Transportation Infrastructure

A network of provincial highways connects Simcoe County with neighbouring regions. A series of provincial, county, and local roads accommodates regional and local travel in Simcoe County. Highway 400 connects Simcoe County to the rest of the GTA. A Canadian Pacific Rail freight line runs through Simcoe County and plays an important role for the Honda plant in Alliston.

GO Transit provides bus service to Barrie and rail service to Bradford. These services connect to Toronto with stops in York region. Several Simcoe communities also offer local public transit. Barrie and Orillia have the most extensive public transit systems; New Tecumseth and Bradford also operate local bus service on weekdays.

In 2001, the Province announced a series of proposals to expand the Toronto-related region's highway system (see Map 5). Simcoe would be affected by the proposals to:

  • extend Highway 404 to the south edge of Lake Simcoe;
  • link York Region and Simcoe County with a Bradford Bypass;
  • create a new Economic Corridor across south Simcoe County on the same alignment as the Bradford Bypass, north of the Oak Ridges Moraine;
  • widen Highway 400;
  • extend Highway 427.

Also, in June 2002, the Barrie Passenger Rail Transportation Committee released a study that proposed extending peak period GO rail service from Bradford to Barrie. Reintroducing the rail service that existed from 1990 to 1993 has the potential to reduce commuter traffic along Highway 400.16

16. URS Cole Sherman, Simcoe County Transportation Network Needs Assessment, prepared for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation June 2002. 13.