Highway 2 (Ontario)

Highway 2 (Ontario)

Infobox road
terminus_a=Highway 3 in Windsor
terminus_b=Inter-provincial boundary with Quebec (Continues as Route 338)
cities=Windsor, Chatham, London, Ingersoll, Woodstock, Brantford, Hamilton, Mississauga, Toronto, Oshawa, Belleville, Trenton, Kingston, Gananoque, Cornwall

established=1830s (as the "Kingston Road" and "Danforth Road")
1917(as a provincial highway)

Highway 2 was the major east-west provincial highway in Southern Ontario, running from Windsor in the west to the Quebec boundary near Lancaster in the east and joining together the towns and cities of the western two-thirds of the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor within the Canadian province of Ontario. A 4.4 km piece near Gananoque is still signed and maintained by the province, but the majority of the highway was turned over to the local governments to maintain.


Highway 2 was the original road joining together the main settlements of southern Ontario, based on earlier trails and footpaths, and it served as the primary wagon and stage coach route before the arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway. Most of the towns and cities in the corridor are built around the highway and use it as one of their main streets, many with names like "Danforth Road", "King Street", "Kingston Road", "Montreal Road", or "Dundas Street".

Before the Highway 2 designation was applied in the 1920s, the road was commonly referred to as the "Provincial Road". Many of the original nineteenth century brick inns and taverns along the route still exist, especially in smaller towns and villages, though the buildings have typically passed to other uses.

A portion of the highway in the area of Morrisburg was permanently submerged by the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1958. The highway was rebuilt along a Canadian National Railway right-of-way in the area to bypass the flooded region. The town of Iroquois was also flooded, but was relocated 1.5 kilometres north rather than abandoned. This event led to the nickname of "The Lost Villages" for a number of communities in the area. [ cite web|url=http://www.lostvillages.ca/en/html/map_of_villages.html |title=The Lost Villages Historical Society |accessdate=2007-09-30 |publisher=The Lost Villages Historical Society ]

Capacity upgrades

During the mid-1930s, the Department of Highways (evolved into today's Ministry of Transportation) built the Queen Elizabeth Way. Upon seeing how efficient this new "superhighway" was at moving traffic, the department elected to upgrade Highway 2 to the new four-lane standards in several areas where traffic congestion had become problematic. Grading started around the St. Joachim area, and dual carriageways were completed west of Chatham, near Woodstock, Brockville and Belleville. These upgrades stopped with the onset of the Second World War and the decision to build a new controlled-access route across the province. None of those sections have any control of access; they are merely four-lane divided routes.

Bypassing of Highway 2

The construction of Highway 401 during the 1940s, 1950s and '60s along a (mostly) parallel route, bypassed the town and city cores, and made Highway 2 largely redundant except for local travel and tourism, and led to a decline of many businesses built alongside it. In many cases, businesses moved from town and city centres to malls and plazas located closer to Highway 401. Provincial downloading of highways to local municipalities has largely resulted in the elimination of this highway as a provincial entity, and it has now become mostly a series of connected county roads. A short portion still maintained as a provincial highway runs in unison with Highway 49 from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory border to the former Highway 2 turnoff in the south. There is also a small section still in existence from the eastern limit of the Town of Gananoque to Highway 401. This section is about 200 m (1/8 mile) long.

Current status

Before the deletion of Highway 2, most of which took place on January 1, 1998, it was a continuous road from Highway 3 in Windsor to the Quebec border. It now has the following designations: [ [http://members.aol.com/Bessert1/OntHwys/OntFormerHwys.html Former Ontario Highways] ]
*Essex County: E.C. Row Expressway, County Road 22 and part of County Road 42 (the rest was Highway 2 before the E.C. Row was built)
*Chatham-Kent: Chatham-Kent Road 2
*Middlesex County: Longwoods Road except in London
*Oxford County: County Road 2 except in Woodstock
*Brant: Brant Highway 2 except in Brantford
*Hamilton: Wilson Street, Main Street, Paradise Rd., King Street, Dundurn Street, York Boulevard
*Halton Region: Plains Road, King Road, North Shore Boulevard, Lake Shore Road
*Peel Region: Southdown Road, Lake Shore Road
*Toronto: Lake Shore Boulevard, Gardiner Expressway, Woodbine Avenue and Kingston Road
*Durham Region: Durham Highway 2 (not to be confused with Durham "Road" 2 (Simcoe Street)
*Northumberland County: County Road 2
*Hastings County: County Road 2
*Lennox and Addington County: County Road 2
*Frontenac County: County Road 2 (now Kingston Road 2) except in the former city of Kingston
*Leeds and Grenville County: County Road 2 except in Cornwall
*Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry County: County Road 2

See also

* Heritage Highway


External links

* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=&saddr=Broadway+Blvd+%4042.269670,+-83.080550&daddr=CR-22%2FHWY-2%2FNotre+Dame+St+%4042.292660,+-82.694430+to%3ACR-2%2FHWY-2%2FKeil+Dr+S+%4042.390060,+-82.205040+to%3AWharncliffe+Rd+S+%4042.936780,+-81.261570+to%3ACR-2+E%2FHWY-2+E+%4043.138250,+-80.700070+to%3ABrant+Ave%2FHWY-2%2FHWY-24+%4043.139460,+-80.269780+to%3AHWY-2%2FWilson+St+E+%4043.245190,+-79.947970+to%3AHWY-2%2FYork+Blvd+%4043.290860,+-79.890560+to%3AHWY-2%2FLakeshore+Rd+E+%4043.458710,+-79.654260+to%3AHWY-2%2FKingston+Rd+%4043.787100,+-79.164730+to%3AHWY-2%2FKing+St+W+%4043.891910,+-78.888790+to%3ACR-2%2FHWY-2+%4043.971580,+-78.352430+to%3ACR-2%2FHWY-2%2FPeter+St+%4043.954240,+-78.272280+to%3ACR-2%2FHWY-2%2FKing+St+E+%4043.967640,+-78.132520+to%3AHWY-2%2FHWY-49+%4044.198180,+-77.094780+to%3ACR-2%2FDundas+St+W%2FHWY-2+%4044.234600,+-76.970070+to%3AHWY-2%2FOntario+St+%4044.234130,+-76.478340+to%3ACR-2%2FHWY-2+%4045.086590,+-74.533420+to%3A45.205626,-74.343967&mrcr=17&mrsp=18&sz=13&mra=dme&dirflg=h&sll=45.209013,-74.32972&sspn=0.076313,0.155869&ie=UTF8&ll=43.818675,-78.859863&spn=5.001488,9.975586&z=7&om=1 Google Maps: Historic Highyway 2 Route]

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