Veterans Memorial Parkway

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Highway Veterans Memorial Parkway

Formerly Airport Road
Formerly Highway 100
Veterans Memorial Parkway highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by City of London
Length13.4 km[1] (8.3 mi)
HistoryOpened in 1977 as a two-lane expressway Widened in 2006 to a modern, at-grade expressway
Major junctions
South endWilton Grove Road
Major intersectionsOntario 401.svgMC-Freeway.svg Highway 401
North endClarke Road
Major citiesLondon
Highway system
Ontario municipal expressways
(in alphabetical order)
← Red Hill Valley Parkway Veterans Memorial Parkway W.R. Allen Road →

The Veterans Memorial Parkway (VMP, known as "Veterans" by locals) is a 13.4 kilometre (8.3 mi) expressway located in the Canadian province of Ontario. The expressway was previously known as King's Highway 100 from 1977 until 1993, and as Airport Road from 1977 to September 2006. It is currently an at-grade divided four-lane highway located entirely within London. The parkway begins in the south as Wilton Grove Road and ends at Clarke Road, which it continues as northward.

Airport Road was built by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, predecessor to the modern Ministry of Transportation (MTO) in the late 1970s to connect Highway 401 with London International Airport. It was widened to four lanes in 2005 and renamed as the Veterans Memorial Parkway in 2006. Extensions south and north were completed in 2017 and 2020, respectively. Long term plans for the route call for grade separated interchanges along its entire length to convert it to a freeway.[2]

Route description

Veterans Memorial Parkway looking north over Hamilton Road

The Veterans Memorial Parkway is a 13.4 kilometers (8.3 mi) municipal expressway located in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is maintained by and located entirely within the city of London. The parkway begins at Wilton Grove Road, immediately south of Highway 401, and travels north to Clarke Road, which it continues as northwards.[1][3]

The parkway begins as a divided two-lane road the progresses northward through farm fields for 800 meters (870 yd) before crossing over Highway 401 at a partial cloverleaf interchange (Exit 194). It widens to four lanes north of the interchange and travels through empty fields, with several new industrial developments dotting the landscape, including a Dr. Oetker pizza factory.[1][4] It intersects Bradley Avenue and Hamilton Road before crossing the South Thames River.[1][3]

The Veterans Memorial Parkway curves slightly northwest as it intersects River Road and enters suburban London. It passes under the Canadian National Railway (CN) Dundas subdivision before intersecting Gore Road. Now surrounded by commercial developments, it intersects Tartan Drive and Trafalgar Street. It curves north, with subdivisions now bordering its western side, before intersecting Admiral Drive and later Dundas Street. The parkway swerves lightly east and crosses the CP rail Galt Subdivision.[1][3]

Now within a light industrial area, the route intersects Page Street and Oxford Street East before curving northwest and crossing Pottersburg Creek.[1][5] The parkway meets the CN Strathroy Subdivision at an at-grade crossing before intersecting Huron Street. Returning to undeveloped land, the route swerves northwest before intersecting and becoming Clarke Road.[1][3]


London endured a long debate about in-city freeway connections through the city and west to Sarnia, through the 1960s. Repeated debates moved the links into and out of the city limits, and considered numerous options that either cut through existing neighbourhoods or were routed further out from the city center. The road would connect to Highway 401 in the south and join up with Highway 402 in the west. This plan, however, never came to fruition due to city council's reluctance to fund an urban freeway. When city council became more united in opposition to Highway 402 being routed through London, the highway now known as Veterans Memorial Parkway was conceived by the Ontario government as a compromise: a spur highway that would run along the eastern parts of London.

The City of London and the province decided that the proposed road would be constructed as a two-lane highway from Highway 401 north to Oxford Street. Designed as a super two, the design included a 250-meter-wide (820 ft) right-of-way so that an additional carriageway could be built in the future. As well, the road would be designated as Highway 100 and named Airport Road. The road featured traffic lights at intersections, with available land to build interchanges if warranted. Construction on Airport Road began in early 1975, with its official opening in 1977.

The London–Middlesex Act, passed December 10, 1992, expanded the municipal boundaries of the City of London effective January 1, 1993.[6] Consequently, the Ministry of Transportation transferred responsibility for Highway 100 to the city several months later on June 24. In 1998, the road was extended further north from Oxford to Huron Street.[7][8]

On April 17, 2003, funding was announced as part of a joint venture between the City of London, the Government of Ontario, and the Government of Canada, to widen Airport Road from Highway 401 to Oxford Street. Construction began in 2004, using the right-of-way to construct another carriageway separated by a grass median.[9][10] The completion of the project resulted in a four-lane, divided highway with room for future interchanges and overpasses, similar to that of the Hanlon Expressway. The widening was completed in 2005.[11]

Flagpoles along the southbound lanes of Veterans Memorial Parkway near the Highway 401 interchange

On October 25, 2005, the London city council voted in favour of renaming Airport Road as the Veterans Memorial Parkway as a tribute to Canadian veterans.[12] This name change ceremoniously took place on September 15, 2006.[13] The state of the parkway quickly drew the ire of locals and veterans, with one remarking that the weeds and litter were an "insult".[14] A C$1.5 million proposal for beautification, designed by local architect Ron Koudys, called for the planting of flowers within the median, and shrubs and trees along the outskirts of the road. However, due to lack of funding, it took until 2010 for the project to begin.[14][15][16] It included a large gateway monument which was installed on the northbound lanes near the Highway 401 interchange, greeting motorists entering the expressway,[17] planting trees along the entire length of the expressway,[18] and raising flagpoles in tribute to Canadian veterans.[19][20]

As part of an effort to create new industrial parks, London city council approved a proposal to extend the parkway 800 meters (2,600 ft) south to Wilton Grove Road on April 5, 2011.[21] The proposed extension included the reconstruction of the existing trumpet interchange with Highway 401 into a partial cloverleaf.[4][22] Construction began on the extension in September 2016. The C$23.5 million project was completed on November 10, 2017.[23][24] A northern extension, north and west from Huron Street to Clarke Road, was proposed in 2007.[25][26] On March 11, 2020, construction began on the C$12 million extension, including a realignment of the entrance to the Fanshawe conservation area as well as Clarke Road.[27] It opened to traffic in late 2020.[28]


Widening the road between Oxford Street and Huron Street / Robin's Hill Road is in the City of London short term transportation objectives.[29][30]

The City of London conducted a long-term transportation corridor protection study in 2001 and noted that the Veterans Memorial Parkway (then Airport Road) would serve as the city's eastern expressway when the city reaches its projected full build-out potential.[31] In 2007, the City of London conducted an environmental assessment on potential interchange locations to be built along Veterans Memorial Parkway.[25][32] Long-term plans have called for Veterans Memorial Parkway to be included as the eastern leg of a future London Ring Road. These proposals have been discussed since the 1960s but have yet to gain traction due to the requirement of land outside the cities boundaries.[33] The eastern corridor for a ring road would use Veterans Memorial Parkway in the east, then continue north along Clarke Road. A western link would start at Highway 402 and head north between Westdel Bourne Road and Woodhull Road. The northern corridor is a major stumbling block since the lands needed within the city limits have been developed. The only available route possible would be outside of the city in Middlesex Centre.[33] Although talks continue between both municipalities, only the province can approve the plan.

Major intersections

The following table lists the major intersections along the Veterans Memorial Parkway. The City of London has assessed the entire length of the Veterans Memorial Parkway, identifying areas where interchanges can be constructed, grade separations can occur, and cul-de-sacs (replacing previously at-grade intersections for minor surface roads) can be placed. These changes would upgrade the Veterans Memorial Parkway from a partial control-access expressway to a fully controlled-access freeway for the majority of its length.[32] 

0.00.0Wilton Grove RoadConstruction began in September 2016 and finished in November 2017
1.01.6 Highway 401Windsor, TorontoFormerly a trumpet interchange. Construction began in September 2016 and finished in November 2017
2.03.2 County Road 75 (Bradley Avenue)Overpass planned, although a proposal for a parclo interchange is currently under review
3.76.0 County Road 29 (Hamilton Road)Parclo A-4 interchange planned, alternative designs proposed
5.08.0 County Road 49 (River Road)Overpass planned
6.210.0 County Road 25 (Gore Road)Diamond interchange proposed
6.911.1Tartan DriveCul-de-sacs proposed
7.612.2Trafalgar StreetDiamond interchange proposed
8.213.2Admiral DriveCul-de-sacs proposed
9.014.5Dundas StreetDiamond interchange proposed
9.715.6Page StreetCul-de-sacs proposed
10.416.7 Oxford StreetDiamond interchange proposed, access to London International Airport
12.219.6Huron StreetDiamond interchange proposed
13.421.6Clarke RoadExtension opened in Fall 2020; roadway continues as Clarke Road
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Unopened


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Google (December 5, 2021). "Veterans Memorial Parkway" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  2. ^ Green, Doug (October 16, 2006). "Commencement of the Veterans Memorial Parkway Interchange Class Environmental Assessment and Concurrent Notice of Application to Amend the Official Plan & Zoning By-Law". Archived from the original (PDF) on December 17, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2010. The City of London proposes to identify interchange locations along the entire length of the Veteran's Memorial Parkway (formerly Airport Road) corridor.
  3. ^ a b c d "London City Map". City of London. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Lupton, Andrew (August 14, 2017). "Veterans Memorial Parkway extension: Key for new jobs or 'highway to nowhere?'". CBC News. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  5. ^ "Watershed Report Card – Pottersburg Creek" (PDF). Upper Thames River Conservation Authority. 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
  6. ^ "History of Middlesex County". Middlesex County. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  7. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Geomatics Office. Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. 1998. London inset. Retrieved December 5, 2021 – via Archives of Ontario.
  8. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Surveys and Mapping Section. Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. 1999. London inset. Retrieved December 5, 2021 – via Archives of Ontario.
  9. ^ "Investment in transportation infrastructure benefits the City of London". Canada NewsWire. April 17, 2003. p. 1. ProQuest 455729997.
  10. ^ Transportation Master Plan (PDF) (Report). City of London. May 2004. Retrieved November 30, 2010. 2004 Approved Capital Project: Airport Road widening from 2 to 4 through lanes with new bridge over Thames River and CP Rail, between Highway 401 and Oxford Street.
  11. ^ Ovanin, Vera (August 8, 2007). "Parkway 'sickens' vet; The condition of Veterans Memorial Parkway, including weeds and garbage, draws fire". London Free Press. p. A1. ProQuest 2203003082.
  12. ^ Panzer, R. W. (December 12, 2005). Airport Road Renaming (PDF) (Report). City of London. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  13. ^ "Veterans Memorial Parkway Dedication Ceremony". City of London. September 15, 2006. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2021. London's Airport Road was officially renamed Veterans Memorial Parkway in a City ceremony held September 15, 2006.
  14. ^ a b Belanger, Joe (August 13, 2007). "City roadwork plans draw ire of war veterans; Veterans Parkway work should be the city's top priority, council members say". London Free Press. p. C1. ProQuest 2202799362.
  15. ^ Berton, Paul (August 17, 2007). "Aiming for pretty and practical". London Free Press. p. A9. ProQuest 2202794767.
  16. ^ "The Plan". The Veterans Memorial Parkway Community Project. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  17. ^ "Veterans Memorial Parkway with Scoutrees". ReForest London. Spring 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2010. tributes to our veterans will be erected along Veterans Memorial Parkway
  18. ^ Mathyssen, Irene (April 9, 2010). "Making Veterans Memorial Parkway a Fitting Tribute to Our Veterans". Retrieved November 8, 2010. It was quite a sight to see hundreds of volunteers on both sides of the Parkway planting 1,000 trees. An additional 2,000 trees and shrubs were planted in parks throughout the city.
  19. ^ "Veterans Memorial Parkway site of flag-raising salute to Canadian Veterans". City of London. November 5, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2010. Today's ceremony included a flag party march, the raising of federal, provincial and territorial flags.
  20. ^ "Flag Raising Salute to Canadian Veterans". Elgin Central. November 5, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2010. honoured Canadian veterans today at the unveiling of a permanent display of flags on one section of the Veterans Memorial Parkway.
  21. ^ "About the Project". Veterans Memorial Parkway Extension and Highway 401 Interchange Improvements. Dufferin Construction / Stantec. Archived from the original on May 19, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  22. ^ Meyer, Sean (May 6, 2013). "Extension of Veterans Memorial moves forward city's jobs plan". Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  23. ^ O'Reilly, Dan (August 25, 2017). "Veterans Memorial Parkway reconstruction a 'unique opportunity'". Daily Commercial News. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  24. ^ Daniszewski, Hank. "Veterans Memorial Parkway expansion done and open to traffic". London Free Press. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  25. ^ a b Green, Doug (May 30, 2007). "City of London Class Environmental Assessment Proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendment Veteran's Memorial Parkway (Formerly Airport Road) Notice of Public Information Centre" (Word). Retrieved November 5, 2010. The anticipated changes to the Official Plan and Zoning By-law include identifying new proposed interchange sites along the Veterans Memorial Parkway corridor
  26. ^ Panzer, R. W. (December 1, 2015). Veterans Memorial Parkway North Extension: Huron Street to Clarke Road: Detailed Design (Report). City of London. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  27. ^ "$12M Veterans Memorial north-end extension set to happen this year". CBC News. March 11, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  28. ^ "City work crews in race against Mother Nature to finish road work". The London Free Press. November 3, 2020. ProQuest 2457319628.
  29. ^ Transportation Master Plan (PDF) (Report). City of London. May 2004. Retrieved November 30, 2010. Airport Road widening from 2 to 4 through lanes from Oxford Street to Huron Street.
  30. ^ Transportation division (May 30, 2007). Veterans Memorial Parkway, Interchange-class environmental assessment study (PDF) (Report). City of London. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 17, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010. Reformatting the Highway 401/VMP interchange.
  31. ^ "London Long Term Transportation Corridor Protection Study" (PDF). City of London. April 5, 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 21, 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2010. This study recommends the City protect for a four lane expressway facility along Airport Road from Highway 401 to Sunningdale Road.
  32. ^ a b Veterans Memorial Parkway Interchange Class Environmental Assessment Study and Concurrent Application to Amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-Law (PDF) (Report). City of London and Giffels. December 13, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 March 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2010. The freeway design will reduce the congestion on the road network and improve overall safety while maintaining shorter travel time along the entire corridor to full build out conditions.
  33. ^ a b Cornies, Larry (November 6, 2010). "Ring Road Around London Still a Dream". Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2021. city politicians have tried a few times to revive the ring-road concept, but were twice foiled by the Ontario Municipal Board.

External links