The much anticipated extension of Highway 427 deeper into Vaughan officially opened to traffic on September 18, 2021. Amidst delays, a legal battle and a pandemic, the 6.6-kilometre stretch between Highway 7 and Major Mackenzie Drive aimed to ease congestion and improve the flow of traffic from Vaughan to Toronto. With new ramps at Langstaff Road, Rutherford Road and Major Mackenzie Drive, the highway is now accessible from all reaches of Vaughan. In this busy city, the promise of saving commuters up to 25 minutes of total travel time for a two-way trip during peak periods is very encouraging.
Created in 1972, Highway 427 (also known as King’s Highway 427) is an urban freeway, which forms an important north-south highway link through the City of Toronto. The highway primarily serves as a commuter route, connecting the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) and the Gardiner Expressway to Highway 401 and Highway 407.
Vaughan citizens know better than anyone how busy Highway 427 can get during rush hour. The expansion was a much-needed vein, adding eight new lanes from Highway 7 to Rutherford Road and six new lanes to Major Mackenzie Drive. A four-kilometre segment has also been widened to eight lanes from Finch Avenue to Highway 7 along with an upgraded full interchange at Highway 7.
One High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane had been opened in each direction of Highway 427 to further help improve traffic flow. The new northbound HOV lane will be located between Highway 409 and Rutherford Rd. The southbound HOV lane will start north of Rutherford Road and connect to an existing HOV lane south of Finch Ave.
Have you taken the extension yet? Has it made your commute shorter? I’d love to know, so please send me an email.
- Traffic statistics show that approximately 128,600 cars travel on the 427 north of Highway 401 on an average day. This number increases to 321,400 south of Highway 401.
- To protect species at risk impacted by the project’s construction, the ministry completed a 3.20 hectare woodland restoration of a former agricultural field on the east side of the highway, just north of Rutherford Road, and installed 20 habitat structures for four species of bats (Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis, Eastern Small-footed Myotis and Tri-coloured Bat).
- Approximately 1,000 jobs were created and sustained through 2018-2021 as a result of this highway expansion.
- According to Wikipedia, Highway 427 is the second busiest highway in Canada