Ontario Highway 88

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Highway 88

Highway 88
(highlighted in red)
Route information
Maintained by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario
Length9.7 km[1] (6.0 mi)
Existed1938–1998
Major junctions
West end Highway 27 (now Simcoe County Road 27) in Bond Head
East end Highway 11 (now Simcoe County Road 4) in Bradford
Location
CountryCanada
ProvinceOntario
CountiesSimcoe County
TownsBond Head, Bradford
Highway system
Highway 87 Highway 89

King's Highway 88, commonly referred to as Highway 88, was a provincially-maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in what is now the town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, that connected former Highway 27, in the village of Bond Head, with former Highway 11 in the town of Bradford. The short 9.7-kilometre (6.0 mi) route was established in 1938, though the road it followed had existed for over a century at that time.

A toll road was created between Bond Head and Holland Landing in 1836, known as the West Gwillimbury Road. Through the 1850s it was planked, and served as a major route for wheat and other agricultural goods headed for Toronto markets. The upkeep undid the profits, and the planks were removed by the end of the decade, reverting the road to dirt. Nonetheless, it was the first road in Simcoe County with a "paved" surface.

As a provincial highway it remained generally unchanged except for the construction of Highway 400 that resulted in the construction of an interchange with the route in the early 1950s, and the paving of the gravel highway in 1956. The route was decommissioned in 1998 and transferred to Simcoe County. Since then it has been known as Simcoe County Road 88.

Route description

Highway 88 facing west, near Highway 400

Highway 88 began at an intersection with what was then Highway 27, but is now known as Simcoe County Road 27, in the community of Bond Head. It proceeded eastward into farmland, where it intersected 5th Sideroad just prior to encountering an interchange with Highway 400 at Exit 64. At the northwest corner of the interchange was Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park and Camp Resort. East of Highway 400, the highway continued through farmland, intersecting 10th Sideroad;[1][2][3] the ghost community of Middleton (sometimes spelt Middletown) formerly existed at this crossroad.[4][5] It entered the urban area of Bradford at what is now Professor Day Drive, before ending at an intersection with former Highway 11. The roadway continued through this intersection as Highway 11 (Holland Street East), turning southeast towards Newmarket and Toronto; Highway 11 continued northwards to Barrie along Barrie Street.[1][2][3]

History

The Old Plank Road (Main Street) in Bond Head, circa 1868, facing east along what would become Highway 88

The road that would become Highway 88 was originally built after an act to build and maintain the 7th concession of West Gwillimbury as a toll road was passed on April 20, 1836. The toll road connected Bond Head with Holland Landing and featured two toll booths: one at Middleton and the second on the south side of the Holland River. In the spring of 1851, planking of what was then known as the West Gwillimbury Road began under a funding agreement with the government of Upper Canada.[6][7] It was completed in October, featuring 3-inch thick planks laid on stringers, and was wide enough for a wagon; the first "paved" road in Simcoe County. Loaded wagons had the right-of-way, and the well-established farmland around Bond Head led to it becoming a major transport route to markets in Toronto.[8] Although initially profitable, the deteriorating condition of the planks, frequent upkeep, and payments to those injured by the condition of the road led to it costing money by 1857. Consequently, in October 1858, Simcoe County council repealed the act that established the plank road, and instructed the county surveyor to remove the planks and level the road.[9]

Black and white image of a bridge crossing a highway
Highway 88 overpass of Highway 400 in May 1962. New structures built in recent years have used recreated coat of arms as are visible on this structure.

The portion of the plank road between Bradford and Holland Landing followed what is now Bridge Street along the south side of the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway (opened June 15, 1853,[8] now the CNR and GO Transit Barrie line) across the Holland River, then crossed to the north side of the tracks, following what is still today known as Toll Road.[5][10][11][12] A part of this, from Barrie Street in Bradford to the south side of the Holland River, was incorporated into Highway 11 on August 18, 1920.[13] Highway 88 would be established nearly 18 years later, when the remainder of the former plank road between Bradford and Bond Head became a provincial highway on April 13, 1938.[14] While still a dirt road, it was improved to a gravel surface the following year.[15]

Planning for a new "superhighway" between Toronto and south of Barrie was carried out between 1944 and 1947,[16][17] with construction beginning later that year.[18] When Highway 400 fully opened to traffic on July 1, 1952,[19] a cloverleaf interchange with Highway 88 was included. It was one of the last remaining in Ontario when the loops were removed in 2011, converting it to a diamond interchange. Highway 88 was paved in its entirety in 1956.[20][21]

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. Highway 88 was downloaded entirely on January 1, 1998, and transferred to Simcoe County, which designated it as County Road 88.[2][22]

Major intersections

The following table lists the former junctions along Highway 88, as noted by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.[1] The entire route was located in Simcoe County.[3] 

Locationkm[1]miDestinationsNotes
Bond Head0.00.0 County Road 27 – Vaughan, BarrieFormerly Highway 27
Bradford West Gwillimbury3.96.3 Highway 400 – Toronto, BarrieExit 64
Bradford8.413.5Melbourne Drive / Professor Day DriveEdge of Bradford urban area in 1997[2]
9.715.6 County Road 4 (Barrie Street) to Barrie
Bridge Street to Newmarket
Formerly Highway 11
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Closed/former

References

  1. ^ a b c d Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (April 1, 1989). Provincial Highways Distance Table. Government of Ontario. p. 79. ISSN 0825-5350.
  2. ^ a b c d "Simcoe County GIS". County of Simcoe. 1997. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Cartographic Mapping Unit. Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. 1996. § H8. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  4. ^ Ellis 1984, p. 10.
  5. ^ a b "West Gwillimbury" (Map). Illustrated historical atlas of the county of York and the township of West Gwillimbury & town of Bradford in the county of Simcoe, Ont. Miles & Co. 1878. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  6. ^ Ellis 1984, pp. 7–8.
  7. ^ Archaeological Research Associates (August 27, 2019). "Heritage Conservation District Study Village of Bond Head". The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury. p. 22. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Ellis 1984, p. 9.
  9. ^ Ellis 1984, pp. 10–11.
  10. ^ Google (September 22, 2021). "Toll Road and Bridge Street at Holland River" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  11. ^ "North King" (Map). Illustrated historical atlas of the county of York and the township of West Gwillimbury & town of Bradford in the county of Simcoe, Ont. Miles & Co. 1878. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  12. ^ "East Gwillimbury" (Map). Illustrated historical atlas of the county of York and the township of West Gwillimbury & town of Bradford in the county of Simcoe, Ont. Miles & Co. 1878. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "Provincial Highway Assumed in 1920". Annual Report (Report) (1920 ed.). Department of Public Highways. April 26, 1921. p. 43. Retrieved May 16, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  14. ^ "Schedule 3 – Schedule of Assumptions and Reversions of Sections". Annual Report (Report) (1939 ed.). Department of Highways. October 26, 1939. p. 84. Retrieved September 15, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  15. ^ "Division No. 6 — Toronto". Annual Report (Report) (1940 ed.). Department of Highways. December 31, 1940. p. 26. Retrieved September 15, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  16. ^ "Toronto–Barrie Highway". The Maple Leaf. October 2, 1944. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  17. ^ Shragge & Bagnato 1984, pp. 89–92.
  18. ^ "Division no. 6 — Toronto". Annual Report (Report) (1947 ed.). Department of Public Highways. October 22, 1947. p. 42. Retrieved September 23, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  19. ^ Shragge & Bagnato, p. 89.
  20. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by C. P. Robins. Department of Highways. 1956. § R33. Retrieved June 1, 2021 – via Archives of Ontario.
  21. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by C. P. Robins. Department of Highways. 1957. § R33. Retrieved June 1, 2021 – via Archives of Ontario.
  22. ^ Highway Transfers List – "Who Does What" (Report). Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. June 20, 2001. p. 14.

Further reading

  • Ellis, Bernice Merrick (1984). Life on the Old Plank Road: Highway 88. Tecumseth and West Gwillimbury Historical Society. ISBN 0-9691367-2-2. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  • Shragge, John; Bagnato, Sharon (1984). Footpaths to freeways : the story of Ontario's roads : Ontario's bicentennial, 1784–1984. Toronto: Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Historical Committee. ISBN 9780774393881. OCLC 12554626.