Trans-Canada Highway 50th Anniversary
Map of the Trans-Canada Highway
The section I am writing about is from the point of where Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron seem to touch westward to the head of Lake Superior.
It was fifty years ago this month that the eastern gap in the Trans-Canada Highway was finally opened. This was the section over Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay (then know as Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario). This was a 165 mile section which had to be crossed. 98 miles had to be cut through virgin forest and the rock of the Canadian Shield. The Trans-Canada Highway includes 7,770 km. Since its opening it has been an ongoing project. In 1962, when it was offically opened half of it was still gravel road. It is all paved now but much of it is just a two lane highway, as it is in Ontario, on the Northern route and the Southern route along the Great Lakes. Increasingly, it is being twinned as a divided highway. In the CBC archives you can listen to some radio shows about the development of the Trans-Canada Highway.
This final section from the Sault to Thunder Bay is a spectacular scenic drive in the summer and a challenging drive in the Winter. In the Winter it is often closed by snow storms. Besides the heavy snowfalls it is very hilly drive. I have driven it only once in the late 60's when my father and I drove my brother home from university in Mankato, Minnesota. Having driven there through the US we thought we would drive home through Canada. We had no idea how long a drive it is.