History of King's Highway 19:
King's Highway 19 is a major collector highway in Southwestern Ontario that links Tillsonburg to Highway 401 near Ingersoll. Until the highway downloading in the late 1990s, Highway 19 was significantly longer. It used to extend from Highway 86 southeast of Listowel to Port Burwell, located on the Lake Erie shoreline.
The history of Highway 19 dates back to 1930, when a new provincial highway was designated across Oxford County. The new highway began at Highway 3 in Tillsonburg and ended at Highway 2 in Ingersoll. The new road was assigned the King's Highway 19 designation in 1930. Over the next few years, Highway 19 was extended southerly from Tillsonburg to Port Burwell and northerly from Ingersoll to Tralee, via Woodstock, Shakespeare and Stratford. By the mid-1930s, Highway 19 was nearly 150 km long. The route of Highway 19 remained unchanged until 1962, when a highway route renumbering took place. Highway 59 was extended north from Woodstock to Shakespeare along the old route of Highway 19, while Highway 19 assumed the former route of Highway 100 between Thamesford and St. Marys. In order to ensure route continuity, Highway 19 was signed concurrently with Highway 2 between Ingersoll and Thamesford and with Highway 7 between St. Marys and Stratford. The route renumbering only resulted in a slightly shorter route for Highway 19, but it established a more logical north-south route for the highway. Most sections of Highway 19 were downloaded in 1997-1998. The only section of Highway 19 that escaped the highway downloading was the section from Tillsonburg to Highway 401 south of Ingersoll. The balance of the highway was downloaded to Perth, Oxford, Norfolk and Elgin Counties. The southernmost section of Highway 19 from Port Burwell to Tillsonburg was downloaded on March 31, 1997. The section of Highway 19 from Highway 401 northerly to St. Mary's and from Stratford northerly to Tralee was downloaded on January 1, 1998. The 1997-1998 highway downloading shortened the length of Highway 19 by 120 km. The downloaded sections of Highway 19 are now known as Elgin Road 19, Norfolk Highway 19, Oxford Road 119 and Perth Lines 119 & 131. The former concurrent route of Highway 7 and Highway 19 near Stratford is no longer signed.
Highway 19 traverses a predominantly rural portion of Southwestern Ontario, although it does pass through several towns along its route. The principal towns located along the original highway are Tillsonburg, Ingersoll, Thamesford, St. Marys, Stratford and Milverton. Most sections of Highway 19 are two lanes, but some undivided four-lane sections exist through towns along the highway. Services along Highway 19 are generally quite plentiful, although they become somewhat less frequent outside of major communities south of Tillsonburg and north of Stratford. The speed limit on Highway 19 is 80 km/h (50 mph), unless posted otherwise. Please visit the Highway 19 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 19.
Additional Information About King's Highway 19: