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Speed limits to increase on some sections of Ontario highways, province says

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The Ontario government says it will soon be raising the speed limit along certain stretches of provincial highways, including Highway 401 and Highway 403.

The province confirmed Wednesday that starting this summer, the speed limit will be raised from 100 km/h to 110 km/h on 10 additional sections of provincial highways in both the southern and northern parts of Ontario.

While none of the sections are in the Greater Toronto Area, Hwy. 403 from Brantford to Hamilton and from Woodstock to Brantford are two areas that have been identified for a speed limit increase.

Speeds will also be increased along a 35-kilometre stretch on Highway 401 from Highway 35/115 to Cobourg.

The province says the move “builds on the safe and successful increase to six sections of provincial highways in 2022.”

“Much of Ontario’s highway network was originally designed to safely accommodate speed limits of 110 km/h and data from our changes in 2022 show they do just that,” Prabmeet Sarkaria, Ontario's minister of transportation, said in a written statement. 

“These evidence-based increases are a common-sense change to make life more convenient for Ontario drivers while bringing our highway speed limits in line with other Canadian provinces.”

The changes will take effect “on the majority” of the sections on July 12 with the remainder happening “before the end of the year.”

Speaking at a news conference in Hamilton on Wednesday, Sarkaria said the changes mean that approximately 36 per cent, about 860 kilometres, of Ontario’s highway network will now operate with higher speed limits.

“What many people don’t realize is that until 1975, highways 400, 401, 417, and the QEW had speed limits over 110 kilometres until they were reduced in response to the energy crisis,” Sarkaria told reporters.

Other sections set for speed limit increases include:

  • Hwy 401, Tilbury, extending the existing 110 km/h zone further east by 7 km
  • Hwy 401 from Colborne to Belleville (approximately 44 km)
  • Hwy 401 from Belleville to Kingston (approximately 66 km)
  • Hwy 401 from Hwy 16 to Quebec boundary (approximately 107 km)
  • Hwy 406 from Thorold to Welland (approximately 13 km)
  • Hwy 416 from Hwy 401 to Ottawa (approximately 70 km)
  • Hwy 69 from Sudbury to French River (approximately 60 km)  

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