Head out on the high­way

Au­thor to share joys of driv­ing the old Trans-canada High­way with Truro next month


TRURO, N. S. – The Bay of Fundy’s red mud and salty smell in the air seemed al­most oth­er­worldly for a young prairie boy.

It was 1959, and Clint Can­non was only seven when he saw Nova Sco­tia for the first time, while hol­i­day­ing with fam­ily as they drove across Canada from Man­i­toba.

Can­non made three such road trips east to Amherst as a boy to see his grand­mother, driv­ing for days through prairies, forests, along the Great Lakes and down coun­try back roads, all part of the old Trans- Canada High­way.

“It was de­light­ful and en­light­en­ing,” said Can­non, who grew up near Bran­don. “My sense of self as a Cana­dian was born on these trips.”

Years later, his evolv­ing sense of the coun­try pro­duced his new book, Ex­plor­ing the old Tran­sCanada East, which he will read to the Truro pub­lic on June 7.

How­ever, it was on his first trip east his sense of be­long­ing to the whole of Canada took root.

Can­non re­called a nar­row road wind­ing through the rocky out­crops of north­ern On­tario with few places to pull over, or find­ing dif­fer­ent soft drinks in the stores of a neigh­bour­ing prov­ince, mak­ing him feel like he was far from home.

In those days, driv­ers stop­ping for the night could just park on the road­side and pitch their tent on the shores of Lake Su­pe­rior, fall­ing asleep to the sound of trucks rum­bling by.

“It was very ex­cit­ing to be travelling, I’d never been off the prairies be­fore,” said Can­non. “My strong­est memory was hit­ting the Cana­dian Shield and see­ing the change to trees, rocks and lakes.”

Some­where in these forests the Can­non fam­ily car hit a moose, which fell onto the hood and was knocked off by the metal vi­sor over the wind­screen. Can­non’s fa­ther ham­mered out a few dents and the car had a busted head­light, but it could still be driven.

“New cars are much safer, but the older ones were in­de­struc­tible,” said Can­non.

In later years, Can­non re­lived the road trips of his child­hood, this time com­ing to Truro and Bi­ble Hill to visit an old friend of his, and to con­duct re­search for his book.

Can­non in­cluded a sec­tion on the his­tor­i­cal Stan­field’s Ltd., as well as de­scrib­ing the hik­ing trails of Vic­to­ria Park and the tidal bore.

He said the bore’s park­ing lot is built on the site of the old Trans- Canada High­way com­ing into Truro, where a bridge once spanned the Salmon River.

“I fell in love with my coun­try again,” said Can­non. “The Tran­sCanada High­way is the rib­bon that con­nects us all.”

Can­non’s June 7 reading in Truro will take place at the Novel­tea Book­store Café at 622 Prince Street, start­ing at 6:30 p.m.


Au­thor Clint Can­non will be pre­sent­ing his new book about the old Trans-canada High­way in June, which in­cludes a sec­tion on Truro and its tourist at­trac­tions.

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