Your right the majority of it rides along the border, but there is still plenty further north. Which would costly to build and maintain due to an even more severe climate.
But still with the pop mostly along the border. Its a very long border, your talking allot of territory, it swallows 30 million easily. We are very spread out except for a few spots like for example southwestern Ontario.
I guess I'm not much of a car guy but i find even the drives within southwestern Ontario long and boring at times. And yes the states has vast expanses of land as well I realize that. I learned a good car stereo is your best friend. But I will never forget the time our family had relatives from England for a visit, who when taken to various spots, would keep asking our we there yet. lol
Anyway its probably part of Canada's challenges not the sole reason why Canada is heavily taxed or perceived to be poor.
I like my country. I don't see it as being poor. I see examples of wealth and beauty every day. Every country has its positives and negatives.