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Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation turns 100

┬áTORONTO, Ont.–On January 17, 2016, the Ministry of Transportation turns 100. The ministry, originally called “The Department of Public Highways of Ontario,” was created on January 17, 1916. Findlay G. MacDiarmid was the first Minister of Transportation.

Some of the key highlights the Ministry has achieved in its 100 years include:

  • In 1917, Ontario assumed responsibility of its first provincial highway
  • In 1939, the Queen Elizabeth Way was officially dedicated by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth
  • In 1967, GO Transit began operations
  • In 1976, Ontario became the first province in Canada to make seatbelts mandatory
  • In 1994, Ontario became the first North American jurisdiction to introduce a comprehensive Graduated Licensing System for novice drivers
  • In 2005, child booster seats became mandatory in Ontario
  • In 2009, Ontario banned hand-held devices while driving
  • In 2013, Ontario recorded the second-lowest drinking and driving fatality rate among all jurisdictions in North America
  • In 2014, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in the world to include cognitive screening tools as a mandatory component of periodic driver’s licence renewal
  • On January 1, 2016, Ontario became the first of Canada’s provinces and territories to allow testing of automated vehicles on its roads.

Improving Ontario’s transportation network is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan, the government said.


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