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Author Topic: Unified Canadian Highway System  (Read 3249 times)

Chrysler375Freeway

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Unified Canadian Highway System
« on: October 19, 2021, 03:17:55 PM »

So the only unified highway system in Canada is the TCH. Why does Canada not have unified Federal highway systems, such as Motorways/Autoroutes (like the American Interstate, French Autoroute, or British Motorway systems) and Federal Highways (like the U.S. highways)? Why is the TCH the only unified highway system? Why do they not have federal highway systems like the Interstate Highway System and U.S. Highway System?
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JayhawkCO

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ghYHZ

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2021, 03:28:24 PM »

Canada does have a core system of National Highways that the Federal Government contributes funding for but under the division of powers in the constitution.....highways fall under Provincial and Territorial jurisdiction......not Ottawa.

https://tc.canada.ca/sites/default/files/migrated/nhs_2007.pdf

Also scroll to this topic just below here (not exactly answering your question but some similar info)

"Why doesn't the Trans Canadian (Canada) Highway serve Toronto"

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=29560.0

 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 03:32:38 PM by ghYHZ »
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andrepoiy

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2021, 05:56:58 PM »

And the TCH isn't even really taken seriously in Ontario in Quebec. They're just tacked onto existing provincial freeways and they are NOT posted at junctions (in Ontario at least).

I'd say that the reason we don't have US Routes or Interstate equivalents is simply because of geography.

Canada's population is heavily concentrated on the southern border so the population is more wide than tall. Also, population is concentrated instead  of being relatively spread out across the country. Thus, it's not really that beneficial to have a national system and provincial systems do just fine.

There's only one major road that crosses the Ontario-Manitoba border, so that just tells you how unevenly distributed the population is.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 05:59:25 PM by andrepoiy »
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Alps

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2021, 06:55:22 PM »

And the TCH isn't even really taken seriously in Ontario in Quebec. They're just tacked onto existing provincial freeways and they are NOT posted at junctions (in Ontario at least).

I'd say that the reason we don't have US Routes or Interstate equivalents is simply because of geography.

Canada's population is heavily concentrated on the southern border so the population is more wide than tall. Also, population is concentrated instead  of being relatively spread out across the country. Thus, it's not really that beneficial to have a national system and provincial systems do just fine.

There's only one major road that crosses the Ontario-Manitoba border, so that just tells you how unevenly distributed the population is.

They're not taken seriously in ON and QC but they are much more outside there.

cbeach40

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2021, 01:29:17 AM »

So the only unified highway system in Canada is the TCH. Why does Canada not have unified Federal highway systems, such as Motorways/Autoroutes (like the American Interstate, French Autoroute, or British Motorway systems) and Federal Highways (like the U.S. highways)? Why is the TCH the only unified highway system? Why do they not have federal highway systems like the Interstate Highway System and U.S. Highway System?

Because Canada is very big and our population is proportionately small. And importantly, isolated into small pockets throughout the country, not evenly distributed. As such, the amount of interaction between these far-flung areas via road is minimal, so there isn't really any will to unify things.

The TCH was developed as a national unity type thing, but there's not much point to it other than "We have a Trans Canada Highway". Certainly not "We have a deliberate and patterned numbering system".
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Henry

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2021, 11:01:29 AM »

Funny, I always thought that the Canadian highway system is basically their extension of the American one, given that many highways crossing the border retain their numbers (actually, BC 99 is switched over from I-5, which at one time was originally WA 99). With the population greatly concentrated on the southern half of the country, there really is no reason for expanding the highway system, at least until somehow a bunch of new cities and towns suddenly spring up further north. And apparently, Ottawa is not Washington, as to how the government is controlled either.
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dmuzika

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2021, 01:45:00 PM »

Historically, the highway numbers in were more integrated than they are today largely due to the divergent numbering schemes as the respective provinces started building freeways. Highway 2 existed from Windsor to Halifax, passing through Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, and Saint John. While remnants of the original routing remain, if it followed present-day freeways it would follow ON 401, A-20, A-85, TCH 2 (NB), TCH 104 (NS), and NS 102. At the same time, the original QC 17 extended from ON 17 to downtown Montreal. As upgrades occurred, the respective provinces did the following:
  • Ontario and Nova Scotia kept their original numbering system in tact and added 3-di on their expressways - 400-series in Ontario and 100-series in Nova Scotia. Ontario initially numbered their 400-series sequentially (i.e. 400, 401, 402, etc.) before moving to adopting the route that it replaced (i.e. 416, 417); Nova Scotia follows the route it replaced. Maybe Hwy 401 should have been initially designated as Hwy 402.
  • Quebec totally renumbered their highways in the 1960s to its present system. All 2-di highways that were not freeways became 3-di on a grid.
  • New Brunswick moved designations to the upgraded routes, with bypassed sections becoming 3-di.

And the TCH isn't even really taken seriously in Ontario in Quebec. They're just tacked onto existing provincial freeways and they are NOT posted at junctions (in Ontario at least).

I'd say that the reason we don't have US Routes or Interstate equivalents is simply because of geography.

Canada's population is heavily concentrated on the southern border so the population is more wide than tall. Also, population is concentrated instead  of being relatively spread out across the country. Thus, it's not really that beneficial to have a national system and provincial systems do just fine.

There's only one major road that crosses the Ontario-Manitoba border, so that just tells you how unevenly distributed the population is.

They're not taken seriously in ON and QC but they are much more outside there.

With exception of the Ottawa area, the Trans-Canada Highway passes through Ontario's hinterland, so it's no surprise. If a branch of the TCH followed the ON 2/ON 401 corridor, it might have been taking more seriously. Land area aside, the reality is that over half of Canada's population lives in the Windsor-Quebec City Corridor and over 60% are in Quebec and Ontario - what's important to them is what ends up being important to Canada.
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JayhawkCO

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2021, 01:49:19 PM »

Historically, the highway numbers in were more integrated than they are today largely due to the divergent numbering schemes as the respective provinces started building freeways. Highway 2 existed from Windsor to Halifax, passing through Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, and Saint John. While remnants of the original routing remain, if it followed present-day freeways it would follow ON 401, A-20, A-85, TCH 2 (NB), TCH 104 (NS), and NS 102.

So in NB, did it also go down NB7 and NB1 if it passed through Saint John?

Chris

Rothman

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2021, 04:23:04 PM »

Heh.  When I was a kid, I did think it was weird when TCH 2 in NB wasn't the shortest route to Moncton from the west.  We drove whatever it was before they rerouted TCH 2 (I believe the old route was NB 10?  NB 12? Hm...maybe NB 112...ah, forget it).
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 04:30:45 PM by Rothman »
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ghYHZ

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2021, 04:33:59 PM »

Here's a scan of the 1949 NB Highway Map. Between Fredericton and Saint John NB2 followed today's NB102 along the river and  NB7 was NB2A

East of Saint John to Moncton and the NS Border.....NB2 roughly followed today's NB100, 121, 114 and 106.

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dmuzika

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2021, 04:39:10 PM »

Historically, the highway numbers in were more integrated than they are today largely due to the divergent numbering schemes as the respective provinces started building freeways. Highway 2 existed from Windsor to Halifax, passing through Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, and Saint John. While remnants of the original routing remain, if it followed present-day freeways it would follow ON 401, A-20, A-85, TCH 2 (NB), TCH 104 (NS), and NS 102.

So in NB, did it also go down NB7 and NB1 if it passed through Saint John?

Chris

Sort of. NB 2 originally followed present-day NB 102 from Oromocto (SE of Fredericton) to Westfield (NW of Saint John) along the Saint John River, bypassing CFB Gagetown. Present-day NB 7 was known as NB 2A, I'm guessing that came along later. [Edit: ghYHZ replied 1st!]

Also, QC 2 followed the north shore of the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City, so technically it was replaced by present-day A-40 - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_Route_2.

Here's a 1956 Map of Quebec and the Maritimes:
* https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/workspace/handleMediaPlayer?lunaMediaId=RUMSEY~8~1~212331~5500358
* https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/workspace/handleMediaPlayer?lunaMediaId=RUMSEY~8~1~212333~5500359

Interestingly, PEI switched its 1 & 2 designations for the TCH.
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Rothman

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2021, 04:41:18 PM »

Wait a minute, later on, didn't TCH 2 head to Sussex from Fredericton, rather than going all the way down to Saint John?  Looking at a map of New Brunswick, I'm "remembering" the routing going down what is NB 10 and up NB 1, while NB 112 was the old shortcut to Moncton.  This would be in the mid to late 1980s.

HA!  Knew it!

« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 04:44:58 PM by Rothman »
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JayhawkCO

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2021, 04:45:20 PM »

Here's a scan of the 1949 NB Highway Map. Between Fredericton and Saint John NB2 followed today's NB102 along the river and  NB7 was NB2A

East of Saint John to Moncton and the NS Border.....NB2 roughly followed today's NB100, 121, 114 and 106.



Thanks for that.  It also looks like NS15 on your map eventually became NS215 (which I recently clinched).  I'm assuming they did a renumbering at some point to limit the single and double digits only to the trunk routes?

Chris

ghYHZ

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2021, 04:50:44 PM »

Wait a minute, later on, didn't TCH 2 head to Sussex from Fredericton, rather than going all the way down to Saint John?  Looking at a map of New Brunswick, I'm "remembering" the routing going down what is NB 10 and up NB 1, while NB 112 was the old shortcut to Moncton.  This would be in the mid to late 1980s.

HA!  Knew it!

After the TCH was routed via Sussex, Coles Island and Youngs Cove in the '60s (NB9 on the 1949 map above).....it still wasn't the shortest route between Fredericton and Moncton. That was NB30 on the 1949 map and todays NB112 between Salisbury and Coles Island......and boy could you fly through there. I never saw a Mountie in all my trips.

That all became redundant when new 4-lane TCH2 opened between Fredericton and Moncton about 20 years ago and is now finally the shortest route.
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Rothman

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2021, 05:06:02 PM »

Wait a minute, later on, didn't TCH 2 head to Sussex from Fredericton, rather than going all the way down to Saint John?  Looking at a map of New Brunswick, I'm "remembering" the routing going down what is NB 10 and up NB 1, while NB 112 was the old shortcut to Moncton.  This would be in the mid to late 1980s.

HA!  Knew it!

After the TCH was routed via Sussex, Coles Island and Youngs Cove in the '60s (NB9 on the 1949 map above).....it still wasn't the shortest route between Fredericton and Moncton. That was NB30 on the 1949 map and todays NB112 between Salisbury and Coles Island......and boy could you fly through there. I never saw a Mountie in all my trips.

That's what I said above.
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ghYHZ

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2021, 05:36:13 PM »

Wait a minute, later on, didn't TCH 2 head to Sussex from Fredericton, rather than going all the way down to Saint John?  Looking at a map of New Brunswick, I'm "remembering" the routing going down what is NB 10 and up NB 1, while NB 112 was the old shortcut to Moncton.  This would be in the mid to late 1980s.

HA!  Knew it!

After the TCH was routed via Sussex, Coles Island and Youngs Cove in the '60s (NB9 on the 1949 map above).....it still wasn't the shortest route between Fredericton and Moncton. That was NB30 on the 1949 map and todays NB112 between Salisbury and Coles Island......and boy could you fly through there. I never saw a Mountie in all my trips.

That's what I said above.

Just expanded on it a bit. As I said above....it was originally NB9 between Fredericton, Youngs Cove and Sussex. NB10 wasn't extended to Sussex from Youngs Cove until the new 4-lane NB2 opened when NB10 took over the old NB2 and originally NB9 alignment.

At the same time....NB1 was extended to Riverglade from Sussex. There were Toll Booths built just east of River Glade where NB1 and 2 come together but they never opened. The previous Liberal Gov that was imposing them was defeated.

Back in the '80s....a new Super 2 section of highway was built from near Mill Cove to Jemseg to bypass an accident prone section of the TCH (now NB105) along the lake. This  was  eventually twinned and became part of the new 4-lane TCH.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 06:01:56 PM by ghYHZ »
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2021, 06:05:51 PM »

When I was in New Brunswick over Thanksgiving, I checked out the Hwy 10 bridges that are being replaced at Coles Island.

I'm sure they needed to be replaced, but the old bridges were pretty beautiful.
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ghYHZ

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2021, 06:18:29 PM »

When I was in New Brunswick over Thanksgiving, I checked out the Hwy 10 bridges that are being replaced at Coles Island.

I'm sure they needed to be replaced, but the old bridges were pretty beautiful.

They had even been narrowed to single lane prior to replacement with lights controlling traffic.

https://goo.gl/maps/mm15QkvWdw7G4GYp6
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2021, 09:37:22 PM »

^ yeah, I noticed that.  I'm not questioning the need to replace them, I just appreciate a nice truss bridge:


http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/NB/10/NB10_cl_DSC02093_Oct21_24x16.jpg
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andrepoiy

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Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2021, 11:46:22 PM »

    • Ontario and Nova Scotia kept their original numbering system in tact and added 3-di on their expressways - 400-series in Ontario and 100-series in Nova Scotia. Ontario initially numbered their 400-series sequentially (i.e. 400, 401, 402, etc.) before moving to adopting the route that it replaced (i.e. 416, 417); Nova Scotia follows the route it replaced. Maybe Hwy 401 should have been initially designated as Hwy 402.

    Not to mention Ontario decommissioning almost all of Highway 2[/list]
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    ghYHZ

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    Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
    « Reply #21 on: October 22, 2021, 09:58:46 AM »

    Thanks for that.  It also looks like NS15 on your map eventually became NS215 (which I recently clinched).  I'm assuming they did a renumbering at some point to limit the single and double digits only to the trunk routes?

    Chris

    The great renumbering of 1970!

    Below are portions of the 1969 Nova Scotia Provincial Highway and that same area on the 1970 map.

    The 200 series (east-west) and 300 series (north-south) are generally classified as collector highways and as you noted Trunk 15 became NS215......also Trunk 11 became NS311 from Truro to the Northumberland Shore and Trunk 45 became NS245 from Sutherlands River to Antigonish via Arisaig.

    One high number....Trunk 28 still exists from Sydney to Glace Bay. 'Hidden' Trunk 30 is the Cabot Trail and is signed as such. Not numbered. The original Trunk 30 at the opposite end of the province near Barrington is now NS330.   

    Here's a list:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nova_Scotia_provincial_highways#Local_roads

    There's also 400 and 500 series local roads but I've never seen them signed.








     
    « Last Edit: October 22, 2021, 10:01:04 AM by ghYHZ »
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    Transportfan

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    Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
    « Reply #22 on: October 27, 2021, 09:48:30 PM »

    So the only unified highway system in Canada is the TCH. 

    I wouldn't consider even the Trans-Canada Highway unified...

    hurricanehink

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    Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
    « Reply #23 on: February 23, 2022, 01:19:57 PM »

    Having a coast to coast Highway would go a long way toward a National Highway System. Speaking of: does anyone think there will be a fixed-link freeway from Vancouver to Halifax by the end of the century? There are already some movements toward that: Autoroute 85 soon will close the gap between Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces. Ontario is building Route 400 toward Sudbury. British Columbia plans on twinning Route 1 to close to Alberta by 2050. That leaves Alberta to Ontario, which is a huge gap (2,263 miles). But there are some big cities along there, including Calgary and Winnipeg. Winnipeg to Sudbury is the biggest hurdle, at 1,000 miles with few big cities. On the upside for feasibility, Ontario is the most populated province, although they’re mostly focused on the Windsor to Ottawa corridor. After all, half of Canada lives between Windsor and Quebec City.

    What do you think?
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    cbeach40

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    Re: Unified Canadian Highway System
    « Reply #24 on: February 23, 2022, 01:58:03 PM »

    Having a coast to coast Highway would go a long way toward a National Highway System. Speaking of: does anyone think there will be a fixed-link freeway from Vancouver to Halifax by the end of the century? There are already some movements toward that: Autoroute 85 soon will close the gap between Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces. Ontario is building Route 400 toward Sudbury. British Columbia plans on twinning Route 1 to close to Alberta by 2050. That leaves Alberta to Ontario, which is a huge gap (2,263 miles). But there are some big cities along there, including Calgary and Winnipeg. Winnipeg to Sudbury is the biggest hurdle, at 1,000 miles with few big cities.

    It's a multi lane, almost entirely divided highway all the way to the Ontario border, with expansion easterly to Kenora on the horizon. The only advantage adding grade separations would have are intersection operations, but population is so sparse and traffic volumes so low there's little benefit to it.

    Other localized four laning is planned in some locations in NW Ontario, and the portion from Sault Ste. Marie to Mattawa has been studied to varying degrees. But there's still hundreds of kilometres of road through rugged and very remote areas. And rugged and remote are two huge factors adding to the cost.


    Quote
    On the upside for feasibility, Ontario is the most populated province, although they’re mostly focused on the Windsor to Ottawa corridor. After all, half of Canada lives between Windsor and Quebec City.

    What do you think?

    Definitely. Let's put it this way - a single lane of traffic on a southern Ontario urban freeway will take more traffic in a hour than both directions of the TCH in the North takes in an entire day.

    So no, unless a government comes to power and wants to spend money on that instead of anything actually useful, it's not going to happen in any foreseeable future.
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