<$DEFINE NAME="title">Ontario Trans-Canada Highway Route: #17 between Wawa and Sault Ste Marie, Ontario<$/DEFINE> <$DEFINCLUDE NAME="title"> <$DEFINE NAME="locallinks"><$/DEFINE> < <$X><$DEFINE name="metatags"> <$INCLUDE compile file="../layout/RSAC.htm"><$/DEFINE> <$define name="OAS_query">OAS_query = 'transcanadahighway+travel+ON';<$/define> <$DEFINE compile name="navmenu">Ontario's Trans-Canada Highway<$/DEFINE> <$DEFINE compile name="breadcrumb">Home > Ontario's Trans-Canada Highway > Wawa to Sault Ste Marie Itinerary<$/DEFINE> <$/X><$DEFINCLUDE compile name="metatags"> <$DEFINE COMPILE NAME="LocalLinks"><$INCLUDE compile file="../layout/ONMenu.htm"><$/DEFINE> <$INCLUDE compile file="../layout/AboveContentProvinces-ON.htm"> Here is the itinerary for the 224 km along #17 between Wawa and Sault Ste Marie:

The original Trans-Canada Route was highway 11 (designated "The King's Highway"), which connecting North Bay and Nipigon through northern forests. That highway was started in 1923 and completed as a key war-time project to provide toad access to key mining towns of northern Ontario. When Highway 17 was completed between Marathon and Montreal River in September 1960, it became the new (and much shorter) Trans-Canada Highway.


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The Rocks along Lake Superior were created about 2 billion years ago, and are part of the Precambrian Shield ("the Canadian Shield"). The rock was scoured by the last Ice Age, leaving thousands of lakes and ponds.

While the highway was gradually extended east from Thunder Bay, the stretch from Schreiber to Wawa was built over the 1930s, hindered by the harsh rugged terrain of Lake Superior's north shore. Similar difficulties were encountered highway 17 was extended northwards from Sault Ste Marie to Montreal River on Agawa Bay. All that remained was a gap of 165 miles between the Agawa River, appropriately called "The Big Gap". This area was so rugged it was by-passed by the Algoma Central Railway (which connected Sault Ste Marie to northern mining towns), and was a popular dropping-off spot for the famed "Group of Seven" painters on the early 1900s.

The "Big Gap" area was rugged, inaccessible, and covered with virgin timber. Building the highway required clearing a 50 metre (150 ft) right of way before the road construction could begin. The Big Gap had several deep gorges and large rivers that necessitated building 25 bridges, including a 173 metre (685 ft) Big Pic River bridge rising 40 metres (130 ft) just east of Marathon. The five mile stretch north of the Agawa River, required 1 million cubic metres of rock to be moved before road construction could begin.

The Montreal River is only 104 km long, but because it falls swiftly through granite steep-walled canyons was easily dammed and now has 4 hydro-electric generating plants along its short length, two of which are easily accessible from the Trans-Canada.

Beside Hibbard Bay, at Mamainse is an ancient First Nations copper mine, that may have been worked as far back as 6000 BC. . Etienne Brule, the first European explorer to reach Lake Superior sent new of the copper mine to the King of France back in 1623, but mining did not commence in 1772. Another copper mine was discovered in 1889, but petered out in only 5 years.


Batchwana Bay, about 65 km north of Sault Ste Marie, marks the halfway point of the Trans-Canada with as many miles to the east as to the west. A Hudson's Bay fur trading post was opened up here in 1824, but was closed down in 1894. Nearby Chippewa Falls has a very scenic waterfalls/rapids right beside the Tran-Canada Highway.

From this point southwards, travelers enter the St Mary's River lowlands which connect Lake Superior to Lake Huron. Because Lake Superior's water level was originally much higher, beach deposits are found even on higher hilltops making for very good agricultural land, though today that land is used for residential and recreational purposes.

Sault Ste Marie was long an important gathering place for Ojibwa Indians, and the Jesuits built a mission here and called it Sault de Ste Marie (or St Mary's Rapids, in French). Later, the fur traders of the Northwest Company and the Hudson's Bay Company built trading forts here.. The strategic location, at the junction of three Great Lakes, made it a key defensive position for both British and Americans during the War of 1812. Both sides built fortifications and canals, though today, only the American locks are used by modern St Lawrence Seaway shipping.



Next West: Marathon to Wawa

Next East: Sault Ste Marie to Sudbury


Ontario Highways road condition reports for this segment.

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-2

226

Magpie River Rd, S to Wawa RV Resort & Campground

Wawa

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225

Cross Magpie River

Wawa

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0

224

Junction Hwy 101, Wawa Info Centre, N to Wawa airport, town of Wawa, all services

Wawa

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224

Pinewood Dr. N access

Wawa

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1

223

Pinewood Dr. S access

Wawa

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2

222

Scenic Magpie Hills Falls Rd, access to Michipicoten PP, Gros Cap Indian Reserve

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5

219

Historical Plaque, W side of hwy, Michipicoten River Village Rd, W to Michipicoten PP

Michipicoten River

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6

218

Crossing Michipicoten River

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14

210

north boundary of Lake Superior Provincial Park

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18

206

Highway Roadside Turnout on E side of hwy

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24

200

Highway Roadside Turnout, picnic area, scenic view of Old Women Bay

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25

199

Rabbit Blanket Lake, camping, cross country skiing, canoeing, S side of hwy

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32

192

park roads E & W, Park office, Services

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38

186

park road W

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40

184

Mijnemungshing Rd E

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42

182

Road to E of hwy

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47

177

Baldhead River with rapids to W of highway

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50

174

Roadside Turnout, Cross-country ski area, east side of highway

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51

173

Gargantua Rd

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56

168

Trapper's Trail. E of hwy

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63

161

Services E side of hwy

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64

160

EB view of Lake Superior's Agawa Bay & islands. Bald Head (1050 ft) to W, E to mouth of Coldwater River

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65

159

Katherine Cove, rest area and toilets W of hwy, hiking trails

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71

153

Crossing Sand River, picnic area E of hwy, N of river

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75

149

Turnoff, E side of hwy

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80

144

Agawa Rock Information Centre, camping, W side of hwy

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84

140

crossing Agawa River

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100

124

Rd E to Gartshore Generating Station, Montreal Falls, camping

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104

120

Twilight Rd

Montreal River

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105

119

Crossing Montreal River, electrical generating facility to E

Montreal River

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106

118

Trail End Rd, W access to camping

Montreal River

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108

116

Montreal River Nature Reserve

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109

115

Road E, hwy services E &W

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114

110

Road E & W, services on W side

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121

103

Alona Bay roadside turnout, W side of hwy

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143

81

Weston Rd, W

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146

78

Rd to Pancake By PP

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157

67

Hwy 563 junction, W to Batchwana PP, plaque marking midpoint ot the YCH

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161

63

River crossing, rest area to N & S of hwy

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161

63

Sand Point Rd

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169

55

Mile 38 Rd E

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169

55

Chippewa River crossing, Chippewa Falls to E of hwy, viewpoint on S side of river

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175

49

Whiskey Bay Rd, W

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180

44

Irwin Island Rd, W

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180

44

Harmony Beach Rd S along coast

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181

43

Harmony Beach Rd N along coast

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186

38

Road W along Batchwana Bay

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195

29

Junction Hwy 552 E & W

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196

28

Services, fuel

Goulais River

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197

27

Bridge over Goulais River

Goulais River

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198

26

Pine Shores Rd, W access to town of Goulais River (2 km)

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205

19

Truck Weigh Station, W side of hwy

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208

16

Junction 556, NE to Searchmont ski resort, services at junction

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209

15

Trout Lake Rd, E, with RV dealer E of hwy

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213

11

Glenview Vacation Cottages & RV Park & Campground (2611 Great Northern Rd (Hwy 17), Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 5K7Tel: (705) 759-3436 )

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213

11

6th Line Rd

Sault Ste Marie

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215

9

Large gravel pit to W of hwy

Sault Ste Marie

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216

8

5th Line E, W to KOA campground, E to Hiawatha Park & Conservation Area, Hwy 17 S of this point is also Great Northern Road

Sault Ste Marie

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216

8

Access to RV park, E of hwy, and Root River Golf Club

Sault Ste Marie

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218

6

4th Line E, NE to Maplewood Golf Course

Sault Ste Marie

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219

5

3rd Line E

Sault Ste Marie

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221

3

2nd Line E (hwy 550), EB travelers can head E for Sault Ste Marie bypass, W to Fort Creek Conservation Area (8 km), S to Kmart Plaza

Sault Ste Marie

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221

3

Northern Ave, shopping

Sault Ste Marie

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222

2

McNabb St, Cambrian Mall on E side

Sault Ste Marie

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224

0

Great Northern Rd & Wellington St. west to downtown Sault Ste Marie, International Bridge, east to Highway 17,North to Wawa

Sault Ste Marie

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225

-1

Wellington St & Pine St, S to Bellevue Park

Sault Ste Marie

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225

-1

Wellington St & Trunk Rd at Elizabeth St, Park on S side, Churchill Plaza on E site

Sault Ste Marie

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225

-1

Trunk Rd & Lake St

Sault Ste Marie

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226

-2

Trunk Rd & Black Rd, WB traffic can head N to bypass Sault Ste Marie, west to downtown, and International Bridge

Sault Ste Marie

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226

-2

Trunk Rd & Market St, Wellington Square Mall on S side

Sault Ste Marie

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226

-2

Trunk Rd & Boundary Rd, south to SSM Golf & Country club, N to access Rankin Location Indian Reserve 15D

Sault Ste Marie

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-7

Trunk Rd & Fournier Rd, access S to Queen St, and S to access Rankin Location Indian Reserve 14 along St Mary River

Sault Ste Marie

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232

-8

Western boundary of Garden River Indian Reserve 14

Sault Ste Marie

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