History of the Trans-Canada 400/69 from Toronto to Sudbury



View of Canada's Wonderland amusement park In 1991, the Highway 401 COMPASS Freeway Traffic Management System officially opens, providing important travel information about construction conditions and commuting, and helping to manage congestion through improved incident management.

Before Highway 400 was built, traffic heading north from Toronto towards Barrie used Highway 11 Yonge Street) or Highway 27. The new route was designed as a four-lane divided highway, on a brand new alignment from Wilson Ave in North York and continuing north to Barrie's Essa Road (Highway 27). The Toronto-Barrie Highway was opened to traffic in 1951, after nearly six years of construction. Traffic flowed on one side (two way traffic) while the other was finished being paved, which opened for Canada Day in 1952. They quickly added a Barrie Bypass, to allow traffic to continue north to Highway 11 without passing through downtown Barrie. When the 401 opened up in the north end of Toronto, in the mid 1960s, Highway 400 was extended south to connect with it, and extend into Toronto street traffic via Black Creek Drive.

Barrie waterfront, across the bay In 1959, the Highway 400 Extension from Barrie to Coldwater opened. Until that time, Ontario Ministry of Highways had envisioned Highway 400 continuing to Gravenhurst, but decided that routge would be better served by Highway 11 through to North Bay, and instead extended Highway 400 north to Waubaushene and connecting to Highway 69 to Sudbury.

Due to growing traffic congestion along Highway 400, it was increased form 4 lanes to 6 over 1971-1972. Rather than adding lanes to the highway on the outside, the extra lanes were added to Highway 400 by filling in the median drainage ditch, and adding a concrete barrier (the same system was used to make Otttawa's The Queensway three lanes in each direction).

This highway widening project continued beyond northward, by "twinning" Highway 69 to four lanes towards Parry Sound during the 1990s. Generally, this was accomplished by building a new two-lane highway beside the existing two-lane highway highway in order to create a four-lane divided highway, and adding overpasses and interchanges to keep highway traffic moving at higher speeds. Since 1997, sections of Highway 69 between Port Severn and Parry Sound have been renumbered as Highway 400.

Over the years, growing populations in York region required redesign of many interchanges. The King interchange was rebuilt in 2010, and in 2015 the replacement of the Highway 9 Interchange and South Holland Canal Bridge started. Future enhancements on Highway 400 is the incorporation of HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes between Major Mackenzie Drive to King Road for roughly 2020.

bView of highway 400, south of Barie Exits along Highway 400 are numbered based on their distance from Downtown Toronto (remember the the Highway 401 is Exit #21)

24 hours service stations with access to fuel, restaurants and picnic areas are found on #400: The northbound at King City (north of Exit #37) , in Barrie (north of Exit #90) and at MacTier Exit (Exit #189). The southbound service centres are at King City (south of Exit #43) and south of Innisfil Beach Road (south of Exit #85).

Highway 400 was opened between Toronto and Barrie in 1952, and now is important for truck traffic from the resource-rich north, as well as to those seeking leisure in the cottage country north of Barrie. As York Region has grown in population, it has also become an important commuter route into Toronto.

Toronto to Parry Sound 162 km

In 1952, Highway 400 from Toronto to Barrie opens, with its slight roller-coaster contour and almost imperceptible curves designed to prevent highway hypnosis.

2016: 400 - Hwy 400/Duckworth St., Simcoe Interchange reconstruction

Parry Sound to Sudbury 208 km

In 1952 Highway 69 from French River to Sudbury opens. In 2001, the Government announces that Highway 69 would be four-laned from Parry Sound to Sudbury. In 2015, Highway 69 (400) expansion continues with new twinned sections opened. When and as Highway 69 north of Parry Sound is twinned, it will be redesignated Highway 400




Other Resources

Toronto to Parry Sound itinerary Parry Soundl to Sudbury itinerary Northern Ontario Highways Maps Southern Ontario Highways Maps History of Ontario Ministry of Transportation 50 Years of Trans-Canada

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