Sailboats at the Whitby Waterfront

Why travel between Toronto and Kingston?

This route takes the 401, known as the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway (NOT the "Trans-Canada"!), from the city of Toronto though a quick succession of communities along the northern shore of Lake Ontario. Oshawa is home to the General Motors auto plant, just south of the highway, and is also home to “Camp X”, the World War II era spy training base, that infiltrated Europe prior to the Normandy invasion, and was featured in the CBC television series. At Trenton, you pass CFB Trenton, the armed forces heavy lift airforce base, and then the southern mouth of the Trent-Severn Canal, passing through the Kawartha Cottage country and Lake Simcoe, up to Lake Huron. Then you pass Prince Edward County, a large sandbar island jutting into the middle Lake Ontario, and known for its fruit farms and wineries.

Here is the itinerary for the 309 km from Toronto to Kingston along Highway 401, also known as the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway (Continuing from Kingston to Montreal),

Highway 401 at Don Mills, near the Don Valley Parkway (404) Highway 2 was the original road joining together the main settlements of Upper Canada (so named because it was higher up the St Lawrence than Lower Canada, Quebec) along the shores of Lake Ontario, based on earlier trails and footpaths. It began as the primary wagon and stage coach route, before the arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway.

The Kingston Road (now just "Kingston Road") was built by engineer Asa Danforth to connect Toronto (then called "York") with Kingston, Ontario. Until Highway 401 was constructed, Kingston Road / Highway 2 was the principal route from Toronto to points east, and is the location of clusters of inns and motels along he way. The road continued west of Toronto as Highway 3 to Windsor.

Frenchmans Bay at Pickering has a beautiful harbour The meandering Highway 2, which goes through many small towns on the north shore of Lake Ontario and along the Saint Lawrence, was supplanted by the high volume 401 (the “Macdonald Cartier Freeway”, and between Trenton and Toronto, the “Highway of Heroes”), built in the 1960s. The highway is further way from the lakefront, and typically to the north of most communities, but allows travelers to speed across Ontario without traffic lights, with controlled access interchanges to get off at exits for each community along the way.

Communities accessed (from west to east) on this stretch are Toronto, Ajax, Oshawa, Bowmanville, Cobourg, Trenton, Napanee, and Kingston. East of Kingston is the access point for the Thousand Islands Bridge to New York State.

The 401 passes byt the huge General Motors Plant at Oshawa The Trent-Severn Canal is 385 kilometres (240 miles) and connects Lake Ontario at Trenton with Georgian Bay / Lake Huron at Port Severn. The first European to visit the area was Samuel de Champlain, who arrived in 1615, roughly following the canal's path from Lake Huron back to his base at Montreal. From Lake Ontario the canal climbs 181 m through 36 locks to its highest point on Balsam Lake at Kirkfield, before dropping 79m through another 10 locks to Lake Huron, for a net climb of 100 metres. The waterway and connecting lakes have over 1609 km of shoreline and contain 160 islands, and is traversed by 18,000 pleasure boats each summer season.

The Trent Severn Canal begins on Lake Ontario at Trenton via the 1880 Murray Canal which effectively made the scenic Prince Edward County an island. Just 6 km north of Trenton is a boulder the size of a house at Glen Miller, which was left behind by the retreating glaciers. Along the lower Trent you can observe the Peterborough Drumlin Field, where 3,000 teardrop shaped glacial hills are spread over 7770 square kilometres (3000 square miles).


Kawarth Lake are and the Trent-Severn Waterway of popular for all recreatqional watersports, including fishing The County of Prince Edward, sometimes referred to as "Quinte's Isle", is surrounded by water in the north-east corner of Lake Ontario. Formerly a peninsula, the construction of the Murray Canal in 1889 created an island covering 323 square kilometers with some 844 kilometres of shoreline.

During the last Ice Age, the glacier's streams of melt-water deposited millions of cubic yards of white sand in a high ridge strip running nearly 10 miles south-westward from Picton, at what is now called "The Sandbanks". The miles of white sand beaches make it popular with campers, picnickers, hikers, swimmers and wind surfers.

Trans-Canada Highway History


Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map

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Next West: Toronto to Parry Sound Next East: Kingston to Montreal


Ontario Ministry of Highways road condition reports for this segment.

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Detailed Itinerary

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Exit 617 Division Street (S) & Perth Road / Frontenac Road 10 (N), N to towns of Westport (50 km) and Perth (80 km). S to Downtown Kingston (4 km), shopping, gas, accommodation, and hospital. (Kingston)  94.2 
Exit 615 Sir John A. Macdonald Road.. S to Kingston's Princess Street (3 km), shopping, Queens University (7 km), St Lawrence College, Lake Ontario Amusement Park. (Kingston)  88.7 
2.7  crossing Little Cataraqui Creek, Little Cataraqui Recreation Area N of hwy (Kingston)  86.6 
Exit 613 Highway 9 /Sydenham Road, Sto shopping, accommodation and OPP. (Kingston)  105.5 
Exit 611 Highway 38 / Gardiners Road, N to Sharbot Lake (67 km), S to gas, services, accommodation, Catarqui Town Centre shopping, OPP (3 km), Kingston Airport (10 km)… (Kingston)  110.3 
Westbrook Rd underpass (no access), S to golf course, N to gravel pit (Kingston)  116.7 
13  Service Station & restaurant (Eastbound) (Kingston)  119.8 
18  Exit 599 Lennox & Addington Road 6, N to Mud Lake Rd to Mud Lake (3 km), S to Parrot's Ba Conservation Area (10 km) 124.1 
19  Old Wilton Rd underpass (no access) 125.9 
24  Exit 593 Lennox & Addington Road 4 (Camdem East Road / Highway 133 South), S to Millhaven (10 km), ferry to Amherst Island 108.8 
26  Service Station & restaurant (Westbound) (Napanee)  122.2 
31.3  Switzerville Rd underpasss (no access) (Napanee)  121.9 
35  Exit 582 Lennox & Addington Road 5 (Palace Rd) St to Napanee (Napanee)  95.4 
35.7  crossing Napanee River (Napanee)  86.6 
36.5  Industrial Blvd (S) / Newburgh Rd (N) underpass (no access) (Napanee)  92 
38  Exit 579 Lennox & Addington Road 41 (Centre St N), S to Napanee (2 km), shopping, OPP (Napanee)  94.8 
47  Exit 570 Desoronto Road (Lennox & Addington Road 10), S to Deseronto (6 km), Picton (27 km) (Napanee)  108.8 
51  Exit 566 Kings' Highway 49 / Shannonville Rd (N), Marysville Road (S), S to Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory (3 km) 102.7 
54.4  Wyman's Rd underpass (no access) 103.6 
54.8  Salmon River crossing 91.7 
60  Aikin Rd underpass (no access) (Trenton)  104.5 
61  Exit 556 County Highway 7 (Shannonville Road), S to community of Shannonville (3 km) 106.7 
64.6  Mitchell Rd underpass (no access) 113.1 
73  Exit 544 King's Highway 37 / 6 (Cannifton Rd), S to accommodation, downtown City of Belleville, Belleville Harbour (Belleville)  93.6 
74  Exit 543 Highway 62, S to Quinte Mall, movie theatre, accommodation, downtown City of Belleville, Belleville Harbour, access to County of Prince Edward (6 km) and Sandbanks Provincial Park (33 km)… (Trenton)  95.4 
Place Victoria Place Bed & Breakfast, 3 km S of highway
74  Crossing the Moira River, flows into Bay of Quinte (Belleville)  93 
75  Sidney St (Hwy 30 / 33) underpass (no access) (Trenton)  95.1 
77  Hillaire Rd underpass (no access) (Trenton)  107.3 
79  Exit 538 Highway #1 (Walbridge - Loyalist Road). S to Quinte Conservation Area (3 km) & Loyalist College (3 km), golfing, N to gas (Trenton)  104.5 
80  Exit 526 Hwy 4 (Glen Miller Rd) S to Trenton, gas, services, accommodation, and CFB Trenton (4 km) (Trenton)  92.7 
81  Crossing Trent River / Trent-Severn Canal (Trenton)  79.9 
83  Exit 525 Hwy #33 (Trenton-Frankford Rd) S to gas, services, accommodation, and Trenton Memorial Hospital. Access to Quinte Island (6 km), Sandbanks PP (60 km) (Trenton)  95.7 
84.7  Stockdale Rd underpass (no access) (Trenton)  93.9 
85  Exit 522 overpass Hwy #40 (Wooler Rd) (Trenton)  109.1 
89  EB & WB gas, services & restaurant, with pinic areas adjoining 179.8 
90  Coltman Rd (N) / Christian Rd (S) underpass (no access), Britghton Provinciacl Wildlife Area to NW 181.1 
96  Hwy 26 underpass (no access) 199.3 
98  EB Exit 509 Highway #30, NW to KOA Brighton/401 campground, S to town of Brighton (5 km), accommodation, gas, services, and Presq'ille PP (9 km) camping 193.2 
103.8  Little Lake to the S 177.7 
104  Lake Rd underpass (no access) 181.7 
109  Herley Rd (N) / Durham Rd (S) underpass (no access) 167.6 
111  Exit 497 Hwy #25 (Percy St) underpass (Colborne)  167 
114  Boyce Rd (N), Herron Rd (S) (Colborne)  131.7 
116  Vernonville Rd underpass (no access) 145.7 
117  Shelter Valley Rd underpass (no access) 135 
120  Exit 487 Hwy #23 / Aird St (N) / Lyle St N (S) underpass, S to services 165.2 
123  Gully Rd underpass (no access) 161.5 
125  Danforth Rd underpass (no access) 156.7 
130  Nagle Rd underpass (no access) 137.8 
131  Larchmere Golf Club and Restaurant to the S 116.7 
132  Exit 474 overpass Hwy #45 (Division St), S to gas, shopping, services, N to Hastings (45 km) (Cobourg)  104.9 
134  Ontario St overpass (Cobourg)  101.2 
135  Exit 472 to Highway 18 (Burnham St), S to servies, gas, accommodation, N to south shore of Rice Lake (16 km) (Cobourg)  104.2 
139  Theater Rd underpass (no access). 112.5 
142  Hamilton Rd underpass (no access). 111.6 
142.7  local to Thru EB 107.3 
143  WB Exit 464 Hwy 28 Hwy (Ontario St) interchange & overpass, S to gas, services, accommodation, N to Port Hope Conservation Area, Rice Lake (15 km), Peterborough (40 km) (Port Hope)  105.8 
143.2  EB Exit 464 Hwy 28 Hwy (Ontario St) interchange & overpass, S to gas, services, accommodation, N to Port Hope Conservation Area, Rice Lake (15 km), Peterborough (40 km) (Port Hope)  107.3 
143.5  Ganaraska River crossing 103 
144  Choate Rd /Cavan St underpass (no access). (Port Hope)  103.3 
145  Cranberry Rd/Victoria St underpass (no access). (Port Hope)  151.5 
145.6  Local to Thru EB (Port Hope)  142.6 
146  #2 Hwy underpass (Port Hope)  135.6 
147  Exit 461 to Hwy #2 (Toronto Rd), WB to Toronto, S to into Port Hope, gas, services, accommodation (Port Hope)  135.9 
149  Deer Park Rd underpass (no access) (Port Hope)  108.8 
150.6  Intersection Morrish Chursh Rd overpass (Port Hope)  123.7 
151  Exit 456 to Best's Rd, N to Morrish Church Rd, S to Willow Beach Rd (Port Hope)  128.3 
155  EB Esso gas, services, restaurant on the highway 157.3 
156  Townline Rd underpass (no access) 148.1 
159  Exit 448 overpass Newtonville Rd (Newcastle)  139.9 
163  Morgans Rd underpass 143 
164  WB Esso gas, services & restaurant on the hwy 136.9 
166  Railroad underpass 110.6 
167  Exit 440 to Mill St underpass, N to accommodation, service & shopping, S to accommodation (Clarington)  90.8 
169  Cobbledick Rd underpass 88.1 
171  Exit 436 major interchange to Highway 35 / 115 N to Orono (9 km), Lindsay (52 km), Peterborough (50 km), and highway 7 E to Ottawa 96.3 
172  Exit 435 to Bennett Rd, half-cloverleaf interchange (Bowmanville)  104.5 
174  Liberty St underpass (no access) (Bowmanville)  76.8 
174.7  WB Exit 432 to Duke St W (Bowmanville)  77.4 
175  EB Exit 432 to Duke St, S to Bowmanvill Harbour Conservation Area, N to services & accommodation (Bowmanville)  105.5 
175.8  Exit 431 to Waverly Rd, N to gas (Bowmanville)  79.9 
176  Waverly Rd overpass (no access) (Bowmanville)  83.8 
176.2  Exit 431 to Waverly Rd (Fifth Wheel Truck Stop on Service Rd) (Bowmanville)  83.2 
179  Holt Rd underpass (no access) (Bowmanville)  114 
180  EB Exit 428 to Holt Rd, S to Darlington Generating Station (Bowmanville)  120.1 
182  overpass Courtice Rd, S to Darlington Provincial Park 91.4 
183  Exit 425 to Courtice Rd (Oshawa)  91.1 
186.8  Harmony Creek Golf Center to N (Oshawa)  84.1 
187  Local to Thru WB (Oshawa)  84.1 
187.7  WB Exit 419 Harmony Rd, access to Bloor Street, E to golf & accomodation (Oshawa)  87.5 
188  Bloor St overpass (Oshawa)  88.1 
188.1  EB Exit 419 to Bloor St, S to Oshawa Harbour, Second Marsh Wildlife Area, McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve (Oshawa)  89.9 
188.4  Kingside Park to the N (Oshawa)  89.9 
188.7  Wilson Rd underpass (no access) (Oshawa)  93 
188.9  Chopin Park to the N (Oshawa)  91.1 
189  Ritson Rd underpass (no access) (Oshawa)  91.1 
189.2  Local to Thru EB (Oshawa)  91.1 
189.3  Local to Thru from Drew St WB (Oshawa)  91.1 
189.6  Exit 418 S to Bloor St E, N to Drew St, shopping, accommodation (Oshawa)  91.1 
189.8  Former railway overpass (Oshawa)  91.1 
190  Albert St overpass (no access) (Oshawa)  91.1 
190.2  Exit 417 Simcoe St overpass (Oshawa)  91.1 
190.3  Crossing Oshawa Creek and parklands (Oshawa)  91.1 
190.4  local to Thru WB (Oshawa)  91.1 
190.6  Thru to local EB (Oshawa)  91.1 
190.8  Storie Part to the N (Oshawa)  93 
191  Cubert St underpass (no access) (Oshawa)  104.9 
191.2  Exit 416 Park Rd underpass, (Oshawa)  106.1 
191.8  Stevenson Rd overpass, S to Oshawa GO Station, VIA Station, accommodation (Oshawa)  106.1 
192  Exit to Bloor St (Oshawa)  104.9 
192.2  Rail Road overpass (Oshawa)  103.9 
192.9  Thru to loca interchange WB (Oshawa)  91.1 
193  Thru to local interchange EB (Oshawa)  91.1 
194  Thickson Rd underpass (Oshawa)  91.1 
195  Exit 412 to Victoria St, N to Durham College, Champlain Centre cinemas (Whitby)  89.9 
196  local to Thru WB interchange (Whitby)  78.9 
196.6  Thru to local interchange WB (Whitby)  82 
196.8  Exit 410 Highway 12 (Brock St) underpass, S to Whitby GO Station, OPP, Port Whitby Harbour, Whitby General Hospital, N to accommodation & shopping, Port Perry (29 km) (Whitby)  82.9 
197  Local to Thru EB (Whitby)  84.4 
197.2  Henry St underpass (Whitby)  84.7 
198  Iroquois Park to the S (Whitby)  84.1 
199.5  View south to Lynde Shore Conservation Area (Whitby)  76.5 
201  Lake Ridge Rd overpass (Ajax)  84.1 
202.7  Local Thru EB (Ajax)  89.9 
203  Thru to local WB (Ajax)  89.9 
203.6  EB Exit 405 Salem Rd underpass (Ajax)  89.9 
204  Thru to Local WB (Ajax)  89.9 
204.1  Thru to Local EB (Ajax)  89.9 
205  Exit 403 Harwood Ave, overpass, N to Durham Centre shopping, Ajax 10 movie theatre, Picov Downs racetrack, S to Asjaz-Pickering Genral Hospital, Station Plaza, Harwood Place shopping (Ajax)  92 
205.2  Exit 401 Westney Rd, S to Ajax GO Station, golf, recreation (Ajax)  88.4 
205.7  Crossing Duffins Creek, Annadale Golf and Country Club (Ajax)  89.9 
206  Highway 24 Church St underpass (no access) (Ajax)  89.9 
206.7  Thru to local WB (Ajax)  88.1 
207  Local Thru EB (Ajax)  88.1 
208  Exit 399 Brock Rd underpass, N to Metro East Tade Centre (Ajax)  89 
208.3  Village East Park to the E (Ajax)  89.3 
209  EB Thru to local (Ajax)  82 
210  Pickering Town Center to the N (Pickering)  78.9 
210.2  WB Exit 397 Liverpool Rd overpass, S to Pickering GO Station, N to Pickering Town Centre, shopping (Pickering)  77.1 
211  Rail Road overpass (Pickering)  78.9 
211.3  View of Frenchman's Bay to S of hwy (Pickering)  78 
211.7  WB thru to Local (Pickering)  89 
211.9  WB thru to Local (Pickering)  103.9 
212.8  Whites Rd (Highway 38) half cloverleaf (Pickering)  104.9 
212.9  Exit 394 Whites Rd (Highway 38) half cloverleaf (Pickering)  96.9 
214  Rougemount Dr underpass 104.2 
214.6  Exchange lanes: WB: local to thru (Pickering)  103.9 
214.8  Rouge Hill Park, Rouge River Bridge (both sides) (Toronto)  91.1 
215.8  Exchange lanes: WB: thru to local ESTM. (Toronto)  106.1 
215.9  Port Union Rd underpass 105.8 
216.1  Exchange lanes: EB local to thru (Toronto)  106.1 
216.5  WB Exit (from thru & local) for Port Union Rd, Highway 2 & 2A and Kingston Rd (Toronto)  105.8 
216.8  EB Kingston Rd (Hwy 2) and 2A west and access to Port Union Rd Exit (Gas Station on Kingston Rd) ESTM. (Toronto)  107.9 
216.9  Rouge Community Park 113.7 
217.2  Exit 389 Meadowvale Rd half cloverleaf (Toronto)  117 
217.8  Exchange lanes: WB: local to thru ESTM. (Toronto)  120.1 
218.3  Exchange lanes: EB thru to local ESTM. (Toronto)  120.1 
219.6  Conlins Rd underpass (no acess) (Toronto)  130.1 
219.8  Exchange lanes: WB: thru to local ESTM. (Toronto)  140.8 
220.1  Exchange lanes: EB local to thru ESTM. (Toronto)  139 
220.2  Exit 387 MorningsideAve half cloverleaf (Toronto)  138.1 
221.7  Exit 385 Neilson Rdquarter cloverleaf (Toronto)  152.1 
221.9  Exchange lanes: WB: local to thru (Toronto)  150.9 
222.2  Exchange lanes: EB thru to local (Toronto)  150.9 
222.8  Morningside Park S side (Toronto)  150.9 
223  Centennial College-Progress Campus 152.1 
223.7  Progress Ave underpass 152.4 
224  Exit 383 Markham Rd half-cloverleaf (Toronto)  155.1 
224.6  Exchange lanes: WB: local to thru (Toronto)  162.2 
225  Exchange lanes: EB thru to local (Toronto)  166.7 
225.2  McGowan Rd & Scarborough Town Centre Mall Exit #381 (Toronto)  166.7 
225.6  Snowhill Park to N 167 
226.2  McDairmid Woods Park to N (Toronto)  167 
226.6  EB only Brimley Rd & Scarborough Town Centre Mall Exit #380 (Toronto)  167 
226.8  Exchange lanes: EB thru to local (Toronto)  167 
227.2  Exhchange Lanes: WB local to thru (Toronto)  166.1 
227.4  Midland Ave underpass (no access) (Toronto)  167 
227.5  Railway underpass 167 
227.7  Exit 379 Kennedy Rd half-cloverleaf (Toronto)  167 
227.8  Glamorgan Park to S (Toronto)  167.9 
228  Railway underpass (Toronto)  168.9 
228.2  Birchmont Rd underpass (no acess) (Toronto)  171 
229  Exhange lanes: WB local to thru, EB thru to local (Toronto)  174 
230  Exit 378 Warden Park half-cloverleaf (Toronto)  174 
230.8  Wishing Well Park to N (Toronto)  168.9 
231.1  Exit 376 Victoria Park half cloverleaf (Toronto)  168.9 
231.6  WB Exit 375 to Don Valley Parkway (Hwy 404) from both local and thru lanes (Toronto)  168.9 
231.8  WB Exhange lanes: between thru & local, local & thru (Toronto)  168.6 
232.2  EB Exit 375 to Don Valley Parkway (Hwy 404) from both local and thru lanes (Toronto)  141.7 
232.3  Don Mills Rd underpass (no access) (Toronto)  138.7 
233  Havenbrook park to N (Toronto)  127.1 
233.8  Moatfield Farm Park to S (Toronto)  135 
233.9  Exit 373 Leslie St underpass (Toronto)  138.1 
234.2  railway underpass (Toronto)  143.6 
236  Exhange lanes:EB thru to local, WB local to thru (Toronto)  170.4 
237  Exit 371 Bayview Ave (Toronto)  167.9 
237.9  Exit 369 to Highway 11 Yonge St (Toronto)  142.6 
238  pass over Don Valley Golf Course (both sides) (Toronto)  138.1 
239  Exhange lanes: from local to thru lanes (Toronto)  155.1 
240  Exit 367 Avenue Rd interdchange (Toronto)  167.6 
241  Wilson Ave underpass (no access) (Toronto)  181.7 
241.3  WB exit 366 Bathurst St underpass, gas (Toronto)  182 
242  Exit 365 Allen Expressway interchange (Toronto)  181.7 
244  Dufferin St underpass Exit 364 to Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Toronto)  182 
245  Exit 362 Keele St underpass (Toronto)  171.6 
Grand Prix Kartways, indoor go-kart track
245  Railway underpass (Toronto)  182 
246  EB Exhange lanes: between thru & local lanes (Toronto)  127.4 
246  WB Exhange lanes: between thru & local lanes (Toronto)  146.6 
247  Jane St underpass (no access) (Toronto)  126.2 
248  400& 401 Interchange (401 Exit 359) (Toronto)  130.1 

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