The Province of Ontario recognized as far back as the 1890's that there was a need for the government to have some unifying control over the creation of a public highway system. In the 1890's a "Train the Trainer" type of program was commenced whereby Provincial Road Building Instructors were trained to carry a set of standards into the field to ensure there was uniformity in the manner in which highways of different classes were constructed in Ontario.
In 1916 the Department of Public Highways was formed and given the responsibility of establishing a network of roadways that would efficiently connect communities within the province. The vast size of Ontario made this quite an expensive anad long term challenge. The first highway was named, using a numbering system, in 1918 and the number of designated highways continued to grow throughout the years.
Motorists in their first cars needed a means to navigate throughout the province and many motoring clubs were formed and maps were made available to members. In 1923 the Province issued it's first Official Road Map of Ontario and has continued to issue maps on a regular basis since that time.
With on board navigation systems becoming more and more common place for drivers, it is only logical to presume that before long the issuing of road maps by the province will come to an end. If this does come to pass, it can be said the Province has left a rich history of map production in it's archives.
For the purposes of this website, I have broken down the maps produced by the province into different categories.
Please use the drop down menu from the main menu bar to navigate to view the different maps.
Official maps were issued by different Departments or (later called Ministeries) of the Ontario Government through time as the areas evolved.
1) Department of Public Highways (1923 – 1930/31)
2) Department of Highways (1931/32 – 1936/37)
3) Travel and Publicity Bureau (1936/37 – 1945/46)
4) Department of Highways (1947 – 1972)
5) Ministry of Transportation and Communications (1973 – 1987)
6) Ministry of Transportation (1988 – present)