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This page contains historical photos of Ontario's King's Highway 17 dating from 1950 to 1959. All photographs displayed on this page were taken by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, unless specifically noted otherwise. Historical photographs are arranged in approximate chronological order. Click on any thumbnail to see a larger image!

Please note that all photographs displayed on this website are protected by copyright. These photographs must not be reproduced, published, electronically stored or copied, distributed, or posted onto other websites without my written permission. If you want to use photos from this website, please email me first for permission. Thank-you!

Page 2: Historical King's Highway 17 Photographs (1950 to 1959)


HWY 17 #197

Above - Postcard view of the Keewatin Channel Bridge near Kenora, facing northeast (ca. 1950). See an Enlarged Photo Here.





HWY 17 #984

Above - Motorists taking in the view from the Kama Hill Lookout on Hwy 17 south of Nipigon (1950)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1950)





HWY 17 #39             HWY 17 #42

Left - Trans-Canada Highway Sign at the junction of Hwy 15 & Hwy 17 in Ottawa. Photo taken on July 19, 1950.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1950)

Right - Grading for the new Hwy 17 (Hwy 17 Alt) east of Ottawa. Photo taken on July 21, 1950.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1950)





HWY 17 #44             HWY 17 #43

Left - Grading and fill for a new Hwy 17 alignment east of Terrace Bay. Photo taken on August 23, 1950.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1950)

Right - Construction of Hwy 17 east of Jackfish near the proposed Steel River Bridge site. Photo taken on August 23, 1950.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1950)





HWY 17 #38             HWY 17 #40

Left - View of the Des Joachims lookout on Hwy 17. Photo taken on September 5, 1950.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1950)

Right - Grass seeding on Hwy 17, 6 miles west of North Bay. Photo taken on September 5, 1950.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1950)





HWY 17 #41             HWY 17 #45

Left - Zone striping on Hwy 17 east of Mattawa. facing west. Photo taken on September 5, 1950.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1950)

Right - Rock blasting for a new Hwy 17 alignment, 4.5 miles south of Haley (1951)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1951)





HWY 15 #31             HWY 15 #32

Left - A scenic view of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa in 1950, approaching the Wellington Street Bridge near Parliament Hill. Although they are not particularly obvious in this photo, note the four King's Highway route markers mounted onto a single post on Rideau Canal Drive at left. For many years, the routes of Hwy 15, Hwy 16, Hwy 17 and Hwy 31 all followed Rideau Canal Drive along a city-signed scenic loop through Downtown Ottawa. See an Enlarged Photo here. Photo taken in 1950.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1950)

Right - Facing south along Rideau Canal Drive (Hwy 15, Hwy 16, Hwy 17 & Hwy 31) in Ottawa in 1951. See an Enlarged Photo here. Photo taken in 1951.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1951)





HWY 17 #221

Above - Street protest in Wawa aimed at speeding up the construction of Hwy 17 to Sault Ste. Marie. This 1951 photo clearly depicts the frustration of Wawa residents in the 1950s, who felt isolated from the rest of the province because the town lacked an external highway link. This frustration was echoed in many other remote towns in Northern Ontario during the 1950s and 1960s, until the Department of Highways launched an ambitious northern highway construction program to link these distant communities with the rest of the province. On September 17, 1960, the Lake Superior Route of the Trans-Canada Highway was completed and officially opened to traffic, finally linking Wawa to the rest of the King's Highway system.

(Photo Courtesy of Michipicoten Heritage Committee, Wawa - Special thanks to Howard Whent for this photo)





HWY 17 #980             HWY 17 #981

Left - View of the Nipigon River from Hwy 17 at Nipigon (1951)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1951)

Right - View of the Rideau Canal Locks on Hwy 17 in Downtown Ottawa in 1952. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of National Film Board of Canada)





HWY 17 #213

Above - Temporary Bailey Bridge over Montreal River on Hwy 17 north of Sault Ste Marie. The rather precarious timber structure in the foreground was built by Ontario Hydro in the 1930s to provide access to a hydro dam a short distance to the north. When Hwy 17 was extended beyond the Montreal River in 1948, the Department of Highways constructed a more suitable temporary crossing until a permanent bridge could be built. Photo taken in 1952. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1952)





HWY 17 #59             HWY 17 #979

Left - Postcard view of Hwy 17 near Deep River (1952)

Right - View from the Department of Highways' Roadside Park and Campground on Hwy 17 at Kakabeka Falls (1952)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1952)





HWY 17 #982             HWY 17 #983

Left - Newly-built section of Hwy 17 south of Terrace Bay, approaching Jackfish Lake (1952)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1952)

Right - Cresting over the summit of Cavers Hill on the original Hwy 17 alignment in 1952. This section of Hwy 17 was bypassed by an entirely new highway alignment in 1959-1960, in an effort to improve the steep grade seen here. The original highway alignment, along with its trademark stone retaining wall, now lie abandoned in the forests high above the present-day Cavers Hill Rock Cut on Hwy 17.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1952)





HWY 17 #978             HWY 17 #977

Left - Aerial view of Downtown Ottawa and the Parliament Buildings on Hwy 17 in 1952. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of National Film Board of Canada)

Right - View of Raleigh Falls Roadside Park on Hwy 17 near Ignace (1953)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1953)





HWY 17 #944             HWY 17 #216

Left - Motorists at the Department of Highways' Aaron Park on Hwy 17 near Dryden in 1953. In 1956, this large roadside park and campground was turned over to the Department of Lands and Forests and was designated as Aaron Provincial Park. Many of Ontario's current provincial parks actually began as roadside parks and campgrounds developed and operated by the Department of Highways for the convenience of motorists.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1953)

Right - Bailey Bridge on Hwy 17 at the Little Pic River west of Marathon in 1953. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1953)





HWY 17 #986

Above - View of the new Hwy 17 alignment west of Whitefish in 1953. A substantial portion of Hwy 17 between Whitefish and Nairn was relocated onto a new alignment in the early 1950s, bypassing the small communities of Worthington and Victoria Mine. At the time this photo was taken, the new Hwy 17 was not yet open to traffic.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1953)





HWY 17 #215             HWY 17 #210

Left - Facing southeast towards Marathon from Hwy 17 (1953)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1953)

Right - View of Lake Superior between Schreiber and Terrace Bay on Hwy 17 (1954)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1954)





HWY 17 #208             HWY 17 #209

Left - Temporary Bailey Bridge over the Steel River on Hwy 17 east of Terrace Bay in 1954. This Bailey Bridge represents one of the largest structures of this type ever installed by the Department of Highways. The temporary bridge remained in service until 1958, when it was finally replaced by an equally impressive steel deck truss bridge which was in use up until 2011. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1954)

Right - New Hwy 17 alignment at Green Creek between Ottawa and Orleans in 1954. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1954)





HWY 17 #942             HWY 17 #969

Left - Heavy grading on Hwy 17 approaching the Little Pic River Bridge near Marathon (1954)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1954)

Right - View of a reconstructed section of Hwy 17, 2 miles west of Naughton (1954)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1954)





HWY 17 #582

Above - Facing east along Hwy 17 towards Earls Lake from the scenic lookout 4 miles west of Mattawa (ca. 1955)
(Photo from Cameron Bevers' historical photograph collection  -  Original photographer unknown)





HWY 17 #87

Above - Facing east along Hwy 17 towards the Hwy 29 Junction near Arnprior (ca. 1957)
(Photo from Cameron Bevers' historical photograph collection  -  Original photographer unknown)





HWY 17 #61             HWY 17 #217

Left - Oversized loads on Hwy 17 at Deep River in 1957. The trucks are hauling components for the Rolphton Power Plant.
(Photo from Cameron Bevers' historical photograph collection  -  Original photographer unknown)

Right - Wolf River Bridge on Hwy 17 between Dorion and Hurkett (September 25, 1957)
(Photo © Archives of Ontario  -  Series RG-14-162-5-166, Photo #914-57, AO6881)

The original Wolf River Bridge on Hwy 17 was a timber through truss bridge, similar in design to the famous Sioux Narrows Bridge on Hwy 71. The main through truss span was 90 feet (28 metres) in length. The Wolf River Bridge was completed in 1937. Unfortunately, the eastern approach to this bridge was narrow and winding and a new alignment was eventually built which bypassed the wooden bridge entirely. The current Wolf River Bridge was completed in 1959 and the old wooden bridge seen here was subsequently demolished. The approaches to the former Wolf River Bridge can still be found today in the forest just to the north of the current highway. See an Enlarged Photo Here.





HWY 17 #549

Above - Construction of the Little Pic River Bridge on Hwy 17 near Marathon. The steel deck truss portion of the bridge was about 50% complete when this photo was taken in September, 1957. Until the permanent bridge was completed in 1958, Hwy 17 traffic used a temporary Bailey Bridge located a short distance upstream of the permanent bridge site.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1957)





HWY 17 #548

Above - Compacting granular base on Hwy 17 near the Agawa River north of Sault Ste. Marie (1958)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1958)





HWY 17 #546             HWY 17 #547

Left - Roadside park and picnic area on Hwy 17 at Muskrat Lake near Cobden (1958)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1958)

Right - Heavy grading and rock cut on the Cavers Hill Diversion near Rossport (1959)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1959)





HWY 17 #550             HWY 17 #551

Left - Construction crew laying hot-mix asphalt on Hwy 17 near White River (1959)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1959)

Right - Grading operations on a new section of Hwy 17 north of the Agawa River (1959)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1959)





HWY 17 #552

Above - Large rock cut and fill on Hwy 17 at Agawa Hill (1959)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1959)

The photo above illustrates some of the difficult terrain that was encountered when building the Trans-Canada Highway around the northern and eastern shores of Lake Superior. Grading the Agawa Hill section of Hwy 17 took several years to complete. The path for the new highway was notched out of a nearly vertical rock face. The difference in elevation between the bottom of this rock fill and the top of the rock cut is about 180 feet (55 metres).





HWY 17 #985             HWY 17 #553

Left - View of Chippewa Falls and the Chippewa River Bridge on Hwy 17, north of Sault Ste. Marie (1959)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1959)

Right - Aerial view of the completed Michipicoten River Bridge on Hwy 17 south of Wawa in 1959, taken about one year prior to the highway's opening. Compare this 1959 photo to the 1960 photo below, which shows the highway after paving operations were completed and the highway was opened to traffic.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1959)





HWY 17 #968

Above - Construction of the White Lake Narrows Bridge on Hwy 17 between Marathon and White River in 1959. Note the ferry operating in the background. For a few years in the late 1950s, the Department of Highways operated a ferry service for Hwy 17 traffic across White Lake. Once the new White Lake Narrows Bridge was completed and opened to traffic in 1960, the ferry service was suspended. The two former ferry docks are still visible today along the shores of White Lake. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1959)





HWY 17 #975

Above - Aerial view of the Barrett River Bridge construction site on Hwy 17 in Lake Superior Provincial Park (1959)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1959)





HWY 17 #544             HWY 17 #545

Left - New Hwy 17 Bridge over the River Aux Sables in Massey (1959)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1959)

Right - Junction of Hwy 17 and Hwy 129 in Thessalon, facing west (1959)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1959)





HWY 17 #207

Above - New Winnipeg River Bridge under construction on Hwy 17 west of Kenora (1959)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1959)




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