First trans-Canada flight: 49 hours of flight time

May 7, 2017

Men posing with aircraft used in the first trans-Canada flight

Men posing with aircraft used in the first trans-Canada flight, 1920. CAVM 4638


On October 7, 1920, the first leg of a cross-country flight began in Halifax. The journey included numerous mail delivery stops, making it the first transcontinental airmail run. During the previous year, the Canadian Air Board had been established to regulate and oversee aviation in Canada. The board planned the cross-country flight to determine whether trans-Canada air and passenger service was possible. Despite numerous mechanical and weather-related issues and the use of five separate aircraft, the flight reached Richmond, British Columbia, on October 17, 1920.

Each day for 150 days leading up to the opening of the Canadian History Hall, we’re presenting one moment among the many that have shaped our country. Discover more of Canada’s significant historical events in the new Canadian History Hall, opening July 1, 2017.