Trans Mountain was established on March 21, 1951, when the Parliament of Canada granted the company a charter, setting in motion the construction of a pipeline that today still serves as the key transportation link between the Alberta oilsands and the west coast of North America.

Construction of the pipeline system was a monumental engineering feat by any standard. It crosses some of the most rugged, mountainous terrain in the world as well as environmentally sensitive wetlands, waterways and parkland. Despite these topographical challenges, engineering and construction were completed in just over 30 months. At the time, many likened it to the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. When the first shipment of oil reached the Trans Mountain Burnaby Terminal on October 17, 1953, it ushered in a new era of economic growth for the region.

A great deal has changed since the 1950s, including the role of the pipeline system itself. Originally designed to transport just crude oil, it was later modified to allow customers to batch refined products as well as crude oil. It is one of the few pipeline systems in the world capable of this type of operation.