Canso Causeway Quick Facts

The word Canso comes from the Mi'Kmaq word "Kamsok", which means opposite the lofty cliffs.

Significant Dates

October 9, 1951 - Project Announced

May 1952 - The first contract for construction of the causeway was awarded

September 16, 1952 - Rock fill started.

December 10, 1954 - Cape Breton was permanently connected to the Mainland

December 31, 1954 - Rock fill completed.

April 18, 1955 - First train crosses the Causeway.

May 20, 1955 - First vehicular traffic crosses the Causeway.

August 13, 1955 - Official Opening of Causeway.

September 9, 1955 - First commercial vessel through the Canal.

Interesting Facts

• The length of the Causeway across water is 4500 feet.

• The surface width of the Causeway is 80 feet.

• The depth of the Causeway at its deepest point is 217 feet.

• The length of the Causeway Swing Bridge is 308 feet.

The first means of transportation between the mainland and Cape Breton was a steam powered ferry and train barge called the S.S. Mulgrave.

An additional ferry was purchased in 1901, the 'Scotia I', followed by the 'Scotia II' in 1915.

The total cost of the causeway was estimated at $22,000,000.

The rock used to build the causeway was blasted from quarries at Cape Porcupine.

Some 10,092,000 tons of rock were used to close the Strait of Canso.

Approximately 125,000 tons of rock came crashing to the ground with each blast.

The causeway is 860 feet wide at the ocean floor (8 times the width of the crest).

The causeway is shaped like an "S".

The Canso Canal measures 1,870 feet long by 80 feet wide.

Approximately 98,000 cubic yards of concrete was used to build the canal.

The swing bridge measures 308 feet long.

The causeway is lit by 57 light posts.

• The Canso Strait has been ice-free since the causeway was built.


Canso Causeway 50th Anniversary

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