Ontario Highway 103

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Highway 103

     Highway 103      1944–1958 route      Highway 12 concurrency (1965-1973)
Route information
Maintained by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario
Length58.3 km[1] (36.2 mi)
ExistedJuly 11, 1944[2]–May 15, 1976[3]
Major junctions
South end Highway 69 in Foot's Bay
North end Highway 12 in Waubaushene
DivisionsSimcoe County, Muskoka District
Highway system
Highway 102 Highway 105
Former provincial highways
Highway 104  →

King's Highway 103, commonly referred to as Highway 103, was a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. Located in the District Municipality of Muskoka and Simcoe County, the highway extended from Highway 12 at Waubaushene to Highway 69 at Foot's Bay. Established in 1944, it was originally a short gravel highway connecting Waubaushene to Port Severn. In 1950 it was chosen as the future route of the Trans-Canada Highway and extended to Foot's Bay. It existed until 1976, when a series of renumberings eliminated the designation, replacing it with Highway 69; Highway 400 has since been built over the majority of the former route.

Route description

Highway 103 followed much of the route that Highway 400 now takes between Highway 12 at Coldwater and the former Highway 69 junction (Exit 189) south of Mactier. From there it followed what is now the east-west section of Lake Joseph Road to Foot's Bay, where it ended what was Highway 69, later Highway 169, and is presently Muskoka District Road 169 and the north-south section of Lake Joseph Road. Between Highway 400 and Foot's Bay, it is now designated as both Lake Joseph Road and Muskoka District Road 169.[4][5] Between Coldwater and Waubaushene, the route was concurrent with Highway 12 for a brief period in the mid-1960s.[1] From there, it crossed over Matchedash Bay and circled around the south and eastern shoreline of Sturgeon Bay to Port Severn. North of Port Severn, the route travelled through wilderness within the District of Muskoka for 38 kilometers (24 mi). At Foot's Bay, it encountered Highway 69, which continued east to Highway 11 in Gravenhurst and north to Parry Sound and Sudbury.[4]


Highway 103 was first designated during World War II as a stub route of Highway 12 from Waubaushene to Port Severn. The 10.3 kilometers (6.4 mi) highway was assumed on July 19, 1944.[2] The original routing until the late 1950s followed what is now Pine Street, Coldwater Road and Duck Bay Road through Waubaushene. After crossing Matchedash Bay, the route turned onto Quarry Road, then turned north and followed what is now the northbound lanes of Highway 400 straight into Port Severn. It turned west along Port Severn Road across the Trent–Severn Waterway and ended at Lone Pine Road. The entire route was gravel surfaced.[6][7] Beginning in 1956, Highway 501 continued west to Honey Harbour.[8]

When Ontario signed the Trans-Canada Highway Agreement on April 25, 1950, it had already chosen a Central Ontario routing via Waubaushene and Parry Sound;[9] Highway 17 through the Ottawa Valley was announced as a provincially-funded secondary route of the TCH the following day.[10] The route of Highway 103 was chosen as a jump-off point to connect the two places. Tenders for building the approximately 40-kilometer (25 mi) extension from Port Severn to Highway 69 at Foot's Bay were called on September 25, 1953, and included bypasses of Waubaushene and Port Severn.[11] Construction was underway by the following year.[12] The new paved Highway 103 was open by September 1958,[13] although the complex three-bridge Port Severn Bypass did not open until the following spring.[14] The old portions of the route through Waubaushene and Port Severn were transferred to Tay Township on January 29, 1959.[15]

In order to provide better route continuity for motorists travelling from Toronto to Sudbury, several highways were renumbered in the Muskoka area on May 15, 1976. The section of Highway 69 between Foot's Bay and its southern terminus of Highway 12 at Brechin was redesignated as Highway 169, while the entirety of Highway 103 was renumbered to form the new southern portion of Highway 69.[3] The entirety of the former route (with the exception of the east-west section of Lake Joseph Road/Muskoka Road 169 west of Foot's Bay) has now been superseded by Highway 400.[5]

Major intersections

The following table lists the former junctions along Highway 103, as noted by the Ontario Department of Highways.[1] The route is documented as it existed in 1968. 

SimcoeColdwater0.00.0 Highway 12 south – OrilliaBeginning of Highway 12 concurrency between 1965 and 1968[1]
Waubaushene8.914.3 Highway 12 north – MidlandEnd of Highway 12 concurrency, 1965 to 1968[1]
Port Severn14.823.8Port Severn Cutoff
Muskoka17.227.7 Highway 501 (Honey Harbour Road)Now District Road 5[5]
Georgian Bay39.964.2Highway 660
56.691.1 Highway 612
Foot's Bay58.393.8 Highway 69Gravenhurst, Parry Sound
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c d e A.A.D.T. Traffic Volumes 1955–1969 And Traffic Collision Data 1967–1969. Ontario Department of Highways. 1970. pp. 107–108.
  2. ^ a b "Appendix No. 3 – Schedule of Assumptions and Reversions of Sections of the King's Highway System for the Fiscal Year". Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways. March 31, 1945. p. 61. Retrieved April 12, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ a b Public and Safety Information Branch (April 14, 1976). "Toronto–Sudbury Highways to be Renumbered" (Press release). Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
  4. ^ a b Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Cartography Section. Ministry of Transportation and Communications. 1974. § F–G22.
  5. ^ a b c Ontario Back Road Atlas (Map). Cartography by MapArt. Peter Heiler. 2010. pp. 41, 57. § T29–Y30, K15. ISBN 978-1-55198-226-7.
  6. ^ Hunting Survey Corporation Limited (1954). "1954 Air Photos of Southern Ontario – 447.793". University of Toronto Map and Data Library. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  7. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by J.W. Whitelaw. Ontario Department of Public Highways. 1946. § N32. Retrieved January 31, 2021 – via Archives of Ontario.
  8. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by C.P. Robins. Ontario Department of Highways. 1956. § Q33.
  9. ^ Baldwin, Warren (April 25, 1950). "Six Sign Road Pact After Ontario Given Concession". The Globe and Mail. p. 1. ProQuest 1291203460.
  10. ^ "Highway No. 17 Secondary Link Of Trans-Canada". The Globe and Mail. April 26, 1950. p. 7. ProQuest 1291386930.
  11. ^ "Link to Eliminate Troublesome Kink". The Globe and Mail. September 26, 1953. p. 2. ProQuest 1287220734.
  12. ^ "Barrie to Footes Bay: Plan Road to Vacation Area". The Globe and Mail. September 2, 1954. p. 1. ProQuest 1289529660.
  13. ^ "May Hike Limits". The Ottawa Citizen. September 6, 1958. p. 28. Retrieved April 13, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways. March 31, 1959. p. 106. Paving was completed on Highway 103 from Waubaushene to Footes Bay except for one mile in the vicinity of Port Severn where three bridges are being constructed under contract 57-85. It is expected that this Port Severn By-pass will be opened early in the summer of 1959.
  15. ^ "Appendix No. 3B - Schedule of Reversions of Sections of the King's Highway and Secondary Road Systems for the Fiscal Year". Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways. March 31, 1959. p. 240. Retrieved April 13, 2021.

External links

  • Approximate former route of Highway 103 on Google Maps. Note that this routing is not exact; in several locations, the highway followed roads which are now residential or local in nature and cannot be directly accessed from the current Highway 400 route.