Fifty years ago today, the last bit of divider line was painted on a piece of pavement in BC to complete the Trans-Canada Highway. Without it, who knows what Canada would look like today! Some of us have a childhood memory of a family vacation on the TCH. Ok.. that's probably more true for anyone who's childhood predates the Internet.
Here's a snapshot of dates leading up to the completion of the best highway in the world (my opinion, solely mine)
- 1894 - businessmen and farmers formed the Ontario Good Roads Association to promote the economic benefits of roads and lobby for highway improvements
- 1912 - Prime Minister Robert Borden (Mr $100 bill), passed a bill promoting road building
- 1919 - Canada's Highways Act was passed to encourage motorists to use Canadian routes, rather than spend their money along the US built Lincoln Highway.
- 1949 - The Trans-Canada Highway Act became law, calling for a highway to be built following the shortest east-west route to be selected by the province. The federal government promised to pay for half the costs
- 1957 - Saskatchewan became the first province to finish its section
- July 30, 1962 - BC is the last province to finish its section
- September 3, 1962 - PM John Diefenbaker officially opens the Trans-Canada Highway
- 1997 - The Confederation Bridge is built joining PEI and NB as one of the last major additions to the TCH
And did you know?
- Thomas Wilby was the first person to cross Canada by car? He did it in 1912, 50 years before any roads were built
- Each province takes care of its portion of the highway. Hence, the noticeable *thud* when you cross Ontario into Quebec and vice versa :)
- It spans 8,030 km from BC to NF and was considered the longest in the world at time of completion
- Cost $1.4 billion (not factoring inflation).. Original estimate was $100 million
- The highest point of the highway is the Kicking Horse Pass at 5,400 ft above sea level
Happy 50th, Trans-Canada Highway!