The fastest way to Guelph

The fastest way to Guelph often means avoiding highway 7.

It’s never made sense to me. Apparently it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people; you see them quickly change lanes on the Conestoga Parkway where the lanes split, quickly and often dangerously moving over to the left. In either direction, before the interchanges for Wellington and Victoria Street there exists a median barrier. This was part of the original design, way back in the 1960s when the Conestoga Parkway was designed and built. The area was designed to accommodate the high volume of traffic leaving (and entering) Kitchener Waterloo’s Conestoga Parkway in the direction of Guelph.

The interchange at Wellington Street was put in, but the highway to Guelph was never built. Not until now – well, soon.

I was on Highway 7 recently. I often go to Guelph on the weekends but rarely during the week. I found that during the week, the highway has a lot of traffic. It’s not fast on a summer morning so I’m sure it’s extra slow during the hours when people are going to and coming from work.

The highway connecting Guelph to Kitchener Waterloo was eventually approved in 2007 (forty years late). It’s an 18-kilometer divided freeway that will connect to the top of the Hanlon Parkway in Guelph to the Conestoga Parkway in KW. The timing of the approval is a little suspicious, this year of our by-election.

The current road handles an estimated 22,000 commuters a day. About ten years ago, before I was a real estate agent, I worked at the Guelph Mercury. I used to commute to and from Guelph every day, but instead of taking Highway 7, from my home in Uptown Waterloo, I would take a more circuitous route through Bloomingdale and Mary Hill to Guelph. I know people living in the north end of Waterloo will take the next road parallel north at the Crowsfoot and get to Guelph that way. Point is – we are avoiding the longest parking lot in Waterloo Region. We’d rather drive further and faster than take highway 7. There certainly is demand for a fast road to Guelph and it finally looks like we are going to get it.

Highway 7 was first designated in 1920 between Sarnia and Guelph and extended to Brampton the following year. Between 1927 and 1932, the highway more than doubled in length as it was gradually extended eastward to Perth, where Highway 15 continued to Ottawa. In the early 1960s, that section of Highway 15 was renumbered as Highway 7. In that same decade, the Conestoga Parkway and Peterborough Bypass were constructed. During the 1970s and 1980s, many sections of Highway 7 were widened from the initial two lane cross-section to four or six lanes. But not in this region, not yet anyway.

Beside Kitchener Waterloo and Cambridge, Alasdair and I sell houses in Guelph. Call us now if you’re buying selling a home Guelph. We can help.

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