Definitions

Highway_11_(Ontario)

Highway 11 (Ontario)

Highway 11 is one of the longest of Ontario's King's Highways, with a current length (as of 2004) of 1,780 kilometres (1,106mi). Highway 11 begins at Highway 400 in Barrie, and stretches across northern Ontario, around Lake Superior, to the Ontario/Minnesota border at Rainy River. At that point it connects to Minnesota State Highway 72 at the Baudette-Rainy River International Bridge.

North and west of North Bay, Highway 11 is part of the Trans-Canada Highway.

History

Highway 11 was originally planned as a trunk road to connect the communities of Southern Ontario to those of Northern Ontario, as a continuous route from Toronto to North Bay. In 1919, Premier of Ontario Ernest Charles Drury created the Department of Public Highways, though much of the responsibility for establishing the route, he left to Minister of the new cabinet position, Frank Campbell Biggs. Most of the route linked previously built roads such as Yonge Street, Penetanguishene Road, Middle Crossroad and the Muskoka Road, all early colonization roads in this region.

Further expansion was planned with a new highway from North Bay to Cochrane. Construction began in 1925, including reconstruction of portions of the old Muskoka Road from Severn Bridge which was officially opened on 2 July 1927. When it was opened, it was named the Ferguson Highway, in honour of Premier George Howard Ferguson (Drury's successor). Roads in northern Ontario later came under the Ministry of Transportation and became provincial highways.

Over the years, Highway 11 grew to stretch from downtown Toronto all the way to the Minnesota border. Highway 11 became synonymous with Yonge Street, the name of the street in Toronto which formed its southernmost segment. It is from this that Yonge Street gained a disputed reputation as the "longest street in the world".

In 1997, the care of the highway portion south of Barrie, including Yonge Street, was transferred by the provincial government to various regional governments as part of significant cost reductions by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. This practice is called downloading, in that the financial burden will fall to a lower tier government, in the premise of reducing taxes. Along with the name Yonge Street, the section in York Region is now York Regional Road 1, the section in Simcoe County is now mostly Simcoe County 4. Toronto does not have a regional road system; it is now only known as Yonge Street there. Highway 11 consequently assumed the 1.1-kilometre highway stub formerly known as Highway 400A, and now ends at the interchange with Highway 400 just north of Barrie's city limits.

In 2003, a major bridge failure at the Sgt. Aubrey Cosens VC Memorial Bridge at the Montreal River in Latchford caused a complete closure and significant detour.

Major reconstruction of Highway 11 south of North Bay has taken place in recent years, upgrading the route from a two-lane rural highway to a four-lane road. In some sections the route is being built as an expressway with right-in/right-out ramps or at-grade intersections, while in others it is being built as a full 400-Series freeway. By the early-2010s, it is expected that all of the highway between Gravenhurst and North Bay will be four lanes. Despite the at-grade intersections, the normal freeway speed of 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) is posted.

Highway 11 crosses the 45th parallel (halfway between the equator and north pole) 600 metres north of the bridge carrying Highway 118 at interchange 182, just outside of Bracebridge.

Future

Highway 11 between Barrie and Gravenhurst is currently a rather unusual right-in/right-out (RIRO) expressway (local access permitted, turnarounds via special interchanges), except for a section around Orillia which is a full freeway. The MTO is currently planning on either converting the existing RIRO expressway to a full 6-lane freeway, or bypassing it with an entirely new alignment.

North of Gravenhurst to North Bay, the highway is a mixture of freeway sections and at-grade rural expressway (planned to be upgraded to a full freeway) except for one gap that remains a two-lane conventional highway; that section is expected to be widened by 2012.

Lane and roadway configurations from south to north

Section Travel lanes and description
Highway 400 to Simcoe Road 93 (Penetanguishene Road) 2 lanes in each direction, Freeway
Simcoe Road 93 (Penetanguishene Road) to Memorial Avenue 2 lanes in each direction, RIRO expressway
Memorial Avenue to Laclie Street 2 lanes in each direction, Freeway
Laclie Street to Muskoka Road 169 2 lanes in each direction, RIRO expressway
Muskoka Road 169 to Gull Lake Narrows bridge 2 lanes in each direction, At-grade expressway
Gull Lake Narrows bridge to Muskoka Road 117 2 lanes in each direction, Freeway
Muskoka Road 117 to Lindgren Road 2 lanes in each direction, At-grade expressway
Lindgren Road to Novar Road 2 lanes in each direction, Freeway
Novar Road to Station Road 2 lanes in each direction, At-grade expressway
Station Road to Highway 592/Sunset Pass Drive 2 lanes in each direction, Freeway
Highway 592/Sunset Pass Drive to 2 km north of South River crossing 1 Lane per Direction, Undivided (to be upgraded in various stages)
2 km north of South River crossing to Lindsay's Hill Road 2 lanes in each direction, At-grade expressway
Lindsay's Hill Road to Proudfoot Road 2 lanes in each direction, Freeway
Proudfoot Road to 1 km south of Wasi River crossing 2 lanes in each direction, At-grade expressway
Wasi River crossing to Highway 17 East 2 lanes in each direction, Freeway
North Bay bypass, Highway 17 interchange to Algonquin Ave. 2 lanes in each direction, Undivided at-grade urban expressway signed concurrently with Highway 17
Highway 11 West (North Bay) northerly and westerly to Lake Helen Generally 1 Lane per direction, Undivided conventional highway
Lake Helen to Thunder Bay Expressway Generally 1 Lane per direction, Undivided conventional highway signed concurrently with Highway 17
Highway 11 through Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay Expressway) 2 lanes in each direction, at-grade expressway signed concurrently with Highway 17
Highway 11 north/west Harbour Expressway/Highway 61 Generally 1 lane per direction, normal 2 lane highway signed concurrently with Highway 17
Harbour Expressway to Shabaqua Generally 1 lane per direction, normal 2 lane highway signed concurrently with Highway 17
Shabaqua to Rainy River One lane per direction, normal 2 lane highway. Concurrency with Highway 71 from Fort Frances to Chapple.

Interchanges from south to north

Note the exit numbers start around 105 - currently the first posted exit number is 130 in Orillia - presumably for continuation from Highway 400.

Municipality Exit number Intersecting roads
Springwater 105* Highway 400
Crown Hill (Springwater - Oro-Medonte Boundary) 106* Penetanguishene Road (Simcoe County Road 93; former )
Oro-Medonte 110** Oro-Medonte Line 3 (Simcoe County Road 57)/"Gasoline Alley"
Oro-Medonte 116** Oro-Medonte Line 7 (Simcoe County Road 127)
Oro-Medonte 122** Oro-Medonte Line 11 (Simcoe County Road 20)
Oro-Medonte - Orillia Boundary 130 Memorial Avenue (Simcoe County Road 49) (currently northbound only)
Orillia 132 Highway 12 South / Old Barrie Road (Simcoe County Road 11)
Orillia 134 Highway 12 North / Coldwater Road
Orillia - Severn Boundary 136 Burnside Line/West Street (Simcoe County Road 18)
Orillia - Severn Boundary 138* Laclie Street
Severn 147** South Sparrow Lake Road (Simcoe County Road 38)/Goldstein Road
Severn 152** Simcoe County Road 169 (formerly Ontario Highways 69 and 169)
Severn - Gravenhurst Boundary 154** Coopers Falls Road (Muskoka Road 6 and Simcoe County Road 52)
Gravenhurst 155** Southwood Road (Muskoka Road 13)
Gravenhurst 162** Kilworthy Road/Kahshe Lake Road
Gravenhurst 169 Muskoka Road 169 (formerly Ontario Highways 69 and 169)
Gravenhurst 176 Bethune Drive (Muskoka Road 41)/Doe Lake Road (Muskoka Road 6)
Bracebridge 183 Highway 118/Muskoka Road 118 West
Bracebridge 185 Cedar Lane (Muskoka Road 37)
Bracebridge 189 Taylor Road (Muskoka Road 42)
Bracebridge 192* Kirk Line (substandard)
Bracebridge 194 Muskoka Road 117 (formerly Highway 117)
Huntsville 206* South Mary Lake Road (Muskoka Road 44)/Stephenson Road 4 (at-grade intersection, interchange construction to begin soon)
Huntsville 208 Highway 141/Port Sydney Road (Muskoka Road 10)
Huntsville 213* Allensville Road/Rowanwood Road (currently an at-grade intersection)
Huntsville 217* Gryffin Lodge Road/Madill Church Road (currently an at-grade intersection)
Huntsville 220 Muskoka Road 3
Huntsville 222 Muskoka Road 2
Huntsville 224

Highway 60
Huntsville 227 Muskoka Road 3/Old North Road
Huntsville 232 North Waseosa Lake Road/Rockhaven Road (pictured below)
Huntsville - Perry Boundary 236 Novar Road/ Highway 592
Perry 245 Fern Glen Road/Scotia Road
Perry 249 Highway 518/Deer Lake Road
Armour 253* Doe Lake Road/Three Mile Lake Road (at-grade intersection, interchange under construction)
Armour 259* Highway 520/Ferguson Road (at-grade intersection, interchange under construction)
Armour 262* Ontario Street (at-grade intersection, future interchange)
Armour - Strong Boundary 267* Pevensey Road (at-grade intersection, future interchange)
Strong 272* Black Creek Road/Robins Road (at-grade intersection, future interchange)
Strong 277* Highway 124 (at-grade intersection, future interchange)
Strong - Machar Boundary 285* Machar-Strong Boundary Road/Tower Road (future interchange)
Machar 292* Highway 124 (Existing Highway 11) (interchange under construction)
Parry Sound District (unincorporated) 295 Goreville Road/Summit Road
Powassan 302 Highway 522/McFadden Line
Powassan 307 Highway 522B/Hemlock Road
Powassan 317 Highway 534/Clark Street
Callander 330 Highway 654/Lake Nosbonsing Road
North Bay 339 Lakeshore Drive
North Bay 345 Highway 17

  • *Exit number not signed, based on kilometre post
  • **Current RIRO expressway section, possible interchange on new freeway

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