Hwy 560 Sign Graphic Hwy 560 Title Graphic Hwy 560 Sign Graphic   

Ontario Highway 560 Quick Facts:
  • Years in Existence: 1956-Present
  • Current Status: In Service
  • Location: Northeastern Ontario
  • Districts Served: Timiskaming & Sudbury
  • Towns Served: Englehart, Charlton, Elk Lake, Gowganda & Shining Tree
  • Western Terminus: Hwy 144 - Atlantic-Arctic Watershed
  • Eastern Terminus: Hwy 11 - Englehart
  • Current Length: 184.1 km / 114.3 miles
HWY 560 ROUTE MARKER - © Cameron Bevers
Secondary Highway 560 Sign © Cameron Bevers

History of Secondary Highway 560:

Secondary Highway 560 is a minor collector highway in the Districts of Timiskaming and Sudbury that provides access to a number of small communities located between Highway 11 and Highway 144 south of Timmins. Highway 560 was first designated by an Order-in-Council dated May 9, 1956. The Timiskaming portion of the route was first depicted on a Preliminary Route Plan prepared by the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) in June, 1956. The Sudbury portion of the route was first depicted on a Preliminary Route Plan dated October, 1956. The new highway was originally 144.6 miles (232.7 km) in length. As originally designated in 1956, Highway 560 extended west from Highway 11 at Englehart and connected to Highway 65 at Elk Lake, via Charlton. Highway 560 shared a brief concurrent route with Highway 65 through Elk Lake. The highway then continued west from Elk Lake towards Gowganda and Shining Tree. Highway 560 finally reached its western terminus in Gogama, located part-way between Sudbury and Timmins. However, before Highway 144 was constructed in the late 1960s, Highway 560 was a dead-end highway with no direct access to either Timmins or Sudbury. Motorists had to back-track to Highway 11 to reach these two centres.

The arrival of Highway 144 in the Gogama area during the late 1960s did result in some fairly significant changes to the route of Highway 560. Some portions of Highway 560's route ended up being incorporated into the new Sudbury-Timmins Highway, while other sections of Highway 560 were bypassed and abandoned. As part of the Highway 144 construction project, a new access road was constructed into Gogama from Highway 144. This new route, known as Highway 661, provided much-improved access into the community from Highway 144. As originally assumed, Highway 560 approached Gogama from the west along Hazel Street. The highway then turned south onto Pine Street and turned east again onto Miller Street, where it ended at the CNR crossing in the town centre. The old route of Highway 560 leading into Gogama from Highway 144 was legally closed to traffic by an Order-in-Council, effective January 2, 1969. Although it has since reopened to traffic, the back road leading into Gogama is no longer under provincial jurisdiction. The remaining assumed section of Highway 560 through Gogama via Miller Street, Pine Street and Hazel Street became an extension of Highway 661. Other bypassed sections of Highway 560 that were not incorporated into the route of Highway 144 were closed off to traffic during the early 1970s, as upgrades to Highway 144 continued. One section of Old Highway 560 leading from Highway 144 to Mesomikenda Lake was kept in the provincial highway system as an unposted 7000-series route (Highway 7151).

In 1972, a portion of the Eddy Forest Products Industrial Road was designated as a new section of Highway 560. This Industrial Road, which began at a "T" junction with Highway 560 northwest of Westree, provided a much quicker cut-off route to Highway 144 than the original highway alignment, which was indirect and winding. The Eddy Road connected to Highway 144 at the Atlantic-Arctic Watershed, located about 35 km south of Gogama. The Eddy Road was designated as a new section of Highway 560 by an Order-in-Council effective September 13, 1972. On the same day, approximately 10 miles (16 km) of the old route of Highway 560 from the Eddy Road Junction northwesterly to the Highway 144 Junction south of Gogama was stripped of its provincial highway designation by an Order-in-Council. Thus, this former alignment of Highway 560 ceased to be under the control and jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC). During 1973, a diversion was constructed to straighten the former Eddy Road's approach to Highway 560. The Little Mollie Creek Diversion bypassed almost 5 miles (8 km) of the former Eddy Road and a portion of the original route of Highway 560 to Gogama. The Mollie Creek Diversion was designated as Highway 560 by an Order-in-Council, effective January 24, 1974. The old Eddy Road and Highway 560 loop had its provincial highway designation revoked on January 24, 1974.

A new bypass was constructed around the Town of Charlton in the early 1990s. Up until 1990, Highway 560 followed a rather circuitous route through Charlton, via Main Street, Church Street, Robert Street, Bay Street, Richard Street and Concession Street. The new diversion allowed through traffic to bypass Charlton altogether. Provincial jurisdiction over the former route of Highway 560 ended on September 12, 1990, when the bypassed section of Highway 560 was transferred to the Town of Charlton. The new Charlton Bypass was formally designated as a Controlled-Access Highway on November 7, 1990. Highway 573 was extended east along Bay Street from its former junction with Highway 560 in the town centre out to the new Highway 560 Bypass.

Highway 560 was mostly gravel-surfaced at the time of designation in 1956. Only the easternmost section of Highway 560 from Charlton to Englehart was paved at the time of the route's designation in 1956. Paving began on Highway 560 from Elk Lake westerly in 1981, as well as from Highway 144 easterly. Paving work continued throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. The majority of Highway 560 is now paved, but there are some gravel sections remaining in the Gowganda area. The route of Highway 560 is approximately 184 km in length, making this Ontario's third-longest Secondary Highway. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 560 is 80 km/h (50 mph). Services are available at the Highway 144 Junction, in Shining Tree, Gowganda, Elk Lake, Charlton and Englehart.

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