i just hitched the Yellowhead (Hwy 16) from Prince George to Prince Rupert. no problem. yes, this is indeed The Highway of Tears, and since some time in the 70s, over 40 women who lived near or were known to have hitched on this road have disappeared. very sad. nonetheless, on a previous trip on this road i saw two high school aged girls hitching just west of Prince George. in 2009, i gave a ride from Smithers BC to the junction of the Cassiar Hwy (Hwy 37) to an Israeli lady who was hitching to Alaska. at the PetroCan station at the Cassiar junction, i found her a ride with a trucker headed to Alaska. she wasn't scared away and neither should you.in BC, there's signs in many places saying it's illegal to pick up hitchers, especially on the Inland Highway (Hwy 19) on Vancouver Island. last week i hitched from near Campbell River to Nanaimo on that highway. it took all of about 1 minute to get a ride all the way. got picked up right next to one of those signs.
but getting to your main post about hitching TO to Van BC. i haven't done it in over a decade, but use the Younge-Spadina subway line and buses to get out to Vaughan to get to Rte 400 north of the Tollway gets you very close to the highway. if you're worried, stay on the ramp while it is still a freeway (or until you get frustrated, say screw it and get out on the road). from Barrie, Hwy 11 to North Bay is the best route to catch up with the TransCan. you've probably heard the legend of the hitcher getting stuck in Wawa,ON. don't know if it's true, but i always stayed put in Sault Ste Marie until i could land a ride to Winnepeg or farther - even if it meant staying overnight. otherwise, take buses to the western edge of town if you get stuck in the Peg, Regina or Calgary. Banff is a good place to stop and a good hitching spot too. getting stuck in the prairies (especially SK) can be rough, but just hang in there. once in BC, things are easier. if you get dropped off in Aldergrove or Abbottsford BC (the edge of Fraser Valley suburbia), best to take buses in to Van. hope this helps. keep posting here and let us know how the trip goes.