Ontario Highway 537

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Highway 537

Route information
Maintained by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario
Length15.4 km[1] (9.6 mi)
ExistedMay 9, 1956[2]–present
Major junctions
South endEstaire Road (Highway 7279)
Major intersections Highway 69 near Wanup
North endFinni Road near Wahnapitae
(continues as  Municipal Road 537)
Major citiesGreater Sudbury
Highway system
Highway 535 Highway 538
Former provincial highways
←  Highway 536

Secondary Highway 537, commonly referred to as Highway 537, is a provincially maintained secondary highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. The highway is 16.1 kilometers (10.0 mi) in length, connecting Highway 69 near Wanup with Finni Road. It once continued 3.6 km (2.2 mi) further to intersect Highway 17 in Wahnapitae, but was truncated in 1998; this portion of the route is now designated as Greater Sudbury Municipal Road 537. Highway 537 remains the only secondary highway in the province within a jurisdiction that also maintains a county/regional road network.

Route description

Highway 537 is a 19.7 km (12.2 mi) cut-off route between Highway 69 and Highway 17 southeast of Sudbury.[3] It is also the main access road to the communities of Wanup and St. Cloud. The two-laned highway is paved for its entire length, as well as for the 3.6 kilometers (2.2 mi) that continues as Municipal Road 537.[4][5]

The route begins at Estaire Road (unsigned Highway 7279) within Greater Sudbury near an interchange with Highway 69 (slated to become a northerly extension of Highway 400) and travels 2.7 kilometers (1.7 mi) east, past the interchange and through forest, to the community of Wanup, where it intersects the Old Wanup Road.[4] Prior to 2009, the highway began at Highway 69, which at that time followed Estaire Road, immediately north of the Wanapitei River. It then proceeded north for 2.0 kilometers (1.2 mi) alongside the river to the intersection with the current route in Wanup.[1]

From Wanup, the highway travels eastward and northward towards Highway 17, travelling through sparsely populated forest along the way. It crosses the Wanapitei River at the community of St. Cloud. Provincial maintenance of the route ends just north of a small development at Finni Road, where the road continues as Sudbury Municipal Road 537 north into Wahnapitae, ending at Highway 17 within the community.[1][4][5]

According to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), on an average day, approximately 3,150 vehicles travel Highway 537 between the Wanapitei River and Finni Road, while approximately 570 vehicles travel the highway between Estaire Road and the Wanapitei River. These represent the heaviest and least travelled sections of the route.[1]


Highway 537 was first assumed by the Department of Highways (DHO), predecessor to the modern MTO, in 1956, along with several dozen other secondary highways. It may have been provincially maintained as a development road prior to that.[6][7] The Wanup–Wanapitei Road was assumed by the DHO on May 9, 1956, connecting Highway 69 with Highway 17.[2] It was an unpaved gravel road at the time,[8] and remained as such until the mid-1980s; it was paved in 1984 or 1985.[9][10]

As part of a series of budget cuts initiated by premier Mike Harris under his Common Sense Revolution platform in 1995, numerous highways deemed to no longer be of significance to the provincial network were decommissioned and responsibility for the routes transferred to a lower level of government, a process referred to as downloading. The 2.9 km (1.8 mi) section of Highway 537 within Nickel Centre was transferred to the Regional Municipality of Sudbury on January 1, 1998.[11] The remainder of the highway was in the unincorporated townships of Dill, Cleland, and Dryden, and had no lower government to take over maintenance of the Highway 537 route until the area was amalgamated with the region to form Greater Sudbury on January 1, 2001.[12][13] Following the amalgamation a further 700 m (2,300 ft) of the route, between the former Cleland–Dryden Township boundary and the former Dryden–Nickel Centre boundary, was transferred to Greater Sudbury, but the remainder of the route still retains its provincial highway designation.[1]

As part of the plan to extend Highway 400 north to Sudbury along the Highway 69 corridor, a new four lane freeway was constructed between Estaire and south of Sudbury. Work began in 2005, and resulted in the construction of a new alignment of Highway 537 west from Wanup to what was then Highway 69 (Estaire Road), with an interchange at the new freeway. Both were completed and opened to traffic on November 12, 2009.[14][15] Highway 537 was rerouted along the new alignment, while the former routing south from Wanup was renamed Old Wanup Road. It remains part of the provincial highway system under the unsigned 7000-series designation of Highway 7042. This increased the length of Highway 537 by 700 m (2,300 ft).[1]

The Jumbo Creek crossing along Highway 537 experienced annual flooding that resulted in closure of the road and lengthy detours. At the behest of Sudbury councillor Deb McIntosh, Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca committed to the rehabilitation project on June 15, 2015. The project to raise the roadway through the creek floodplain was tendered in 2018, and proceeded over the course of the summer of 2019 and 2020.[16] It was completed on October 5, 2020.[17]

Major intersections

The following table lists the major junctions along Highway 537, as noted by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.[1] The entire route is located in Greater Sudbury. 

0.00.0Highway 7279 (Estaire Road)Highway 69 prior to November 12, 2009[14]
0.60.97 Highway 69 / TCHToronto, SudburyFuture Highway 400
Wanup2.74.3Highway 7042 (Old Wanup Road)Prior to 2009, Highway 537 travelled south at this junction rather than continuing west
St. Cloud5.58.9Wanapitei River bridge
16.125.9Finni RoadEnd of provincial highway;
Municipal Road 537 continues north
Wahnapitae19.731.7 Highway 17 / TCH – North Bay, OttawaEnd of highway prior to January 1, 1998
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Closed/former


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (2016). "Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts". Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Ontario Department of Highways (March 31, 1956). "Appendix No. 3C - Schedule of Plans Designating the King's Highways". Annual Report for the Fiscal Year (Report). p. 223.
  3. ^ Staff (March 12, 2018). "Province to Repair Road, Culvert At Hwy. 537 At Jumbo Creek". Sudbury.com. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Ontario Back Road Atlas (Map). Cartography by MapArt. Peter Heiler. 2010. p. 101. § C20–D21. ISBN 978-1-55198-226-7.
  5. ^ a b Google (November 16, 2020). "Highway 537 - Length and Route" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  6. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by C.P. Robins. Ontario Department of Highways. 1955. § N31.
  7. ^ "Ontario Secondary Roads Now Designated 500, 600". Vol. 112, no. 33, 119. The Globe and Mail. February 4, 1956. p. 4. Two new Ontario road numbers appear on the province's 1956 official road map which will be ready for distribution next week. The new numbers are the 500 and 600 series and designate hundreds of miles of secondary roads which are wholly maintained by the Highways Department. More than 100 secondary roads will have their own numbers and signs this year. All of these secondary roads were taken into the province's main highways system because they form important connecting links with the King's Highways
  8. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by C.P. Robins. Ontario Department of Highways. 1956. § N31.
  9. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Cartography Section. Ministry of Transportation and Communications. 1984–85. § A21.
  10. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Cartography Section. Ministry of Transportation and Communications. 1986–87. § A6.
  11. ^ Highway Transfers List - "Who Does What" (Report). Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. June 20, 2001. p. 3.
  12. ^ Sudbury Resident Geologist's Office staff. Geological Data Inventory Folio - Cleland Township (PDF) (Report). Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  13. ^ "Bill 25, Fewer Municipal Politicians Act, 1999". Legislative Assembly of Ontario. 1999. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Sudbury Northern Life Staff (November 13, 2009). "New Section of 69 Opens to Public". Northern Life. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  15. ^ Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (2009). "Status of Construction Activity". Government of Ontario. Archived from the original on August 23, 2000. Retrieved March 22, 2010.
  16. ^ Papineau, Chelsea (October 8, 2020). "Construction to Fix Provincial Highway in Sudbury Prone to Annual Flooding Complete". CTV News. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  17. ^ "Certificate of Substantial Performance". Daily Commercial News. October 10, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2020.

External links