History of King's Highway 169:
King's Highway 169 was a major collector highway that passed through the heart of the Muskoka Lakes region. The route connected Highway 12 at Brechin to Highway 69 at Foote's Bay. The history of Highway 169 dates back to 1976, when Highway 69 was relocated onto a new route between Foote's Bay and Waubaushene. In order to improve the logic of highway route numbering in this area, the Ministry of Transportation decided to renumber Highway 103 between Foote's Bay and Waubaushene as Highway 69. In turn, the old section of Highway 69 between Foote's Bay and the Highway 12 Junction at Brechin was renumbered as Highway 169. As a result of this route number change, Highway 169 became Ontario's highest-numbered King's Highway, excluding the 400-Series Freeways. For about 18 km between Washago and Gravenhurst, Highway 169 ran concurrently with Highway 11. The entire length of Highway 169 was under provincial jurisdiction, with the exception of the section of Highway 169 which passed through the urbanized portions of the Town of Gravenhurst. The highway was downloaded by the province in its entirety on January 1, 1998 to the County of Simcoe and the District Municipality of Muskoka. The concurrent routing of Highway 169 along Highway 11 was also discontinued.
Highway 169 is a rural two-lane highway for most of its length, except where Highway 169 runs concurrently with Highway 11. Between Washago and Gravenhurst, Highway 169 ran along a four-lane divided expressway. Although the former highway is officially known today as Simcoe County Road 169 and Muskoka District Road 169, the old name of "Highway 169" is still commonly used by motorists. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 169 is 80 km/h (50 mph). The posted speed limit on the Highway 11 expressway section between Washago and Gravenhurst is 90 km/h (55 mph). With the exception of Gravenhurst, there are only a few small communities located along Highway 169's 91 km route. Services are therefore rather infrequent along Highway 169. Gasoline is available only along the Highway 11 expressway section and in the larger communities along the route. Moose are quite common along Highway 169 north of Gravenhurst. These enormous animals can often be seen crossing the highway corridor. This represents a serious collision hazard, because these animals are difficult for motorists to see at night. Slow down and be prepared for moose if you plan to use Highway 169 at night. Please visit the Highway 169 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 169.
Additional Information About King's Highway 169: