Friday, July 01, 2005


This is a photo of Highway 401 I took for a friend in Ireland last winter. The view faces west, and was taken from the bridge of Don Mills Road. West of here is the Don Valley, the Leslie Street interchange, and the Bayview Avenue interchange at the top of the hill. Beyond that, out of sight, is the Yonge Street interchange. The 401 bridges at Yonge Street carry more traffic than any other highway bridges on the continent.

Highway 401, facing west from Don Mills Road

When I was twelve and we were just moving to Ontario from Nova Scotia, we came along the 401 once we left Quebec. For the most part, it was two or three lanes each way; nothing all that remarkable to me; we had superhighways in Nova Scotia. But when we entered Scarborough and came over a rise and suddenly the 401 branched out into express lanes and collector lanes and was ten, twelve, sixteen lanes wide, I was awed. That, and the fact that we were moving from city to city to city with nothing between them and only signs to indicate the change, was what most impressed me when we arrived. It was the first, big difference between what I'd known before, and how my life was going to be from then on.

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