Ontario Roads - Highway 401



Photo above courtesy Averill Hecht, and is historical. M-C is short for Macdonald-Cartier, and Ontario hasn't made any of those shields in years, so you'll be hard pressed to find one nowadays.


EB past the end of Highway 402. The overpass is for Dorchester Rd. and may be on its way out as one of the last of its kind in the area. As for Sweaburg Rd., it would be nice if there were a "230" tab for the exit number, and the county name isn't typically shown on highway signs. (It's not unheard of, as you'll see in the very next photo.) Scott Steeves explains that exit tabs aren't used at the exit direction sign, which I disapprove of, and that the county name is typically signed in the eastern region of the MTO (Ministry of Transportation of Ontario) but not elsewhere, which I also disapprove of. In this case, it just gets in the way of reading the number.


WB near Pearson Airport at Exit 352. You can see what a versatile VMS this is.


A taste of County and Regional Roads, WB on 401, courtesy Doug Kerr. CR 32 is signed from the freeway with the county name spelled out, rare in Ontario for a highway guide sign; RR 15 is signed more normally. The Highway/RR 15 duality showcases the fact that like many states, primary highways can become secondary (think Tennessee), except in this case it has been downloaded from state to county maintenance. In 1997-98, a good number of Ontario Highways were turned into RR's/CR's.


Half a photo is better than none. Those are RR 32 shields on the right, and older distance signs to the left, at the top of the WB Exit 645 ramp.


EB and WB at the western and eastern ends of the Thousand Islands Parkway, courtesy Doug Kerr. For those 40 or so kilometers, Highway 401 gets CR 2 to the north and the TIP hugging the coast as parallel roads. Why is the TIP signed in yellow? Chris Bessert sez: same reason the Baltimore-Washington Parkway gets brown BGS's... it's a scenic parkway. Way cool gantry in that second photo.


Ontario's attempt to sign an Interstate, another cool gantry, and lack of an exit tab, and another Doug Kerr photo. Also lack of route signage - this is secret Highway 137. Though a freeway, it will turn to two lanes in order to cross over to New York.


EB on the Thousand Islands Parkway at Mallorytown Landing (the fuzziness in the background is trying to spell that out), once again courtesy Doug Kerr. CR 5, which shouldn't be yellow normally (except this parkway replaces white with yellow because it's special), leads to Highway 401 Exit 675. Thousand Islands Parkway is the original two-lane alignment of Highway 401. It was intended to be widened to four lanes eventually, and there are two would-be-westbound bridges that never saw traffic, but the number of at-grade intersections and private accesses led to the current freeway alignment being constructed instead. If I ever come back in the daytime, there will be a separate 1,000 Islands Pkwy. page with this photo and those bridges on it.


Just up CR 5, these signs face the EB Exit 675 offramp, and the photo is courtesy Doug Kerr. The 1,000 Islands Parkway trailblazer is the only two-line distance guide sign I've seen, and it's only because Ontario never came up with a shield for the Parkway.


Assorted Regional Road shields at night, at the top of the EB Exit 696 ramp to RR 29. Ontario likes adding "TO" straight into its Highway shields, but apparently Leeds & Greenville County couldn't figure out how to do it and had to resort to an LGS.


The westbound offramp, courtesy Doug Kerr, showing the LGS much more clearly. Counties is used here instead of County, but since the two merged they really should be in the singular. (It's technically the United Counties of Leeds and Greenville, but if they want to be Counties, they shouldn't have United.)


As I said, TO, plus the typical green trailblazer used - it's a contrast from white shields when you're actually on the highway. This sign is on RR 29 NB.


EB at the southern beginning of Highway 416 (Exit 721A), which runs to Ottawa and nearly turns into A-5 in Québec (ends a bit too far to the west at Highway 417). This is also the location of Highway 16 (Exit 721B), which used to run to Ottawa along the same path 416 takes but now is only a couple of km long; old 16 is County Road 44, and new 16 comes off of 416 to serve the shortest Ontario Highway. Finally, the first and last photos are the last by Doug Kerr on this page. (My tiny one is in the middle; my excuse is that it was taken from Cedar Grove Rd. across the WB side of the highway.) By the way, that's Ontario's failed attempt to come up with an NY 37 shield... looks awfully much like a different type of shield altogether. I guess ON doesn't have any NY shields on hand and it's too much of a pain to go across the border and pick some up.


Another Averill Hecht historical photo, showing the "last" (his assertion) bilingual, trapezoidal exit sign in Ontario (or at least on the 401).

Into Québec on Autoroute 20
Onto secret Highway 137
Follow secret 137 to I-81 in New York
Onto Highway 416
Exit 721B to Highway 16
Exit 721B to NY (not US) 37
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