Pleasantville Curve – Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario - Atlas Obscura

Pleasantville Curve

Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario

The roadway bend where highway painters practice their craft looks like expressionist art.  


The Pleasantville Curve is a 700-foot long decommissioned roadway with a paint job that appears to be the work of a glitched-out video card, or perhaps a highway employee gone rogue. However, this seemingly abstract expressionist bit of road actually has a fairly mundane origin: it’s a practice spot for road painters.

The paint-covered roadway could be grouped in with a niche category of infrastructure known as the “test deck.” Traditionally, test decks are deployed by transportation planners to assess the durability and visibility of commercial highway paint. Your standard test deck has a more scientific layout, generally a parallel array like bars of sheet music. If the paint can survive tire friction and snow plow blades for two years it is deemed up to code. 

Far from an experiment in paint durability, the Pleasantville Curve appears to be a convenient spot for novice road painters to get their sea legs. The dead-end makes for a forgiving test easel and also an unintentional piece of public art. Google Streetview images captures from 2009 and 2014 show that the asphalt regularly gets fresh coats of paint and remains a work in progress.

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