Southern Ontario - Transportation


Southern Ontario has a vast automotive transportation system involving many freeways. The freeway system in Southern Ontario is referred to as the King's highways system, or the 400 series highways. With the exception of Highway 406, all the freeways in Ontario are at least 4 lanes wide, fully controlled with interchanges and divided. The major freeways in Southern Ontario are 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407 (Toll), 409, 410, 416, 417, 420, 427, Don Valley Parkway, Gardiner Expressway, Queen Elizabeth Way, Queensway, Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway, Red Hill Valley Parkway, Conestoga Parkway, and the E. C. Row Expressway.

The 12-lane segment of Highway 401 passing through Toronto is the widest and busiest freeway in North America, and one of the widest and busiest in the world. The 401 runs the entire length of Southern Ontario. In 2007 a section of highway 401 was renamed the Highway of Heroes in honour of Canadian Forces personnel killed during the War in Afghanistan. Highway 416 was named Veterans Memorial Highway in 1990 to honor Canadian veterans of all wars.

Freeways in Southern Ontario are digitally monitored by the MTO using the COMPASS-Freeway Traffic Management System

Southern Ontario has several border crossings with the USA, including the Ambassador Bridge, Detroit–Windsor Tunnel, Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge, Thousand Islands Bridge, Ogdensburg–Prescott Bridge, Lewiston–Queenston Bridge, and the Blue Water Bridge.

The Region has a long history of marine transportation. Hundreds of millions of tonnes of cargo travel along the Great Lakes, and Saint Lawrence Seaway each year. The Welland Canal is a vital part of the Great Lakes Waterway allowing ships to avoid Niagara Falls. The St. Clair River and Detroit River are also well travelled rivers between Lake Huron and Lake Erie in the Windsor, Sarnia area. Southern Ontario also has thousands of other fresh water lakes and rivers, as well as the Trent-Severn Waterway and Rideau Canal.

Another mode of transportation throughout Southern Ontario is train. Inter-city service in the region is provided mainly by Via Rail. The Greater Toronto area also has a commuter train system called the GO Train, which is supplemented by a network of bus services for the area.

Southern Ontario has several major international airports including the busiest airport in the country, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, London International Airport, and Region of Waterloo International Airport. Many Southern Ontarians living close to the Michigan or New York State borders use either Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, or Buffalo Niagara International Airport as their local airport.

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