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We don’t often associate cars with fashion, but Alfa Romeo UK have unveiled two limited edition bags designed by students from the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London.
The bags were designed to celebrate the Italian sports car brand’s centenary celebrations. Talking about her designs, student Tamara Elliot said: a€?I wanted to design a bag that worked with the car and the requirements of travelling.
And student William Hendry said: a€?I was attracted to the Alfa Romeo project because it enabled me to gain an insight in to an area of design that I had previously had little opportunity to explore.
The collaboration proves that cars and fashion can be within the same sentence and the two prototype designs have pushed Alfa Romeo to look at producing a limited edition range of both bags in the near future. The Department of Public Highways of Ontario—as the ministry was then called—had only 35 employees. But to get the real scope of transportation history in Ontario, we have to go back…way back. For most of its history, what we now know as Ontario was a virtually impenetrable landscape of dense forest and rough terrain. Up until the late 18th century the major transport routes were rivers and lakes, with the boat or canoe being the preferred mode for long-distance travel.
In 1793, soldiers and local settlers built what is believed to be the first section of roadway in Upper Canada—eight kilometres of bumpy trail between Kingston and Bath.
Roads of this era were primitive and often only usable in mid-summer when the earth was dry and hard enough for travellers on horseback, or in winter, when the packed snow allowed sleigh travel.
By the early 1800s, the government became more involved in the funding, construction and maintenance of roads for several reasons: to open new areas for settlement, to improve postal service, to foster commerce and to facilitate the administration of government and movement of the military. Government eventually allowed municipalities and private companies to set up toll booths on turnpikes in an effort to improve the sorry state of road construction and maintenance. During the latter half of the 1800s, Ontario roads were in a serious state of neglect and deterioration.
The bicycle’s rising popularity increased the pressure to improve roads connecting towns and villages. In 1894, the Ontario Good Roads Association was founded and began its tradition of advocating better roads amid a growing recognition of the need for improved and safer roads for economic growth and community access.
The first Provincial Instructor in Road Making was appointed in 1896 in the Department of Agriculture to promote improved road construction and maintenance.
Provincial interests in roads were reflected in the 1901 legislation that provided provincial funding for local road improvements, mainly at the county level.
The first provincial Traffic Patrol was formed in 1907 within the Highways Branch of the Department of Public Works, although municipal police provided the bulk of road enforcement across the province. By 1913, there were over 17,300 motor vehicles registered in Ontario, including 39 steam and 223 electric powered vehicles, and fewer than a thousand motorized delivery wagons and motor trucks. Even back then, traffic jams had become a constant problem on the existing Lake Shore Road between Toronto and Hamilton. By 1916, in response to the increasing focus on the automobile, Ontario decided that roads were a big enough priority to merit the energies of a full-fledged department. The Department of Public Highways of Ontario (DPHO), as the ministry was then called, was established on January 17th in 1916. The DPHO had a vision for Ontario’s future which included connecting the whole province with network of smooth and safe paved highways.
In some towns, labour was so scarce that absolutely no road maintenance could be completed. One division of the newly formed department was called the Motor Vehicles Branch, which was transferred from the Department of the Provincial Secretary. The roaring 20s were characterized by a mid-decade recession followed by a boom and then the famous market crash of 1929. The 1920s was a decade of firsts: the department introduced snow removal, an official road map, driver licensing, a trucking act, an all-weather road to the north, and a gasoline tax. Formal road systems were established and organized, resulting in a total of 9,725 miles of county roads and 1,825 miles of provincial highways. The first provincial Highway Traffic Act is passed, which consolidates a number of earlier traffic laws and regulations. Beginner permits also become available, which are only valid when the operator is accompanied by a fully licenced driver.
Gaps in important northern roads are filled, most notably on the Cochrane-Hearst Road between Smooth Rock Falls and Cochrane and the road between Espanola and Little Current. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the official Queen Elizabeth Way dedication ceremony in St. When the devastating effects of the Great Depression hit Ontario, the department became an economic anchor in a stormy sea.
Traffic enforcement duties were transferred from the department to the Ontario Provincial Police.
The decade culminated with one of its biggest undertakings: the dedication of the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) in June 1939, just a few months before the start of WWII.
By 1937, DHO becomes responsible for northern Ontario roads when it is merged with the department of Northern Development, increasing its road mileage from 3,743 to 7,242 miles (6,024 to 11,655 km) and adding 8,145 miles (13,108 km) of county roads. Nipigon River Bridge opens on September 24, 1937, a crossing that even today remains the only paved route linking eastern and western Canada.
When the Second World War started in September 1939, hundreds of DHO staffers joined the armed forces.
In 1943, completion of the 157-mile stretch between Hearst and Geraldton provides a cross-Canada highway route. In 1949, the first meeting occurs with the federal government on funding for construction of the Trans-Canada Highway.
DHO’s Tom Mahoney develops a system to keep track of, and determine causes of, road accidents. The Trans-Canada Highway Agreement of 1950 set the stage for the construction of a sea-to-sea road network. Unfortunately, the frenzy of construction led to a dark period in the department’s history. In 1955, a Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly concluded that the roads involved were well-built but that better processes for managing road construction projects were necessary.  In the end, however, the department emerged from its darkest hour as a more aware and responsible entity.
In 1958 the department solved the long, traffic jams at the QEW’s two-lane lift bridge over the ship canal on the Burlington beach strip by opening the Burlington Bay Skyway, which provided a four-lane controlled access highway. Plans for a new east-west divided highway from Windsor to the Quebec boundary are announced (Highway 401). In 1952, highway numbering series 400 is established to designate freeways, starting with Highways 400 and 401 and 402. Highway 400 from Toronto to Barrie opens, with its slight roller-coaster contour and almost imperceptible curves designed to prevent highway hypnosis. Atikokan highway opens for traffic, providing access to mining, lumbering and tourist areas. In 1957, a new Department of Transportation (DOT) is created, incorporating driver, vehicle and carrier enforcement functions previously conducted by DHO.

In 1959, a major innovation in road safety emerges with the introduction of the demerit point system for driving offences.
Officials standing next to a plaque that commemorates the completion of Highway 401 (Macdonald-Cartier Freeway), 1968-1969.
Although the focus remained on highways and roads, department responsibilities for other transportation modes were also growing. In addition to transit, in 1968, Ontario introduced the Airport Act, which included a policy of establishing airports in remote communities to serve them by air rather than by all-weather roads. In 1963, the first eight permanent services centres open on Highway 401 (now known as OnRoute). New International Bridge at Pigeon River opens, providing a link to Grand Portage, Minnesota. The seventies brought a new outlook as the Department of Highways amalgamated with the Department of Transportation. The new ministry was committed to achieving a better balance between public transit, commuter services and motor vehicle traffic, and to integrating road, rail, air and marine services. In 1970, the last section of the Lakehead (Thunder Bay) Expressway opens, as did Highway 144 from Sudbury to Timmins.
Tolls on the Garden City and Burlington Bay Skyways, which were in place since they opened, are removed in December 1973.
A new driver licence classification system introduces 10 classes of licenses that define which types of vehicles can be driven under each class. By the end of the decade MTC implements long-distance phone, radio and TV service to 20 remote communities in northwestern Ontario.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC) continued to expand its services, including helping to provide specialized transit for disabled persons, and an increasing focus on other transportation modes. The expansion of the highway system was slowing, but improvements to the existing system continued. A new Truck Transportation Act was passed into law and mandatory use of child safety seats was also introduced. In 1981, during the International Year of the Disabled Person, the ministry begins providing a 75 per cent subsidy to transit service providers to improve accessibility for disabled persons.
Highway 33 in Prince Edward County is dedicated and named the Loyalist Parkway by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1982, GO Transit initiates the Advanced Light Rapid Transit initiative, GO ALRT, resulting in the development of new LRT technology, the construction of the Scarborough Rapid Transit line and the marketing of the technology to other jurisdictions.
In 1984, the ministry published the Ontario Intercity Guide to Public Transportation, the first of its kind in Canada. In 1991, the Highway 401 COMPASS Freeway Traffic Management System officially opens, providing important travel information about construction conditions and commuting, and helping to manage congestion through improved incident management. Major 400-series highway construction continues with expansion or extension of several highways. In 1994, Ontario becomes the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement a Graduated Licensing System to novice drivers. Highway 407 opens, becoming the world’s first all-electronic, open-access toll highway.
During this decade, the ministry re-engaged in some of the areas from which the Province pulled in the 1990s. Also during this decade, MTO made great strides with road safety, ranking every year as either first or second for safest roads in North America.
In 2001, ministry launches Ignition Interlock Program, which requires convicted drunk drivers to blow into an in-car alcohol breath screening device before their vehicle will start.
In 2006, Province creates the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority, whose name changed shortly after to Metrolinx, to play a critical role in planning and delivering a seamless, integrated transit network for the GTA allowing people to use public transit to travel easily. In 2007, rapid bridge replacement technology is first used in Ontario on the Island Park Bridge in Ottawa.
MTO launches Presto, a new electronic fare card that allows riders to transfer seamlessly across multiple transit systems. In 2008, with support from MTO, Metrolinx announces The Big Move, a long-term vision for transit in the Greater Toronto Hamilton region.
This decade has seen historic commitments to build better transit and transportation infrastructure. MTO releases its Sustainability inSight report in 2013, a framework to integrate sustainability into all the ministry's programs, policies, and internal operations. MTO wins Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s 2011 Recognition Award for using environmentally-friendly bioretention cells and rubber modified asphalt. In 2015, Union Pearson Express opens, providing rail service from Toronto Pearson Airport to Union Station in downtown Toronto. MTO successfully supports the Pan and Parapan Am Games by keeping traffic moving in the GTHA during the largest sporting event ever held in Canada.
New road safety rules come into effect as various pieces of road safety legislation become law. Province appoints special advisor for high speed rail to assist Ontario in bringing high-speed rail to the Windsor, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Toronto corridor. Under the guidance of Professor Louise Wilson OBE, fifteen students each submitted bespoke designs for consideration. I was inspired by classic garments and boot bags and I developed these ideas into a bag that changes shape and function to be versatile enough to use in every situation.
The bag I designed is rectangular in shape and fits the car boot but also evokes the dimensions of vintage luggage, this is further emphasized by the metal feet on the base and the leather handles and interior detailing. But it would go on to turn a province of dirt and macadam roads into one of the largest and safest road networks in the world, and create a multi-modal system connecting the province from Manitoba to Quebec, and from the Great Lakes to Hudson's Bay. First Nations, the first explorers, French and English military, fur traders, missionaries, surveyors and settlers all made the first footpaths across this province.
They were the preferred technology by the 1850s when split or sawn timber became more readily available but only survived a couple seasons or so without proper maintenance.
Often local municipalities or townships sold the rights to operate a section of road, along with the right to charge tolls to recoup costs. Day trippers, bike tourists and bike racers were an influential lot and advocated for good roads. This position became the Commissioner of Public Highways in 1900 and, in 1905, was transferred to the Department of Public Works as the Deputy Minister of Public Works.
Ontario’s first automobile arrived in 1898 and the first provincial legislation governing automobile use came into effect in 1903. Although a familiar problem in our world today, bumper-to-bumper traffic was something new to the drivers of motor cars in those days. These gravel roads formed a network across the province along with 40,000 km of macadamized dirt roads. Its task was to plan, build and maintain these roads to serve the growing population of motorists. During the war, road construction and maintenance were neglected due to scarcity of labour, high cost of materials, high wages and a lack of railway service for the transportation of materials.

The original function of the Motor Vehicles Branch was the registration of vehicles, although it quickly grew to include many other responsibilities such as the licensing and examination of drivers, the regulation of the size and condition of vehicles and the compilation of driver and accident records. It was also marked by the noise of automobiles that were rapidly filling the roads.  The number of vehicles on Ontario roads increased from 172,000 to 562,000 during this decade. By 1927, with the number of automobiles increasing steadily, it was decided that everyone driving a motor vehicle in Ontario would have to obtain an operator’s licence. Department staff was cut by 25 per cent, including highly trained engineers and technicians with years of experience.
On hand for the ceremony were King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, who drove in a motorcade in a Buick convertible as over 20,000 people watched them pass along the St.
The five-year plan provided $30 million a year in new construction on the King’s Highways.
In 1953, internal government audits discovered that several DHO employees and private contracting firms had defrauded the federal and provincial governments of about $7 million on some road construction projects in Northern Ontario.
In the following years the department developed a series of checks and balances to ensure an open, transparent and fair system with rigorous ministry controls and oversight. At two and a half kilometres in length and resting on 76 piers, it was the longest bridge structure undertaken in Canada at the time.
In response to the post-war suburban growth and growing vehicle demand on the QEW, an experimental GO Train service was launched along the Lakeshore between Oakville and Toronto.
This would change the way of life for the residents of communities north of the 50th parallel.
In 1971, with the added responsibility for communications, the Department of Transportation and Communications was born. Also in that year, the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority (TATOA) is established as a Crown agency to develop transit systems across regional boundaries. In 1987, there was a ground-breaking for the construction of the first segment of Highway 407 (from Highway 427 to Dufferin Street) Highway 401 and other freeways were also widened during the 1980s.
And by the end of the decade, highways were carrying 70 per cent of all goods moved through the province and there were more than 8.5 million vehicles on Ontario roads. The former communications division is transferred to the Ministry of Culture and Communications. The first half of the decade was focused on pursuing major transportation planning strategies to support the province’s economic development. This sweeping transformation resulted in MTO shifting its role into more of a manager of the highway system, with the outsourcing of construction administration and maintenance activities and driver examiner functions. It moved toward new relationships with municipal and federal governments for a transit system and infrastructure planning, funding and services. The Moving Ontario Forward plan, announced in 2014 and expanded in the 2015 budget, will make nearly $31.5-billion available over ten years for transit and transportation infrastructure. Highlights include the 2012 replacement of the Highway 401 off-ramp bridge near Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, replaced in just 53 hours. For example, Bill 31—Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act implements tougher penalties for distracted driving, new rules to protect cyclists and measures to ensure the safety of tow truck drivers and children riding school buses.
As part of its activities to recognize its heritage and build for the future, the ministry develops new strategic directions and objectives for the ministry for the coming years.
Both operated as separate departments until 1971, when they were merged into the Department of Transportation and Communications.
Taking inspiration from the stylish, compact and sporty Alfa MiTo model, together with the Italian manufacturers celebrated heritage and history, the creations by CSM students Tamara Elliot and William Hendry were chosen by Alfa Romeo to be produced for a limited run.
The bag has a clean black leather exterior which folds around a soft canvas garment bag interior, finished with a metal zip and leather detailing. It would innovate new design and construction technologies, introduce GO Transit, and establish the COMPASS traffic management system. Later in the century macadam roads—a road surface made with small broken stones—would become the preferred technology. Percy Doolittle.  He later became the first president of the Canadian Automobile Association and was a major proponent for the construction of the Trans-Canada Highway. Ontario first issued drivers licences in 1909, but only to chauffeurs -- those who drove vehicles owned by others. In 1919, the motor vehicle branch was recognized as a distinct entity and a Motor Vehicle Registrar was appointed. The DPHO was carrying out its strategy for southern Ontario’s provincial highway system and was working closely with municipalities to improve local road networks. One year later, as part of a government-wide change of Departments to Ministries it would be called the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC). By the year’s end, traffic related deaths dropped to their lowest level in more than a decade. The latter part of the decade saw significant changes to the ministry’s highway and transit responsibilities. Since 2003, this included sharing a portion of provincial gasoline tax revenues for municipal transit funding and assuming provincial control of GO Transit. Of this, up to $16-billion will be available for investment into the GTHA, and nearly $15 billion will be available for investment in the rest of the province.
It would change the way of life for northern communities by building 29 remote airports, change island communities by launching all-year ferry systems, fight congestion and pollution by opening HOV lanes.
They argued that the municipalities could only afford to build an ordinary macadamized road—a pointless expenditure, in light of the fact such a road would hold up under heavy traffic for only one or two years. However, provincial funding was provided for essential local road maintenance and for building the first all-concretel highway.
Both materials and labour were in short supply—at one point windshield decals had to replace licence plates due to the metal shortage. Three companies were eventually fined and made repayments, and a federal Public Works inspector and a DHO engineer were given short jail terms and fines.
The Province downloaded control of GO Transit and a number of provincial highways to the municipalities, and wound down a number of municipal road and transit subsidy programs. It also meant coordinating transit vehicle purchases and restructuring Metrolinx to operate GO Transit and provide longer-term transportation planning directions for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. MTO’s goal is to make transit and transportation investments that promote economic productivity, enhance quality of life and improve the natural environment —including reducing greenhouse gases.
Many of the early roads followed these original portages and tracks cleared by the aboriginals.
The provincial government recognized the urgency of the situation and authorized a survey on a number of Toronto-Hamilton routes, eventually landing on the Lake Shore road as the most viable. Maintenance activities were given high priority to bring existing highways to pre-war standards.

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