Ontario’s Bilingual Electronic Highway Signs Going Colour

Ontario Highway Signs Colour

Ontario is introducing bilingual, full-colour electronic highway signs that include images to help keep drivers safe and manage traffic conditions.

The use of colour, along with internationally-recognized images and symbols, with less text on the new signs allows drivers to easily see important road safety information and react to traffic conditions or choose alternate routes.

Twenty-one signs have already been introduced in southern Ontario, including on Highway 401 near Toronto and Pickering, and QEW near Niagara, Burlington and Mississauga, as well as seven signs in northeastern Ontario, on Highway 11 and Highway 17.

Electronic highway sign showing moose as potential night hazard

A picture is worth a thousand words: full-colour, images and symbols allow drivers to easily recognize important road safety information, safely react to traffic conditions and choose better routes, improving traffic flow. Over time, messages will evolve to images with little or no text as drivers become familiar with the new symbols.

Electronic highway sign telling drivers that conditions are in place for drifting snow to occur so use extra caution

Quick Tips

  1. Read the images together with the words.
  2. Look for text in your preferred language: English on the left and French on the right or English on top and French below.
  3. Be familiar with the traffic lane graphics used on congestion signs.
  4. Recognize the intuitive colour coding.

Quick Facts

  • The new bilingual signs in French designated areas meet the requirements of the French Language Services Act.
  • The signs are manufactured at Ledstar, an Ontario-based company located in Vaughan that employs 42 people.
  • In total, there are about 50 variable message signs that will gradually transition to the new sign type as they reach the end of their lifecycle.