transportation flying high
Canada is flying high celebrating 150 years since Confederation. The vision of the country’s founders included the practical understanding that Canada could only survive as a country if it connected its vast and challenging geography. Transportation was essential.
Transportation continues as both a national obstacle and unifying challenge. Canada only succeeds when we move resources, products and people. Access to global markets, moving goods between provinces is key to our trading nation. Connecting people with their jobs and families, and communities with each other is key to our culture.
Tied to Canadian identity are companies who have engineered and built transportation infrastructure. These are a big part of the reason Canada is flying high today.
Getting around when Canada began a hundred and fifty years ago wasn’t so easy. Early explorers and settlers navigated a vast harsh landscape by dogsled or canoe with guidance from Aboriginals. Their survival depended upon it. A fascinating look into our past mode of transportation can be found at the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario.
Their logo shown here is a symbol of the founder’s great respect for Canada’s indigenous peoples and their connection to the land through the canoe.
The ability to paddle, portage or flip a canoe, are skills still learned at summer camps. These are often cited as a badge of Canadian-ness. The canoe remains a preferred method of water transportation to explore Canada’s National Parks, or one of our thousands of lakes and rivers. Maybe you will spot a beaver, or moose. At the very least, you will have a chance to breath clean air, swat some mosquitoes, and reflect on what it it might have been like before Canada was a country, and what it means to be Canadian today.
In November 1885, The last Spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway signified the completion after 10 years of a national railway connecting central Canada to the west coast.
That was the promise made to British Columbia by Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald. An historic and compelling reason for the province to join in Confederation. It was a monumental accomplishment of infrastructure building by Canadian Pacific.
Canadian Pacific began in 1881, and can trace its history as a company and transportation brand including trains, ships and airplanes. It has served the country as a mover of munitions, supplies and troops through world wars. All sorts of royalty and foreign dignitaries, as well as everyday people have been moved from town to town by rail, and put up for the night in luxury CP hotels. Symbolically, earlier this year, CP re-introduced the beaver to its logo (shown). Today CP, as it is known, has departed from other businesses, and is once again a rail company.
I am excited to say that the beaver is back, Thanks to a lot of hard work in the last few years, we have taken our rightful place as an industry leader and the time is right to re-connect with our past by bringing back this iconic symbol for Canada, and for CP — Keith Creel, CP president and chief executive officer
Air Canada, is Canada’s national flag bearer airline. It began 80 years ago. Today its 30,000 employees move about 45 million passengers a year. In February the airline revealed a new livery. The old-fashioned term for the logo and colours painted on its airplanes and the uniforms of employees. The logo for the fleet was designed by Tyler Brule, award-winning Canadian graphic designer, founder of Wallpaper and Monocle magazines and design agency Winkreative. New uniforms were created by Canadian fashion designer, Christopher Bates. Two years in the making, the new Air Canada uniforms will be worn by pilots, pursers, gate staff, and ground crew. Both designers refreshed the symbols of excellence in air transportation and are a maple leaf beacon for travelers worldwide.
As brand ambassadors who travel around the world it is important that Air Canada employees feel stylish, confident and comfortable in their uniforms as they take care of millions of customers every year–Christopher Bates, designer
It is a privilege to fly Canada’s flag, and we are proud to showcase some of the best of this nation’s talent–Benjamin Smith, president, passenger airlines, Air Canada.
Canada’s transportation contribution includes building and flying the Avro Lancaster Bomber – a key to the RAF fleet during WWII. Thousands of Canadian airmen and ground crew served with RCAF and RAF Lancaster squadrons in England. Thousands more Canadians worked at Victory Aircraft in Malton (Toronto) to produce 430 of these iconic planes which were used to fly Arctic reconnaissance, maritime patrols afterwards. Two have been re-conditioned and are in regular flight at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario.
Canada succeeds in traversing the landscape by water, road, rail, or air. Overcoming vast distances and finding practical means of transportation remains at the heart of Canada’s identity. Canada can fly high when transportation soars.