The Canada–United States border is the world’s longest international boundary. The boundary stretches for 5,525 miles from Maine in the east to Alaska in the northwest. It cuts across lakes, forests, glaciers, and towns. Eight Canadian provinces share the boundary with thirteen American states. The boundary was established on September 3, 1783, by the Treaty of Paris after the end of the American War of Independence. After the signing of the treaty, the United States and Canada differed on the demarcation of several locations and almost engaged in armed conflicts. Several treaties including Jay Treaty, Treaty of 1818, Webster–Ashburton Treaty, and the Oregon Treaty were agreed upon to solve boundary disputes. The current shape of the boundary lines came into being when the Treaty of 1908 was signed. The boundary was meant to be demarcated by the 49th parallel, but several factors prevented a straight line from Maine to Washington State. The Great Lakes, for example, had to be shared by both countries, a phenomenon that forced the boundary to curve southwards in into northern Ohio. The boundary from the northeast corner of Minnesota to the northwest corner of Washington State Is not as straight as it looks on the map although it was meant to be. The pre-GPS technology of the early 20th century could not allow the surveyors to establish a straight line, but they instead established a zigzagging line. A six feet “no-touching-zone” is maintained along the borderline unless in unavoidable circumstances.
Alaska shares the longest border with Canada. The 1,538-mile border is shared with Yukon and British Columbia. Alaska was purchased by the United States from Russia in 1867. The borderline was demarcated in 1903 when the United Kingdom and the United States signed an agreement. The agreement favored the United States, but it did not settle well with the Canadians who felt betrayed by the United Kingdom for preventing a direct outlet from Yukon to the sea. There are 5 border crossings, two of which Alaska to the Yukon and three connecting Alaska to British Columbia.
Michigan and Ontario share a 721-mile marine boundary. It is the second longest boundary between the two countries. There is no land border between Michigan and Canada. The borderline runs along Lake Superior and Lake Huron demarcating the lakes’ share owned by both countries. The Blue Water Bridge and St. Clair Tunnel connects Sarnia in Ontario to Port Huron in Michigan.
The US state of Maine shares a 611-mile border with Quebec and New Brunswick. Between 1838 and1839, Maine and New Brunswick engaged in territorial disputes over the boundary. In 1842, the United Kingdom and the United States signed in the Webster–Ashburton Treaty that formally ended the dispute. The Aroostook Valley Country Club is located along the border and extends to both countries. Twenty-four land border-crossing points connect Maine to Canada.
The US state of Minnesota shares a 547 mile-long border with Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. Manitoba is located on the northeast corner of Minnesota while Ontario lies on the north and northwest. Part of the border with Ontario runs along Lake Superior.
Montana is the only American state that borders more than two Canadian provinces. The state borders British Columbia to the northwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan to the north. The entire boundary covers 545 miles. Four airports run across the international boundary between Canada and Montana.
8. New York
New York State shares a 445 mile-long boundary with Ontario and Quebec. The Treaty of Paris established the boundary in 1783 while Webster–Ashburton Treaty 1842 revised the borderline. The boundary has four of the most-used border crossing between Canada and the United States.
The entire northern boundary of Washington State borders British Columbia. The borderline is 427 miles long. It is a relatively straight boundary demarcated along the 49th parallel. The borderline curved around Vancouver Island to avoid separating the people who were already living on it. There are 13 drivable border crossings; four of the busiest connect Seattle to Vancouver.
6. North Dakota
North Dakota shares a 310-mile boundary with Saskatchewan at Manitoba to the north. The borderline is fairly straight and contains 18 international border crossings. Portal, Pembina, Neche, and Peace Garden are the four busiest crossings. The International Peace Garden Airport cuts across the national boundary.
Ohio shares a 146-mile long boundary with Ontario. The borderline is located entirely within Lake Erie. The only form of transport between the two territories is by ferry across the lake. The Pelee Island Ferry operates between Sandusky, in Ohio and Pelee Island, Ontario.
Vermont and Quebec share a 90 mile-long boundary. The Treaty of Paris established the boundary, but the Webster–Ashburton Treaty redefined it. The are 15 border crossing points including Highgate Springs–Saint-Amand/Pillsburg and Derby Line–Stanstead, both of which are majorly used by trucks.
3. New Hampshire
New Hampshire shares a 58-mile long border with Quebec. However, there is only one border crossing located at the terminals of the U.S. Route 3 In the town of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is geographical extensive but with less than 1,000 residents. The crossing point is not as busy as other causing points along the boundary as less than 2,000 commercial vehicles travel across every year.
Idaho shares a 45-mile boundary with British Columbia. The boundary is located north of Idaho’s narrow strip between Washington state and Montana. There are only two border crossing points within the boundary: Porthill which is commonly used by passenger vehicles and Eastport which is preferred by trucks.
Pennsylvania has the shortest boundary with Ontario. The boundary stretches for 42 miles within Lake Erie and demarcates the lake share owned by both countries. Pennsylvania has no land boundary with Canada.
US States That Border Canada
|Rank||State||Length of border with Canada (km)||Length of border with Canada (mi)||Bordering provinces or territories|
|1||Alaska||2,475 km||1,538 mi||Yukon, British Columbia|
|2||Michigan||1,160 km||721 mi||Ontario|
|3||Maine||983 km||611 mi||Quebec, New Brunswick|
|4||Minnesota||880 km||547 mi||Manitoba, Ontario|
|5||Montana||877 km||545 mi||British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan|
|6||New York||716 km||445 mi||Ontario, Quebec|
|7||Washington||687 km||427 mi||British Columbia|
|8||North Dakota||499 km||310 mi||Saskatchewan, Manitoba|
|9||Ohio||235 km||146 mi||Ontario|
|10||Vermont||145 km||90 mi||Quebec|
|11||New Hampshire||93 km||58 mi||Quebec|
|12||Idaho||72 km||45 mi||British Columbia|
|13||Pennsylvania||68 km||68 mi||Ontario|