it turns and starts heading southeast along the Bulkley River. The highway will eventually reach the town of Smithers, and then Houston.
The highway heads east from here to Burns Lake, where it reaches a junction with Highway 35. The highway then proceeds east through Fraser Lake to a junction with Highway 27 in Vanderhoof. East of here, Highway 16 comes to a junction with Highway 97 in Prince George.
East of Prince George, Highway 16 gets to Dome Creek, where it turns southeast. It then follows the Fraser River to McBride, then continues southeast to a junction with Highway 5 at Tete Jaune Cache. It goes east from here through Mount Robson Provincial Park and Yellowhead Pass into Alberta.
The Alberta portion of the main Trans-Canada Highway route spans approximately 534km from BC to SK. Interestingly enough, the highway does not go to Alberta's capital city, Edmonton.
From the British Columbia-Alberta border, the Trans-Canada Highway runs southeast along the Bow River, through Banff National Park, passing through the towns of Lake Louise and Banff. From Banff, the highway continues east to the city of Calgary, one of Canada's largest cities. En route to Calgary, the highway passes through the towns of Harvie Heights, Canmore, Dead Man's Flats, Lac des Arcs, Exshaw, Ghost Lake, and Cochrane.
From Calgary, the highway travels southeast through Rocky View County, Wheatland County, Newell County, and Cypress County. It passes through the urban communities of Chestermere, Strathmore, Bassano, Brooks, Suffield, and Redcliff, finally arriving in the city of Medicine Hat.
It goes east from the British Columbia-Alberta border straight into Jasper National Park, and east into Jasper. It then goes northeast out of the park through Hinton to Edson. It then goes east past Chip Lake, Isle Lake, Webamun Lake and the town of Spruce Grove before arriving in Edmonton.
It exits Edmonton to the east and goes through Elk Island National Park. From here, it proceeds east through Vegreville and Vermilion, just south of Vermilion Provincial Park. It then goes southeast to Lloydminster, where the border to Saskatchewan awaits.
Edmonton is the hub of many junctions, including Highways 216, 15, 39, and 14.
The Saskatchewan portion of the Trans-Canada Highway is 651.2 km in length.
Just west of the Alberta border is the town of Maple Creek. Continuing east, the highway travels through a ghost town known as Sidewood. The towns of Tompkins and Gull Lake lie east of here, as well as the town of Webb.
From Webb, the highway continues east through the coomunities of Beverley and Java before arriving in the city of Swift Current. East of here, the highway runs through the towns of Waldeck, Rush Lake, and Herbert. Travelling east some more, the highway travels through Caronport before finally arriving in Moose Jaw. The next city along the route after this is capital city Regina.
Continuing east from Regina, the highway passes through the towns of White City, Balgony, St. Joseph's, and Qu'Appelle, before finally arriving in the tourist town of Indian Head. On the side of the road in Indian Head is a statue of an indian head. Indian Head also features the historic Bell Farm. With all the stuff to do and look at, Indian Head is a great place to stop for a rest.
From Indian Head, the highway continues east to the town of Sintaluta, which only has a population of 98! The rest of the route east towards the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border features the towns of Wolseley, Grenfell, Oakshella, Broadview, Whitewood, Wapella, Moosomin, Rotave, and Fleming. Finally, the border lies east of Fleming.
The highway immediately continues southeast to North Battleford, passing through the towns of Marshall, Waseca, Maidstone, Paynton, Delmas, Highgate, and Battleford. From North Battleford, the highway continues southeast through Brada, Denholme, Maymont, Fielding, Radisson, Borden, and Lengham before finaly arriving in Saskatoon.
Like in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan, the main route of the Trans-Canada Highway through Manitoba is dubbed Highway 1. However, the Yellowhead Highway 16 also passes through Manitoba where it meets Highway 1 around the middle.
The Manitoba portion of the Trans-Canada Highway spans a total of 490 km.
Just a short distance southeast of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border, the highway will bypass the towns of Kirkella and Elkhorn before going through the town of Virden. It then bypasses Oak Lake, Griswold, and Alexander before passing the city of Brandon. This is a good rest stop.
Upon exiting Brandon, the highway continues eastward through Douglas, Austin, and MacGregor before reaching a junction with the Yellowhead Highway 16. After this, the highway continues eastward to a split at the Portage La Prairie bypass. The main route of Highway 1 goes around the city, while the other route goes through it.
After exiting Portage La Prairie, the highway continues eastward through the towns of Fortier, Elie, and Headingly before arriving at a junction with Perimeter Highway just outside of Winnipeg. The main Trans-Canada route goes through the city, while the Perimeter Route bypasses it completely. The two routes join together on the east side of the city, and continues in a southeast direction.
The Trans-Canada Highway travels southeast to a junction at the Provincial Trunk Highway (12). A little further southeast, the route passes through Paradise Village, after which the highway returns to its eastward direction. En Route to Ontario, the highway passes through the towns of Richer, Prawda, McMunn, East Braintree, Falcon Lake, and Whiteshell before finally arriving at the Manitoba-Ontario border.
Highway 100 (Perimetre Highway) is used as an alternate route to completely bypass the city of Winnipeg. Since the traffic in Winnipeg on Highway 1 can sometimes get pretty crazy, the Trans-Canada Highway is able to go around it.
On the western outskirts of Winnipeg, Highway 1 reaches a junction with Highway 101, which starts going south as Highway 100. The Trans-Canada Highway follows this route away from the city limits. It goes around the south end of the city, and meets back up with Highway 1 on the easter side, near the airport. Highway 100 becomes Highway 101 again and goes north, while the Trans-Canada Highway returns to its Highway 1 designation.
The Manitoba section of the Yellowhead Highway is 273km long. Unlike in BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, the Yellowhead highway does not go from border to border. Instead, it merges with the main Trans-Canada route on Highway 1.
Almost immediately after crossing the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border, the highway reaches the town of Russel, where it merges with Highway 83. The highways then travel south to Binscarth, where they reach a junction with Highway 478. Just south of here, the highways reach the start of Highway 41. South a little bit more, the highways reach the start of Highway 359. Highway 16 (and 83) then travel southeast through Chillon and Foxwarren, just east of which Highway 83 leaves Highway 16 and goes south. Just east of here marks the start of Highway 476. The Yellowhead then travels southeast to Solsgirth, where Highway 472 starts and goes south.
Just east of Solsgirth, Highway 264 merges with Highway 16 for just a short distance before going south. Highway 16 then heads southwest to Shoal Lake where it reaches a junction with Highways 42 and 21. Highway 16 continues southeast to Strathclair and a junction with Highway 354. Southeast some more, it reaches Newdale and a junction with Highway 250. It then continues southeast to Basswood and a junction at Highway 270, and then continues south where it merges with Highway 10 near Minnedosa. It crosses Highway 355 heading south, and then Highway 10 leaves heading east. Highway 16 proceeds east where it crosses Highway 262, and continues east to Neepawa and a junction with Highway 5.
From here, it continues east to Gladstone, where it starts going southeast again. It travels this direction to McDonald, where it again heads south. A little ways south of this, Highway 16 finally meets up with the main Trans-Canada route on Highway 1 just west of Portage la Prairie, thus marking the end of the Yellowhead Highway.
The Ontario portion of the main Trans-Canada Highway route goes along a two differently numbered routes. The total distance along these two routes is 1,875km.
In addition to the two main routes across the province, there are also a few minor routes that are split off from the main route.
Highway 17 is the main section of the Trans-Canada Highway through Ontario. It spans a total of 1,964 km from the Manitoba border all the way to Arnprior, Ontario, thus making it the longest land route in Ontario!
From the Manitoba-Ontario border, the highway travels east through Granite Lake and Keewatin to the town of Kenora, a distance of approximately 50 km. Once out of Kenora, the highway continues east to a junction with Highway 71, where the Trans-Canada Highway splits with one route running east on Highway 17, and one route running south on Highway 71.
Continuing northeast along highway 17, the road goes a long way without any towns until arriving in Vermilion Bay. Contiuing in a general east direction, the highway goes through Waldhorf, Eagle River, and 2 Mile Corner before turning south into the town of Dryden, Ontario. It then proceeds southeast through 6 Mile Corner, Dinorwic, Butler, and Martin before reaching a junction with Highway 11 at a place known as Shabaqua. The two highways then travel southeast through several minor communities before arriving in Thunder Bay. The highway then leaves Thunder Bay to the northeast, travelling along the shoreline of Lake Superior. After turning north away from Lake Superior, the highway will eventually reach the town of Nipigon, where the Trans-Canada Highway splits once more. Highway 11 continues to the north while Highway 17 proceeds eastward.
The highways continues east at this point, passing through the Gravel River Provincial Nature Reserve. After leaving the reserve, the highway proceeds east through Rainbow Falls Provincial Park, Schreiber, Terrace Bay, White River, and Obatanga Provincial Park, finally reaching a junction with Highway 101 at Wawa.
Highway 17 then travels south through Lake Superior Provincial Park and several small communities all the way to the city of Sault Ste. Marie. Within Sault Ste. Marie is a toll bridge leading to the United States called the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge.
Highway 17 then travels east to Echo River, where it begins travelling south. Just south of Neebish, the Highway turns east again and goes a long distance through several small towns all the way to Sudbury. Just south of Sudbury, Highway 17 meets a junction with Highway 69, where the Trans-Canada Highway splits yet again, running south along Highway 69, and east along Highway 17, where it meets North Bay. In North Bay, Highway 17 meets Highway 11 again. The highway then travels east to Arnprior, which is where Highway 17 ends. Here, the Trans-Canada Highway goes from Highway 17 to Highway 417.
It starts in Arnprior as a continuation of Highway 17, and travels southeast through several small communities to the town of Kanata. Here, it merges with Highway 7 and continues east to the capital city of Canada, Ottawa. It leaves Ottawa from the southeast and travels in a zig-zag shape to Quebec, where it becomes Autoroute 40.
Highway 71 is a part of the Trans-Canada Highway that branches off the main route to allow access into other areas of Ontario.
It starts south of Russ Lake, just a little ways east of Kenora. It immediately heads southeast for a long distance. The first town it comes to is Sioux Narrows. It then continues south through Crow Lake, Hestor Falls, and Finland before merging with Highway 11 just north of the US border.
From here, the two highways travel east to Fort Frances, where Highway 71 heads south into the US, and Highway 11 continues north.
The Highway 11 part of the Trans-Canada Highway is a continuation of Highway 71. The actual highway itself extends west to the United States, and meets with the Trans-Canada Highway just west of Emo, Ontario.
The Trans-Canada part of Highway 11 starts a little ways west of Emo, where it merges with Highway 71. The two highways travel east to Fort Frances, where Highway 71 leaves and heads south into the US.
The highway then goes northeast across the Sand Bay. It then continues eastward through a largely unpopulated area all the way to Shabaqua Corners. Here, it merges with Highway 17. The two highways then travel southeast to an area east of Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, where they start heading east, and then northeast to Thunder Bay. From here, they head northeast to an area northwest of Ruby Lake Provincial Park. Here, the two highways split. Highway 17 continues eastward, while Highway 11 proceeds north.
From here, highway 11 goes an extremely long way around a large group of lakes, as well as Nagagamisis Provincial Park, Missinaibi Provincial Park, and Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park, all the way to North Bay, where Highways 11 and 17 meet yet again. Highway 11 leaves the Trans-Canada officially here and proceeds south towards the Greater Toronto Area.
The Trans-Canada Highway portion of Highway 66 is very short. Sice Highway 66 extends west a long ways, the total engh of the TCH section is unknown.
Highway 69 is a southern branch of the Trans-Canada Highway through Ontario.
It begins in Sudbury. It is branched off from Highway 17. It goes southeast to a large area of low population to an intersection with Highway 559. Here, it becomes Highway 400.
Highway 69 continues, but the Trans-Canada portion is part of Highway 400, and when it leaves Highway 400, it is no longer a designated part of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Highway 400 acts as a continuation of Highway 69. However, by the year 2017, the highway may take over Highway 69 as the primary route from Toronto to Sudbury. Although Highway 400 does go into Toronto, the Trans-Canada portion does not go all the way to the capital city.
It starts near Parry Sound, and goes south through many towns, and near many lakes, to Waubaushene. Here, the Trans-Canada Highway leaves Highway 400 onto Highway 12, while Highway 400 goes all the way to Toronto, where it ends at an intersection with Highway 401.
Immediately after crossing the Ontario-Quebec border, the highway turns southeast. It continues going this direction to the town of Vaudreuil-Dorion where it turns eastward. It continues going this direction across the Riviere des Outaouais. It then continues going east to the city of Montreal, Canada's second largest city. Here, the Trans-Canada Highway turns off Autoroute 40 onto Autoroute 25.
Autoroute 25 is only 49 km long, and the Trans-Canada Highway portion of it is approximately 20 km.
Autoroute 20 in its entirety is 548km. Since the Trans-Canada joins this route around the middle, it is difficult to know exactly how long the Trans-Canada portion really is.
The Highway joins Autoroute 20 just after Autoroute 25 ends. It immediately starts travelling northeast through several small towns to the town of Drummondville. Here it turns east to cross the St. Francis River before immediately turning northeast again. (On the way to Drummondville, Autoroute 55 merges with Autoroute 20, and they travel this direction together). Heading northeast, Autoroute 20 comes to a junction with Autoroute 955. Here, Autoroute 55 leaves and starts following that route. From here, Autoroute 20 continues northeast all the way to the town of Charny where it meets at a junction with Autoroute 73. From here, it proceed northeast, and continues passing through many small communities until it starts travelling along the shoreline of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
In Riviere du Loup, Autoroute 20 continues northeast when the Trans-Canada Highway switches over to Autoroute 85.
The entire Autoroute 85 is 13km long.
In Riviere du Loup, the Trans-Canada Highway leaves Autoroute 20, and starts Autoroute 85. The route travels southeast to Saint Antonin where it ends, and Route 185 starts.
Route 185 is the last portion through Quebec of the main route of the Trans-Canada Highway, and spans approximately 100km.
It starts near Saint-Antonin, where Autoroute 85 ends. It travels southeast past Lac du Dentiste and through the towns of Cabano and Degelis, just southeast of which it stops at the border to New Brunswick right beside Edmundston Airport, where the Highway becomes Route 2.
Route 2 is the main route of the Trans-Canada Highway through the province of New Brunswick. It spans a total of 519 km.
Immediately after crossing the Quebec-New Brunswick border at Edmundston Airport, the highway travels southeast to the town of Edmundston. From here, it continues southeast to Grand Falls, where it starts heading south. Once reaching Springfield, the highway starts heading eastward to Upper Kingsclear, then north to capital city Fredricton. Route 2 reaches a junction with Route 8, which leads into Fredricton whereas the Trans-Canada Highway bypasses it.
From there, it travels in a zig-zag pattern all the way to the border at Nova Scotia, where it becomes Highway 104. Also, just before crossing into Nova Scotia, it intersects with Route 16, which leads to PEI.
Route 16 is 52 km long, and is a secondary route to connect PEI to the main route of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Prince Edward Island
Confederation Bridge is a 13km long bridge across the Northumberland Strait connecting Prince Edward Island with the rest of the country. It is tolled, but only when leaving PEI. It is $44.25 for a two-axled vehicle, plus $7.25 for each extra axle. Motorcycles are charged $17.75. This makes it the most expensive toll bridge in North America.
The speed limit across the bridge is 80km/hr, and it takes approximately ten minutes to cross.
Route 1 is the PEI portion of the Trans-Canada Highway, and spans approximately 120km.
After crossing Confederation Bridge, Route 1 starts in Port Borden. It travels east a long way to Cornwall, Prince Edward Island. From here, it travels across Graham Rogers Lake into the capital city, Charlottetown. It goes around, and then exits the city from the southeast. It then crosses the Hillsborough Bridge and continues east. Once it reaches Orwell, it turns in a general south direction. Once it reaches the south coast, it goes east to Wood Islands, where it crosses the Northumberland Strait via ferry, and arrives in Nova Scotia, where Highway 106 starts.
Almost immediately after crossing the New Brunswick-Nova Scotia border, Highway 14 will come to the city of Amherst. It then goes east to Oxford, then goes southeast along a toll road ($4 for normal vehicles, $3.50 per axle for commercial vehicles). Near Truro, it meets Highway 102. It then goes northeast past Mt. Thom all the way to Aulds Cove, where it crosses a bridge to Cape Breton Island.
Once on the island, the highway arrives in Port Hastings where Highway 104 becomes Highway 105.
Highway 105 is a continuation of Highway 104. It is the Cape Breton portion of the Trans-Canada Highway, and is 142km long.
From Port Hastings, the highway travels northeast to Wycocomagh. It then follows the northern shore of Bras d'Or Lake to Baddeck, where it leaves the lake and goes to New Harris Forks. It then crosses the Bras d'Or Lake via the Seal Island Bridge. Once on the other side, the highway travels northeast to Bras d'Or, where it turns southeast to North Sydney where it goes across the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Newfoundland via Ferry.
Route 1 is the primary travel road through the island of Newfoundland. It spans 903km from west to east.
Upon unboarding the ferry, Route 1 starts near Grand Bay East. It travels north along the west coast to Tompkins, where the highway switches to northeast. It travels in this general direction to Corner Brook. From here, it continues northeast to an area near Kite Pond, where it turns southeast across Grand Lake.
From here, the highway turns northeast again to an area near Springdale Airport. Here, it turns southeast again to South Brook, where it starts travelling in a general south direction to Badger. From Badger, it travels east to Grand Falls-Windsor. From there, it travels northeast to a junction at Highway 340 near Notre Dame Provincial Park. It travels southeast from here all the way to Terra Nova National Park. Here, it starts travelling southeast again to Butter Pot Provincial Park, where it turns northeast to the capital city, St. John's. The northeast section of St. John's marks the end of the Trans-Canada Highway (or beginning, depending on where you started).