Ontario Highway 48

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Highway 48 shield

Highway 48
Markham Road
Route information
Maintained by Ministry of Transportation
Length: 65.2 km[1] (40.5 mi)
Existed: March 24, 1937[2] – present
Major junctions
South end:  Regional Road 25 (Major Mackenzie Drive)
North end:  Highway 12 – Beaverton
Counties: York
Major cities: Markham
East Gwillimbury
Brock (Beaverton)
Highway system
Current highways
←  Highway 41   Highway 49  →
Former highways
←  Highway 47    

King's Highway 48, also known as Highway 48, is a provincially maintained highway in southern Ontario that extends from Major Mackenzie Drive in Markham, through Whitchurch-Stouffville, to Highway 12 south-east of Beaverton, Ontario. Prior to 1998, Highway 48 extended from Highway 401 in Toronto to Highway 35 in Coboconk with a total length of 128 km (80 mi). However, on January 1, 1998 the province transferred the responsibility of maintaining the southern and northern sections to the regional governments that those sections lie within.

Most part of the road has a speed limit of 80 km/h.

Route description[edit]

Looking northbound on Highway 48 at Old Homestead Road.

Highways 48 is a straight road for most of its length, yet changes direction several times along its route. From Regional Road 25 (Major Mackenzie Drive) it travels north for 34 km (21 mi) along the 8th concession of York Region (Yonge Street being the 1st) to just south of Regional Road 32 (Ravenshoe Road). From here, it makes several gentle curves to the east and north for 10 km (6.2 mi), where it veers to the east at Regional Road 9 (High Street) and follows a former concession road for 14 km (8.7 mi) to Regional Road 23 (Lakeridge Road). East of this junction, it veers north to the boundary between the historic townships of Brock and Thorah, and follows it east to Highway 12. The road is paved in its entirety.[3]

The route is mostly rural, passing around Stouffville and south of Sutton. However, the east–west section that lies to the south of Lake Simcoe is slightly developed and features a reduced speed limit of 60 km/h (37 mph).[3]


Highway 48 begins at the rural-urban fringe of Markham and progresses north into the Oak Ridges Moraine

Highway 48 incorporates a significant portion of the former Scarborough and Markham Plank Road, now known as Markham Road, into its length. This section was not incorporated into the highway until 1954, yet predates the Highway 48 designation entirely.

Markham Road began as the eighth concession east of Yonge Street in the Home County of Upper Canada, and was blazed by settlers to whom land had been granted along the right-of-way. The right-of-way extended from Lake Ontario in the south to what is today York Region Road 8A (Baseline Road) in Sutton, just south of Lake Simcoe, in the north.[4][5] Improvements to the road and the necessary funds were authorized by an act of the Upper Canada provincial parliament on February 13, 1833 for the section in Scarborough township between Danforth Road (present day Painted Post Drive) and the Eighth Concession at the border with Markham township. These improvements were supervised by residents Peter Secor, Richard Houck and Robert Armstrong.[6] By 1847, the section between Scarborough and Markham had become known as the Scarborough and Markham Road.[7] On July 28 of that year, the parliament of the Province of Canada passed an act to establish the Scarborough and Markham Plank-road Company, which was authorized to further improve the road surface to macadmized or planked construction between Kingston Road in Scarborough and Markham Village in the north, and further north and then east to Stouffville along the Markham-Stouffville township line,[7] a line then formed by today's Stouffville Road / Main Street Stouffville.[4][5] The company was allowed to erect gates and charge tolls to pay for the work.[7]

The cloverleaf with Highway 401 prior to the suburbanization of Scarborough

On March 24, 1937, the 9.6 km (6.0 mi) gravel road between Beaverton and Port Bolster, known as the Port Bolster Road, was assumed by the Department of Highways;[2] it was paved in 1947. On February 10, 1954, the highway was extended 82 km (51 mi) to the future site of Highway 401,[8] where a cloverleaf was constructed in anticipation of it developing into a freeway around the eastern side of Lake Simcoe; Highway 404 was constructed along Woodbine Avenue instead. In 1962, the highway was extended to Highway 46 at Bolsover via a concurrency with Highway 12 north from Beaverton. This routing would last until November 4, 1966, when the 10.3 km (6.4 mi) Beaverton Bypass opened,[9] routing Highway 12 to the east. A new road was opened connecting Highway 48 south of Port Bolster with the bypass on the same day, and both Highway 12 and Highway 48 were rerouted. Portions of the former route of Highway 48 and Highway 12 were renumbered as Highway 48B. However, the segment between Port Bolster and what is now Brock Sideline 17 was decommissioned entirely.[10]

An abandoned section of Highway 48 lies west of Coboconk

On June 28, 1967, the routing of Highway 46 was shifted in the vicinity of Balsam Lake on to a new inland bypass; the old route became known as West Bay Drive.[10] On 1975, Highway 46 was truncated at Bolsover; the severed section was renumbered as an extension of Highway 48, bringing it to its peak length of 129.2 km (80.3 mi).[11] The new section of highway between Highway 12 and Bolsover was reconstructed over the following year, opening to traffic on August 19, 1976.[12]

The section between Highway 401 and the then-unopened Highway 407 interchange was turned over to the Region of York and the City of Toronto on April 1, 1995, and is known as Markham Road south of Highway 407, and Main Street thereafter to Sixteenth Avenue, where the name Markham Road resumes for two km. until Major Mackenzie Drive. The section within York Region is also designated as York Regional Road 68.[3]

On January 1, 1998, the section of Highway 48 between its southern junction with Highway 12 and Coboconk was transferred to the Regional Municipality of Durham and Victoria County (now Kawartha Lakes), removing the concurrency with Highway 12 in the process.[13] The section from Highway 12 to Highway 35 is now known as Portage Road and signed as Durham Regional Highway 48 and Kawartha Lakes Road 48.[3]

Major intersections[edit]

The following table lists the major junctions along Highway 48, as noted by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.[1] 

Division Location km[1] mi Destinations Notes
Toronto −14.1  Highway 401 – Toronto, Kingston
York Markham −4.0  Regional Road 7 – Brampton, Pickering
0.0 0.0  Regional Road 25 (Major Mackenzie Drive East)
Whitchurch–Stouffville 6.0 3.7  Regional Road 14 west (Stouffville Road)
Main Street – Stouffville
Former route of Highway 47, 1954 to 1992
10.1 6.3  Regional Road 40 (Bloomington Road) Former route of Highway 47, 1993 to 1998
14.3 8.9  Regional Road 15 (Aurora Road) – Ballantrae
20.5 12.7  Regional Road 31 (Davis Drive)
East Gwillimbury
24.4 15.2  Regional Road 13 (Mount Albert Road) – Mount Albert
34.7 21.6  Regional Road 32 (Ravenshoe Road) – Brown Hill
43.4 27.0  Regional Road 9 (High Street) – Sutton
46.0 28.6  Regional Road 18 (Park Road) – Sibbald Point Provincial Park
Virginia 51.2 31.8 Douglas Point Road Access to Douglas Point Nature Reserve
Pefferlaw 54.4 33.8  Regional Road 21 (Pefferlaw Road)
Port Bolster 57.0 35.4  Regional Road 23 (Lake Ridge Road) – Beaverton
Brock 65.2 40.5  Highway 12 – Whitby
77.9 48.4  Highway 12 – Orillia Northern end of former concurrency prior to January 1, 1998
Kawartha Lakes 87.5 54.4  City Road 46 – Woodville Transferred to Durham Region and Kawartha Lakes on January 1, 1998[13]
113.8 70.7  Highway 35 – Lindsay, Minden
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Closed/former


  1. ^ a b c Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (2008). "Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts". Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Assumptions and Reversions of Sections". Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways. March 31, 1938. p. 81. 
  3. ^ a b c d Ontario Back Road Atlas (Map). Cartography by MapArt. Peter Heiler. 2010. p. 30–31, 43. § Y32–J37. ISBN 978-1-55198-226-7. 
  4. ^ a b "Map of York County". 1880 Map of Ontario Counties. The Canadian County Digital Atlas Project at McGill University. 2001. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  5. ^ a b Toronto and area street guide. MapArt. 2010. pp. 300, 302, 345. ISBN 978-1-55198-213-7. 
  6. ^ "Chapter LX - An Act granting to His Majesty a sum of Money for the Improvement of Roads and Bridges in several Districts of this Province". Statutes of His Majesty's Province of Upper Canada passed in the third session of the eleventh provincial parliament of Upper Canada. By authority of Sir John Colborne, K.C.B. York, Upper Canada. pp. 184, 205. OCLC 77110087. Retrieved January 11, 2011.  Also OCLC 80487704
  7. ^ a b c "Cap. XCII - An Act to incorporate the Scarborough and Markham Plank-road Company". The provincial statutes of Canada - Vol II 3rd session 2nd parliament. Printed by Stewart Derbishire and George Desbarats. Montreal. 1847. p. 1823. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  8. ^ "Appendix 3". Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways. March 31, 1954. p. 155. 
  9. ^ Department of Highways p. 49
  10. ^ a b Department of Highways p. 85
  11. ^ Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (April 1, 1989). Provincial Highways Distance Table. Government of Ontario. p. 65. ISSN 0825-5350. 
  12. ^ Public and Safety Information Branch (August 19, 1976). "More Direct Route For Haliburton Resort Area Traffic" (Press release). Ministry of Transportation and Communications. 
  13. ^ a b Highway Transfers List "Who Does What" (Report). Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. June 20, 2001. p. 2. 
  • AADT Traffic Volumes 1955–1969 And Traffic Collision Data 1967–1969. Department of Highways. 1969. 

External links[edit]