History of King's Highway 20:
King's Highway 20 is a major collector highway which once ran along the entire length of the Niagara Peninsula between Hamilton and Niagara Falls. The history of Highway 20 dates back to 1930, when a new provincial highway was designated across Wentworth, Lincoln and Welland Counties in an attempt to alleviate chronic traffic congestion on Highway 8 between Hamilton and Niagara Falls. The new provincial highway began at Highway 8 in Downtown Hamilton, ran south for approximately 5 miles and then east to Niagara Falls via Smithville and Fonthill. Shortly after Highway 20 was designated, plans were drawn up to reroute the highway from Elfrida northerly to the Highway 8 and Highway 8A junction in Stoney Creek. The new proposed route for Highway 20 would descend the Niagara Escarpment through a new mountain access point at Stoney Creek, thereby allowing through traffic to bypass Hamilton altogether. Construction began on the new mountain access point in 1931. This work included the construction of a grade separation over the railway line at the foot of the Niagara Escarpment. During construction of the new access road, Highway 20 traffic used a temporary route via Green Mountain Road and Glover Mountain Road. The old route of Highway 20 from Elfrida into Downtown Hamilton was later renumbered as Highway 20A. When the new Stoney Creek Cut was completed in 1932, Highway 20 assumed the entire route of Highway 8A across the Burlington Beaches. The post-1932 terminus of Highway 20 was at the Highway 2 Junction in Burlington.
In the mid-1960s, Highway 20 was truncated at the Stoney Creek Traffic Circle on the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). The old route of Highway 20 across the Burlington Beaches between the QEW and Highway 2 had been considered superfluous and redundant after the high-level Burlington Bay Skyway was completed, and the road was stripped of its King's Highway status. Since that time, the Former Highway 20 route across the Burlington Beaches has been known as Beach Boulevard. The majority of Highway 20 was downloaded in 1998. On January 1, 1998, all but a tiny 1.9 km section of Highway 20 between the Highway 58 Junction and Niagara Regional Road 70 was decommissioned. Since that time, the downloaded sections of Highway 20 have been known as Niagara Regional Road 20 in the Regional Municipality of Niagara and Hamilton Road 20 (or Centennial Parkway) in the former Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth.
Highway 20 traverses a predominantly rural portion of Southern Ontario, although it does pass through several towns along its route. The principal towns located along the original highway are Hamilton, Smithville, Fonthill, Thorold and Niagara Falls. Services along Highway 20 appear quite frequently. Most sections of Highway 20 are two lanes, but some undivided four-lane sections exist through towns along the highway's original 64 km route. The speed limit on rural sections of Highway 20 is 80 km/h (50 mph), unless posted otherwise. Please visit the Highway 20 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 20.
Additional Information About King's Highway 20:
Learn More About King's Highway 20 (My Upcoming Publications)
King's Highway 20 - Route Information (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)
King's Highway 20 - A Virtual Tour (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)