Whatever happened to …

… Highway 18?

There was a time when, if someone asked how to get from Windsor to Amherstburg, directions were easy to give.  Just take Highway 18.

In fact, if you use Bing Maps, it’s still there.

Screenshot 2018-05-19 at 06.32.28

Sadly, if you look at the GPS in my relatively new car, it’s there as well.  Sync by Microsoft.

Now, why is this significant?

In 1997/98, things changed in Ontario.  Highways (and parts of highways) were given away from the government to the local communities to manage.  The Ontario government was able to “save money” was given as the reason.  Of course, the major highways like the 401 remain provincial although maintenance is outsourced.

Google Maps, on the other hand recognizes that the change from Highway 18 to County Road 20 was made.

Screenshot 2018-05-19 at 06.32.52

It’s not a big deal for me these days since I know the road.  But, I wonder how many other people use the outdated map and think they’re on the wrong road?

Do we dare confuse them that there also was a Highway 18A? or Highway 18B?

Why was this a memory?  On Friday, I had a chance to drive on a number of roads that were former Ontario highways.  While Highway 18 is gone now (at least in some cases), Highway 21, 4, 9 are bizarrely part Ontario highways and part County roads.  I can remember when Highway 4 ran all the way from Port Stanley to Singhampton.  Not any more.  Now, it also has many aliases.

Current Names: King’s Highway 4, Elgin Road 4, Huron Road 4, Bruce Road 4 & Grey Road 4

Thanks, thekingshighway.ca.

See also:

The real advantage of this downloading of care is that the counties can now set their own speed limits and progressive counties like Kent, Lambton, Huron, Perth, Grey, etc. have a limit of 90km/h.  Not so in Essex County though.

So, your thoughts for a Sunday morning.

  • Have you ever driven on Highway 18?
  • Do you know of a highway in your area that was downloaded to a county?
  • Did you ever use an “A” route rather than the original road?
  • Do you think anyone will get lost getting to Grand Bend on Highway 21 this long holiday weekend?
  • Have you ever got lost because you thought you were on the wrong road due to a problem with a mapping update?
  • Do you use a standalone GPS?  If so, do you keep the maps up to date?
  • Do you just use your phone knowing that it will have the latest updates?
  • And, for the luddite – do you own a paper road map?  (Personally, I can look at the ones in an ONRoute for hours!)

Please share your driving thoughts via comment below.


Published by dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete