Ontario to increase speed limits on some highways, including Hwy. 401 and Hwy. 403

The Ford government is set to increase the speed limit on hundreds of kilometres of its highway network, including large portions of the 401. Brandon Rowe reports.

The province will raise the speed limit on certain highways, including Highway 401 and Highway 403.

Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, Prabmeet Sarkaria, announced that as of July 12, the speed limit will increase to 110 km/h from 100 km/h on 10 additional sections of provincial highways in Ontario’s north and south portions.

“Much of Ontario’s highway network was originally designed to safely accommodate speed limits of 110 km/h, and data from our changes in 2022 show they do just that,” Sarkaria said in a statement on Wednesday.

Speed limits will also increase along a 26-kilometre stretch of Highway 403 from Woodstock to Brantford, a 60-kilometre stretch between Sudbury and French River and a 35-kilometre stretch on Highway 401 from Highway 35/115 to Cobourg.

“These evidence-based increases are a common-sense change to make life more convenient for Ontario drivers while bringing our highway speed limits in line with other Canadian provinces,” added Sarkaria.

The permanent increase in speed from to 110 km/h will cover 36 per cent and 860 kilometres of Ontario’s highway network.

Full list of Ontario highways that will see increased speed limits

  • Hwy. 401, Tilbury, extending the existing 110 km/h zone further east by 7 km
  • Hwy. 401 from Hwy. 35/115 to Cobourg (approximately 35 km)
  • Hwy. 401 from Colborne to Belleville (approximately 44 km)
  • Hwy. 401 from Belleville to Kingston (approximately 66 km)
  • Hwy. 401 from Hwy 16 to Quebec boundary (approximately 107 km)
  • Hwy. 403 from Woodstock to Brantford (approximately 26 km)
  • Hwy. 403 from Brantford to Hamilton (approximately 14.5 km)
  • Hwy. 406 from Thorold to Welland (approximately 13 km)
  • Hwy. 416 from Hwy. 401 to Ottawa (approximately 70 km)
  • Hwy. 69 from Sudbury to French River (approximately 60 km)

The province said all highway sections were selected based on their ability to safely accommodate higher speed limits.

One year ago, the Ford government announced that six stretches of highway in the province, including part of Highway 404 in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) would permanently have their speeds raised to 110 km/h.

The increased speeds on five stretches of the 400-series highways were first implemented when the province launched a pilot project in 2019 to test the speeds on a trial basis. 

In March 2022, the province announced a 30-year plan for public transit and highway expansions across the GTA and Golden Horseshoe, with plans to spend $82 billion in the next decade.

Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan have a maximum speed limit of 110 km/h, while in British Columbia, the maximum speed limit is 120 km/h.

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