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Pathfinding the Pacific Highway: AE Todd and Ada Todd in 1910

October 27, 2014

1910 Pacific Highway Auto Tour - Colonist - AE ToddThe route of the Pacific Highway was first defined by Ada and  Albert Edward Todd of Victoria BC, who in the late spring of 1910 commenced a road trip by automobile from Mexico right through to Canada. In his own words:

"In the early summer of 1910, previous to the formation of the Pacific Highway Association, but in consequence of the considerable interest being taken in the possibility of an international North to South road, my wife and I had the honor of pathfinding the Pacific Highway from what we then supposed would be its southern terminus, namely Tijuana, Mexico (just south of San Diego, California) to Vancouver City, British Columbia.

The tour, as can be imagined, was in some places somewhat strenuous; it took us 17 travelling days, and we found the total distance to be just over 2,000 miles. “

From the Todd’s notes of this journey, "all the early route maps of the Pacific Highway Association were made."


Pacific Highway sign used on both sides of the border 1915Two years later the route had been shortened by about 160 miles and the time necessary to make the trip shortened by 4 days,  the result of road improvements, "the splendid direction signs" put up by the Pacific Highway Association "at every turn and crossing," and by adjustments of the route.

In 1910,  coming down to the Fraser River on the last segment of his journey, Todd could have followed the Old Yale Road, or approached the bridge down the line of the New Yale Road, which was just being completed.

Todd described the "magnificent" Fraser River Bridge as the highlight of the trip from Seattle to Vancouver.

Highway advancements would continue to be made in the coming years. Some jurisdictions moved ahead quickly and others lagged behind.

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