Rolling Down Highway 15




Broken concrete pavement on Hwy 15 near Smiths Falls. Photo taken in 1958. See an
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  –  © Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 1958) The Kings Highway


Local Connection

Did you know Carleton Place’s Albert W. Cram was a very busy man from early Spring to Fall around the Lanark area? He had most of the contracts for our road systems in the area. Cram was proud that he had ‘the complete outfit’ of up to date machinery and equipment.


From the Kings Highway

Highway 15 was first designated as a provincial highway in 1920, although its original route was quite a bit different than the route that we are familiar with today. Originally, Highway 15 ran from Seeleys Bay northeasterly towards Smiths Falls, where it turned northwesterly to Perth. At Perth, the highway resumed its northeasterly route towards Carleton Place and Ottawa. The highway was extended from Seeleys Bay southerly to Kingston in 1921.

The route of Highway 15 remained largely unchanged until the late 1950s, when extensive reconstruction took place on Highway 15 between Perth and Stittsville. This section of Highway 15 was selected to be a section of the Trans-Canada Highway, and it was determined that a new alignment would need to be built to bring the highway up to standard.



Photo Linda Seccaspina


The original highway alignment via Ashton Station Road, Flewellyn Road, and Huntley Road was bypassed by a new straighter alignment in the late 1950s. A bypass was completed around Carleton Place in the late 1950s. The old alignment of Highway 15 through downtown became Highway 15B. In 1961, a major highway renumbering took place that saw Highway 43 extended westerly from Smiths Falls to Perth.



Above – Outdated railway subway on Hwy 29 (later Hwy 15) in Smiths Falls in 1958. Narrow, low clearance railway subways such as this one were quite common on Ontario’s highways until the 1960s.(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  –  © Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 1958) The Kings Highway




IN discussing Highway 15 farther down the reading list today Ted Hurdis mentioned the old road was behind the KIA on Highway 7 behind the MTO onHIghway 15— I went up to where the trailer place used to be and was not happily received.. trust me.. so I left and wandered around. MTO was closed so I went down on the next right after that.. and low and behold found what looks like a trail.. but I am sure it was the old highway 15.. as the road was cut off by a street and kept on going and you could see the rough paving in places and went off into the bush. It is definitely overgrown but I am sure this is it.. or used to beHighway 15

The section of Highway 15 from Perth to Carleton Place was renumbered as Highway 7, and Highway 15 was rerouted concurrently with Highway 29 between Smiths Falls and Carleton Place. The highway renumbering resulted in a reduction of Highway 15’s length to 173 km, but it did provide a more logical route for the highway. During the 1960s, the Ottawa Queensway was opened. Highway 15 was extended along the Queensway concurrently with Highway 7 from the Richmond Road Interchange to the Greenbank Road Interchange, where the highway ended at Highway 17. The concurrent route of Highway 7/15 between Carleton Place and Ottawa was discontinued in the early 1970s, when Highway 15 was truncated at Carleton Place. In the early 1980s, Highway 15 assumed the route of Highway 29 between Carleton Place and Arnprior.



Above – Circa 1955 postcard view of Gore Street (Hwy 15, later Hwy 43) in Downtown Perth, facing north from the Tay River Bridge.
(Photo courtesy of L. F. Charter)– The Kings Highway


Image may contain: people sitting, tree, outdoor and nature

Highway 15-where Richmond Road (old highway 7 and 15) crosses over

Vintage Smiths Falls & Perth Photo Perth-Wayfare Restaurant and B/A Service Station on highway #7. c1964

Where to buy Linda’s Books and please visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society website


Twin Oaks Motel Opens -1959 — Highway 7 Landmarks

An Explosive Highway 7 Tale

Something Really Spells Funny on Highway 7

The Lost Highway

Breathtaking Bargains and Jukebox Favourites at The Falcon on Highway 7

Sentimental Journey Through Carleton Place — Did You Know About Sigma 7?

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

2 responses »

  1. Albert CRAM was a descendant of the CRAMS who came to the area from Perthshire, Scotland in 1818 and 1820 ! . Nice to hear them still remembered. My late wife was also a CRAM from a line in Perthshire, but we crossed the pond in 1967.

    Liked by 1 person

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