History of Secondary Highway 626 (#1):
The first Secondary Highway 626 was a local highway in the District of Cochrane that served a number of small communities located along the former route of Highway 11 between Matheson and the Iroquois Falls area. During the late 1950s, a substantial section of Highway 11 was relocated onto an improved alignment between Matheson and Porquis Junction, located south of Iroquois Falls. The old route of Highway 11 through Matheson, Val Gagne, Monteith and Porquis Junction was briefly known as Highway 11B, but was legally re-designated as Secondary Highway 626 by means of several Orders-in-Council signed between May 18, 1961 and June 22, 1961. The route of Highway 626 was overlapped with the route of Highway 577 (Critchley Avenue) for a short distance through Monteith. The highway was already paved prior to its designation.
As originally established in 1961, the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) had jurisdiction over the entire route of Highway 626, including the section of the highway which passed through the Town of Matheson. Jurisdiction over the section of Highway 626 within Matheson via Second Street, Fifth Avenue and Railway Street was transferred from the province to the Town of Matheson, effective April 1, 1962. A slightly amended route for Highway 626 was established through Matheson. Rather than turn south onto Fifth Avenue towards the town centre, Highway 626 was signed via Second Street directly over to Fourth Avenue (Highway 101). This amended route of Highway 626 was designated as a Municipal Connecting Link by an Order-in-Council, effective August 2, 1962.
Since Highway 626 more or less paralleled Highway 11 for its entire length, it was ultimately decided that Highway 626 no longer served a provincial purpose. The entire provincially-owned section of Highway 626 was transferred to the Municipal Township of Black River-Matheson and the Town of Iroquois Falls, effective May 10, 1974. The obsolete Municipal Connecting Link designation for the non-assumed municipal portion of Highway 626 through the former Town of Matheson was revoked by an Order-in-Council, effective April 16, 1975. A different, unrelated Highway 626 existed from 1978 until 1997 in the Town of Marathon, located on the north shore of Lake Superior.