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This page contains historical photos of Ontario's King's Highway 401 dating from 1938 to 1952. Please note that until 1952, King's Highway 401 was called King's Highway 2A. During early planning and construction phases, it was referred to as the "Toronto-Oshawa Highway". 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 1: Historical King's Highway 401 Photographs (1938 to 1952)


HWY 2A #2

Above - Original 1930s plan for the new dual highway through Oshawa. This road was initially known as Hwy 2A, but later became a portion of Hwy 401. This sketch was prepared by the Department of Highways in February 1939 and the plan was approved by Oshawa City Council later that same month. Construction began on the new dual highway between Toronto and Oshawa before World War II, but shortages of construction materials delayed the completion of many of the grade separations and interchanges. The partially-completed freeway was unofficially opened to traffic in 1942, despite the fact that many sections were still under construction. The freeway was formally opened to traffic on December 3, 1947.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1939)





HWY 2A #1             HWY 2A #4

Left - Grading for the new Hwy 2A (Hwy 401) west of Whitby, looking east (1938)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1938)

Right - New earth cut and grading underway on Hwy 2A (Hwy 401) approaching the Rouge River (1938)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1938)





HWY 2A #5             HWY 2A #3

Left - Graders at work on Hwy 2A (Hwy 401) east of Pickering Village (1938)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1938)

Right - Completed Hwy 2A (Hwy 401) grading approaching the Rouge River, looking east (1938)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1938)





HWY 2A #12             HWY 2A #7

Left - New Hwy 2A (Hwy 401) at West Hill. South side of dual highway facing east. See an Enlarged Photo here. Photo taken on April 3, 1946.
(Photo © Archives of Ontario  -  Series RG-14-162-2-27, Photo #G62)

Right - CN Subway and Albert & Simcoe Street Overpasses at Hwy 2A in Oshawa. See an Enlarged Photo here. Photo taken on August 27, 1946.
(Photo © Archives of Ontario  -  Series RG-14-162-3, Photo #G308)





HWY 2A #6

Above - Facing west along Hwy 2A (Hwy 401) from the Simcoe Street Interchange in Oshawa. Photo taken on October 8, 1946.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1946)





HWY 2A #8             HWY 2A #9

Left - Construction of steel frame for the new Thickson Road Overpass on Hwy 2A (Hwy 401) between Whitby and Oshawa. Photo taken on October 8, 1946.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1946)

Right - Concrete paving machines in operation on Hwy 2A (Hwy 401) east of Brock Street in Whitby (1946)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1946)





HWY 2A #10

Above - Facing east along Hwy 2A (Hwy 401) from the Simcoe Street Overpass in Oshawa, showing 3 of 4 lanes paved. Photo taken on October 8, 1946.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1946)





HWY 2A #11

Above - Looking east along Hwy 2A (Hwy 401) near the Thickson Road Interchange near Whitby. See an Enlarged Photo here. Photo taken on October 8, 1946.
(Photo © Archives of Ontario  -  Series RG-14-162-3, Box A1367, Photo #6496)





HWY 2A #17

Above - Facing east towards Oshawa along Hwy 2A (Hwy 401) approaching the Whitby Interchange at Brock Street in 1948. See an Enlarged Photo here.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1948)





HWY 401 #2             HWY 401 #3

Left - Construction of the CPR underpass on Hwy 401 near Weston Road in Toronto. Photo taken on October 31, 1950.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1950)

Right - Construction of the CNR underpass on Hwy 401 near Keele Street in Toronto. Photo taken on October 31, 1950.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1950)





HWY 401 #5

Above - Hwy 401 under construction in Toronto approaching the new Keele Street Overpass. Photo taken on June 26, 1951.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1951)




Continue on to King's Highway 401 Photos: Historical Photos: 1953 to 1959



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