Ontario Highway 118

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Highway 118

Route information
Maintained by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario
Length127.8 km[1] (79.4 mi)
ExistedNovember 16, 1955[2]–present
Major junctions
West end Highway 11 near Bracebridge
Major intersections Highway 35 in Carnarvon
East end Highway 28 near Bancroft
DivisionsMuskoka District, Haliburton County, Hastings County
TownsBracebridge, Uffington, Vankoughnet, Carnarvon, Haliburton Village, Tory Hill, Cardiff, Paudash
Highway system
Highway 115 Highway 124
Former provincial highways
←  Highway 117 Highway 119  →

King's Highway 118, commonly referred to as Highway 118, is a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. The route travels across South-Central Ontario between Highway 11 near Bracebridge and Highway 28 near Bancroft. Several communities are served by the route, including Uffington, Vankoughnet, Carnarvon, West Guilford, Haliburton Village, Tory Hill, Cardiff and Paudash.

The Department of Highways (DHO), predecessor to the modern Ministry of Transportation (MTO), first assumed Highway 118 in 1955 between Highway 69 at Glen Orchard and Highway 35 in Dorset, via Bracebridge and Highway 11. In 1974, the section from Bracebridge to Dorset was renumbered as Highway 117 in preparation to extend Highway 118 along Muskoka District Road 4 (Peterson Road) towards Haliburton, which took place in 1981. In 1998, the segment west of Bracebridge was transferred, or "downloaded" to the District Municipality of Muskoka. However, in 2001, Highway 118 was extended east along the route of Highway 121 from Haliburton Village to Paudash.

Route description

Highway 118 east of Muskoka Falls

Highway 118 travels from Highway 11 near Muskoka Falls, southeast of Bracebridge, to Highway 28 in Paudash. The highway generally follows near the 45th parallel north. Several communities are served by the route, including Uffington, Vankoughnet, Carnarvon, West Guilford, Haliburton Village, Tory Hill and Cardiff.[3] The total length of Highway 118 is 127.8 kilometres (79.4 mi).[1] It is situated in Muskoka District and Haliburton County with a small section in Hastings County at its eastern terminus. The majority of Highway 118 travels through the heavily forested Canadian Shield, with numerous lakes and large rock outcroppings throughout its length.[3][4]

Highway 118 begins at an interchange with Highway 11 (Exit 182), from which it proceeds east. The route previously continued west into Bracebridge and beyond, but this section is no longer a provincial highway and is known as Muskoka District Road 118W or as the Frank Miller Memorial Scenic Route.[3][5] Travelling eastward roughly following the historic Peterson Colonization Road, the highway parallels the southern side of the Muskoka River to Muskoka District Road 20 (Uffington Road) north of Uffington. It meanders eastward to north of Vankoughnet before curving northeast alongside the Black River. After crossing the river, the highway geometry markedly improves and the route zig-zags east towards Highway 35 at Carnarvon.[3][4]

East of Carnarvon, Highway 118 jogs northeast before turning south at West Guilford. It travels through Haliburton Village, the primary town in the Haliburton cottaging and resort region, where it encounters former Highway 121 before turning southeast towards Tory Hill. There it encounters the former Highway 503, and through traffic must turn east. A short distance later traffic must turn southeast at an intersection with former Highway 648 near Wilberforce. Highway 118 continues east in a roughly straight line, encountering Highway 648 a second time before turning south to Cardiff. The highway ends a short distance later at Highway 28 in Paudash.[3][4]


Highway 118 passes through a half-kilometre rock cut between Milford Bay and Port Carling, one of the longest in the province

Colonization roads

The route of Highway 118, including portions that are no longer part of the highway, takes its roots from the early colonization roads that were built by the government of Upper Canada and later Ontario throughout the mid-1800s. The highway traces the route of the Lake Joseph Road, the Peterson Road, the North West Road, and the Monck Road. The Lake Joseph Road was completed between the Musquosh Road at Glen Orchard and the Muskoka Road at Bracebridge in 1874.[6] The Peterson Road, meanwhile, was built east of Bracebridge through Carnarvon and beyond between 1858 and 1863. Although much of it fell into disuse within a decade, Highway 118 roughly traces its route between Bracebridge and West Guilford.[7] The North West Road was built during the same period, connecting Haliburton Village with the Peterson Road at West Guilford.[8] The Monck Road was built soon after the other roads, with the route being surveyed between Orillia and Bancroft in 1864–65 and construction taking place between 1866 and 1873. Highway 118 follows or roughly traces the eastern portion of the Monck Road, between Tory Hill and Paudash.[9][10]

Provincial highway

The present route of Highway 118 was pieced together over several decades, and includes none of the original highway designated in 1955. The original routing of Highway 118 began at Highway 69 in Glen Orchard and travelled 86.0 km (53.4 mi) to Highway 35 at Dorset, with a 4.0 km (2.5 mi) concurrency along Highway 11 north of Bracebridge.[3][11] The Department of Highways, predecessor to the modern Ministry of Transportation, assumed the road between Bracebridge and Dorset on November 16, 1955, while the road between Glen Orchard and Bracebridge was assumed one week later on November 23.[2] This routing of Highway 118 remained in place until 1974, when the portion between Highway 11 and Dorset was redesignated as Highway 117, reducing the length of Highway 118 to 34.8 km (21.6 mi).[12][13] By 1978 a short 4.5 km (2.8 mi) extension south of Bracebridge to Highway 11 along Ecclestone Drive was added to the highway, bringing its length to 39.3 km (24.4 mi).[14] map

Prior to the early 1970s, there were no roads linking Highway 11 with Highway 35 between Orillia–Norland and Bracebridge–Dorset.[15] The newly formed District Municipality of Muskoka decided to extend the Peterson Road, which fell into disuse east of Vankoughnet in the 1870s, to Carnarvon, despite nearly half of the route lying in neighbouring Haliburton County. Muskoka District Road 4, as it was then-known, was opened between Highway 11 near Muskoka Airport and Highway 35 at Carnarvon in the fall of 1972.[16]

The road east of Carnarvon to Haliburton incorporates portions of the Peterson Road to West Guilford, and the North West Road thereafter. These two colonization roads were assumed by the DHO in 1956 as Highway 530 and a portion of Highway 519.[17][11] That year also saw the creation of Highway 121 between Fenelon Falls and Tory Hill via Minden and Haliburton.[11] To the east, the discovery of uranium deposits near Cardiff in 1952 resulted in a large mining boom for the Bancroft area. As a result, the DHO began constructing a new highway in 1956 which would connect the mines with Highway 28.[18] This new road would open as Highway 109 in 1958, connecting Highway 500 northeast of Tory Hill with Highway 28 at Paudash; the road was paved in 1961.[19] On March 1, 1964, several highways were renumbered in the Bancroft area. Highway 121 was extended from Tory Hill to Paudash via Highway 500 and Highway 109 as a result of this renumbering.[20]

The renamed MTO assumed control of Muskoka Road 4 between Highway 11 and Highway 35 on November 27, 1981, and designated it as an extension of Highway 118. On the same day, the entirety of Highway 530 and the southernmost section of Highway 519 were renumbered as part of Highway 118, bringing the highway to a length of 116 km (72 mi) with the eastern terminus at a junction with Highway 121 (Highland Street) in Haliburton Village.[21] map

Highway transfers

Between 1981 and 1998, Highway 118 remained unchanged. However, budget constraints brought on by a recession in the 1990s resulted in the Mike Harris provincial government forming the Who Does What? committee to determine cost-cutting measures in order to balance the budget after a deficit incurred by former premier Bob Rae.[22] It was determined that many Ontario highways no longer served long-distance traffic movement and should therefore be maintained by local or regional levels of government. The MTO consequently transferred many highways to lower levels of government in 1997 and 1998, which resulted in the removal of a significant percentage of the provincial highway network.[23] As the portion of Highway 118 west of Gravenhurst generally only served local traffic heading towards cottage country, and not province-wide movement, the route was transferred to the District Municipality of Muskoka. On January 1, 1998, 26.6 kilometres (16.5 mi) of Highway 118, between Highway 169 and Highway 11 was redesignated as Muskoka Regional Road 118 West. A majority of that route was co-signed as the Frank Miller Memorial Scenic Route effective May 14, 2001.[5][24] Between 1998 and 2003, Highway 118's eastern terminus was in Haliburton at Highland Street, the western terminus of Highway 121, which continued east to Paudash. On May 1, 2003, Highway 121 was renumbered east of Haliburton as Highway 118,[25][26] establishing the current route of the highway.[3]

Major intersections

The following table lists the major junctions along Highway 118, as noted by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.[1] 

MuskokaGlen Orchard Highway 169
Bracebridge Highway 11
HaliburtonCarnarvon Highway 35
West Guilford County Road 7 (Kennisis Lake Road)
 County Road 14 (Haliburton Lake Road)
Haliburton Village County Road 21 (Highland Street) – Minden
Tory Hill County Road 503Gooderham, Kinmount
County Road 648 (Loop Road)
 County Road 48 (Dyno Road)
County Road 648 (Loop Road)
HastingsPaudash Highway 28Bancroft, Peterborough
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Closed/former


  1. ^ a b c Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (2016). "Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts". Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Ontario Department of Highways (March 31, 1956). "Appendix No. 3 - Schedule of Assumptions of Sections of the King's Highway System for the Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 1957". Annual Report (Report). p. 204. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Ontario Back Road Atlas (Map). Cartography by MapArt. Peter Heiler. 2010. pp. 59–61. § T33–V44. ISBN 978-1-55198-226-7.
  4. ^ a b c Google (October 28, 2020). "Highway 118 - Length and Route" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  5. ^ a b By-Law No. 2001-25 (Report). District Municipality of Muskoka. May 14, 2001. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  6. ^ "Sessional Papers - Third Session of the Second Parliament of the Province of Ontario". Vol. 6, no. 4. Government of Ontario. 1874. p. 7. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  7. ^ "Peterson Colonization Road". Township of Algonquin Highlands. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  8. ^ Emmerson, Kim (2015). Alexander Niven: The Biography of an Early Haliburton County Surveyor. Friesen Press. pp. 136–137. ISBN 978-1-4602-6341-9. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  9. ^ Report of the Master Plan of Archaeological Resources of the District Municipality of Muskoka and the Wahta Mohawks, Archaeological Services Inc, February 1994, pp. 87, 98–99, retrieved October 28, 2020
  10. ^ "Monck Road". Bancroft Ontario. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by C.P. Robins. Ontario Department of Highways. 1956. §§ P33–Q37.
  12. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Photogrammetry Office. Ministry of Transportation and Communications. 1973. §§ F22–G24.
  13. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Cartography Section. Ministry of Transportation and Communications. 1974. §§ F22–G24.
  14. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Cartography Section. Ministry of Transportation and Communications. 1978–79. §§ F22–G24.
  15. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Photogrammetry Office. Department of Transportation and Communications. 1971. §§ G23–24.
  16. ^ Coombe, Geraldine (1976). Muskoka Past and Present. McGraw-Hill Ryerson. p. 69.
  17. ^ Plan of the Nine Townships in the County of Haliburton (Map). Canadian Land and Emigration Company. 1870s. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  18. ^ Proulx, Michèle (May 1997). The Uranium Mining Industry of the Bancroft Area: an Environmental History and Heritage Assessment (PDF) (Report). Trent University. p. 52. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  19. ^ Department of Highways (1961). Annual Report (Report). Government of Ontario. p. 119.
  20. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by C.P. Robins. Ontario Department of Highways. 1964. §§ P36–Q37.
  21. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Cartography Section. Ministry of Transportation and Communications. 1982–83. §§ F22–G24.
  22. ^ "The Age of Non-Planning". The Neptis Foundation. 28 June 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  23. ^ Association of Municipalities of ontario (Autumn 1999). "5.5 Highway Transfers". Local Services Realignment: A User's Guide (Report). Government of Ontario. p. 5.13. ISBN 0-7778-9068-2. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  24. ^ Highway Transfers List - "Who Does What" (Report). Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. June 20, 2001. p. 9.
  25. ^ Miller, Ray Y.C. (2005). "History of Highways in the Area". From Coal Oil Lights to Satellites. Trafford. ISBN 978-1-4122-3208-1.
  26. ^ Ministry of Transportation (February 11, 2002). "Ontario government improves provincial highway numbering". Newswire. Archived from the original on August 4, 2002. Retrieved February 29, 2012.

External links