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Old Aug 3, 05, 6:48 pm   #1
 
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Suggestion: From Toronto to Ottawa

When driving from Toronto to Ottawa, should we go along highway 401 or highway 7? Looks like highway 7 is more direct but yahoo suggest to use 401. Something to consider, our group consists of some seniors, from Hawaii, who are not so used to long hr ride and curvy road. Which route is better. Thanks for suggestion.
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Old Aug 4, 05, 4:15 pm   #2
 
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Highway 401 is a major multi-lane highway. Highway 7 is more than a road than a highway, especially as it passes though towns.

Taking 7 would add hours to your trip (but admittedly it's probably more scenic).
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Old Aug 5, 05, 3:44 am   #3
 
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Thanks a lot for your information and we will keep this hint in our planning.
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Old Aug 5, 05, 2:01 pm   #4
 
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I generally prefer 7 over 401 however it is 2 lane road and quite curvy and hilly in places. It does take a little longer (not hours, I make a regular trip from Toronto to near Ottawa and the Highway 7 route usually adds 30 to 45 minutes) however I've been told that there is big time construction on 7 this summer (there was none on July 1, but I haven't been along since) so I would avoid it in the short term.

401/416 is 4 (or 6) lane divided highway (like US interstates) it is BUSY and on weekdays there are lots of trucks.
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Old Aug 7, 05, 4:14 pm   #5
 
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Lots of roadwork on the 401 this summer near Belleville/Kingston.

I like the 401 because when it's not busy, you can get to Ottawa quite quickly, and if it is busy/stopped, you can easily hop on the 2 as an alternate.

Highway 7 is a nice scenic road, but it will add a lot of time to your trip, and if you like to drive a little over the limit, the chances of getting nabbed by the police is far greater.
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Old Aug 9, 05, 8:46 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpalle
Highway 7 is a nice scenic road, but it will add a lot of time to your trip, and if you like to drive a little over the limit, the chances of getting nabbed by the police is far greater.
It's easy to avoid tickets on Highway 7, the cops sit at the end of the passing lane sections and nab people who rocket through hoping to get in front of a pack. Avoid that trap and drive the speed the road and traffic will support (which is usually not that fast) and you won't pick up a ticket.

401 varies a little more but the trick there is to watch it through Napanee, on busy weekends officer Bob sits on top of one of the rock cuts in a lawn chair with the radar gun and he has as many as 6 cruisers chasing down the people he clocks. No mercy in the courts in Napanee either, if they clock you at 121 km you'll pay the 120 or over fine.
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Old Aug 12, 05, 8:32 pm   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bytepusher
It's easy to avoid tickets on Highway 7, the cops sit at the end of the passing lane sections and nab people who rocket through hoping to get in front of a pack. Avoid that trap and drive the speed the road and traffic will support (which is usually not that fast) and you won't pick up a ticket.

401 varies a little more but the trick there is to watch it through Napanee, on busy weekends officer Bob sits on top of one of the rock cuts in a lawn chair with the radar gun and he has as many as 6 cruisers chasing down the people he clocks. No mercy in the courts in Napanee either, if they clock you at 121 km you'll pay the 120 or over fine.
Anything east of Kingston is prime trap territory on the 401 and the ticket odds get higher as you get closer to Prescott. Thy always run traps there on the last week of the month. Nothing to do with numbers of course as its all about road safety
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Old Aug 20, 05, 11:06 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bytepusher
No mercy in the courts in Napanee either, if they clock you at 121 km you'll pay the 120 or over fine.
I know so many people who have gotten their fines from there either drastically reduced or dropped completely... oh, Napanee...

Highway 7 is an old road, crazy busy on weekends as the Toronto crowd decides to go cottaging. I used to drive it (in the opposite direction of the TO crowd) on Thanksgiving Monday afternoon. It can also be more unsafe than the 401, at least in my experience. I know more than a few people who have gotten into accidents on #7.

I would take the 401 unless you really really really want to do "the scenic" route. The highway from the 401 up to Ottawa is also fast, relatively non-busy and well maintained.

If you want to stop in a scenic little village (you said you have some seniors with you), head into Merrickville. There's a big sign on the 401 - take that exit, follow the signs. Merrickville is this little village that's full of arts and crafts shops, probably about forty minutes outside of Ottawa. It would be a nice place to stretch your legs if you're into that kind of thing. From there, instead of going back down to the 401, you cut across the countryside to get back on the highway to Ottawa.
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Old Aug 22, 05, 4:24 pm   #9
 
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Thanks for all the replies and we will make sure to avoid the ticket. Thanks
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Old Aug 30, 05, 2:44 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parnel
Anything east of Kingston is prime trap territory on the 401 and the ticket odds get higher as you get closer to Prescott. Thy always run traps there on the last week of the month. Nothing to do with numbers of course as its all about road safety
I have travelled the 416/401 route regularly for the last 15 years (OK, the 416 isn't that old, so, read 16 for the "old days"). I always set the cruise control between 115 and 119 km/h and have never been ticketed in spite of may speed traps. Of course, I spend a lot of time in the right lane letting the faster drivers go by.
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Old Dec 7, 06, 7:50 am   #11
 
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I was always under the impression highway 7 is faster due to it goes at SW direction where as 401 you loop at angle.
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Old Dec 11, 06, 5:15 pm   #12
 
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irrelevant post

Last edited by Wrong Way; Dec 11, 06 at 5:18 pm. Reason: just noticed the original posting date
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Old Dec 20, 06, 9:11 pm   #13
 
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Well, here's a vote for highway 7.

I do the Toronto Ottawa run for business two or three times a year, and have for over twelve years. I've driven both, actually not a lot of difference time-wise. When the 416 freeway opened to connect Ottawa with the 401, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper sent three reporters to compare routes/travel times. Verdict: 7 was the quickest (by ten minutes or something like that).

The exact route was 7 from Ottawa to 37 through Tweed, then join the 401 at Belleville. This is my favorite route and its certainly refreshing to find a viable alternative to the freeway once in a while. That said, I'd still vote for 401/416 in bad weather or summer weekends, when the "tourists" can overwhelm the two lane road. Otherwise, the traffic isn't too bad on 7 (at least west of Perth) and none of the towns amount to much. And far and away its the more scenic drive.

Another alternative (and the third route tested by the newspaper) involves taking highway 15 from the 401 to Ottawa via Smith's Falls. I've done it a few times. Its not much different from the others time-wise, but 15 has more traffic than 7 and Smith's Falls is a minor pain in the butt to drive through....bigger than any of the towns you go through on 7.

Just don't forget about the cops!
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Old Dec 20, 06, 9:14 pm   #14
 
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Well, here's a vote for highway 7.

I do the Toronto Ottawa run for business two or three times a year, and have for over twelve years. I've driven both, actually not a lot of difference time-wise. When the 416 freeway opened to connect Ottawa with the 401, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper sent three reporters to compare routes/travel times. Verdict: 7 was actually the quickest (by ten minutes or something like that....its also physically the shortest).

The exact route was 7 from Ottawa to 37 through Tweed, then join the 401 at Belleville. This is my favorite route and its certainly refreshing to find a viable alternative to the freeway once in a while. That said, I'd still vote for 401/416 in bad weather or summer weekends, when the "tourists" can overwhelm the two lane road. Otherwise, the traffic isn't too bad on 7 (at least west of Perth) and none of the towns amount to much. And far and away its the more scenic drive. Just don't forget about the cops!

Another alternative (and the third route tested by the newspaper) involves taking highway 15 from the 401 to Ottawa via Smith's Falls. I've done it a few times. Its not much different from the others time-wise, but 15 usually has somewhat more traffic than 7, and Smith's Falls is a minor pain in the butt to drive through....bigger than any of the towns you go through on 7.
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