Too bad, with the abandonment of the historic CP mainline (later the Ottawa Valley Railway) from Mattawa to Smiths Falls, all CN/CP railway traffic has to come through Toronto.I looked at the Highway 17 twinning near Sault Ste-Marie on Google Streetview, it looks great. If they continue to twin Highway 17 from North Bay to Ottawa, and from Manitoba to Nipigion, it will make a huge difference. That's a huge gap reduced a lot.
I don't think that people from Sudbury should be expected to drive through Toronto to get to Ottawa. Sudbury, Toronto, and Ottawa are all roughly the same distance from each other, almost like an equilateral triangle, so that would be doubling the driving distance. Plus GTA highways have enough cars as is. So just think of the Highway 17 as a Toronto bypass.