History of the Trans-Canada #17 Marathon to Wawa, Ontario



Marathon welcome sign At Marathon, the highway eastbound, moves inland away from Lake Superior, following the Canadian Pacific Railway route

Marathon, Ontario

A side trip of 4 km south to Marathon is worthwhile to see a company town that began as a fur trading-post, but only grew to its present population of 2500 after the Marathon Corporation of Canada (now the American Can Company) built a kraft pulp mill there in the 1940s. Pukaskwa National Park is located to the southeast of Marathon., and the TransCanada bends in a wide arc around this park

Pic River Bridge

The largest Bridge in the completion of the Trans-Canada in this area was a 173 metre (685 ft) span rising 40 metres (130 ft) over the Big Pic River, just east of Marathon, which was built as part of the Trans-Canada Highway at a cost of $2 million.

Between Hemlo and Pringle

"The Grand Canyon of the North", as it is locally known is a spectacular pit that can reached by a fairly obscure gravel road leading 1 km north from the east end of a long curve in the highway, 0.8 km west of Rouse Lake. The pit was started to extract material for road construction, and grew to its present size by erosion over many years. Approach the edge of the pit with caution. North Of Superior west of Wawa

Obatanga Provincial Park

Obatanga Provincial Park is a beautiful natural park with extensive boreal forest, lying 37 km (23 miles) southeast of White River and 54 km (34 miles) north of Wawa. Campsites are located along Burnfield Lake on the north side of the highway, which has many shore birds. South and east of this park, the highway crosses Desolation Lake, and granitic rocks give way to volcanics and sediments, as the highway moves south into an iron mining region High Railway Bridge at White River

Lake Kabenung

From Lake Kabenung, north of Wawa, and continuing south to the Baldhead River (which runs roughly parallel to the TCH about 35-60 km south of Wawa) has some of the oldest rocks along the Trans-Canada. These metamorphosed sedimentary and volcanic rocks are bent and tilted, and some exposed surfaces are stained red and orange as a result of contact with iron in solution. Wawa goose statue

Upcoming Construction

2020: Wabikoba Creek Bridge east of Hwy 614, east of Marathon Bridge replacement

Bertrand Creek and West White River Bridges, east of Hwy 614, White River Bridge replacements



Other Resources

Marathon to Wawa itinerary Northern Ontario Highways Maps Southern Ontario Highways Maps History of Ontario Ministry of Transportation 50 Years of Trans-Canada

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