Trans-Canada Highway

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Route of the Trans-Canada Highway
Trans-Canada Highway in Alberta

The Transcanadian Highway is the main East-West connection road within Canada. It is managed by the Provinces and the Federal, and runs through all the provincial capitals cities of the country and three metropoles starting from St. John's, NewFoundLand all the way to Victoria, British Columbia. However, the highway network system in itself is managed by the provinces and the road has a very different design depending on the province crossed.

Except in around the most densely populated area, most of the Transcanadian Highway is a simple 2 lane collector road for most of its distance (when it is called 'Route'), so it is possible to hitchhike just right on the road in many places, apart from certain motorway sections such as on Vancouver Island where hitchhiking is explicitly forbidden. While it is thus not generally necessary to get a lift to the next big city, service stations can be infrequent and because of a relatively high brand diversity (not just McD's and Tim Horton's) especially truck drivers often prefer certain stops. It is usually considered as a motorway where the denomination is starting with 'H' or 'A' such as in Quebec, Ontario and around Winnipeg for example.

Quebec Highway Network

Quebec highways

In Quebec, the Transcanadian Highway is consituted of the A-40 between Montreal and Ontario followed by the A-20 from Montreal all the way until becoming the Route 185 before New Brunswick.

Another northern branch of the Transcanadian depart from Montreal as the A-15 northward to , becoming the Route 117 before reaching Northern Ontario as the Route 11.

Ontario Highway Network

Ontario highways

In Ontario, the Transcanadian splits into a Northern (Route 11), a Middle (Route 17) and a Southern branch where the Northern and Middle does reverses in Thunder Bay.

As the Northern branch, the Route 11 join the route 117 in , Quebec but also aim South joining Route 17 at its Eastern Junction in North Bay. Both Route merge again just East of Thunder Bay near the Lake Nipigon. West of Thunder Bay, Route 11 keeps South going towards the Fort Frances Border Crossing to Minnesota.

The Middle branch starts at the Quebec border near Montreal as the H-417 heading towards and through Ottawa, continuing from there as the Route 17 and merging with the Southern branch in Sudbury it continues towards Sault Ste.Marie (Border crossing to Michigan), then follow the shore of Lake Superior to Thunder Bay and further to Manitoba. Note: Wawa, along the Route 17, is seen as the worst place to be dropped along the Transcanadian, read further on the place page.

The Southern branch, depart from Ottawa as the Route 7 in direction of Toronto and Oshawa. From the area of Lake Simcoe, north of Toronto, it heads Northbound as simultaneously the Route 12, the H-400 and route 69 until Sudbury where it merge with the Route 17.

British Columbia Highway Network

BC highways

In British Columbia, the Transcanadian follows the same path than in the Prairies. The Route 1 (becoming the H-1 near Vancouver Area), quitting Banff National Park in Alberta heads South towards Vancouver, through Kamloops all the way until Victoria on Vancouver Islands where the Transcanadian also become shortly the H-19.

The Route 16 quits Jasper National Park in Alberta heading West through Prince Georges until Prince Rupert where it reaches the Pacific Ocean.

The Alaska Highway starting in Dawson Creek is not part of the Transcanadian.

Maritimes Highway Network

Maritimes highways

In New Brunswick, the Transcanadian consists of the H-2 stretching from Quebec onto Nova Scotia and passing through Fredericton and Moncton. Just before the Nova Scotia border, the Route 16 branch head East to reach the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island.

In Prince Edward Island, the Transcanadian becomes the Route 1 on the Confederation Bridge in direction of Charlottetown, the provincial capital, before continuing further South to Woods Island ferry crossing to Nova Scotia.

In Nova Scotia, the Route 104 stretches from the New Brunswick border further East, passing Truro (the junction to the Route 102 to Halifax), until Sydney for the ferry to the NewFoundLand. Near New Glasgow, the Route 106 branch of the Transcanadian reaches the coast near Pictou for the ferry to the Prince Edward Island.

In NewFoundLand, the Route 1 crosses the island as part of the Transcanadian from Channel-Port aux Basques where the ferry from Sydney, Nova Scotia arrives, all the way to St. John's the provincial capital.

Alberta Highway Network

See Prairies highways and the Prairies Network beneath for more details

Prairies and Alberta Highway Network

Prairies highways

In Manitoba, the Transcanadian consists of the Route 1 which connects with the Route 17 in Ontario and goes through Winnipeg. The Winnipeg By-Pass H-100 is also part of the Transcanadian network.

West of Winnipeg, after Portage la Prairie, the Transcanadian splits in two, the Route 1 continuing through Saskatchewan and Regina, Alberta (Calgary and Banff National Park) towards British Columbia.

The Route 16 heads North-West, into Saskatchewan and Saskatoon, Alberta (Edmonton and Jasper National Park) towards British Columbia.

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