Here is the route of the Trans-Canada Highway from east to west:
After crossing from Quebec, the highway winds up the fertile and wide Ottawa Valley until it reaches Ottawa, Canada's capital. Originally called "Bytown," and located where the Ottawa River is joined by the Rideau and the Gatineau rivers, the city has many stone buildings dating back before Confederation (1867). Ottawa is " an endpoint of the Rideau Canal, a magnet for small boaters.
The Trans-Canada Highway continues up the Ottawa River along the original fur-trading route through pretty valley towns like Arnprior, Pembroke and Petawawa, to Mattawa.
At Mattawa the highway ventures west through rugged and hilly Canadian Shield along a voyageur route, for the next 1640 km to Manitoba. North Bay, on the eastern end of beautiful Lake Nipissing, was important to early French fur traders, is " where the Trans-Canada Highway splits.
The main route takes you west through Sudbury, which is the nickel capital of the world, because of its fortunate location at an ancient meteor crater.
Southern Ontario Road Map Itineraries along the Trans-Canada:Sault Ste Marie to Sudbury Sudbury to Mattawa Itinerary Mattawa to Ottawa Itinerary Ottawa to Montreal, Quebec To/From Toronto Itineraries
The highway continues west along the North Channel above Manitoulin Island (the largest island in a lake in the world), to Sault Ste Marie (the "Soo").
Sault Ste Marie is a rare city, in that it has populations on both sides of the International border and locals tend to go over the bridge as if it was any other to take advantage of bar hours or shopping deals.
From there, the Trans-Canada heads north through the Algoma wilderness, the scene of many Group of Seven paintings, and then at Wawa begins the route west along the northern shore of Lake Superior, one of Canada's great drives, past company towns like Marathon and Terrace Bay. The "northern" route takes you through Hearst and most rugged portion of the Canadian Shield.
The two routes link up at Thunder Bay, at the western end of Lake Superior and again at Kenora, in the middle of Ontario's "Lake Country." Both routes offer spectacular wilderness scenery, though you should pay strict attention to road conditions and "last gas" signs (gas stations, like towns, are every 60 to 100 miles). Exercise caution from Vermillion Bay west to Kenora because of its sharp curves and non-existent shoulders. " watch out for "surprise" traffic lights in Thunder Bay and Kenora, if not taking the "bypass" expressway.
Contrary to popular belief, Canada's largest city Toronto is NOT on the Trans-Canada, but is 80 miles (128 km) west of Peterborough, on the "southwest" route, which runs from Ottawa through Peterborough, which is the heart of Ontario's "Cottage Country," and then north through Parry Sound to Sudbury.
The highway that runs through toronto is the 401 Macdonald-Cartier Freeway, which connects Detroit, Michigan & Windsor, Ontario with Toronto and the "Golden Horseshoe" region, and continues eastwards to Montreal (where the highway numbering changes) and on to Quebec City.
Fortunately, we have detailed itineraries to get travellers to Toronto, or Torontonians to the Trans-Canada! More about getting to the Trans-Canada Highway from Toronto, and lots of information for Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area ("the GTA")
This highway connects Detroit & Windsor (even better once the new Gordie Howe International Bridge is completed and opened) with industrial Central Ontario, and with Montreal and the Trans-Canada Highway east of that great port city. This highway was built in the mid 1960s
The Ontario heartland has a number of automotive manufacturing plants and assembly contractor, including Fiat Chrysler (Brampton, Windsor), General Motors (Oshawa, Ingersoll), Ford (Oakville), Honda (Alliston), Toyota (Cambridge, Woodstock). Toronto itself is also head office to many of the country's major banks and retail brands, and many other manufacturers. When it was amalgamated into a single city absorbed Etobicoke (to the west), Scarborough (to the east), and North York (to the north) which despite amalgamation -- and decades after it -- still have unique personalities, shopping, cultural and ethnic variations.
The Greater Toronto Area (or "GTA") which encompasses Mississauga & Brampton to the city's west, York Region to the city's north (extending up to Barrie), and Durham Region to the city's east, clustered around Oshawa.
The 401 continues east along Lake Ontario, with the Kawartha and Halliburton cottage areas, and continuing east along the north shore of Lake Ontario to pass by Trenton (home to CFB Trenton) and Belleville, with Quinte Island /Price Edward County and its wine country to the south of the 401, and continuing east to Kingston before passing the St Lawrence Seaway and several international bridges to New York State.
Here are some featured Ontario cities & towns along or near the Trans Canada Highway:
ON: Nestled in the heart of the Golden Horseshoe\ against the Niagara Escarpment, and has long been known as a Steel Town.
ON: Barrie is a small attractive city with swimmable beaches and scenic waterfront along Lake Simcoe.
ON: Wawa lies at an important junction of highway 17 south and highway 101 east into the major mining cities of Ontario^s North.
ON: Sudbury is the largest centre in northeastern Ontario, with 93,000 in the city itself, and 162,000 in the Regional Municipality. Sudbury is known as the Nickel City because of its nickel and copper mines.
ON: Located on the Kingston Road, by the mid 1800s the community attracted farming implement and carriage works, which became auto assembly for Buick and the Chevrolet and became General Motors Canada.
Here are some featured itineraries of Ontario segments of the Trans Canada Highway:
ON: Here is the itinerary for the 246 km along Highway #17 between Kenora and Ignace
ON: Here is the itinerary of the 180 km along #17 between Marathon and Wawa, via White River and Pukaskwa National Park
ON: Here is the itinerary for the 248 km from Kingston to Montreal along Ontario Highway 401, and Quebec Autoroute 20, known as the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway, to continue into Montreal on #40, the Trans-Canada Highway
ON: Here is the itinerary for the 224 km along #17 between Wawa and Sault Ste Marie, via Lake Superior Provincial Park and Agawa Canyon
ON: Here is the itinerary for the 247 km along #17 between Ignace and Thunder Bay, via Kakabeka Falls
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