The victory solidified Canada's reputation, but was not without great cost, as it saw more than 10,000 Canadian casualties, including the deaths of 31 P.E.I. soldiers.
There were dozens of shouts of "thanks so much" and "thanks from Canada" as they moved towards their official cars.
"The battle of Vimy Ridge was a pivotal moment for our military and for our country".
The battle which began early on April 9 1917, was part of a larger British-led offensive, featuring Australian troops, known as the Battle of Arras which was a diversionary move to help a major French attack further south.
"We are standing on this ground; we are walking because of the fact that they fought for us", said 17-year-old cadet Alyssa Lavergne.
"There's a sense of accomplishment of what we did". It occurred on the blood-soaked escarpment of Vimy Ridge in France where soldiers from every corner of our nation, and many from our province, accomplished what other nations could not. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP) A veteran holds a torch of remembrance during a vigil at the National War Memorial to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, April 8, 2017.
The centennial has stimulated great interest in Canada, and about 25,000 Canadians traveled to the Vimy memorial this week to honor the memory of the men who lived to win a great victory that day or died in the process - in a war that divided Canada at the time along linguistic lines.
The battle - and the weeks of preparations leading up to it - were marked by firsts. In total, there were 1,325 casualties among members of the CAMC over the course of the First World War. That was Ypres, Belgium, until the British built their national memorial there. Vimy was the next best location because of its accessibility.
The president said: "Those that fought at Vimy tell us that nationalism only leads to war and that fundamentalism only leads to destruction".
"One hundred years later, we must say this, together".
For Gov. -Gen. David Johnston, it is the way the battle was fought, with commanders trusting their troops and thinking about warfare differently, that he believes is reflective of what sets Canada apart today.
Vimy, however, was seen - or at least came to be seen over the passing decades - as the moment in time when Canada emerged from the shadow of its British colony status to earn its place on the world stage as a strong, independent nation. It was neither decisive for the war's outcome "nor the most fundamental" of the battles fought by Canadians during the conflict, Boire said.
On Monday, Trudeau will visit World War II sites in the Normandy region. Sixty-six thousand dead. A country that had stepped up. A country that was almost torn apart.