The Trans-Canada Highway between Victoria (BC) and St. John’s (NF) is the world’s longest national highway with a length of 7,821 km (4,860 mi. We get protests from Australians, who argue their highway 1 national highway takes a circular route of 14,500 km around the coast of their island/continent nation is longer, but there are plenty of shortcuts (which Canada does not have) and also, the furthest one point is from the other extreme never gets close to the Trans-Canada Highway’s distance. Not. Even. Close.
Start Point and End Point (or the other way around?)
Although there does not appear to be any nationally sanctioned “starting point” for the entire Trans-Canada Highway system, St. John’s has adopted this designation for the section of highway running in the city (down to the harbourfront) by using the term “Mile One” for its sports stadium and convention centre complex, Mile One Centre.
At the other end, the Victoria terminus of the Trans-Canada Highway, located at the foot of Douglas Street and Dallas Road at Beacon Hill Park, is marked by a “mile zero” monument.
Metric Mess-Up or What?
Canada and the Trans-Canada Highway have been metric since 1977, so everything should maybe reference kilometer zero. Or we conclude metric conversion is messed up if the distance from “Mile Zero” to “Mile One” is almost 8,000 kilometres.
Trans-Canada Highway Midpoint
The midpoint of the Trans-Canada, marking halfway along its journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific is at a market at Batchwana Bay, north of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. You’ll also pass the midpoint of Canada (east-west distance, as the crow files, between the oceans) just east of Winnipeg.
Tofino IS NOT the Western Terminus
The western endpoint of the Trans-Canada highway IS NOT IN TOFINO. This plaque was placed overlooking the Pacific Ocean by the town council of Tofino back in 1909, to spur the construction of the Trans-Canada Highway. They had the vain hope that the highway would go from the eastern shore of Canada (which at that time did not yet include Newfoundland) to the westernmost point along the Pacific (which even today, is not Tofino).
Instead, in the 1950s, the planners and politicians (along with the accountants figuring out the costs) decided to build the highway to connect major population centres across Canada (notably, skipping Toronto, which IS NOT on the Trans-Canada).
In British Columbia took the shortest ferry ride to the Island from Vancouver to Nanaimo, and then turned south to the provincial capital of Victoria, instead of veering west to Tofino. The road to Tofino remained a little-used logging road, and did not get paved until over a decade later.