Hwy 23 Sign Graphic Hwy 23 Title Graphic Hwy 23 Sign Graphic   

Ontario Highway 23 Quick Facts:
  • Years in Existence: 1927-Present
  • Current Status: In Service
  • Location: Southern Ontario
  • Counties Served: Middlesex, Huron, Perth & Wellington
  • Towns Served: Mitchell, Monkton, Atwood, Listowel, Palmerston & Harriston
  • Southern Terminus: Hwy 7 - Elginfield
  • Northern Terminus: Hwy 9 & Hwy 89 - Harriston
  • Current Length: 97.7 km / 60.7 miles
HWY 23 ROUTE MARKER - © Cameron Bevers
King's Highway 23 Sign © Cameron Bevers

History of King's Highway 23:

King's Highway 23 is a major collector highway which passes through Wellington, Perth, Huron and Middlesex Counties. The highway was first established in 1927 when the Mitchell-Teviotdale Road via Listowel was assumed as new a provincial highway. In May 1927, a Preliminary Route Plan was prepared which illustrated the proposed Provincial Highway through Perth and Wellington Counties between Mitchell and the Highway 9 Junction at Teviotdale. The Department of Public Highways of Ontario (DPHO) acquired the Mitchell-Teviotdale Road on July 2, 1927, when the route was officially assumed and designated as Ontario Provincial Highway 23. Sections of the road passing through Mitchell, Listowel and Palmerston were not assumed by the DPHO and thus those sections of the route remained under municipal jurisdiction. The new route of Highway 23 was 60 km (37 miles) in length, including the municipally-owned sections within towns (See Map). Provincial Highway 23 was renamed King's Highway 23 in 1930.

At the time of assumption in 1927, Highway 23 was gravel-surfaced for its entire length. Paving work began on Highway 23 in 1930 and was completed when the final gravel section north of Atwood was paved in 1933. With the completion of Highway 23 between Mitchell and Teviotdale, the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) turned their attention to the south. In 1934, Highway 23 was extended south from Mitchell to Elginfield. Preliminary Route Plans were prepared in June 1934, showed a proposed extension of Highway 23 along the existing Elginfield-Mitchell Road. This road was officially assumed as an extension of Highway 23 by the DHO on July 11, 1934. The 1934 extension added another 37 km (23 miles) to the length of Highway 23 (See Map). The south leg of Highway 23 from Elginfield to Mitchell remained gravel-surfaced until after World War II. Paving was completed between the Highway 83 Junction and Mitchell in 1946 and from Elginfield to the Highway 83 Junction in 1953.

No major changes were made to the route of Highway 23 until 1998 (See Map). Effective January 1, 1998, a 9 km portion of Highway 23 from the Highway 89 Junction at Palmerston to the Highway 9 Junction at Teviotdale was transferred to the Counties of Perth and Wellington. The downloaded section of Highway 23 is now known as Wellington Road 123 and Perth Road 93. In late 2004, a 10 km section of Highway 89 within Wellington County from Palmerston to Harriston was renumbered as Highway 23. This highway renumbering added about 10 km to the length of Highway 23. The highway now ends at the Highway 9 Junction in Harriston (See Map).

Highway 23 passes through a predominantly rural area, occasionally passing through some small towns and communities along its 98 km route. The principal towns located along the highway are Mitchell, Listowel, Palmerston and Harriston. Highway 23 is a two-lane highway from Elginfield to Harriston. Services along Highway 23 are rather scarce outside of major communities. The speed limit on Highway 23 is 80 km/h (50 mph), unless posted otherwise. Please visit the Highway 23 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 23.

Winter Driving Tip: Many sections of Highway 23 north of London are notorious for poor winter road conditions. Sections of the highway are sometimes closed during periods of poor winter weather between Elginfield and Harriston, due to blowing and drifting snow. Blowing snow will often result in zero-visibility conditions. The weather conditions on this highway can deteriorate very rapidly when snowsqualls blow in from nearby Lake Huron. On cold, windy days, it is a good idea to check the Road Closures and Winter Road Conditions pages on the Ministry of Transportation's Website, or verify road conditions by telephone at 1-800-268-4686 or 5-1-1 before using Highway 23 north of London.

HYPERLINK TO HWY 23 ROUTE MAP PAGE - © Cameron Bevers             HYPERLINK TO HWY 23 MILEAGE TABLE PAGE - © Cameron Bevers             HYPERLINK TO HWY 23 PHOTOGRAPHS PAGE - © Cameron Bevers

Additional Information About King's Highway 23:

King's Highway 23 - Route Information  (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)

King's Highway 23 - A Virtual Tour  (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)

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