Highway 11 (Ontario)

Highway 11 (Ontario)

Infobox road

length_ref=Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, [http://www.raqsa.mto.gov.on.ca/techpubs/TrafficVolumes.nsf/tvweb 2004 Annual Average Daily Traffic] ]
terminus_a=jct|state=ON|Hwy|400 near Barrie
junction=jct|state=ON|Hwy|12 in Orillia
jct|state=ON|Hwy|60 in Huntsville
jct|state=ON|Hwy|17 in North Bay
jct|state=ON|Hwy|64 near Marten River
jct|state=ON|Hwy|65 near Temiskaming Shores
jct|state=ON|Hwy|66 near Swastika
jct|state=ON|Hwy|101 near Matheson
jct|state=ON|Hwy|17|Hwy|61 in Thunder Bay
jct|state=ON|Hwy|71 near Fort Frances
terminus_b=jct|state=MN|TH|72 in Baudette, MN
cities=Fort Frances, Rainy River, Thunder Bay, Hearst, Kapuskasing, Smooth Rock Falls, Cochrane, Matheson, N. Liskeard, North Bay, Huntsville, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Orillia, Barrie

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.


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.


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

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.

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


ee also

* List of Ontario provincial highways
* Trans-Canada Highway
* Yonge Street


External links

* [http://ontarioplaques.com/Plaque_Temiskaming07.html Ontario Plaques - Ferguson Highway]
* [http://www.highway11.ca Ontario Highway 11 Homepage - A Virtual Community-by-Community Trip Along the World's Longest Street]

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