Canada’s auto industry has long been one of the main driving forces in our economy, and is currently the largest contributor to the country’s manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP), supporting over 550,000 jobs. Vehicle sales in the country are also healthy, with record figures in 2015 ensuring that the services of a number of different auto industry professionals, such as auto technology specialists and auto body repair technicians, remain in high demand.
For many Canadians, however, it’s much more than that. Cars have long been a vital part of Canadian life, and the country has a rich and diverse automotive history full of exciting innovations, interesting characters, and memorable moments that anyone looking to pursue auto mechanic training or any other auto career will find interesting and insightful.
Ever wondered who drove the first Canadian car? Or what the speed limit was one hundred years ago? Read on to find out all this and more.
10 Canadian Car Facts Every Mechanic Should Know!
- 1970 saw the introduction of the Northwest Territories famous polar bear-shaped license plates—to this day, they’re the still the only non-rectangular license plates in North America!
- 1.6 km every 8 minutes was the first speed limit ever set in Canada, by Nova Scotia in 1907!
- From 1908-1913 cars were banned in PEI because the noise they made scared the islanders’ horses.
- In 1866, a priest named Georges-Antoine Belcourt is believed to have become the first person to drive a motorized vehicle in Canada, after he had a steam-powered car imported to his parish in Rustico, PEI.
- In 1925, the snowblower was invented by Arthur Sicard of Montreal. He came up with the idea after observing how corn threshers worked.
- In 1966, the last Studebaker ever built was manufactured in Hamilton, Ontario. The Studebaker Corporation had been in the transportation industry for 117 years.
- 2,283,474 vehicles were manufactured in Canada in 2015. The country is the 10th largest vehicle manufacturer in the world.
- 8,030km—the length of the main route of the Trans-Canada Highway from St John’s Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia. The 4th longest highway in the world, it took 21 years to build.
- 250,000km—the total road surface in Saskatchewan, more than any other province.
- The 1st ever gas station in Canada—Imperial Oil Limited—was opened on the corner of Cambie and Smythe in 1902. The pump was a kitchen hot water tank with a garden hose attached!