Hwy 55 #1 Hwy 55 #1 Hwy 55 #1   

Ontario Highway 55 (#1) Quick Facts:
  • Years in Existence: 1937-1961
  • Current Status: Decommissioned in 1961
  • Current Names: Upper Gage Avenue, Concession Street, Mountain Brow Boulevard, Kenilworth Avenue & Burlington Street
  • Location: Southern Ontario
  • Counties Served: Hamilton (Wentworth)
  • Towns Served: Hamilton
  • Southern Terminus: Hwy 53 - Hamilton
  • Northern Terminus: QEW - Hamilton
  • Length in 1961: Approx 6.5 km / 4 miles
HWY 55 - © Cameron Bevers
King's Highway 55 Sign © Cameron Bevers

History of King's Highway 55 (#1):

The first King's Highway 55 was a short urban route that connected Highway 53 to Highway 6 in Downtown Hamilton. Highway 55 was originally known as Highway 20A. Highway 55 was created out of route renumbering in 1937, when the Department of Highways redesignated Highway 20A as Highway 55, in order to eliminate confusion between this route and a different Highway 20A that existed north of nearby Stoney Creek. Originally, Highway 55 entered Hamilton on Upper Gage Avenue. At Crockett Street, Highway 55 turned left, where it joined Upper Sherman Avenue at the entrance to the Sherman Cut. Highway 55 then passed through the Sherman Cut and continued down the Niagara Escarpment into Downtown Hamilton along Mountain Boulevard (now known as the Sherman Access), where it ended at Highway 6 (John Street).

In 1956, a new section of Highway 55 was designated along Kenilworth Avenue, Burlington Street and Beach Road. This extension of Highway 55 was intended to provide a new signed highway link from Hamilton Mountain to the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW), near the site of the proposed Burlington Skyway, via the new Kenilworth Access. While the Kenilworth Access was being constructed up the Niagara Escarpment, Highway 55 continued to follow Crockett Street and the Sherman Cut into Downtown Hamilton. The north leg of Highway 55 via Kenilworth Avenue was discontinuous from the south leg of the highway, which ran from Downtown Hamilton to the Highway 53 Junction. In September 1958, the new Kenilworth Access was completed and officially opened to traffic. The route of Highway 55 was then removed from the Crockett Avenue and Sherman Cut route, and redesignated along Concession Street to the new Kenilworth Access. The completion of the Kenilworth Access linked the two discontinuous sections of Highway 55. This new section of Highway 55 along Kenilworth Avenue was apparently signed by the City of Hamilton, since Department of Highways mileage logs in the late 1950s make no reference to the increased mileage of the highway. The route of Highway 55 was formally decommissioned as a King's Highway on April 28, 1961, when ownership of the road was transferred to the City of Hamilton. A different, unrelated Highway 55 was established near Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1970.

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