History of Secondary Highway 501:
Secondary Highway 501 was a local highway in the District of Muskoka that provided access from Highway 103 (now part of Highway 400) at Port Severn to Honey Harbour located on Georgian Bay. The proposed route of Highway 501 was first depicted on a Preliminary Route Plan prepared by the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) in May 1956. The highway was designated by an Order-in-Council dated May 9, 1956 and was approximately 9 miles (14 km) in length at the time of designation. Initially, the highway had a gravel surface but a primed bituminous surface was laid in 1956. The highway was first shown with a paved surface on the 1966 Official Ontario Road Map. Some short diversions were built along Highway 501 in the 1960s to improve the highway's geometry and to shorten the highway distance between Port Severn and Honey Harbour. Highway 501 remained in the provincial highway system up until the early 1970s. Jurisdiction over the highway was transferred from the province to the newly-created District Municipality of Muskoka, effective April 30, 1972. Former Highway 501 is now known as Muskoka Road 5.