History of Trans-Canada Highway recalls early cross-country adventurers

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TORONTO -- Driving across Canada has always been something of an adventure. In 1925 when Perry Doolittle attempted the feat, ingenuity was required.

That's because in many places there was no road to drive on. The Toronto physician embarked on his journey in a Ford Model T to promote the idea of a national roadway. But when Doolittle and his partner ran into dead-ends, they replaced the car's wheels with special steel rims and motored along railway tracks.

"Since they travelled a total of 1,365 kilometres in this fashion, they could hardly have been said to have driven across the country," writes Vancouver-based historian Daniel Francis, author of the new book "A Road for Canada: The Illustrated History of the Trans-Canada Highway" (Stanton Atkins & Dosil Publishers).

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