Ontario Highway 169
|Length:||91.6 km (56.9 mi)|
|Existed:||May 15, 1976 – January 1, 1998|
|History:||part of Highway 69 prior to 1976|
|North end:||Highway 69 at Foot's Bay|
|18.2 km (11.3 mi) concurrency with Highway 11 between Gravenhurst and Washago|
|South end:||Highway 12 near Brechin|
King's Highway 169, commonly referred to as Highway 169, was a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. The highway connected Highway 69 at Foot's Bay with Highway 12 at Brechin southeast of Orillia, a distance of 91.6 km (56.9 mi), including an 18.2 km (11.3 mi) concurrency with Highway 11 between Gravenhurst and Washago.
The highway was downgraded from provincial highway to county road status during the highway transfers of 1998. On January 1 of that year, the route was designated as Muskoka District Road 169 from Foot's Bay to Gravenhurst, and Simcoe County Road 169 from Washago to Brechin. Through Muskoka District, the road is also known as the Frank Miller Memorial Route.
The former route of Highway 169 has remained relatively unaltered since it was downloaded in 1998. It begins at an intersection with Highway 12 approximately 11 km (6.8 mi) north of the Trent Severn Waterway and 16 km (9.9 mi) east of the Atherley Narrows. It proceeds north at a point where Highway 12 begins to curve west towards Orillia, passing through meadows and forests and the occasional ranch. It passes through the community of Udney, curves northeast and intersects the Monck Road while curving back northwards. The highway continues in a straight line through the communities of O'Connell and Fawkham, crossing the Black River immediately south of the latter. Gently curving to the northeast, the route enters the village of Washago, after which it interchanges with Highway 11 south of the Severn River. The two highways travelled concurrently north from this point as a divided four lane freeway to the southern entrance of Gravenhurst; the modern county roads do not travel concurrently along Highway 11.
At Exit 169, the southern entrance to Gravenhurst, the route resumes, exiting the freeway and entering the town through a rock cut. Now in the Canadian Shield, the terrain is rougher, rockier, and dotted with hundreds of lakes. Exiting Gravenhurst, the highway stays close to the western shore of Lake Muskoka, serving recreational cottages. The route passes north of the Devils Gap Trail, which follows the old Bala–Gravenhurst Colonization Road, then passes through the community of Torrance where it encounters a junction with Muskoka District Road 13. Approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) northwest of this point, the highway passes through Bala shortly after curving north at an intersection with Muskoka District Road 38.
The highway presses north, crossing both a Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railway in two separate locations. After intersecting Muskoka District Roads 29 and 26, it enters the community of Glen Orchard. Within that community, the route intersects the former western terminus of Highway 118 (which now ends at Highway 11), then gradually curves west to hug the southern shore of Lake Joseph. After a winding 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) drive west, the highway enters Foot's Bay and ends at Highway 69.
The entire route of highway 169 was originally part of the routing of Highway 69, which was itself first designated in 1936. At that time, the route connected Atherley and Washago along the Rama Road, now Simcoe County Road 44. On April 1, 1937, the Department of Northern Development merged into the Department of Highways, opening roads north of the Severn River for assumption by the department. The road between Gravenhurst and Parry Sound and on to Pointe au Baril subsequently became an extension of Highway 69, while the road between Washago and Gravenhurst became a concurrency between it and Highway 11. During the early-1950s, the southern 17.8 kilometres (11.1 mi) of the route was transferred to local municipalities and a new, longer route was designated to the east, merging with Highway 12 north of Brechin.
This routing remained in place until May 15 1976, when the province rerouted Highway 69 along Highway 103 between Waubaushene and Foot's Bay in order to improve the continuity of Toronto to Sudbury routes. The route of Highway 69 between Foot's Bay and Brechin became Highway 169 at this point. The highway remained unmodified throughout its two decades of existence. On January 1, 1998, both sections of Highway 169 were transferred to the municipalities in which they resided; the southern section was transferred to Simcoe County and the northern section to the District Municipality of Muskoka. Both sections are still numbered 169, though they are now county roads.
- Public and Safety Information Branch (April 14, 1976). "Toronto–Sudbury Highways to be Renumbered" (Press release). Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
- Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (2007). "Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts". Retrieved July 25, 2011.
- Highway Transfers List "Who Does What" (Report). Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. June 20, 2001. p. 10, 14.
- Peter Heiler Ltd (2010). Ontario Back Road Atlas (Map). pp. 43, 58, section T29–Z34. ISBN 978-1-55198-226-7.