Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Directions from Toronto International Airport to Simcoe Part I

These are the directions to get from Toronto International Airport (technically called Pearson International Airport) to 801 Windham Rd #12, Simcoe, Ontario

First some points to make things clearer.

There are no roundabouts in Ontario.

Expressways (minimum 4 lane divided highways) all start with the number 4, for example Hwy 400, 401, 402, 403, you get the picture. The only exception is the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way), the expressway that leads from Toronto to Niagara Falls via Hamilton.

Speed limit on expressways is 100, on 2 lane highways it is 80. Now, that's the theoretical limit. If it isn't rush hour, most people will drive between 110 and 120 on the expressway and 90-100 on 2 lane roads. It is best to judge what other traffic is doing and keep up with the flow: neither too slow nor too fast.

On any road with more than 1 lane going in each direction, it is perfectly legal to pass on the right. That's right, on the right. So if you are changing lanes to the right, you need to make damn sure no one is trying to pass you on that side.

If a road narrows from 2 lanes to 1 lane (or 3 lanes to 2 lanes), it is generally the right lane that disappears, so that the person in the left lane automatically has the right-of-way.

There are no speed cameras mounted on the side of roads anywhere in Ontario. None. Police presence on highways is minimal.

The quality of the roads is generally acceptable to mediocre. Think Belgium and then take a step back.

A brief description of the route to take:
-from the Airport, enter Hwy 427 SOUTH (+/- 2 km)
-from Hwy 427, enter HWY 401 WEST to London (+/- 3 km)
-from Hwy 401, enter Hwy 403 to Hamilton (+/- 10 km)
-from Hwy 403, enter QEW to Hamilton (+/- 30 km)
-from QEW, enter Hwy 403 (again) WEST to Hamilton, Brantford (+/- 35 km)
-from Hwy 403, enter Hwy 24 SOUTH to Simcoe (+/- 50 km)
-from Hwy 24, enter Windham Road 12, stop for STOP sign after 3 km, then straight through another 3 km to number 801 on the right
-pull in driveway

OK, the first picture is an overview of the entire trip. Overal distance is about 125 km and general direction is to the southwest.

From the jumble of roads within the airport, you need to look for signs that take you to Hwy 427 south. Pay close attention as there are a lot of roads right within the airport area and you might have to cross some lanes to get to the correct lane. Make sure it is safe to change lanes. Generally there are 2 large signs, spaced about 1 km apart, that warn you of an upcoming road change.

Once on Hwy 427, you'll follow it for a few kilometres. You will need to stay in the right hand lanes and observe signs closely, looking for Hwy 401 WEST. The advance warning sign looks something like this:

The actual exit ramp from 427 to 401 looks like this:

Once on 401 (the airport's runways are just across the fence on the right hand side) you need to look for Hwy 403 WEST to Hamilton. It is about 4 km from the Dixie Road exit.

The advance warning sign for Hwy 403 Hamilton look like this:

The actual exit sign looks like this. Notice that Hwy 410 branches off to the right with the 2 right lanes, so you need to be at least in the third lane from the right at this point. Start moving over there once you pass Dixie Road (well signed)

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