Hwy 553 Sign Graphic Hwy 553 Title Graphic Hwy 553 Sign Graphic   

Ontario Highway 553 Quick Facts:
  • Years in Existence: 1956-Present
  • Current Status: In Service
  • Location: Northeastern Ontario
  • Districts Served: Sudbury & Algoma
  • Towns Served: Massey
  • Southern Terminus: Hwy 17 - Massey
  • Northern Terminus: Hwy 810 - Bull Lake
  • Current Length: 33.3 km / 20.7 miles
HWY 553 ROUTE MARKER - © Cameron Bevers
Secondary Highway 553 Sign © Cameron Bevers

History of Secondary Highway 553:

Secondary Highway 553 is a local highway that serves as an access road to Bull Lake, located north of Massey. Although Highway 553 begins in the District of Sudbury, the highway crosses over into the District of Algoma about 13 km north of Massey. Highway 553 was first designated by an Order-in-Council dated May 9, 1956. The route, which was previously known as the Massey Sables River Road, was first depicted on a Preliminary Route Plan prepared by the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) in June, 1956. The highway was entirely gravel-surfaced at the time of designation in 1956, but the section of the highway through Massey was paved during the 1960s. Highway 553 originally began at the Highway 17 Junction in Massey and extended north for 50 miles (80 km) to the tiny seasonal community of Richie Falls. However, the northern section of Highway 553 from Bull Lake to Richie Falls was re-designated as a Tertiary Highway in the mid-1970s. An Order-in-Council was signed on November 20, 1974, which formally re-designated the route from Bull Lake to Richie Falls as Highway 810. The northern terminus of Highway 553 since 1974 has been at Bull Lake, at which point the route transitions into Highway 810.

The route of Highway 553 remained more or less unchanged between 1974 and 1998, when the section of Highway 553 lying within Massey was transferred. The 1.8 km section of Highway 553 lying immediately north of the Highway 17 Junction was transferred from the province to the Town of Massey, effective January 1, 1998. Although this section of Highway 553 through Massey is not maintained by the province, the route is still signed as Highway 553 for continuity. The route of Highway 553 is approximately 33 km in length today, including the non-assumed section of the highway lying within the Town of Massey. Most of Highway 553 is still gravel-surfaced today. The route is only paved to a point approximately 6 km north of the Highway 17 Junction. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 553 is 80 km/h (50 mph). There are no services available on this highway.

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