British Columbia

2010 Olympic torch relay's 45,000-km route revealed

Vancouver Olympic organizers unveiled Friday morning the route the Olympic torch relay will take through more than a thousand Canadian communities beginning next year.

Vancouver Olympic organizers unveiled Friday morning the route the Olympic torch relay will take through more than a thousand Canadian communities beginning next year, from Victoria to the Far North to Newfoundland.

The event is scheduled to kick off in Victoria next October at Mile 0 of the Trans-Canada Highway and from there, will travel nearly 10,000 kilometres through the province.

The relay will spend a total of 27 days on the West Coast and will include stops in picturesque Tofino, the Kootenay Pass —where it will reach its highest point, at 1,770 metres — and B.C.'s wine country.

Following its start in Victoria next year, the torch relay will head to the Far North, to within 900 kilometres of the North Pole. It will then make its way to North America's eastern tip, at Cape Spear near St. John's, and then head westward, across Canada.

The torch will also pass through former Olympic host cities Calgary and Montreal. It will travel 1,000 kilometres by water, 18,000 kilometres by air and 26,000 kilometres on land.

It will eventually end up in Vancouver in February 2010, and be lit in the Olympic Cauldron during the opening ceremony.

"When designing this route, we wanted to include as many Canadians as possible," said John Furlong, chief executive officer of VANOC. "We will share the flame with young and old, northern and southern, eastern and western — and everyone in between — in order to make these truly Canada's Games and ones where everyone can celebrate with glowing hearts."

The ambitious route will be the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history, at 45,000 kilometres long. It is expected to visit 1,020 communities and places of interest during the journey.

Information on how Canadians can apply to become torchbearers is available on iCoke.ca, sogoactive.com or rbc.com/carrythetorch.