The Regional Municipality Of York

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Major Mackenzie Drive: Highway 400 to Highway 50

Transforming Major Mackenzie Drive

Section 3, proposed rendering shows how the intersection and bridge will align with the future Major Mackenzie Drive.

The Regional Municipality of York is investing in building a safe, efficient and reliable Regional transportation network for all users. Improvements to Major Mackenzie Drive from Highway 50 to Highway 400 in the City of Vaughan are underway to accommodate growth, improve traffic flow and provide public transit connections and more travel options for all.

Please note: this work may be rescheduled due to weather conditions or delays related to COVID-19 Public Health guidelines. York Region will provide advance notice whenever possible.

Improving tra­ffic flow by:

  • Widening Major Mackenzie Drive to six lanes
  • Providing a connection to the future Highway 427 extension
  • Realigning a portion of Major Mackenzie Drive between the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks and Highway 27 to provide a continuous connection across Highway 27

Infrastructure improvements:

  • Building four new bridges including a 150-metre bridge over the Humber River and a bridge over the existing level crossing of the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks
  • Replacing old culverts with larger structures

Meeting the needs of our communities and environment by:

  • Installing a multi-use path, sidewalks and street lighting
  • Improving intersection accessibility
  • Installing wildlife fencing and wildlife culverts between Islington Avenue and Pine Valley Drive

Graphic map showing road construction area highlighting the four sections on Major Mackenzie Drive. For a detailed description of this map please call 1 877 464 9675 extension 75923.

Construction Update

Section 1: Pine Valley Drive to Highway 400

  • Construction is complete

Photo Section 2: Construction taking place on the south side of the existing roadway.

Photo Construction progress on the Humber River bridge.

Section 2: Islington Avenue to Pine Valley Drive

  • Construction is underway and is anticipated to be completed by fall 2021. During the first stage of construction tra­ffic will continue to use the existing lanes, as construction will commence south of the existing roadway. In the coming months you will see:
    • Topsoil removal and roadway excavation
    • Installation of storm sewers
    • Bridge construction at the East Humber River and Purpleville Creek
    • Installation of wildlife culverts

Major Mackenzie Drive will remain open to traffic during construction and access to Islington Avenue and Pine Valley Drive will be maintained; however, temporary lane closures may be required between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for construction.

Photo The intersection of Major Mackenzie Drive and Highway 27 raised to match the level of the Humber River bridge.

Section 3: Canadian Pacific Railway tracks to Islington Avenue

  • Road work between Highway 27 and Islington Avenue will be substantially completed this year, including the intersection at Highway 27. Final paving, painting of lane markings and landscaping will be completed in 2020. A water main was installed last winter, located under the future south boulevard
  • Raising the intersection of Major Mackenzie Drive and Highway 27 to match the level of the Humber River bridge was completed this summer. The bridge height was determined by the need to allow the river flood waters to pass underneath
  • The temporary Major Mackenzie Drive detour is still in place and will be for at least two years. This is required to build the bridge over the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks. This spring and summer, large amounts of soil were placed to form the road leading up to the future bridge.It could take up to a year for the ground to settle, after which the bridge construction can begin
  • Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2021

Photo Large amounts of soil placed to support the future bridge over the Canadian Pacifi c Railway tracks.

Section 4: Highway 50 to Highway 427 extension

  • Construction is underway and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020

Photo Section 2: Islington Avenue to Pine Valley Drive.

Construction Reminders

Motorists may experience short periodic stoppages or lane closures due to construction. York Region recognizes this can be disruptive and will make every effort to minimize disruptions. Thank you for your ongoing patience.

To help manage your daily commutes during construction, travellers can plan their route in advance by using traffic and navigation tools. York Region provides real-time traffic and road information in open data, used by many app developers.


For everyone’s safety, please reduce your speed through the construction area. Please contact us if you notice any safety issues in and around the construction sites.

Transit services

For inquiries about transit routes during construction, riders are encouraged to visit or call 1-866-MOVE-YRT (668-3978).

Take a look at the Humber River bridge construction from a bird’s-eye view

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of this project?

  • Improved east and west travel route between Highway 400 and Highway 50
  • Provides additional lanes for vehicles and new High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes for buses and passenger vehicles with more than one person. This should help ease congestion in the area
  • Provides travellers with a connection to the future Highway 427 extension
  • Improved intersections with updated signals that meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requirements  
  • Improved roadway conditions allowing for safer driving conditions
  • Provides a new multi-use path and sidewalks with street lighting, allowing more travel options for all
  • A new bridge over the Canadian Pacific Rail tracks (west of Highway 27), allowing vehicles to continue their travel without having to wait for  train crossings

Are there any lane closures or reductions associated with this project?

  • During construction, we are trying to keep at least one lane open including left-turn lanes at all times
  • Lane reductions may be required to facilitate construction between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Will there be any night work?

  • Some operations are better performed at night when traffic is lighter. For example, the final layer of pavement is best facilitated at night to minimize traffic disruptions 
  • There are currently no long-term night operations for this project at this time

How is the natural environment considered during construction?

The natural environment plays a large role in the assessment, planning and design with all Regional construction projects. The Region worked closely with many approving agencies to get the necessary permits to undertake the improvements to Major Mackenzie Drive from Highway 50 to Highway 400. Through the permitting process, they have all provided input on how we address the environmental aspects of the project.

The removal of trees and wildlife habitat is required to undertake the project. The section between Highway 27 and Pine Valley Drive had the most trees removed.  However, the project also has many positive features, including:

  • Humber River Bridge – This is a large 150m long bridge that spans the Humber River. Although this is a new bridge, it was designed to span the floodplain of the Humber River and allow water passage during large rainfall events. The large span ensures the flood waters remain unchanged from existing, therefore minimizing the impact to the existing residences. The elevation of the bridge is such that the floodwaters do not overtop the roadway, allowing safe passage during a rainstorm   
  • East Humber River – The existing bridge has an 18.0m wide opening underneath. The new bridge has a 76.0m wide opening, allowing improved water flow during large rainfall events and better wildlife and pedestrian passage
  • Purpleville Creek – The existing structure is a series of four 3.6m wide concrete culverts. The new structure is a bridge with a 40.0m wide opening, also greatly improving water flow during large rainfall events and is a large improvement for wildlife passage
  • Wildlife Crossings – Between Islington Avenue and Pine Valley Drive, the Region will be installing three 3.0m wide concrete culverts for wildlife passage. There are currently no existing wildlife crossing structures. Additionally, wildlife fences will be installed along the north and south sides of Major Mackenzie Drive to direct wildlife to cross at the three wildlife culverts or the two bridges. These measures should reduce wildlife mortality and facilitate habitat connections across the road
  • Tree Removal – Trees that are removed will be replaced at approximately a 3:1 ratio with new trees. The Region will plant as many trees as possible within the existing road allowance and the rest will be replaced on other Region or TRCA land. The trees being removed are utilized for lumber, firewood or bedding material at farms, depending on the quality of the wood removed
  • Roadway Stormwater – The stormwater from the roadway is collected and treated to remove the contaminants and sediment and also cooled before entering the existing water course

The Region pays strict attention to bird and fish breeding seasons when doing work by not cutting down trees within the bird nesting season (unless a biologist confirms nests are not present) and not conducting any work in the stream if the fish are spawning.

Can pedestrians and cyclists still use the road?

  • Yes. Pedestrians and cyclists can still use the roadway
  • The installation of a multi-use path is part of the scope of this project, that can be utilized by pedestrians and cyclists once complete

We’re here to answer your questions. Accessible formats of this newsletter or communication supports are available upon request.


General Inquiries:
Vanessa Savelli
Communications and Community Engagement Specialist
Phone: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 75923

Construction Activity:
Gary Leonard
Construction Administrator
Phone: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 75233

After hours emergency: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 75200


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