Transport and infrastructure in Canada

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of Canada with the average of all countries in America. Overall, the traffic routes are above average and in good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Canada ranks 2nd in the world with 2.04 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 77,932 kilometers long. Freight traffic on the rails most recently totaled 430.17 billion tons and kilometers traveled. Passenger traffic reached 536.00 million passenger-kilometers in 2021.

The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the 202,080 km of coastline. In 2020, about 6.20 million freight containers were transported.

Airports in Canada

Back to overview: Canada

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 1.04 million km. For each of the country's 38.25 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 27.25 meters. This puts Canada in 17th place in the global ranking. However, it is also important to note that the country's population density is very low at around 4 inhabitants per km². In this case, disproportionately long distances generally have to be covered to reach the more remote parts of the country.

With an average of 2094 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in Canada is considered relatively safe. This corresponds to 5.7 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

In Canada, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. This regulation was enforced on January 2nd, 1947. Regionally, this also applied before, now it exists for all parts of the country. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways1,042,300 km27,252.45 km104.39 m
Railroads77,900 km2,037.65 km7.81 m
Waterways636 km16.63 km0.06 m
Commercial harbors67917.750.000

North America

 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways7,629,500 km20,605.41 km347.07 m
Railroads371,500 km1,003.32 km16.90 m
Waterways41,600 km112.47 km1.89 m
Commercial harbors4,46112.050.000

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Canada: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in CanadaThe 30 biggest airports and 12 airlines in Canada with further information and data with further information on airlines and destinations
Canada: ClimateClimate and temperature development in CanadaA climate analysis for Canada incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing