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Locomotives and Rolling Stock
The first locomotive to be constructed in Canada was built by the James Good family (1853) of Toronto. Named Toronto, the locomotive had a set of 4 driving wheels and 4 small front wheels for better travel through curves.
Champlain and Saint Lawrence Railroad
The Champlain and Saint Lawrence Railroad (incorporated 1832), Canada's first railway, ran between La Prairie on the St Lawrence River and St Johns [ St-Jean ] on the Richelieu.
The Trans-Canada Highway is a continuous road that allows vehicle travel across Canada. The highway runs through each of Canada’s 10 provinces, from Victoria, British Columbia, to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. At 7,821 km, it is the fourth-longest highway — and second-longest national highway — in the world.
Fur Trade Routes
Throughout the period of the historical fur trade, water routes were the natural “highways” of the voyageurs and coureurs des bois. Canoes (later boats — principally York boats) were the principal vehicles. The location of trading posts depended on the presence of Indigenous peoples willing and able to trade, and on the ease of transportation to and from them.
Roads and Highways
Canada's first highways were the rivers and lakes used by Indigenous peoples, travelling by canoe in summer and following the frozen waterways in winter. (See also Birchbark Canoe; Dugout Canoe.) The water network was so practical that explorers, settlers and soldiers followed the example of the Indigenous peoples. (See also Coureurs des bois; Voyageurs.) To a greater extent than most other countries, Canada depends for its social, economic and political life on efficient communication and transportation. (See also Economy; Politics.)
During the summer of 1885 the railway was constructed over the pass at great expense. Over 6.4 km of snowsheds (31) were built to protect trains, trackage and workmen from AVALANCHES (the area receives up to 15 m of snow each winter).
The Lachine Canal passes through the southwestern part of the island of Montréal, from the Old Port to the borough of Lachine, where it flows into Lake Saint-Louis.
Streetcars began operation in Canada during the era of horse-powered local transportation, expanded rapidly with electrification, shrank with a public policy switch in favour of rubber-tired vehicles, and recently re-emerged as light rail transit.
Motor Vehicle Disasters in Canada
Numerous tragedies have unfolded on Canadian roads and highways, the deadliest being a bus crash that killed 44 people in Quebec in 1997. Despite the death toll in such headline-grabbing disasters, Canada’s motor vehicle fatality and injury rates are steadily declining, thanks to engineering improvements in vehicles, and the increasing promotion and awareness of safe driving practices.
The Dempster Highway runs from near Dawson, YT, 730 km across the northern Yukon through the Richardson Mountains to Fort McPherson and Inuvik, in the Mackenzie Delta of the Northwest Territories. Begun in 1959, it was the
Trans Canada Trail
The Trans Canada Trail is over 27,000 km of land and waterways connecting every Canadian province and territory. Construction began in 1992 as part of Canada's 125th birthday celebrations. It was completed 25 years later, in 2017, when Canada turned 150. In 2016, the trail’s name changed to “The Great Trail.” However, in June 2021, the name reverted back to the original.
The Montreal metro opened on 14 October 1966. The second Canadian subway system after Toronto’s, which opened in 1954, the Montreal metro was the first subway in North America to run on rubber tires instead of metal wheels. Extensions to the Montreal metro were built on Montreal Island over the two decades after it opened, and then to the city of Laval, on the island of Île Jésus, during the 2000s. The system runs entirely underground, and each station has a distinct architecture and design. The Montreal metro consists of four lines running a total of 71 km and serving 68 stations. In 2018, its passengers made more than 383 million trips.
Canadian Pacific Railway
The Canadian Pacific Railway company (CPR) was incorporated in 1881. Its original purpose was the construction of a transcontinental railway, a promise to British Columbia upon its entry into Confederation (see Railway History). The railway — completed in 1885 — connected Eastern Canada to British Columbia and played an important role in the development of the nation. Built in dangerous conditions by thousands of labourers, including 15,000 Chinese temporary workers, the railway facilitated communication and transportation across the country. Over its long history, the Canadian Pacific Railway diversified its operations. The company established hotels, shipping lines and airlines, and developed mining and telecommunications industries (see Shipping Industry; Air Transport Industry). In 2001, Canadian Pacific separated into five separate and independent companies, with Canadian Pacific Railway returning to its origins as a railway company. CP, as it is branded today, has over 22,500 km of track across Canada and the United States. It is a public company and it trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CP. In 2020, CP reported $7.71 billion in total revenues.
This is the full-length entry about the Canadian Pacific Railway. For a plain-language summary, please see The Canadian Pacific Railway (Plain-Language Summary).