British Columbia Highway 17

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Highway 17 shield

Highway 17
Patricia Bay Highway (Vancouver Island section)
South Fraser Perimeter Road (Mainland section)
Highway 17 highlighted in red, upper left insert shows Highway 17 on Vancouver Island.
Route information
Length121 km[1][2] (75 mi)
Vancouver Island section
Length33 km (21 mi)
South end Victoria Harbour ferry terminal
Hwy 1 (TCH) in Victoria
North end Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal
Mainland section
Length44 km (27 mi)
West end Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
Hwy 17A in Delta
Hwy 99 in Delta
Hwy 91 in Delta (via connector)
East end Hwy 1 (TCH) / Hwy 15 in Surrey
DistrictsSaanich, Central Saanich, North Saanich
Major citiesVictoria, Surrey, Delta
Highway system
British Columbia provincial highways
Hwy 16Hwy 17A

Highway 17 is a system of two separate highways: One on Vancouver Island, the other on the Lower Mainland, connected by a ferry link.

Route description[edit]

Vancouver Island section[edit]

The Island section of Highway 17 is known as the Patricia Bay Highway (locally abbreviated as the Pat Bay Highway) after nearby Patricia Bay, and is the main artery through the Saanich Peninsula, mostly travelling along its eastern coast. The highway is four lanes all the way from Victoria to Swartz Bay. The total length of the highway on the Island is 32 kilometres (20 mi). Highway 17 has had its present course through the area since 1978 when the Blanshard extension was completed.[3]

In the south, Highway 17 begins at the intersection of Belleville and Oswego streets,[4] at the entrance to the Victoria Harbour ferry terminal, which provides a ferry connection to Port Angeles, Washington. It travels east for 600 m (0.37 mi), past the grounds of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, to Douglas Street where it intersects the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1). It travels another 180 m (0.11 mi) east, where the highway turns north as Blanshard Street (a six lane divided city street) for 3 km (1.9 mi) through the city of Victoria before leaving the city at Tolmie Avenue and for another 2 km (1.2 mi) north through the district of Saanich to the Uptown Shopping Centre; Highway 17 then becomes the Pat Bay Highway and turns into a 6 km (3.7 mi)-long freeway, with three interchanges. After the third interchange at Royal Oak Drive, Highway 17 turns into a 14 km (8.7 mi) mix of divided four-lane arterial and expressway including an interchange at McTavish Road, until it reaches the town of Sidney. After exiting Sidney 3 km (1.9 mi) later, the Pat Bay once again becomes a freeway, with two more interchanges along its length, toward its northern terminus at the Swartz Bay ferry terminal another 3 km (1.9 mi) north.

Ferry route[edit]

At Swartz Bay, Highway 17 leaves Vancouver Island, and starts on a 44 km (24 nmi)-long ferry route through the Southern Gulf Islands and the Strait of Georgia. The ferry route between Swartz Bay and the Mainland is the oldest and most heavily used route in the B.C. Ferries system. After winding through the Gulf Islands, the route enters a small passage between Galiano and Mayne Islands, known as Active Pass. Active Pass is the midway point on the Highway 17 ferry route, but it is also the most hazardous part, as it has strong tidal currents, and has historically been the site of two maritime collisions involving BC Ferries vessels, as well as one incident of a ferry running aground. Consequently, ferries going through Active Pass have to sound their whistles upon entering and leaving the passage, and must adhere to a lower speed limit while transiting through it.

After Active Pass, the Highway 17 ferry heads due northeast across the Strait of Georgia. Halfway across the Strait, the route begins transiting United States waters for just under 9 km (5 nmi). It then crosses the 49th parallel back into Canadian waters just before landing at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.

Mainland section[edit]

Highway 17 looking South near Port Mann (Surrey) British Columbia. New and old Port Mann Bridge in background.

On the Mainland, Highway 17 is known as the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR), a component of the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation's Gateway Program. It is a four-lane expressway with a speed limit of 80 km/h (50 mph) over most of its length, connecting the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and Highway 99 in Delta to Highway 1 at 176th Street in Surrey, and providing access to all five of the major Fraser River crossings in Metro Vancouver.[5] The mainland section is notable for its extensive use of noise walls, split level construction through Delta and use in some urban sections of so-called Quiet Pavement to reduce traffic noise.[6]

The South Fraser Perimeter Road is 44 kilometres (27 mi) long. Beginning at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, it heads northeast on a 1.8-kilometre (1.1 mi) long causeway to land on the Tsawwassen Peninsula, then continues northeast for 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to its junction with Highway 17A. It then follows the CN Railway's Deltaport chord and 72nd Street northeast for 6.2 kilometres (3.9 mi) to an interchange with Highway 99. The road then runs through the west side of Burns Bog, but avoiding the conservation area, and past the south side of the Tilbury and Sunbury industrial areas for 9.7 kilometres (6.0 mi) before it reaches the Fraser River at a junction connecting to Highway 91. It then proceeds east along the south bank of the Fraser River through North Delta and Surrey, passing under the Alex Fraser, Pattullo and Port Mann bridges, before turning southeast at Surrey Bend Park to terminate at its junction with Highways 1 and 15, 21 kilometres (13 mi) from the access to Highway 91.


The South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR)[edit]

Route 17 once followed what is now Route 17A and River Road to get to Route 1 and Golden Ears Way. The provincial government proposed to build a new expressway, the South Fraser Perimeter Road, linking the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal with the Trans-Canada Highway. According to the Ministry of Transportation the South Fraser Perimeter Road will improve the movement of goods and people across the region while also alleviating truck traffic on municipal roads. West/east travel times across the region will also be significantly reduced.[7]

The South Fraser Perimeter Road project was opposed by a number of groups, citing a variety of concerns. The SFPR alignment does not go through the Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area.[8] However, the Burns Bog Conservation Society has stated they are concerned that it will affect surrounding hydrology, and have an adverse effect on the Conservancy Area.[9]

The Burns Bog Conservation Society expressed concerns that the South Fraser Perimeter Road would endanger Burns Bog.[10] In response to the mitigation measures proposed the Environmental Stewardship Branch of Environment Canada wrote that "...that the changes are not sufficient to alleviate its concerns related to the impacts of the Project on Pacific Water Shrew (PWS), hydrology, aerial deposition, and ecological integrity of Burns Bog."[11] On November 24, 2010 the Burns Bog Conservation Society launched a lawsuit intend to force the re-routing or cancellation of the SFPR project.[12] Burns Bog has been listed as threatened by the International Mire Conservation Group because of the impacts of the SFPR.[13]

The Wilderness Committee and other groups have criticized the SFPR, and the Gateway Program in general, for increasing greenhouse gas emissions.[14] In early 2011, a protest camp organized by and the Council of Canadians occupied a SFPR construction site for almost two weeks.[15]

The SFPR Project worked with the Burns Bog Scientific Advisory Panel to develop systems, which helped improve the existing drainage / hydrology of the bog.

A 10 km (6.2 mi) -long portion from 136 Street in Surrey to a junction with Highway 15 and Highway 1 was the first portion of the SFPR to be completed, opening on December 1, 2012. The remaining western segment of the road was completed on December 21, 2013.[16] The former Mainland portion of Highway 17 north of the 28th Avenue overpass has been renamed to Highway 17A through Ladner.[6] The total cost of building the SFPR was $1.26 billion.[17]

On March 10, 2017, it was announced that to address congestion, the current traffic light-controlled intersection of the Highway 91 Connector and the SFPR will be replaced by an interchange. Funding will come from the Canadian government, the BC Government, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, and the Tsawwassen First Nation; the total cost is expected to be just over $245 million.[18]


On Vancouver Island, there have been numerous studies to upgrade the Island portion of Highway 17 to freeway standard. This seems to be edging closer with the BC Government's issuing of the Highway 17 Corridor Planning Strategy. This study envisions interchanges at Haliburton, Sayward, Keating Cross Road and/or Island View, Mt Newton Cross Road, McTavish Road (Complete April 9, 2011) and Beacon Avenue in Sidney.

On April 9, 2011 a new interchange at McTavish Road was opened with two multi-lane roundabouts at the end of the off-ramps. This interchange serves Victoria International Airport.[19]

In the Lower Mainland, the intersection at 104 Avenue in Surrey will eventually also be co-located with the Golden Ears Way Connector (to be constructed) which will provide direct access to Golden Ears Way and the Golden Ears Bridge from Highway 17.

Major intersections[edit]

Province/StateRegional districtLocationkm[1][2]miExitDestinationsNotes
British ColumbiaCapitalVictoria0.000.00Belleville Street
Oswego Street – Ferry Terminal
Southern terminus; road continues west as Belleville St.
0.600.37 Douglas Street (Hwy 1 (TCH)) – NanaimoAt-grade, traffic signals
1.300.81Blanshard Street southHwy 17 turns north onto Blanshard St.
1.600.99Johnson StreetAt-grade, traffic signals; one-way eastbound
1.701.06Pandora AvenueAt-grade, traffic signals; one-way westbound; access to Johnson Street Bridge
4.002.49Tolmie AvenueAt-grade, traffic signals
North end of City of Victoria jurisdiction
Saanich4.863.02South end of one-way pair; northbound becomes Vernon Avenue, southbound remains Blanshard Street
4.913.05Saanich RoadAt-grade, traffic signals
5.623.49 Hwy 17 south (Blanshard Street) – City CentreAt-grade, traffic signals; northbound exit and southbound entrance; north end of one-way pair; becomes Patricia Bay Highway
6.564.087McKenzie Ave – To Hwy 1 / Hwy 14Nanaimo, SookeInterchange
8.065.018Vanalman AvenueSouthbound right-in/right-out
8.735.429Quadra Street east, West Saanich RoadInterchange; no southbound access to westbound West Saanich Road
10.126.2911Royal Oak Drive – Brentwood BayInterchange; former Hwy 17A north
11.857.36Elk Lake Drive, Haliburton RoadAt-grade, traffic signals; unsigned exit 13
14.499.0015Sayward Road – Cordova BayAt-grade, traffic signals
Central Saanich17.5210.8918 Keating Cross Road – Brentwood Bay, Mill BayAt-grade, northbound exit and southbound entrance only; to Butchart Gardens
18.4711.4819Island View RoadAt-grade, traffic signals; southbound access to Keating Cross Road
20.9613.0221Mt. Newton Cross Road – Saanichton, Brentwood BayAt-grade, traffic signals
North Saanich25.2515.6926 McTavish Road – Airport, USA ferriesInterchange; Washington State Ferries to San Juan Islands and Anacortes
Sidney27.4417.0528Beacon AvenueAt-grade, traffic signals
North Saanich30.9019.2031McDonald Park Road, Wain Road – Deep CoveInterchange; former Hwy 17A south
32.2620.0533Lands End RoadInterchange; northbound exit, southbound entrance
32.5420.22 Swartz Bay Ferry TerminalNorthern end of Vancouver Island section
Strait of GeorgiaBC Ferries
WashingtonUnited States
British ColumbiaBC Ferries
Metro VancouverDelta0.000.00 Tsawwassen Ferry TerminalWestern end of Mainland section
2.731.703Tsawwassen DriveAt-grade, traffic signals
3.382.10Salish Sea DriveAt-grade, traffic signals
4.312.68452nd StreetAt-grade, traffic signals
5.323.31556th Street – Tsawwassen, Point RobertsAt-grade, traffic signals
6.864.267 Hwy 17A north – LadnerEastbound exit; westbound entrance
7.604.728Deltaport Way – Roberts BankWestbound exit; eastbound entrance
13.098.1313 Hwy 99 – Airport (YVR), Vancouver, U.S. border, SeattleInterchange, Hwy 99 exit 26; no direct access from Hwy 17 west to Hwy 99 south
19.3011.9980th Street (Tilbury Connector)At-grade, traffic signals
22.7514.14 To Hwy 91 (Highway 91 Connector) – North Delta, Richmond, Airport, VancouverAt-grade, traffic signals; to Alex Fraser Bridge
24.0114.92Passes under the Alex Fraser Bridge
Surrey27.2116.91Elevator RoadWestbound right-in/right-out
31Tannery RoadInterchange; eastbound exit ramp includes direct right-in/right-out ramps to/from 103A Avenue
30.4318.91Old Yale RoadAt-grade, traffic signals
30.9519.23Passes under the Pattullo Bridge
31.6919.6933124th StreetEastbound right-in/right-out
32.9920.50Bridgeview Drive to King George Boulevard – Surrey City Centre, New WestminsterAt-grade, traffic signals; to Pattullo Bridge
34.2021.25136th StreetAt-grade, traffic signals
36.7322.82Passes under the Port Mann Bridge
42.8926.65Golden Ears Connector, 104th AvenueAt-grade, traffic signals, access to Golden Ears Way
44.1427.43 Hwy 1 (TCH) – Hope, Vancouver
Hwy 15 south (176th Street) – USA border
Interchange, eastern terminus; Hwy 1 exit 53; road continues as Hwy 15 south (former Hwy 17 east)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Google (March 17, 2017). "Hwy 17 in Victoria" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Landmark Kilometre Inventory (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Report). Cypher Consulting. July 2016. pp. 272–281.
  3. ^ Mindenhall, Dorothy (2012). Unbuilt Victoria. Toronto, ON: Dundurn. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-4597-0176-2.
  4. ^ "Official Numbered Routes in British Columbia - Highway 17". Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Province of British Columbia. Archived from the original on January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  5. ^ "". Archived from the original on December 20, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Sinoski, Kelly (November 30, 2012). "First 10 kilometres of new Highway 17 opens Dec. 1". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  7. ^ "". Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  8. ^ "" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 7, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  9. ^ Archived July 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Burns Bog Conservation Society " Resources " Sustainable Development Strategy
  10. ^ "Submission to Environmental Assessment Office". Burns Bog Conservation Society. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Burns Bog Conservation Society. "LAWSUIT LAUNCHED OVER ROAD CONSTRUCTION ON BURNS BOG" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 31, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  13. ^ International Mire Conservation Group. "Threatened Peatlands". Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  14. ^ Wilderness Committee. "Gateway to Global Warming". Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  15. ^ Dawn, Paley (May 5, 2011). "Camp Closed, But Resistance Continues". Vancouver Media Co-op. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  16. ^ "South Fraser Perimeter Road, B.C.'s newest highway opens". Province of British Columbia. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  17. ^ "South Fraser Perimeter Road completed, officially opens today". Canada Newswire. December 21, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  18. ^ "Major upgrades announced for Highways 91 and 17". NEWS 1130. March 10, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  19. ^ Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure,Government of Canada (April 7, 2009). "Canada-Bc Partnership To Build Interchange". Retrieved December 29, 2013.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata