The Motor Roads of Canada

W. A. Craick April 1 1917

The Motor Roads of Canada

W. A. Craick April 1 1917

The Motor Roads of Canada

W. A. Craick


the automobile to the favor of mankind is many-sided. To one person its sheer utility may prove to be its most valued feature; to another the opportunity it affords for the pursuit of health or pleasure. One man is fascinated by the mechanism itself and takes rare delight in the perfect motion of engine and running gear; his neighbor derives his satisfaction from the exhilaration of rapid motion and the shattering of speed records. There is a peculiar attraction for some people in the skilful handling of a car amid the congested traffic of a city’s streets, and .there is a simpler joy for other people in quiet runs along unfrequented country roads.

But of all the appeals that the automobile exerts on the humari mind th£t of the open road seems most alluring. To leave behind the circumscribed life of home and office, the narrow confines of one’s everyday experiences, and set forth, like the knights of old. to conquer new worlds— that must surely be the strongest appeal of all.

In olden times, those who could, and would, journeyed where they pleased and by such routes as took their fancy. They were not compelled by the exigencies of time and space to travel on a fixed line or by an immutable schedule. But with the advent of the railroad and the railroad train, much of this joy of the open road, with its unrestricted movements, was lost. Travel became, in or.e sense at least, an affair performed under pronounced limitations. The traveller had of necessity to proceed at hours that were not of his choice and by routes that were fixed for him, while his views of passing scenery were but fractional" in scope. To-day. the automobile is emancipating men and women from the partial thraldom into which they had been forced. It is giving them the means to regain a portion at least af that freedom of motion enjoyed by their forefathers. It is quite true that there are still seri-

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Z"1 is so obviously a cour '-J try possessing boundless attrac lions for the motor tourist that it is scarcely necessary to point them out. Krom coast to coast there inot a natural feature omitted from the li>t of possibilities. Wilderness and cultivated land, mountains and .plains, river and lakes, waterfalls and canyons, forests arfd clearings, islands and shore, cities and hamlet.—all are embraced within the limitof the broad Dominion.

Perhaps the country’s strongest appeal comes from the wilderness. Men and women live so much with it. the artificial confines of populated centres, their ordinary expeditionis motor are so frequently limited

■ , .re-tr-retiens on even the move¡iif tof the motorist. He cannot go whither he would in comfort berau-t'>f the shocking condition of many of the roads. Yet, the agita tier: ir: favor of good roads, which has compelled provincial and mun: cipa; governments to take heed and -et about the improvement of exist mg highways and the constructio: of necessary new ones, is bearing fruit, and year by year the extent of emit try thrown open to the rrsofori-t ibeing rapidly increased. As compared with five years ago, on even less, his field of possible motion has been surprisingly er larged..

to roads tt~ ter~ing. cultivated areas that. when more ext'~r(:ed tours are contemplated. it is to re gions wh re nature is vet in it~ primitive tat~ that the~ vould feign direct their niuvernent~. That is v~ ç ( anada is hecorning ar:nuai~v the Mecca for inereasing numlers of American tourNt~. In the i own ountrv they are ing uidei htion~ that are growing mote aid ni4mre artific;al in character. Ir ("~mnada th~v t~1 find opportunities for the enjoyr~i t of outdoor life in its freest form.

There arp Jrradually being evolved in Canada a system of main highways for motorists ’.vjn i|h. when linked up in proeess of time, Ái 11 provide the Dominion with a’vhrk of splendid smooth roads on whieh tja* j traveller by automobile may. if he Has] the time and the means, traverse the. entire breadth of the country from tie Atlantic to;the Pacific expeditiously unid in comfort. This National High way is still ifjilream, but that it will ultimately eventVate, is reasonably sure. Sojranid is the progress already being rrjade with existing building progri.mmies and so vigorously is the good roacsj movement being pushed by automobilej clubs and associations, that it is not atlall improbable that a highway from coakt to coast will become a reality within h comparatively few years.

At the present time the efforts being made to roadways suited to the needs of motpr traffic are provincial rather than national in scope. Each province of Confederation has its roads department and éach of these departments is working puti problems connected with provincial needk. In the van of the movement comes; Quebec, where upwards of seventeen million dollars has been contributed by the government since 1912 towards the construction of provincial highways. Ontario follows with an expanding programme of good roads development British Columbia already has several unsurpassed scenic roads through its immense mountain ranges. The prairie provinces are gradually providing their inhabitants with improved roadways, while in the Maritime Provinces, where some cf Canada’s most charming scenery is to be found, the several governments are alive to the pressing demands of the people fpr better roads.

OMJflENÛIN’G with British Columbia, ^ it may prove interesting to enumerate some of the ihain tourist routes now open to the moto rijst. There are. in the Pacific province, rodghly. two systems of roads. One may be d escribed as the island system; the other the inland system. Both contain mu:h superb scenery; both are excellently constructed andboth will shortly lie linked up into a single provincial system.

As the name implies, the island system is to be fov nc on Vancouver Island. It radiates from Victoria and comprises the main island highway, 175 miles in length, extending to Campbell River and including' the .famous Malahat Drive, with branch roars to Cowichan Lake and Alberni; and.a r umber of fine roads on the Saanich Ptninsula. The system has elicited unminted praise from American tourists, who describe Vancouver Island, as viewed from its motor roads, as a scenic wonderland with an irresistible call to the nalor enthusiast.

The first fpv miles along the route of the Island Highway takes the tourist through a beajutifful country bordering on

the Gorge, an arm of the Pacific Ocean. Then the ro ad swings northward through magnificent forests and finally begins the gradual ascent of Malahat Mountain, over the so-called Malahat Drill*. This mountain driveway deserves the highest praise, not only because of its wonderful scenery, but by reason of its gentle gradients and wide well-built roadway.

To reach the summit, at an elevation of 1,250 feet, is an easy accomplishment for any car, and the road is widej enough for the passenger; 1 x

to enjoy the scenery without fear of getting too close to the edge of the shelf on which it is built. From the top of the mountain a splendid view of the islanddotted stretches of Saanich Inlet is to be had. while far tn the background towers the massive, snow-dad peak of Mount Baker on the American coast.

DESCENDING again into the valley, the road skirts the shores of Mil; Bay, passes on through Cobble Hill and along Harrison Bay until the town of Duncans is reached. Near here a branch road turns inland to Cowichan Lake, a distance of some twenty miles. The latter route traverses a well-wooded territory and follows the Cowichan River Valley down to the Lake, a very beautiful Wretch of water much frequented by holiday makers.

Meantime the Island Highway continues on up the east eoa?t of the Island through Ladysmith and Naraimo tn Parksville. from which point a second branch road strikes acro.-s country to Port Alberni Canal. Leaving Parksville, the main road hugs the island shore and proceeds through Quali-

cum Beach. Union Bay amd Courtenay to Campbell River. It is possible to travel still further by motor/ though this is really the end of the highway. A road tow extends up the River to Forbes Landing at thé entrance to Strathcona Park, an immense reservation in the heart of Vancouver Island, destined to become one of Canada’s most famous playgrounds.

The load system on the Saanich Peninsula. while not offering the same possibilities' for extended tours as the Island Highway, yet provides the motorist with very’tempting fare in the way of choice scenery. The favorite programme is to make a loop trip around the Peninsula. This includes the ascent of Little Saanich Mountain, on the summit of which the new Dominion Observatory with its record-breaking telescope, has just been

through the Vermilion Lass and thence front the Kootenay Valley to the Columbia Valley by the Sinclair Pass and Canyon. At Sinclair it joins the older road extending up the Columbia Valley front Golden to Fort Steele.

At Fort Steele the tourist comes into touch with the main southern highway of the province, which, starting at Crestón passes eastward through Cranbrook, Fernie and the Crows Nest Pass and so out into Southern Alberta. This road is said to ' surpass any other ir. the province in ex and the scenery throughout its entire . length is splendid. It will take the motorist to Macleod, whence a good road runs north" to Calgary, completing the circuit

npIIK prairie pro-*■ viiices are not withoiit their attractions for the motor-

erected. The road to the observatory is blasted out of the rock and presents sevèral interesting engineering features, while from the top of the mountain, the tourist obtains a glorious view of the surrounding country, a combination of forest, lake and mountain scenery of rare charm.

ON THE mainland of British Columbia, while in certain districts, notably the Okanagan Valley and the district around Kamloops, many fine roads have been built, the number of what may be described as tourist routes is as yet somewhat limited. The earliest constructed road in the province, the famous Cariboo Trail, which, starting at Hop, follows the Fraäer River Valley up to Lillooct and thence northward to Quesnel, reputedly holds magnificent attractions for motorists, including fishing, hunting, good road, and road houses and superb and varied scenery. This road is reached from Vancouver by proceeding over the Westminster Yale Road, a connecting link, built soon after British Columbia entered Confederation.

The finest system of roads in the province, however, is not to be approached from the west, but from the east, and until some missing links are supplied, the coast cities will continue to be cut off from communication with it. - The reference is to the Banff-Win, derme re. Cranbrook*

Golden and Creston-Maeleod roads. Starting from Calgary, it is possible to make a grand circuit of all three roads, an experience which those who have attempted it describe as one of the finKt trips imaginable. t

The route from Calgary to Banff is now a familiar one to many motorists as it har, long been a favorite run for Calgarians. From Banff to Lake Windermere, however, the road is only just in process of completion and in consequence it is still a terra incognita to most people. That it will prove to be one oƒ the most attractive scenic routes in the world, admitting the motorist as it will, to the very heart of the Rocky Mountains, may be taken for granted. It crosses from the Bow River Valiev to the Kooter.a-v Valley

ist or. tour and those who enjoy the prospect of vast expanses of open country will find plenty of opportunities for indulging their fancy in the environs of almost any of the larger centres of population on the plains. However, of recognized motor routes extending for considerable distance.-. there are as yet few in this part of Western Canada, though several have been projected. One has to come east to the older portions of Ontario before encountering systems of ropds. providing varied scenery and affording satisfactoryfacilities for the enjoyment of tours by motor.

The good roads movement had its inception. in Ontario several years ago. with the result that many smooth, well-constructed highways are now to be found in various[ parts of the province. The only drawback to a thorough enjoyment of tAese roads is that, up to the present time, the work of improvement has been done by the counties individually and in consequence there has not been that eo-ordir.atidn of effort necessary to combine the county systems into a connected provincial system. This defect is to be remedied forthwith. A bill has already been introduced into the legislature which will, when enacted, give the province fK»wer to tí ike over main

roads fron'~ the counties ar~d cstab1i.~h a system of )rovinc~a1 i g h w a y s, which will pink up exist-

ing gooc roads and make theni ea~iiy accessible to motorists fr6m all parts of the pr~vince. a fii~t step in the es-ui Ut jflfl 4 f the iropose I provinciil 9y~tem, there will he ihf e~tablishrnent of a hig}is~av~from Wind or, on th4 l)~troit River, to the Q~eb4c boundary line at t~e eastern ex tremity of t~ie provirce. This hi~h~vat. to all in tents and~ p~Jrposes. al ready e:i4ts nd for the most part3 it~is. in excel lent conii~iot~. All that the provir~e IxiIl have th do will l~to~bi~ing it up to a c~it:ai~t standard throughou~. its entire length. This 1one, it will form the ac~cbone of all `~ the roac *ys~ems in the province aiid n itself will provide a most attr~ictive to~irist route from end to end of old Ontüib.

The provincial highway, starting from Windsor, passes east through Chatham. Ixmdon, Woodstock and Brantford to Hamilton, where it links up with the splendid hew Hamilton-Toronto highway. Fropi Toronto eastward it follows the Kingstpn Road through the lake-front towns of Whitby, Oshawa, Bowmanville, Port Ho]>e. Cobourg, Belleville and Napanee to Ki gston and continues thence by the old Front Road through Brockville.

Prescott a~d Cornwall to Montrt~al. It is already. ir~ whole or in part~i, a favorite run for mbtorists and will become more and nior o~u1ar as the remaining defec tive sc~ions are -brought U~ to stand-

the pro vin4il high way a~ a~base. it i~ p~sible to~ make var ious side ai~d round trips through attrac tive sec';ions of old Orttario. For in stance, the run from Hamilton to Niagara FaIls ovr ;he Stoney (`reek Road ml Wentworth Count~ and the old Qu~enston and Grimsby Stone Road i n Lincoln County~ is one of the finest ii th~ pro vince. t Niagara F*lls, tlie~ be~utiful system of o~49 built by the Q~iee~ Vic toria Nia~ard Falls Park Ccrtjrnission is encounterjd nd the run m~yl b~ con tinued .ilong the

famous N iagara Boulevard as far as Fort Erie.

An alternative route to that of the trunk line from Hamilton wgst is provided by the famous Talbot Road, which extends from Niagara Falls

to Windsor through St. Thomas, paralleling the main road to the south. This road is reported to

he in excellent shape west of St. Thomas, though not so good east of that point. Connection with the main road may be made by means of'the St. Thomas-London road.

From a scenic standpoint, however, the best available territory in Western Ontario is to be found up around Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, and thanks to the efforts of the counties in that locality, many first-class roads now e\ist in that section of the country. It is possible to start from Toronto. Hamilton. London or other points on the trunk line and make most enjoyable runs in a northerly or north-westerly direction.

Yonge Street, extending north from Toronto to the vicinity of Bradford, is

one popular means of access to .this alluring district. From Bradford, excellent roads built by the county of Simcoe. take the moto-ist on through Barrie and up the beautiful west shore of Lake Simcoe to Orillia. Beyond that thore are passable roads to Parry Sound and even farther north. Debouching from Barrie, one may proceed to Penetang by ;i fairly good county road or else make the run .hrough Stayner to Colli ngwood and thence alo lg the shore of Georgian Bay to Meaford and Owen Sound. The scei ery on all these roads s very fine, including h 11 and valley, wood and stream, lake and river. Another pict iresque route to the Bay is via Hurontario Street. This old highway starts from Port Credit and runs through Brampton to Orangeville. It is a route full of variety and the road itself is one of the best in tie province. From Orangeville there is a good road to Shelburne and thence tc Owen Sound. Yet another route that may be followed is to set out from Hamilto 1, cross to Guelph and then proceed through Fergus and Arthur to Owen Soujjd.

From Owen Sound one may motor across the Bruce Peninsula to Southampton and thus come out on the shore of Lake Huron. Or the same objective may be pleasantly obtained by leaving Hamilton and driving through Guelph. Fergus, Elora, Harriston and Walkerton. A very beautiful ride to Southampton is that from Guelph, through Berlin and Stratford, to Goderich and thence north along the shore of Lake Huron, through Kincardine, to one’s destination. jÇhis same lake run may be made, start-

ing from London and going to Goderich direct or via Sarnia.

IT AST of Toronto ^ the possibilities for side trips from the trunk line are not so numerous, but some of the available runs are very pretty. Except for the roads in Prince Edward County, all these routes run to the north. F rom Whitby the old main road to Lindsay, skirting Lake Scugog, is an attractive one. From Port Hope there is a good road to Peterboro round the west end of Rice Lake. From Cobourg a capital road runs north to Gore’s Landing. There is a main road extending from Belleville to Madoc that has considerable claim to beauty, while all around the Bay of Quinte, especially in Prince Edward County there are numerous pretty roads. From Kingston one nrlay motor, on a fairly good road, up through the Rideau Lake County to Perth, Smith’s Falls. Carleton Place and Ottawa. A highway is projected from Prescott to Ottawa, but

as yet the road is not in any too j?ood shape for motoring. Finally there is the run from Ottawa to Montreal along the south shore of the Ottawa River, which - will be very much improved in character in the near future.

If in the Province of Ontario, county systems of roads have preceded provincial

systems, in theProvince ot Quebec the r* verse, speaking gen erally. is the case Quebec! already po »•esses ifour fine pro v in rial highways, which ¿re a delight motorists, but outside of these, road* throughout the pro vmce as a rule do not measure up to the standard of Ontario roads. At the same time, scenic beautie» are perhaps on a somewhat grander scale than tf ose to be found along routes in the uj;per province., which partly compensates f^r the inferiority of some of the highways.

Since 1912 the Province of Quebec has constructed over 2,000 miles of first-class per manently-improved highways, the government contribution towards the building of which has been close to seventeen million dollars. More than tfiat, at the last session of the legislature, another five million dollars was appropriated for the further extension of the provincial sysContinued on page 80.

The Motor Roads of Canada

Continued from pane 2»>.

tem. The net result is that Quebec is far in the van of other Canadian provinces, having as a matter of fact more permanently-improved highways than all the other provinces put together.

. The longest and most, notable highway in the province is that extending along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Quebec City, known as the Montreal-Quebec road. It was completed only last year, but already it has been traversed by thousands of motorists, who are loud in their praises qf its beauties. The route is particularly attractive below Quebec, where the country becomes rougher and the road, in consequence, more winding in character.

The King Edward VII. Highway running south' from Montreal to the International boundary .at Rouse’s Point, affords a means of access to Quebec for American tourists and an outlet for Quebec motorists on tour to the United States. It was the first of Quebec’s improved highways and its popularity is attested by the fact that during the touring season an average of between six and seven hundred cars a day pass over it. The road is excellent but. from the scenic standpoint, it is not to be compared with the Montreal-Quebec highway, the country • traversed being flat and rather uninteresting.

'T'HERE was practically completed last fall a road running south from Levis, opposite the City of Quebec, to the boundary of Maine, known as the Levis-Jackman road. It is ninety miles in length and in its course it traverses a wild and broken country, strikingly picturesque in character. With the completion of this road and the Montreal-Quebec road, the province possesses a single stretch of continuous highway, 25 miles in length, starting at Rouse’s Point, passing through Montreal and Quebec, and ending at Jackman in the State of Maine.

The fourth Quebec highway, which to some minds is even more beautiful than any of the other three, extends from Sherbrooke, the chief city of the Eastern Townships, to the international boundary at Derby, Vermont, where it connects with a road to Newport at the southern ex-

tremity of ¡Lake Memphremagog. It passes in itp course. Lake Massawippi, mitof the most beautiful lakes in the Townships and a famous resort for summer touristy. . That road, which is miles in length, was complete«! in 1U1 ami has proved immensely popular.

Apart froim the four provincial highways. the province has several other roads, of mofe or less satisfactory quality, which can lie followed by motorists with pleasure. 1$ the environs of Montreal itself. there pro now numerous excellent highways wiith tine scenic possibilities. One of thorny known as the Point FortuneMontreal extends as far as Point Fortune on the Ottawa River at the interprovincial boundary and there forms a connection jvith the Ontario system of roads. j

An alternative route from Montreal to Rouse’s Poibt is provided by the old In»ernational Highway, which many motorists prefer tp the King Edward Highway. Instead of striking direct across country, it runs over; to St. John’s and thence continues up thp valley of-the Richelieu River to the bourjdary. The scenery is much finer than ajlong the King Edward Highway. while (he road is very little inferior in quality the new road. The two routes combined make possible an interesting rounlt;) trip.

There is much charming scenery to be found in the Eastern Townships and a trip from Montreal to Sherbrooke, with side jaunts ¡to picturesque corners in the district, is cine of the choicest attractions that the province can offer. The run to Sherbrooke jis just a trifle under a hundred miles length. Leaving Montreal, the main rojute runs via St. Lambert and Longueuil tjo Chambly on the Richelieu River, thenfre across to Rougemont and on through; Granby, Waterloo, Eastman and Magog;to Sherbrooke, passing Lake Orford, Memphremagog and Lake Magog on the way.

From Granby a beautiful trip can be made to Bnime Lake, around to Knowlton and on to Sijtton through a thickly wooded •ountry, with idyllic glimpses of water frqm time to time. Or one may turn aside at Magog land cross country to North Hatley on jLake Massawippi, connecting there with the main highway from Sherbrooke to Newport.

U UT OF jail trips out of Montreal that ^ North to Ste. Agathe in the Laurentiam Mountains is the grandest. It involves a ru^i of about 64 miles. The road is fairlyr good and the scenery is magnificent, being fnountainous, with a wealth of wild, romatjtic views.

There aije several good roads in the district aroimd Quebec, both on the north and south sides of the St. Lawrence. On the north àn attractive run is possible through Chjarlesbourg to Lake Beauport, while on tpe south a good road extends eastward through Beaumont, Berthier. St. Thomas arid L’Islet to the settlements ¡«•wer down] the River.

The trip jhas been made by motor, both down the south shore of the St. Lawrence and across; the State of Maine,, to New Brunswick,! but the experience of those who have attempted it has not been encouraging. 1 For general purposes, the Maritime provinces are pretty well cut off from Upper Canada, unless the motorist makes ajlong detour through New England or elsf takes his car across the Bay of Fundy | by j boat Yet once Janded

within the borders of the Atlantic provinces, the possibilities for touring are good and. while there are as yet no permanent provincial highways, such as those in Quebec, road improvement is being very generally carried on, with tht* result that there are now many mile* of very fair roads in this part of the Porn ir. ion.

There are two Canadian routes to New Brunswick. One is east from Riviere du Loup, Que., to Campbelltown. N.B., fol lowing the course x»f the Intercolonial Railway pretty closely. The other is south from Riviere du Loup to Edmundston. following the route of the Temiseouta Railway. At Campbellton. the former connects with the main road along the south shore of the Bay of Chaleur to Bathurst. across to Chatham and so down tht* Gulf shore to Shediac and Moncton. The latter crosses the St. John River at Edmundston and follows its west bank south through Grand Falls, Woodstock and Fredericton to St. John. This valley road is one of the finest in New Brunswick, particularly south of Woodstock, and the ’ scenery is most attractive, i From St. John a popular run is to St.

Andrew's and thence to St Stephen’s, j where connection with the road system of the State of Maine is made. The section from St. George to St. Andrew’s around Passamaquoddy Bay is particularly fine, I the shore being girt with towering granj ite hills and the Bay itself dotted with i beautiful islands. From St Andrew’s to St. Stephen’s the drive is along the picturesque banks of the St Croix River.

TPO REACH Nova Scotia, the motorist * will have to follow the beautiful valley of the Kennebecasis River, passing through such charming towns as Rothesay. Hampton and Sussex; then cross to and descend the valley of the Petitcodiac River as far as Moncton. F rom this point j the main road continues east through i Sackville and Amherst, thence along the shore of the Straits of Northumberland to Truro and so into Halifax.

I The most attractive tour in Nova Scotia i and one that is being taken yearly by increasing numbers of tourists is that through the famous Evangeline county, j Starting, say. from Halifax, the road follows the general course of the DominI ion Atlantic Railway to Windsor. It then I proceeds through Hantsport, to Wolfville and Kentvillt*. in the heart of the Land of Evangeline, and on dow’n the Annapolis I Valley, through Annapolis Royal to I)igby. From Digby to Yarmouth there is a splendid road skirting the shore* of the Bay of Fundy, while, with Yarmouth as a centre, there are many attractive tours possible through the western counties. The run hack to Halifax via the beautiful South Shore Route through Shelburne, Liverpool and Chester is one rich in scenic attractions.

There are tours that may he taken from Truro to New Glasgow and Pictou and on to Antigonish and from Halifax east along the south shore to Musquodoboit. Sheet Harlior and Sherbrooke, both of which bring the motorist in touch with j scenes peculiar to the sea shore and the j life of the hardy inhabitants of the bluei rose province. Owihg to its variety of I scenery and climate. Nova Scotia will make a strong appeal to the motorist. It already boasts many miles of excellent roads and the number of these will soon be largely augmented.