History of King's Highway 45:
King's Highway 45 was a collector highway in the Counties of Northumberland and Peterborough which connected Highway 2 in Cobourg with Highway 7 in Norwood. Highway 45 existed from the 1930s up until the late 1990s, when it was downloaded from the province to the Counties of Northumberland and Peterborough.
The history of Highway 45 dates back to 1937, when the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) acquired the Cobourg Road between Cobourg and Norwood as a new King's Highway. A Preliminary Route Plan was prepared dated April 1937, which showed the proposed assumption of the Cobourg Road within Northumberland County from Cobourg northeasterly to Hastings as a new King's Highway. A second Preliminary Route Plan was prepared dated June 15, 1937, which showed the proposed assumption of the Cobourg Road within Peterborough County from Hastings northerly to Norwood. Highway 45 was first assumed into the King's Highway System by the DHO on September 1, 1937. The new route was approximately 33 miles (53 km) in length. Highway 45 began at the Highway 2 Junction in Cobourg and headed northeasterly to the Highway 7 Junction in Norwood. As originally assumed in 1937, the sections of Highway 45 which passed through the incorporated limits of the Town of Cobourg and the Village of Hastings were not assumed by the DHO. These sections of Highway 45 remained under municipal jurisdiction. A Municipal Connecting Link agreement was signed between the DHO and the Village of Hastings on December 21, 1938. However, a 0.3-mile section of Highway 45 through the Village of Hastings was eventually assumed under provincial jurisdiction by the DHO. A Preliminary Route Plan was prepared dated December 29, 1944, which showed the proposed assumption of portions of Elgin Street, Queen Street West and Bridge Street South as part of Highway 45. This section of Highway 45 from the southern village limits to the south end of the Trent-Severn Waterway Swing Bridge was assumed by the DHO effective January 31, 1945.
Numerous revisions were made to the route of Highway 45 over the years in an effort to improve the original highway's alignment, which was winding and had numerous steep grades. At the time of assumption, only one short section of Highway 45 had been improved. An asphaltic pavement existed from Cobourg northerly to Baltimore, which had been constructed by Northumberland County prior to the Cobourg Road being assumed by the DHO in 1937. The balance of Highway 45 from Baltimore northerly to Norwood had an unimproved earth surface that was not suitable for travel in wet weather. In 1939, an improved crushed gravel surface was placed along Highway 45 from Baltimore to Norwood in order to permit travel in wet weather. However, it wasn't until after World War II that any substantial upgrades were made to Highway 45. A primed bituminous surface was laid between Baltimore and Norwood in 1946. Extensive grading operations began from Baltimore northeasterly in 1947, when roughly 5 miles of Highway 45 were either reconstructed or relocated onto an improved grade. A further 5 miles of grading and highway relocation took place from Fenella southerly in 1949. Mulch pavement was laid for a distance of about 10 miles along the reconstructed highway grade between Baltimore and Fenella during 1950. As a result of this Post-War grading work, several bypassed loops of Highway 45 were created. Jurisdiction over the bypassed loop of Highway 45 (Bulls Mill Road) reverted back to the County of Northumberland, effective October 8, 1951. A bypassed loop of Highway 45 (McDougall Road and Harwood Road) through Baltimore reverted back to the County of Northumberland, effective June 25, 1951. Bypassed loops of the highway near the Baltimore Creek Bridge (Myers Road) and south of the County Road 22 Junction also reverted back to the county that same day, although some of these bypassed loops were subsequently closed to traffic.
In 1953, a further 3 miles of grading and realignment took place along Highway 45 from Fenella to Roseneath, with a mulch pavement constructed along this section of the highway in 1954. Grading and realignment of Highway 45 took place from Roseneath northerly for 7 miles in 1956. Hot-mix asphalt paving was completed along this section of the highway in 1958. Jurisdiction over the bypassed loop of Highway 45 via School House Road and Lewis Road north of Roseneath was transferred from the DHO to the Township of Alnwick by an Order-in-Council, effective July 1, 1961. Nearly 2 miles of the old highway via Morrow Road and Collins Road was transferred to the Township of Percy by an Order-in-Council, effective March 14, 1960. Grading and realignment of Highway 45 took place from Norwood southerly for 7 1/2 miles in 1961, with hot-mix asphalt paving completed along this section of the highway in 1962. This final contract completed paving operations along Highway 45. A 1/4 mile bypassed loop of Highway 45 at the north entrance to Hastings was legally closed to traffic by an Order-in-Council, effective December 12, 1963. Another bypassed loop of Highway 45 (Beamish Road) located immediately south of Hastings was transferred to the Township of Percy by an Order-in-Council, effective November 3, 1966.
During the late 1950s, the DHO constructed a new bridge over the Ouse River in Norwood, which resulted in a diversion of Highway 45 via Colborne Street. As originally established in 1937, Highway 45 continued northerly to Belmont Street (Highway 7) via Victoria Street. The new Ouse River Bridge diverted Highway 45 traffic onto Colborne Street through the village centre. Jurisdiction over the old route of Highway 45 along Victoria Street between the Ouse River Bridge and Highway 7 (Belmont Street) was transferred to the Village of Norwood by an Order-in-Council, effective August 21, 1958. The new highway route via Colborne Street from the Ouse River Bridge northerly to Highway 7 was subsequently designated as a Municipal Connecting Link in the late 1950s. After 1958, provincial jurisdiction over Highway 45 began at the Ouse River Bridge rather than the Highway 7 Junction. The route of Highway 45 through the Town of Cobourg via Division Street was also designated as a Municipal Connecting Link in the early 1960s.
The route of Highway 45 was also modified within the Village of Hastings during the 1960s. The non-assumed section of Highway 45 within the Village of Hastings situated to the north of the Trent-Severn Waterway Swing Bridge was formally designated as a Municipal Connecting Link in the early 1960s. This route consisted of portions of Bridge Street North and Albert Street. Construction began on an improved southern approach to the village during 1961. This new route for Highway 45 was a diversion of Bridge Street South, which bypassed the original 1937 route of Highway 45 via Elgin Street and Queen Street West. The new highway route approaching Hastings from the south was formally designated as a King's Highway by an Order-in-Council, effective January 30, 1964. Jurisdiction over 1/2 mile of the former route of Highway 45 via Elgin Street and Queen Street West was transferred from DHO to the Village of Hastings, effective April 1, 1966. Additional sections of Highway 45 within the village were transferred in the early 1970s. With the exception of the Trent River Bridge, the remaining provincially-owned portion of Highway 45 via Bridge Street South was transferred to the Village of Hastings, effective September 21, 1973. This transferred section of Highway 45 was subsequently designated as a Municipal Connecting Link. The Trent River Bridge itself was retained under provincial jurisdiction up until the late 1990s.
On January 1, 1998, all provincially-owned sections of Highway 45 were transferred or "downloaded" to the Counties of Northumberland and Peterborough. Highway 45 is now officially known as Northumberland County Road 45 and Peterborough County Road 45, although the road is still often referred to as "Highway 45" by motorists. Services are available in most of the larger communities along the highway. Highway 45 is one of Central Ontario's most scenic highways. The region north of Cobourg is surprisingly hilly, and there are some rather impressive vistas that can be enjoyed of the Great Pine Ridge from Highway 45. The highway forms a very pleasant alternate route to Highway 115 for traffic heading between Toronto and Ottawa via Highway 7. Highway 45 is primarily a rural two-lane highway. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 45 is 80 km/h (50 mph). Please visit the Highway 45 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 45.
Additional Information About King's Highway 45: