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Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

I *think* I get what you are trying to say, but some of the comparative statements confuse me.

Roadways aren't treated as public assets - they *are* public assets, paid for by general revenue taxes and user fees. Railways are private property owned and operated by for-profit companies that pay taxes on their assets and business income. They might provide a public benefit (a term not legally used in Canada), but it could be argued that so does Amazon or Air Canada.

Stepping away from the cost of taking a truck out onto the road, accessing CN or CP lines means you are using their property, facilities and staff.

Roads haven't always been public assets. Many roads in the early automotive era were built by private companies/individuals, charged tolls for access, and were (I'm assuming) treated as private property. It was only once we decided as a society that it would be better to have the road network be run by the public and held by the public that it became so. The distinction between roads/public and rails/private is simply the decision that was made.

Regarding Air Canada, there really isn't any comparable to roads/rails in the airline industry because planes travel in the air which no one own, not on roads or rails. The closest construct would be the structuring of the airspace into distinct regions, flight paths, and managing those through ATC/regulations/etc. And this is operated by NAV Canada, a public entity.

Amazon is not a comparable because it doesn't have a physical network for it's distribution in the way that roads/rails do.

If you were a business, would you?
Of course I wouldn't (well unless I were planning to expand/grow my business). Again this is kind of my point. CN/CP don't want to cooperate and share their rails (most of which were built with the assistance of public dollars) than maybe they stop getting public funds or enjoy the benefits of having these massive networks at their disposal. Similar to how Air Canada (also a recipient of significant public funds) is told by the government that is must provide certain services.
 
Roads haven't always been public assets. Many roads in the early automotive era were built by private companies/individuals, charged tolls for access, and were (I'm assuming) treated as private property. It was only once we decided as a society that it would be better to have the road network be run by the public and held by the public that it became so. The distinction between roads/public and rails/private is simply the decision that was made.

Regarding Air Canada, there really isn't any comparable to roads/rails in the airline industry because planes travel in the air which no one own, not on roads or rails. The closest construct would be the structuring of the airspace into distinct regions, flight paths, and managing those through ATC/regulations/etc. And this is operated by NAV Canada, a public entity.

Amazon is not a comparable because it doesn't have a physical network for it's distribution in the way that roads/rails do.


Of course I wouldn't (well unless I were planning to expand/grow my business). Again this is kind of my point. CN/CP don't want to cooperate and share their rails (most of which were built with the assistance of public dollars) than maybe they stop getting public funds or enjoy the benefits of having these massive networks at their disposal. Similar to how Air Canada (also a recipient of significant public funds) is told by the government that is must provide certain services.
I wasn't aware that private roads extended to the automotive era in any significant way. Back in feudal times there were toll roads but my understanding was the toll was to pass over private land, not for the road per se.

Nav Canada is not a public entity, it is a privately held not-for-profit corporation that was established to replace Transport Canada - which is a public entity.

It would be helpful if you could provide some examples of public funds flowing to the major rail carriers. I am aware that some programs to upgrade public crossings, etc. but they are hardly significant relative to their overall accounting. It is true that, in the beginning, they (or CP at least) was provided public funds, land grants, etc. to open up the nation (I suppose a public benefit) but we can't hang that on them for all time.

In terms of Air Canada, what public funds do they get that other Canadian carriers do not, in turn for what mandatory services? I am aware that they received some post-Covid support but I don't know if that was exclusive, and yes, there were some conditions that they re-start some regional routes. Toronto-North Bay, formerly with 3/day, the cancelled now has on flight /day, so I suppose that is something.
 
I wasn't aware that private roads extended to the automotive era in any significant way.
I don't think this is true - at least in populated pars of central Canada. Other than 407, or some forestry and mining roads in the bush, I can't think of any examples - I'm curious of what example @Woodbridge_Heights has for us - other than perhaps a driveway to a few houses.
 
I don't think this is true - at least in populated pars of central Canada. Other than 407, or some forestry and mining roads in the bush, I can't think of any examples - I'm curious of what example @Woodbridge_Heights has for us - other than perhaps a driveway to a few houses.

For the most part, yes. By the 1870s, counties and townships were taking over the road networks, funded through property taxes. Previously, landowners were responsible for keeping their part of the road allowance clear and passable, but with mechanization of road construction and maintenance, this was no longer practical. The early toll roads were usually franchises for the construction or maintenance of key stone or wood plank roads, with the tolls collected to build and maintain those. But once you had more effective and less expensive road maintenance processes, you didn't need those franchises anymore. The expansion of railways also took a lot of the traffic that used those plank and stone roads.

So by the time the automobile arrived, pretty much everything was already in the public realm, and free, except for certain bridges and ferries.
 
I don't think this is true - at least in populated pars of central Canada. Other than 407, or some forestry and mining roads in the bush, I can't think of any examples - I'm curious of what example @Woodbridge_Heights has for us - other than perhaps a driveway to a few houses.

... there is the little known private dirt Sultan Road in Northern Ontario that serves as a 100 km shortcut of Highway 17. Been lots of calls over the decades to pave and designate it provincial highway... and the province does provide some funding for it.... and is popular enough to require normal flashing RR signals where it crosses the CP mainline.
 
Isn’t this precisely where Hwy 413 comes into play, even ignoring those doing it illegally, the amount of big warehouses that popped up along Coleraine Drive in the last 10 years is astounding.

To be fair, Caledon forbids trucks to go through the heart of Bolton but rather must use a bypass using Coleraine which avoids most of Bolton, to say that there is no road capacity whatsoever surrounding southern Caledon which I assume meant Bolton is simply not true right now.

You identify as being in Caledon East, how would you define Southern Caledon? Anything south of King Street?

I must correct my "no road capacity" statement, what I really mean is, Caledon has no proper highway network to handle the ever increasing truck traffic, you might say "oh but what about Mayfield road" i absolutely disagree, it's just a typical "widen the road to 6 lanes but keep all the traffic lights" situation.

Another big issue is traffic lights they're the biggest culprits in delays and traffic congestion, the amount of fuel wasted when you sit at a traffic light is awful.

Anyways, widening Mayfield will not fix the congestion issues that plague southern Caledon. The only way to fix it properly is

a) build the 413
b) ban trucking companies from the region

I highly doubt option b will ever happen.

My concluding statement is I firmly believe that building the 413 will bring massive alot of benefits to the region.

To answer your last question as to what I consider what southern Caledon is, I consider the boundary to be the route of the 413, it acts like a perfect boundary as that's also where the greenbelt starts in Caledon.
 
... there is the little known private dirt Sultan Road in Northern Ontario that serves as a 100 km shortcut of Highway 17. Been lots of calls over the decades to pave and designate it provincial highway... and the province does provide some funding for it.... and is popular enough to require normal flashing RR signals where it crosses the CP mainline.
Cool! Presumably an old mining road or something.

Wow, it knocks over 70 km off the trip from Sudbury to Thunder Bay! But takes almost 45 minutes longer, according to Google Maps.

I'd think if they upgrade it too much, that they'd then be stuck building a much better road, because it would become significantly faster!

 
Dixie Road and QEW interchange project.

DJI_0956.jpg

DJI_0960.jpg
 
Cool! Presumably an old mining road or something.

Wow, it knocks over 70 km off the trip from Sudbury to Thunder Bay! But takes almost 45 minutes longer, according to Google Maps.

I'd think if they upgrade it too much, that they'd then be stuck building a much better road, because it would become significantly faster!

Nope. It is (was) part of the E. B. Eddy forest access road network which had the cutting rights for the area. All of that is now in the hands of Domtar. The main east-west road is now known as the Sultan Industrial Road but there are a network of feeder roads as well as offshoot roads that connect Biscotasing and Ramsey (both on the CP) as well down to Hwy 17 and the pulp mill in Espanola.

It's been years since I've been on it. It did cut a fair bit of time off the normal route through the Soo, but there were several caveats. How well it, or any of the roads in the area were maintained depended on how much the company and its contractors were using it and if you were on a not-maintained section it was just washboard and dust. Back then, there was a sign at both ends stating that, although public access was permitted, the company accepted no liability and the vehicles did not have to meet highway standards. This usually meant that they were over-width and over-length. The haul drivers were mostly, not to put too fine a point on it, nuts.

I vaguely recall there was some kind of provincial funding even back then but don't know how much that has changed and if it changed the road's status. It is now a secondary highway from Hwy 129 to Dalton, although I believe that stretch was always a public road.

There has always been some level of lobbying for it to be brought up to a public road standard, equally fought by SSM and the towns along the Hwy 17 corridor. In my mind, that would create some knock-on impacts. In addition to the cost of upgrading the road to some kind of standard, Hwy 101 goes through the town of Wawa, and Hwy 144 goes through a lot of built-up area in northern Greater Sudbury. Even though they are King's Highways, 101, 129 and 144 are not built to same standards of 11 and 17. There are also very few communities and virtually no services on those stretches of 101, 129 and 144 (more on 144 as you get into Greater Sudbury) and no hydro, telecoms, etc. for much of the route.
 
Warning

Stay away from the QEW starting Oct 28-31 in Mississauga as you will be in a major traffic jam. This was to taken place Thanksgiving weekend with a 65 hour closure, but wasn't ready for the closure considering it was known 2 years ago.

The east side of Hurontario St is close and will be dug up for both direction to allow for the push box for the "NEW" 3 northbound lanes to be push into position and the existing QEW lanes rebuilt. "ALL" QEW traffic will use a 2 lane off/on ramp to bypass the closure. The existing Northbound lanes will be converted for the LRT.

As far as I know, no Hurontario traffic will be allow to use the ramps as it would slow down the QEW traffic a lot more.
<https://blog.metrolinx.com/2022/10/13/weekend-restrictions-on-qew-partial-closure-of-hurontario/>
 
Nope. It is (was) part of the E. B. Eddy forest access road network which had the cutting rights for the area. All of that is now in the hands of Domtar. The main east-west road is now known as the Sultan Industrial Road but there are a network of feeder roads as well as offshoot roads that connect Biscotasing and Ramsey (both on the CP) as well down to Hwy 17 and the pulp mill in Espanola.

It's been years since I've been on it. It did cut a fair bit of time off the normal route through the Soo, but there were several caveats. How well it, or any of the roads in the area were maintained depended on how much the company and its contractors were using it and if you were on a not-maintained section it was just washboard and dust. Back then, there was a sign at both ends stating that, although public access was permitted, the company accepted no liability and the vehicles did not have to meet highway standards. This usually meant that they were over-width and over-length. The haul drivers were mostly, not to put too fine a point on it, nuts.

I vaguely recall there was some kind of provincial funding even back then but don't know how much that has changed and if it changed the road's status. It is now a secondary highway from Hwy 129 to Dalton, although I believe that stretch was always a public road.

There has always been some level of lobbying for it to be brought up to a public road standard, equally fought by SSM and the towns along the Hwy 17 corridor. In my mind, that would create some knock-on impacts. In addition to the cost of upgrading the road to some kind of standard, Hwy 101 goes through the town of Wawa, and Hwy 144 goes through a lot of built-up area in northern Greater Sudbury. Even though they are King's Highways, 101, 129 and 144 are not built to same standards of 11 and 17. There are also very few communities and virtually no services on those stretches of 101, 129 and 144 (more on 144 as you get into Greater Sudbury) and no hydro, telecoms, etc. for much of the route.

Even on 144, there's only a decent cell signal at Watershed (where the Sultan Road meets 144), and once you approach Sudbury (around Levack/Onaping).

The long-distance truckers already favour Highway 11, despite it being a longer route than 17. But it's much flatter, much less curvy, and less tourist traffic. Upgrading the Sultan Road would require a lot of work to make it worth the detour, and while you'd avoid Sault Ste. Marie and the Lake Superior east shore south of Wawa, you still have the north shore to contend with.
 
Warning

Stay away from the QEW starting Oct 28-31 in Mississauga as you will be in a major traffic jam. This was to taken place Thanksgiving weekend with a 65 hour closure, but wasn't ready for the closure considering it was known 2 years ago.

The east side of Hurontario St is close and will be dug up for both direction to allow for the push box for the "NEW" 3 northbound lanes to be push into position and the existing QEW lanes rebuilt. "ALL" QEW traffic will use a 2 lane off/on ramp to bypass the closure. The existing Northbound lanes will be converted for the LRT.

As far as I know, no Hurontario traffic will be allow to use the ramps as it would slow down the QEW traffic a lot more.
<https://blog.metrolinx.com/2022/10/13/weekend-restrictions-on-qew-partial-closure-of-hurontario/>
Thanks @drum118
This will affect my work plans for that weekend.
 
Thanks @drum118
This will affect my work plans for that weekend.
It going to catch most drivers off guard for this detour and good thing none of Toronto teams are playing at home that weekend.

You and other should try to get shots of this mess if they can. Will try to get ground shots

Both transit riders and pedestrians going to have a hard time going through this area. I expect route 2 will be by Queensway-Cawthra-Lakeshore

Only ended up being 3 weeks behind schedule when this was known 2 years ago as what was to take place.
 
I'm going to try and get shots of it, weather permitting. My only concern is that Hurontario NB south of the QEW will be a total gong show and I won't get near south service road. Worst case scenario I could always try a long distance flight from the work parking lot and see if I have the range to maintain signal.
 
Even on 144, there's only a decent cell signal at Watershed (where the Sultan Road meets 144), and once you approach Sudbury (around Levack/Onaping).

The long-distance truckers already favour Highway 11, despite it being a longer route than 17. But it's much flatter, much less curvy, and less tourist traffic. Upgrading the Sultan Road would require a lot of work to make it worth the detour, and while you'd avoid Sault Ste. Marie and the Lake Superior east shore south of Wawa, you still have the north shore to contend with.
The actual distance between the two routes in only a couple of dozen kilometers (TBay to NB common points) but, for truckers, the big advantage is time and fuel costs because of the flatter terrain, and much less prone to winter closure.
 

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