History of King's Highway 35:
King's Highway 35 is a major trunk highway which connects Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes to Highway 401 near Newcastle. The highway serves both suburban commuter traffic heading to and from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and cottage country traffic bound for the Haliburton Highlands and Kawartha Lakes recreational areas. The highway passes through predominantly rural areas along its 197 km route. The principal towns located along the highway are Newcastle, Orono, Lindsay, Fenelon Falls, Minden and Dorset. From its humble beginnings as a short highway serving a few communities in the Lindsay area, Highway 35 has evolved into one of the most important highways in Central Ontario today.
Highway 35 was first established in 1931, when the Lindsay-Fenelon Falls Road was designated as a provincial highway. The road extending north from Fenelon Falls around Cameron Lake to Rosedale was also designated as a part of Highway 35 several years later. Until the late 1930s, Highway 35 ended at the Rosedale River Bridge. The road leading north from Rosedale to Minden, Dorset and Huntsville was under the jurisdiction of the Department of Northern Development. When this department was amalgamated with the Department of Highways in the late 1930s, the Minden and Dorset Road was absorbed into the King's Highway System. The entire route from Rosedale to Huntsville was designated as King's Highway 35 in 1937. Highway 35 was also extended south from Lindsay to Highway 2 at Newcastle. By 1940, the length of Highway 35 had grown to 232 km, up significantly from its initial length of 25 km in 1931. Highway 35 was extensively realigned and straightened in the following years. Several bypasses were built around towns during the 1950s, including Orono, Lindsay, Fenelon Falls, Minden and Dorset. The former route of Highway 35 through Fenelon Falls was designated as Highway 121 and Highway 35A, while the former highway routes through Lindsay and Dorset were designated as Highway 35B. For many years, the route of Highway 35 between Dwight and Huntsville was signed concurrently with Highway 60, whose route continued east from Dwight into Algonquin Park. This overlapped route existed until the early 1960s, when Highway 35 was truncated at the Highway 60 Junction in Dwight. The length of Highway 35 has been just under 200 km since the 1960s. Highway 35 was not affected by the highway downloading in 1997-1998 because of the important role that this highway serves in the provincial highway network.
Growing traffic volumes along the highway prompted the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to widen the highway during the 1980s. Between Highway 401 and Enterprise Hill, Highway 35 & 115 was converted into a RIRO (Right-In, Right-Out) expressway. A continuous centre median barrier was installed along this previously undivided highway, which eliminated all left-turning movements from the highway. Grade separations were constructed periodically along the highway to allow traffic wishing to turn left to exit the highway and turn around so that the desired destination could be accessed by a right turn instead. The highway design proved to be an economical way of increasing the highway's capacity without having to resort to large-scale property expropriation along the existing highway. The new RIRO expressway design also allowed access to remain open to the businesses and homes which line Highway 35 & 115. A similar highway design was employed on Highway 11 between Barrie and Gravenhurst.
The MTO is currently examining highway improvement options along the Highway 35 corridor between Enterprise Hill and Lindsay. These improvments are necessary in order to keep pace with the growth in traffic volumes projected for Highway 35 over the next two decades. Eventually, the highway will need to be widened to four lanes. At this point, the preliminary design for the new four-lane highway is essentially a continuation of the RIRO expressway setup that currently exists south of the Highway 115 Junction at Enterprise Hill. However, some sections will be built as a fully controlled-access highway. The new four-lane Highway 35 will be built entirely on the existing highway corridor, so relatively little property expropriation will be required. The divided highway will end about 2.4 km south of Lindsay, where the existing undivided four-lane highway begins. The detailed design for these Highway 35 improvements will take several years to complete, so it is very unlikely that any major construction will take place along Highway 35 between Highway 115 and Lindsay in the forseeable future. However, some highway improvement projects are tentatively scheduled for the Lindsay Bypass portion of Highway 7 & 35 over the next few years. The existing two-lane highway will be widened from Verulam Road (Old Highway 36) to Angeline Street. The replacement of the Scugog River Bridge in 2009-2010 was the first stage of this longer-term highway widening project.
Highway 35 is a four-lane limited-access expressway for the first 19 km from Newcastle to Enterprise Hill. The balance of the highway is a conventional two-lane road, with some isolated four-lane undivided sections near Lindsay and Minden. Passing lanes appear periodically along Highway 35. A 5.4 km portion of Highway 35 is signed concurrently with Highway 7 along the Lindsay Bypass and a 1.5 km section of Highway 35 is signed concurrently with Highway 7A near Bethany. Services are very plentiful along the Highway 35 & 115 Expressway and from Lindsay to Fenelon Falls, but services get somewhat scarcer along the northern sections of Highway 35 towards Dorset and Dwight. However, services are still available in most communities along the highway. The northern half of Highway 35 is by far the most scenic provincial highway in Central Ontario. The highway passes through some extremely rugged terrain north of Moore Falls. Some of the deepest highway rock cuts in the province can be found along Highway 35 between Moore Falls and Dorset. The highway offers motorists many pleasant views of the numerous lakes which dot the countryside of the Kawarthas and Haliburton Highlands. Highway 35 is also famous for its spectacular autumn leaf colours. In most years, the leaves achieve their most vibrant colours towards the end of September, making Highway 35 a particularly pleasant drive during that time of year. Moose are quite common along the northern section of Highway 35, especially between Carnarvon and Dwight. These enormous animals can often be seen crossing the highway corridor. This represents a serious collision hazard, because these animals are difficult for motorists to see at night. Slow down and be prepared for moose if you plan to use the northern section of Highway 35 at night. The speed limit on Highway 35 is 90 km/h (55 mph) from Newcastle to Enterprise Hill and 80 km/h (50 mph) from Enterprise Hill to Dwight, unless posted otherwise. Please visit the Highway 35 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 35.
Additional Information About King's Highway 35:
Learn More About King's Highway 35 (My Upcoming Publications)
King's Highway 35 - Route Information (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)
King's Highway 35 - A Virtual Tour (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)