About Us

History

OGRA has come a long way from its early days a century ago, when the “Good Roads Train” made its way across Eastern Ontario, pulling into stations with all the latest equipment for road building, and information for local farmers. In the span of a century, roads and road building in Ontario have changed more than in all of road-building history. In 1894, the year OGRA was founded, the horse and wagon still reigned supreme, as they had since Roman times. However, Ontario roads were in a sorry state of disrepair compared to those built by Caesar’s legions. Cyclists and “wheelman’s” associations were the first to lobby for better roads. Ontario farmers depended on the railways to transport cattle, dairy products, and other produce to city markets. Even delegates to the founding meeting of the Ontario Good Roads Association were forced to use rail transport to get to and from their meetings. It was because of the vision and conviction of a few dedicated individuals that road reform took place. And the founders of the Ontario Good Roads Association laid the groundwork for a modern province-wide road and highway network. The following sections provide a brief glimpse of the history and progress of roadbuilding in Ontario over the last century. Through these passages of time, OGRA was there, helping to pave the way.