Driver’s Country: Your Guide to Taking a Canada 150 Road Trip

Canada’s 150th birthday bash has so far been full of fun and exciting events, and there’s still plenty of time to celebrate in a big way with an epic Canada 150 road trip.

Every Canadian knows how beautiful their country is, but few find the time to see more than their corner of it. If you’ve got some time to take a road trip this summer, then consider a journey along the Trans-Canada Highway. A highway system that passes through all 10 of Canada’s provinces, there is no better route to see the country from.

The Route

The Trans-Canada Highway extends from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador to Victoria, British Columbia. There is usually more than one route designated as the Trans-Canada Highway running through most of the provinces. For example, the Yellowhead Highway running from Manitoba to British Columbia is also considered to be part of the Trans-Canada Highway system.

Sights and Stops Along the Way

There are two possible points from which to start your Trans-Canada Highway journey in St. John’s: St John’s harbour or Signal Hill. Both offer spectacular views of Canada’s North Atlantic waters. From St. John’s the highway continues, by ferry, on to Nova Scotia. In Nova Scotia, consider leaving the highway and taking a far more scenic detour along the famous Cabot Trail.

Next, you’ll hop on another ferry over to Prince Edward Island, where your top priority should be to stop by the site of the Charlottetown Conference, which set the Confederation of Canada into motion. Finish traversing the south of PEI and take the Confederation Bridge over to New Brunswick, where you can’t pass up the chance to see the highest tides in the world at Fundy National Park.

In Quebec, the highway will take you straight into Quebec City. From here, you should follow Highway 132 into Montreal for stunning views of the St. Lawrence River. Link up back to the main highway in Montreal and continue on to Ottawa, the country’s capital. The drive through Ontario is a beautiful one, especially along the section of highway which follows the shores of Lake Superior.

Halfway through your journey, you’ll enter into Manitoba, where you should check out some of the 200 lakes of Whiteshell Provincial Park. The highway then passes straight through Winnipeg and continues on to the prairie province of Saskatchewan. About halfway through Saskatchewan, you’ll want to stop at the Tunnels of Moose Jaw, which were used to store illegal booze during the prohibition era.

The Trans-Canada Highway’s journey through Alberta culminates in the marvelous Canadian Rockies. In Banff National Park you should take a detour to check out one of the most beautiful drives in the world, the Icefields Parkway. Back on the highway, you’ll cross into British Columbia and pass through hundreds of kilometres of beautiful mountains before finally emerging into the Fraser Valley. Make sure you stop in Vancouver before hopping on the ferry over to Victoria, the province’s charming capital.

A Tour of the North

No road trip through Canada can truly be complete without a trip up to the territories. If you’re feeling adventurous, then consider a road trip along the Dempster Highway. Beginning in the Yukon as Highway 5 and extending into the Northwest Territories as Highway 8, the Dempster Highway will take you to the Arctic Circle. Along the way, you’ll pass through the spectacular wilderness of Canada’s north.

Wherever you go along the Trans-Canada Highway and whatever additional roads you decide to travel, make sure you take the time to soak in the memories and enjoy the picture-perfect views you’ll find in the best backyard in the world.