The Trans-Canada Highway is an awesome drive, filled with both wonderful and slightly odd sights. Here’s a look at a few places you should see from beginning to end.
The eastern end (or beginning) of the TCH starts in St. John’s, where you’ll find colourful houses lining the rocky coast of the harbour (as pictured above). You can take a great walk from there to the top of Signal Hill.
Just a few miles off the TCH near Baddeck is a pretty community called Plaster Cove. You reach it by the Little Narrows Ferry and then make a leisurely drive past small farms overlooking massive Bras d’Or Lake. Once you reach Plaster Cove you’ll find a pretty bay with a large, sandy headland off to one side. More intriguing is a small model of a church, with tiny cemetery crosses and a picket fence.
Potato World is a funky roadside attraction just a few seconds off the TCH in New Brunswick. You’ll find displays on the importance of the potato to the New Brunswick economy, as well as hands-on bits where you can try hand-cutting potatoes for French Fries or moving a massive, 75-kg barrel filled with spuds.
Pull off the TCH at Quebec City and take the time to enjoy the most charming city in North America. Stop in at the new 1608 Wine and Cheese bar at the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac for a drink and some Quebec treats, then check out Rue du Petit Champlain, perhaps the most scenic street in the city. For something different, try a ghost tour. A city that’s more than 400 years old should have a few.
Two hugely popular roadside attractions loom in northern Ontario. One is the famous Wawa Goose, a bountiful bird who’s been undergoing restoration due to rust and a leaking underbelly. She’s still on display as locals seek to raise money for a new one. A few kilometres along the road is the town of White River, where you’ll find a statue of Winnie-the-Pooh. The real Winnie was a black bear cub who was orphaned when her mother was killed by a hunter in the area in 1914. She ended up at the London Zoo, where she inspired a boy named Christopher Robin Milne to name his toy bear Winnie. Christopher’s father, A.A. Milne, then wrote his famous Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
The Bridge Drive-In (BDI) is a Winnipeg institution, a place where they make a dish called Goog, which features ice cream, blueberries and more. Folks take their ice cream and stroll across the nearby bridge over the Red River. Most locals simply call it the BDI Bridge, but if you ask around enough you’ll learn it’s actually named the Elm Park bridge.
The waterfront on the South Saskatchewan River has been revitalized and there are cool restaurants and galleries in the Riversdale area. On the south side of the river near the Broadway Bridge you’ll find a series of rocks painted by locals with everything from Mickey Mouse faces to testaments of never-ending love.
Small-town museums in Canada are delightful. That goes particularly for the small one in Canmore. One of the top displays focuses on Mary Rodda, a tiny woman who ran the rough and tumble Canmore Hotel for 16 years, often separating drunk customers from starting a brawl by standing on a chair and keeping them at bay. Once you’ve explored the museum, head out and admire the stunning local scenery.
An artist in Revelstoke, B.C. began making fairy tale figures out of cement back in the 1950s. More than a half-century later, visitors to what’s now called the Enchanted Forest take great delight in the colourful tree houses, castles, and statues based on everything from Humpty Dumpty to the cow who jumped over the moon.