Canada is the second largest country in the world, and a road trip to this country can be an extraordinary experience as it shows you the beautiful nature and lets you feel the Canadian hospitality. The trip through Canada is also very long, and you will of course wonder how long it will take.
The journey through Canada, from Newfoundland to the border with Alaska, takes 23 days. If you want to take the time to see and do things along the way, visit cities and national parks, give 2 to 3 months for the trip.
Depending on the route you choose, where you start and end and how much time you have, there are different ways to travel in Canada that may take more or less time – read on to plan your trip through Canada.
Travel time in Canada
The time it takes to travel through Canada becomes a difficult subject when you look at the map of the country. A good starting point is to cover a large part of the north of the United States and to determine exactly what a trip to Canada entails.
The most complete answer is from the easternmost point in North America, Cape Spear on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, to the border with Alaska.
This route covers 8,581 km (5,332 miles) and takes at least 106 hours net travel time, including stops for gas. If you add overnight stays and assume that you do not want to travel more than 400 km (250 miles) per day on average, it will take more than 3 weeks to travel in Canada without a weekend.
If you’re planning to visit places of interest along the way, stay in interesting cities and spend time exploring the nature you’ll be crossing, it will take at least 2 months, and even then you’ll spend half of your time on the road!
If you don’t take this subject so personally, most people would think that a trip from Quebec to Vancouver is a good way to travel in Canada. A trip from Quebec City to Vancouver gives you the opportunity to discover the flora and fauna of Newfoundland and the Yukon, which will speed up your journey.
From Quebec City to Vancouver, 4,806 km, and with the same assumptions as above, it would take 53 hours net driving time or 12 days to drive with night stops. Add a few detours and stops along the way and you can easily cover this route in 3-4 weeks.
The following chart shows how long your trip to Canada will take in terms of overnight stays and things like ferries and different types of routes.
|Route through Canada||Distance||Driving time|
|From St. Johns, Newfoundland to the border with Alaska
easternmost to westernmost point of Canada
|Quebec City to Vancouver||4,806 km
|St. Johns – Victoria
Capitals of Newfoundland and British Columbia
|Halifax, Nova Scotia – Long Beach, Vancouver Island
Atlantic Coast – Pacific Coast
Is the Trans-Canada Highway the fastest highway in Canada?
Most people don’t know that the Trans-Canada Highway isn’t really the only road that crosses Canada. In fact, it is a network of motorways stretching across the entire width of the country, with the southern route close to the American border and the second further north. In western Quebec there are 3 parallel roads, all called Trans-Canada highways.
Since all major highways running through Canada are called the Trans-Canada Highway, the answer to this question is Yes. If you are traveling through the country, there is nothing wrong with following one of the Trans-Canada Highway routes.
The only exception to this rule is the part on the border between Ontario and Quebec. If you take the Trans-Canada Highway through Virginia Town and Lake Kenogami, your journey will be extended by about 3 hours. The fastest route is Highway 101 north of Ruin Norand, then Highway 388, which later becomes Ontario’s Highway 101, to Matheson.
In eastern Canada, the Trans-Canada Highway extends to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. It ends in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in the west, and Victoria on Vancouver Island. For example, if you plan to travel north to the Yukon and Alaska, you will have to take a different route.
Shortest route between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Canada
If you want to drive from coast to coast in Canada, the best route is probably between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Long Beach, Vancouver Island.
There are other places where you don’t have to drive as much and that may look like the coast, but the Gulf of Fund, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Strait of Georgia are not exactly the right places, so we drove with the right location of the seashore.
The fastest route between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Canada is the Trans-Canada Highway, connecting Truro, Nova Scotia with Horseshoe Bay, north of Vancouver. As mentioned before, it is faster to leave the Trans-Canada Highway at the border between Quebec and Antario and to follow Ontario’s Highway 101 to reduce travel time.
From Horseshoe Bay take the ferry to Nanaimo and then via Vancouver Island to Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
This itinerary takes about 17 days, with only one overnight stay.
How long can you drive thevehicle in Canada?
Travelling in Canada can be very interesting and exciting. Of course you can set your goals on arrival, change drivers every few hours, sleep and basically live in the car and make the journey in just three days. But that’s not the best way to make the right trip.
During your trip to Canada you will encounter a variety of attractions. You’ll pass through great cities that need time to learn – Quebec City, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver are all on the way and Ottawa is just a short detour.
Then there are the Great Lakes on the border with the United States, huge nature reserves of Algonquin Provincial Park and Pukaskwa National Park north of Toronto to the breathtaking protected valleys of British Columbia. The rocky mountains near Calgary offer beautiful scenery and many interesting activities.
We haven’t even visited some of Canada’s most famous sites yet, including the vineyards of the Thousand Islands and Prince Edward Islands, the climb to the Rocky Mountains on Highway 93 to Jasper, or a stay on Vancouver Island!
If you really want to get the most out of your trip to Canada, you should add at least 10 days to explore the cities along the way, about 3 weeks to visit several national and provincial parks along the way and another week for the extra driving time with all the detours.
If you want to drive in style in Canada, see all the sights and visit the great cities instead of rushing and travelling crazy distances in a short period of time, plan a trip of 2 to 3 months. Anything less than 2 months and you’ll feel like you’re in a hurry and have to miss great places and things along the way.