If you are coming from Toronto to Collingwood, you probably assume that you will hop on the 400 and take it until you reach the Barrie turnoff. Although this is how most map searches and GPS systems will tell you to do it, the 400 is slow, overcrowded, and challenging to drive on, even in good weather. The next time you have to get from the city to Collingwood, consider using one of these alternate routes instead. You’ll get to experience some of rural Ontario’s beauty along the way and likely save some travel time.
• Highway 10 to 124 – If you are coming from the West End, take the 401 to 410 and continue up Highway 10. Then, take the 124 to Collingwood. Beyond Brampton, there is almost no traffic on this route. Just set your cruise control and relax. Along this route, you will get to see some of the gorgeous scenery in and around Caledon, and you can stop in Orangeville for a convenient pit stop.
• Airport Road – This route is an excellent alternative to the 400 and our favourite choice. It is extremely scenic and almost always quicker than the 400. Instead of getting on the 400, take Airport Road all the way up. To get to Airport Road, you may want to take the 407 or the 409. Once you are finally out of the GTA, you will be able to enjoy views of the Mansfield area and Hockley Valley.
• Highway 27 – Running directly parallel to the 400, you can get onto Highway 27 from either the 409 or Highway 7. This route isn’t as busy as the 400 or as hilly as Airport Road. Plus, you can take it directly to the west side of Barrie and then get on 90. If you have time, stop at Bradford Greenhouse along the way!
• East End to 404- Although it can be busy at times, the 404 can get you out of the east-west gridlock in the GTA. Start by getting on the 404 and then make your way west after you pass Newmarket. If you have a GPS, you will be able to find some roads that are less-travelled and boast some lovely rural scenery. Jump on Airport Road or Hwy 27 to continue north.