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Old Posted Apr 13, 2011, 1:03 PM
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Monsieur Sainte-Nitouche
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vieux Canada
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Originally Posted by vid View Post
Considering that that interchange is in the middle of the city I don't really see a need for a sign saying where Toronto is located. You don't see Winnipeg or Kenora on directional signs here at all (example 1, 2), and Duluth doesn't appear until you get near the airport.
Your examples from the Thunder Bay area only point to how brutal Ontario provincial highway signage really is.

For starters, Winnipeg is in another province and Ontario signage is totally Ontario-centric. As a general rule, Ontario only posts destination cities (control cities in roadgeek talk) that are in Ontario. Unless it is impossible to do so. For example, the 401 control cities eastbound are Kingston and Cornwall, and you only get Montreal east of Cornwall once picking an Ontario destination would mean your control city is a cornfield. The 417 east from Ottawa has Montreal, but this is because the entire highway in its Ontario portion runs through farmers' fields pretty much.

And this is when there is a destination city on the signs. The photo I quoted has no destination city at all. It just says "416 TO 401". Of course, any tourist from Germany, China or Alabama intuitively knows that the 401 is "Ontario's main street" and runs to Toronto, right?

Plus, once you get to the Prescott junction between the 416 and 401, 100 km south of Ottawa, the signs don't point to Toronto or Montreal either. They point to Cornwall (eastbound) and Kingston (westbound). I guess MTO expects everyone in Wagga Wagga, NSW and Minsk, Belarus to know that Toronto lies west of Prescott!

It is equally bad in Toronto, where unless I missed it there is not one single directional sign pointing to Montreal in the entire GTA. Well, I think there may be a lone distance sign that has Montreal on it in the Port Hope or Cobourg area just as you emerge from the contiguous urban sprawl.

Anyway, signs on major highways are supposed to be for people who don't know the environs and need to find their way.
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