Hwy 18 Hwy 18 Hwy 18   

Ontario Highway 18 Quick Facts:
  • Years in Existence: 1930-1998
  • Current Status: Decommissioned in 1998
  • Current Name: Essex Road 20
  • Location: Southern Ontario
  • Counties Served: Essex
  • Towns Served: Windsor, LaSalle, Amherstburg, Harrow, Kingsville & Leamington
  • Length in 1997 (Before Downloading): 80.2 km / 49.8 miles
  • Eastern Terminus: Hwy 3 & Hwy 77 - Leamington
  • Northern Terminus: Hwy 3 - Windsor
HWY 18
King's Highway 18 Sign © Josh Anderchek

History of King's Highway 18:

King's Highway 18 was a major collector highway servicing the towns south of Windsor and west of Leamington. The highway was established in 1930 and existed right up until 1998, when it was formally decommissioned as a King's Highway.

The modern route of King's Highway 18 is actually much different than the original highway's route that was first designated in the early 1930s. Originally, Highway 18 ran from Windsor to Tilbury, at a length of 55 km. The Windsor to Tilbury route of Highway 18 was first first assumed as a new provincial highway on June 11, 1930. The new highway followed the present-day route of Essex County Road 42 (until recently, Highway 2) from Windsor to Tilbury. The route was only paved from Tilbury to Belle River at first, but was paved in its entirety by 1934. The highway was intended to serve as an alternate route to Highway 2 between Tilbury and Windsor. However, the new Highway 18 was far more direct than Highway 2, so the Ontario Department of Highways quickly decided to renumber Highway 18 as Highway 2. On December 16th, 1931, Highway 18 was extended southerly to Amherstburg and Leamington. At same time, the original route of Highway 18 was renumbered as Highway 2, and the old route of Highway 2 became Highway 2A.

The new route of Highway 18 from Windsor to Leamington was 79 km in length, and was paved except for a gravel section between Amherstburg and Kingsville. The highway started at Highway 3A (later known as Highway 3B) at the entrance to the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and ran south and eventually east to join Highway 3 in Leamington. In 1934, Highway 18 was paved from Harrow to Kingsville, and from Amherstburg easterly to Malden Centre. The final gravel section of Highway 18 from Malden Centre to Harrow was paved in 1936. In 1982, the E.C. Row Expressway was extended westerly from Highway 3 (Huron Church Road) out to Highway 18. The Official Ontario Road Maps after 1981 indicate that Highway 18 ended at Highway 3 (Huron Church Road) and the E.C. Row Expressway. However, MTO's mileage logs indicate that the official end of Highway 18 was at the Highway 3B Junction in Downtown Windsor. I have assumed that the Official Road Map shows the route of Highway 18 correctly, following the E.C. Row Expressway and ending at Highway 3.

On March 31, 1997, Highway 18 was downloaded from Ruthven to Leamington. The highway was rerouted via Union Avenue, and ended at Highway 3 in Ruthven. This new section of Highway 18 had previously been in the provincial highway system between 1937 and 1970, as Highway 18B and Highway 107. This rerouting was only a temporary necessity, as the rest of Highway 18 was downloaded on January 1, 1998. The highway is now known as Essex County Road 20.

HWY 18 ROUTE MAP - © Cameron Bevers             HWY 18 MILEAGE TABLE - © Cameron Bevers             HWY 18 PHOTOGRAPHS - © Cameron Bevers

Additional Information About King's Highway 18:

Learn More About King's Highway 18  (My Upcoming Publications)

King's Highway 18 - Route Information  (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)

King's Highway 18 - A Virtual Tour  (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)

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