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History Maps Ontario Roads Toronto

The complicated history of Dundas Street

It’s worth wondering why Toronto has a street named after a Scottish politician who had nothing to do with its history.

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Roads Toronto

Signs of the times

Electronic sign on the Don Valley Parkway I had access to a car yesterday, so I drove to a suburban supermarket to stock up on some large and bulky items we needed — things such as laundry detergent — to get through the next few weeks of physical distancing. Normally, I’ll walk to the nearest […]

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History Infrastructure Maps Ontario Roads

One hundred years of Ontario’s provincial highways

On February 26, 1920, Ontario’s provincial highway network was born. That year, 16 highways were established across southern Ontario, between the Ottawa and Detroit Rivers. These highways, previously maintained by townships and counties, connected the province’s largest cities and provided important links to Quebec and the United States. In 1925, these highways were assigned numbers […]

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History Roads

The road to Paris and London

Distance¬†Sign on Highway 5, Clappison’s Corners Early European settlers to Ontario were not very imaginative when they came up with local place names. Although some towns and townships have First Nations names (Toronto, Chinguacousy, Niagara), or named for First Nations leaders allied with the British (Tecumseh, Brant), most cities, towns, and townships were given the […]

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Ontario Roads

The north needs roads

Nipigon River Bridge, August 2019 In January 2016, a bridge over the Nipigon River failed. Located roughly 100 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, it formed part of the Trans-Canada Highway. The only east-west link between Western and Eastern Canada was severed, with the only detour through the United States. Climate change, road safety, and access […]

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Toronto

The beauty of the expressway and Toronto’s accidental gateway

Highway 427 looking south from Burnhamthorpe Road On a recent walk with a group of friends and acquaintances, I had the opportunity to explore a bit of Etobicoke. We walked from Kipling Station to a pub near the West Mall and Burnhamthorpe Road, passing¬†by an abandoned dead mall, cutting through another mall, Cloverdale, with its […]