News   Apr 19, 2024
 4.8K     1 
News   Apr 19, 2024
 1.3K     4 
News   Apr 19, 2024
 2.1K     4 

Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

One of my pet peeves with MTO's highway signage is at major interchanges along Hwy 401 at other provincial freeways where it's signed to a different freeway, not the actual one with the interchange. For example, at the 403/410 interchange, the sign says "QEW (Hamilton) via 403" rather than "403 to QEW". Similarly at 412/418 it says "407 via 412/418"

401 sign to QEW.png

(source: Google Maps)
 
I don't think putting signs in London saying "Detroit - I75 ---> Highway 401" and "Port Huron - I69 ---> Highway 402) is that crazy. Nor is MTO's current practice of signing Windsor and Sarnia.

I agree that we don't need signs saying Detroit or Montreal in Toronto though.

In general these things matter less these days then ever as most people driving in unfamiliar locations use GPS. Very few drivers are relying on control cities to actually navigate these days. The most effective signage today would focus on making abundantly clear what lanes lead to what highway, not what destination. People care more about what the exit name is than where it leads, as the GPS is telling them how to get to their destination, they just need to confirm the exit the GPS is telling them to take.
 
I have noticed that exit numbers are inconsistent, even on highways that recently got exit numbers (ie 410 some of them are numbered, some aren't, even exits recently built/rebuilt)
 
exactly. At 401/402 junction no mention of Port Huron or Detroit
On Highway 401 & 427 area there is only an airplane logo in some of the signs, no "Pearson Airport"
We’re in Canada. Nothing everyone in Canada can go to the states and we should be proud of our own country and use Canadian control cities only.
 
One of my pet peeves with MTO's highway signage is at major interchanges along Hwy 401 at other provincial freeways where it's signed to a different freeway, not the actual one with the interchange. For example, at the 403/410 interchange, the sign says "QEW (Hamilton) via 403" rather than "403 to QEW". Similarly at 412/418 it says "407 via 412/418"

View attachment 400758
(source: Google Maps)
Good point. Within knowing the standards in the MTO manual, I guess they want to point to an actual destination, not another corridor. Perhaps they felt a sign that displayed a highway marker next to a highway marker would be too confusing (does it mean one leads to the other? Are they co-linear?). Perhaps a simple 'to QEW' trailblazer: 403 > (to QEW) > Hamilton.
 
We’re in Canada. Nothing everyone in Canada can go to the states and we should be proud of our own country and use Canadian control cities only.

The only one I don't care for is "Hill Island, Ontario" on Highway 137, but at least it's accompanied by "I-81 - 1000 Islands Bridge" - the only place where the Interstate shield appears in Ontario on an official sign. but I guess the intent is to let motorists know that 137 has several exits before the border itself. Fort Erie at least has multiple exits before the bridge entrance for Buffalo.

Windsor and Sarnia are perfectly fine, but I wouldn't find an advance sign in London that says "Detroit via 401/Port Huron via 402" - there is a sign near the Garden City Skyway that has a similar function for 405, 420, and QEW.
 
Last edited:
I don't think putting signs in London saying "Detroit - I75 ---> Highway 401" and "Port Huron - I69 ---> Highway 402) is that crazy. Nor is MTO's current practice of signing Windsor and Sarnia.

I agree that we don't need signs saying Detroit or Montreal in Toronto though.
That's funny because there are signs near the heart of Montreal saying Toronto (A-15 to A-20 for example), and the closest thing for signs to Montreal on the 401 is at the Highway 137 interchange and then it becomes a regular signing east of Cornwall. Another example of this is in Ottawa at the Highway 7/417 interchange stating signs for Toronto when it doesn't even step foot into the city proper, and doesn't say something like Peterborough as a control city.
 
I'm guessing the standard from that distance out is to sign for the Canadian control or terminal city. Otherwise, how far do you push it? Hwy 401 is also the route that takes you to Florida.

I don't think any MTO freeway signage has the airport's name on it. I suppose they assume you are enroute to a known airport destination and this is the exit. If you are looking for the airport on the Island or at Hamilton, you'll know soon enough that you are lost. Besides, "Pearson Airport" isn't the proper name and is no more descriptive.
They do have it.
https://goo.gl/maps/my7vbaRzMvDS2J437
 
My biggest pet peeve is lane signs like these. It's so hard to read which lane goes where at high speed.

View attachment 400857


Compared to many other jurisdictions such as BC or Interstate highways, where it is a lot easier to understand where your lane is leading to.

For example:

View attachment 400858
Source: https://www.novapole.com/dat/files/643.jpg

That style is emerging as the new FHWA standard across the US and I like it.

The 401 diagrammatic sign - an older standard I’d like to see disappear - isn’t clear if there’s a middle lane that splits both ways, or if it’s five separate lanes with the right two leading only to the collectors.
 
The 401 diagrammatic sign - an older standard I’d like to see disappear - isn’t clear if there’s a middle lane that splits both ways, or if it’s five separate lanes with the right two leading only to the collectors.
I find the GTA signage to be fairly consistent and clear when they label a must-exit or either-or lane. I guess it's all relative, trying to read a big sign across the highway like that strikes me as less intuitive.
 
My biggest pet peeve is lane signs like these. It's so hard to read which lane goes where at high speed.

View attachment 400857


Compared to many other jurisdictions such as BC or Interstate highways, where it is a lot easier to understand where your lane is leading to.

For example:

View attachment 400858
Source: https://www.novapole.com/dat/files/643.jpg
That may not be the best comparison. At least for that specific example, there is a second regular exit information sign after that diagrammatic one. That one shows two arrows with "Exit" printed below.
 
That may not be the best comparison. At least for that specific example, there is a second regular exit information sign after that diagrammatic one. That one shows two arrows with "Exit" printed below.
Those arrows are right where the lanes are forking. People need to prepare in advance and move to the correct lane at least 1 km before the road forks.
 
Those arrows are right where the lanes are forking. People need to prepare in advance and move to the correct lane at least 1 km before the road forks.
Not sure which picture you are referring to, but this is the sign that comes after the diagrammatic sign:
https://goo.gl/maps/FW8yVZ7nY2HoQmvx5

Then this one at the actual split:
https://goo.gl/maps/nxztgS137xeMHyBdA

The BC example serves the same role as our regular exit sign, albeit with more lanes information.
 

Back
Top