Canadian Transportation Facts

  • Animals like grizzly bears and wolves have a "learning curve" of up to five years before they feel secure using specially-built highway crossings.

  • In 2007, 94.5 million passengers traveled through Canada's ten largest airports. Toronto's Pearson International Airport was the only Canadian airport ranked in the top 30 airports in the world by number of passengers in 2006.

  • Vancouver Harbour Water Airport is the only water-based airport in Canada to have a control tower, and with 63,713 movements is the 33rd busiest airport overall in Canada.

  • BC Ferries operates one of the largest ferry systems in the world: 38 vessels serve 47 ports of call on the BC coast, including the islands. In 2006/07, BC Ferries carried more than 21 million passengers and over 8.5 million vehicles.

  • The Confederation Bridge, linking New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, is Canada's largest bridge at 12.9km (8 miles) in length, and takes 10 - 12 minutes to cross.

  • Built in 1920 on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, the Kinsol Trestle (also known as the Koksilah River Trestle) is the largest wooden trestle in the Commonwealth of Nations and one of the highest railway trestles in the world.

  • The Great Lakes/ St. Lawrence Seaway System extends 3,700 km (2,340 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean to the head of the Great Lakes. The St. Lawrence Seaway portion-which includes 13 Canadian and 2 U.S. locks--extends from Montreal to mid-Lake Erie and is ranked as one of the outstanding engineering feats of the twentieth century.

  • The number of cyclists varies from province to province, with the highest percentage in British Columbia and Yukon Territories (2.0%), and the lowest (0.1%) in Newfoundland and Labrador. Of Canada's three most populous provinces, people in British Columbia cycle to work twice as much as people in Ontario.

  • Air Canada, along with its regional partner, serves over 32 million customers annually and provides direct passenger service to over 170 destinations on five continents.

  • Nicknamed "Workhorse of the North," the DHC2-Beaver aircraft, built by de Havilland Canada between 1947 and 1967, made history as an essential part of aircraft fleets in Canada and the world. The bush planes were purchased by countries as far away as New Zealand, the Philipines and Finland, and in 1999, the Royal Canadian Mint commemorated the DHC2-Beaver's place in Canadian history with a coin entitled, "The Airplane Opens the North."

  • For ten months in the late 1840's, Canada had its own fast horse courier service that ran between Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick. First called the Halifax Express, it was later known as the Nova Scotia Pony Express.

  • On November 28, 2008, the Canadian Coast Guard confirmed the first commercial ship sailed through the Northwest Passage -- although it was first navigated back in 1903 -1906 by Roald Amundsen. Sought by explorers for centuries, the Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Northwest Passage runs along the northern coast of North America, and the Canadian Government considers it part of Canadian Internal Waters; however, various countries maintain that it is an international transit passage.

  • In the 17th and early 18th centuries, the coureur des bois (runner of the woods), later to be known as a "voyageurs," were the crews hired by companies like the Hudson's Bay Company to trade goods and supplies between Montreal (in what is now Quebec) and Lake Athabasca, in the northeast corner of what is now Alberta. This meant paddling canoes for between 1,000 and 2,000 miles. The voyageurs each had to be able to carry two 90-pound bundles of fur over portages and were expected to work 14 hours per day and paddle at a rate of 55 strokes per minute. Few could swim, and many drowned in rapids or in storms while crossing lakes.