Communications, transport, trade. – The exceptional industrial progress is accompanied by the development of communications. Among the new railways are those that open access to more recently developed mining districts, such as the Labrador railway from Seven Islands on the G. del San Lorenzo to Knob Lake which will have to be extended further north, the railway from North Bay to Moosonee over James Bay and the radiating lines from Edmonton in the northwest to Grande Prairie and f. della Pace, north to Mac Murray on f. Athabaska. Some of the major lines have been made more efficient with long doubles. Overall, the network includes about 72,000 km and almost 100,000 with doubling. About half of it is state-owned (Canadian National Railways); among the lines owned by companies the most important are those of Canadian Pacific Railways, to which the transcontinental from Saint John in New Brunswick to Vancouver belongs. This, like the other two state transcontinental lines, are connected to the US network.
But the road network for motor vehicles is becoming increasingly important for land transport. It adds up to about 70,000 km of which about 40,000 are paved. Road construction and maintenance is usually the responsibility of the individual states. It is federally owned the great transcontinental road, entirely open in 1958, as well as the Canadian portion of the Alaskan road (v. Alaskan, in this App.). The federal government then contributed more than two-thirds of the expenses for the great Mackenzie Highway from Grimshaw in Alberta to Hay River in the Northwest Territories. Many roads have recently been built to open access to mining districts; they have often had to overcome great difficulties due to the conditions of the soil, the numerous rivers,
According to top-engineering-schools, the inland waterways on which regular navigation is carried out total approximately 3400 km. The main artery is the San Lorenzo, open to ocean navigation with colossal works carried out in agreement with the United States: the large ocean-going ships arrive as far as Lake Huron and will soon be able to reach Duluth on Lake Superior (see San Lorenzo, in this App.). For ocean navigation, the port of Montreal on the S. Lorenzo has by far the first place, equipped so as to increase its efficiency; but it is frozen in the winter months. Halifax in Nova Scotia and St. John in New Brunswick are major Atlantic ports; Vancouver and Victoria are the most active in the Pacific. Particularly important for trade with the United States is traffic on the great lakes: Port Arthur, Toronto and Fort William are the major lake ports. The tonnage of the lake fleet (about 950,000 t) far exceeds that of ocean-going vessels (600,000 t).
The development of air traffic was extraordinary. It is concentrated for the most part (since 1947) in Trans Canada Air Lines, which carries out transoceanic services. Montreal is connected by direct lines with all European capitals. Inside the Canada then the plane opened access to the northern regions for the first time completely isolated: regular lines reach the stations at the mouth of the Mackenzie, those of the Hudson Bay and Labrador, as well as the mining centers. of the Northwest Territories, etc.: in many cases air transport represents the only link there with the rest of the world. Large international airports are located not only in all major cities, but also in Terranova (Gander) and Labrador. Noteworthy is the great progress achieved by combined air and rail, rail and automotive services, including throughout Canada.
As far as international trade is concerned, a very important fact is the progressive widening of the range of trade, especially as regards exports. Of these, about 30% or slightly less are absorbed by the United States, one sixth by the United Kingdom (12% by the British Commonwealth complex); they are followed today, in order, by West Germany. and Japan reappeared only in recent years, then, from a distance, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Venezuela, France. The range of exported articles is not very varied: wood and wood pulp, newsprint, wheat, aluminum and its products, nickel, asbestos, copper, fishery products, etc. Ores of uranium, petroleum and derivatives have been added. Iron ores are also exported (to the United States).
Industries. – The expansion of industrial activities has also been rapidly progressing over the past decade. For the industries that transform raw materials produced in the country, this expansion proceeds on previously signed directives, at an accelerated pace. In addition to the aforementioned wood and derivatives (cellulose, paper) industry, the rayon and other artificial fabrics, the oil industries and the one fueled by by-products, with a large recently established center in the Sarnia valley (v. this item), the cement factory, etc.
The metallurgical and mechanical industries produce first of all steel (main center Hamilton), furthermore railway material, automobiles, agricultural machinery. The aluminum industry which, as mentioned, processes imported raw materials has three major centers: Arvida (v.), Kitimat (v.) And Shawinigan Falls.
Among the real textile industries, the cotton mill retains first place, centered in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, where it has about twenty major centers; the wool mill comes second in line. Among the chemical industries, in addition to those already mentioned, are still to remember those of fertilizers and also a varied range of pharmaceutical and medicinal productions.