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Trans-Canada Highway

Figure THO-1. Location of the Trans-Hudson Orogen.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-B6300

In July 1962, after more than fifty years of debate, controversy, and federal-provincial negotiations, the last official link in the Trans-Canada Highway opened between Revelstoke and Golden, BC, making the $1.4 billion, 7,821-km highway the longest national highway in the world. In 1894 businessmen and farmers formed the Ontario Good Roads Association to promote the economic benefits of roads and lobby for highway improvements. In 1912 Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden passed a bill promoting road building, and by 1919 a Canada Highways Act was passed allocating money to each province for road improvement. A federal-provincial partnership agreement was struck to encourage motorists to use Canadian routes, rather than spend their money along American highways, and also to meet the needs of the expansion of inter-provincial trucking. In 1948 the notion of building a Trans-Canada highway was discussed. In December 1949, the Trans-Canada Highway Act became law, calling for a two-lane highway, 22–24 feet wide to be built following the shortest practical east-west route to be selected by the province. The federal government paid for half of the costs; however, if the highway cut through national parks, Ottawa would pay the entire cost. In 1957, Saskatchewan became the first province to finish its section of the Trans-Canada Highway; the 654 km-long road is the major east-west highway across Saskatchewan; it extends from Fleming through Regina, Moose Jaw, Caronport, Chaplin, Swift Current, and Maple Creek.

Daria Coneghan

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This web site was produced with financial assistance
provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan.
University of Regina Government of Canada Government of Saskatchewan Canadian Plains Research Center
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Diversification de l'économie de l'Ouest Canada et le gouvernement de la Saskatchewan.