While Canada offers a variety of beautiful and scenic drives, we can’t deny that there are a couple of dangerous roads out there too. Prepare yourselves for a whirlwind tour of some of the most hair-raising and adrenaline-pumping roads across the vast expanses of Canada. If you ever find yourself driving on one of these roads, make sure you buckle up, ensure that your brakes are in working order, and heighten your senses so you’re prepared to traverse through all the possible incoming dangers.
1. The James Dalton Highway, Yukon Territory
Let’s start off this list with the James Dalton Highway, widely recognized as one of the most dangerous routes in the entire country. This rugged 414-mile stretch links Fairbanks, Alaska to the Arctic Ocean. Why is it considered to be so dangerous you may ask? For quite a couple of reasons.
It can be perilous due to its isolation, unpredictable weather conditions, and the presence of large trucks supplying the Prudhoe Bay Oil Fields. Expect little to no services along this route, with the closest thing to civilization being occasional gas stations. Basically, if something goes wrong, you’re more or less on your own.
But despite these challenges, there’s one bonus that comes along with it - driving down the James Dalton Highway presents you with a unique opportunity to see unparalleled sights of the beautiful Arctic wilderness. As long as you keep your eyes on the road and have a sturdy vehicle, this road could offer you some spectacular views.
2. Highway 63, Alberta
Next on our list is Highway 63 in Alberta, also known as “Death Highway” because of its infamously high accident rate. Sounds pretty ominous right? This highway stretches 443 kilometres from Grassland to Fort McMurray and is known for its heavy traffic, particularly big trucks, and transport vehicles due to the region’s booming oil industry. Extreme weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, also make this route challenging and a dangerous drive.
But on a good note, efforts are being made to improve the highway by adding more lanes and increasing traffic control measures. Here’s to hoping Highway 63 will soon lose its terrifying nickname!
3. Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia
As we journey all over Canada, the next road on this list takes us to the scenic yet daunting Sea to Sky Highway in British Columbia. This road from Vancouver to Whistler offers stunning views of mountains, forests, and the ocean, all wrapped into one picturesque journey. While it’s sounding pretty good so far, don’t be fooled.
This drive is certainly not for the faint-hearted as it’s famous for its narrow lanes, extremely steep cliffs, and sudden weather changes. Some locals have even dubbed it the “Ski-and-Die Highway” due to many accidents happening there. While road improvements and safety measures have helped to decrease accidents over the years, drivers still need to exercise careful caution. Word of advice: make sure you keep your focus on the road and don’t get too distracted by the amazing vistas around you!
4. Highway 401, Ontario
Chosen as the busiest and most dangerous highway in Canada, Highway 401 in Ontario, particularly the section passing through Toronto, is known for its heavy traffic and high-speed limits. With as many as 18 lanes in certain sections of the highway, this road can see up to half a million vehicles per DAY!
Due to the sheer volume of traffic, it’s no shocker that accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence. Especially during rush hours. Trying to navigate this concrete jungle with its bustling rhythm will definitely be an experience should you ever drive there. Just remember, patience is your best friend on this road and absolutely key to avoiding getting into any accidents.
5. Trans-Labrador Highway, Newfoundland and Labrador
Last but definitely not least, we’re heading all the way east to the Trans-Labrador Highway. This remote and rugged route stretches nearly 1200 kilometres from Baie-Comeau, Quebec to Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador. Unfortunately, this highway is anything but “happy”.
There are several reasons why this road made it onto this list. Known for its harsh weather conditions, driving this highway, particularly in the winter, can be absolutely terrifying. With heavy snowfall and ice covering the roads, the drive is treacherous and difficult to control. Not to mention there’s a significant lack of services along this route, making help all the harder to obtain.
There you have it, these are 5 of the most dangerous roads to drive on throughout Canada. While these roads can be treacherous and nerve-wracking to go through, as long as you go in with preparedness and some caution, you can definitely ensure a safe drive. Safe travels!