highway 400 ontario

Thousands now on board to rename Toronto highway

A highway that millions use to get into and out of Toronto could soon get a new moniker if thousands of people pushing for a rename get their wish.

A new petition regarding Ontario'sHighway 400 — which runs 226 km from North York through Barrie and up past Parry Sound — has collected more than a staggering 16,000 signatures in one month from residents hoping to rechristen it after pop-folk legend Gordon Lightfoot.

Lightfoot, whose tunes were hugely popular in the 1970s, was originally from Orillia, Ontario, which the 400 cuts right past. He died in Toronto last May at the age of 84 with 16 Juno Awards, five Grammy nominations, and tons of other accolades under his belt.

The appeal, launched March 4, argues that the songwriter should be memorialized for his "picturesque, melodic, haunting, meaningful" and timeless hits, many of which included nods to his home country.

"Many of us feel the need to do more than share our memories of Gord and enjoy his songs. We would like to honour him and be reminded or perhaps in some cases be made aware of his songs and the beautiful country he came from by having Highway 400 named The Gordon Lightfoot Memorial Highway," the change.org page reads.

It gives examples of other highways named after similar icons, like the portion of AutoRoute 40 in Quebec named for Félix Leclerc.

"Imagine the happy thoughts and songs that will come to mind and be played in vehicles as people from Canada and abroad travel this highway," fans and friends write.

"Let's honour our local hero by renaming Highway 400 after him. Please sign this petition if you agree that it’s time for us to pay tribute to the late great Gordon Lightfoot in this meaningful way."

The Canadian Music Hall of Famer penned a mind-blowing 425+ songs in his lifetime, which have been sung by stars like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash. Others, such as Neil Young and Bob Dylan, have sung not only his songs, but his praises.

Lead photo by

nimbto/Shutterstock


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