History of King's Highway 63:
King's Highway 63 is a major collector highway which connects North Bay to Temiskaming, Quebec. At the bridge over the Ottawa River in Temiskaming, Highway 63 links to Quebec's Highway 101 whose route continues north towards Rouyn-Noranda on the Quebec side of Lake Timiskaming.
The history of Highway 63 dates back to the late 1930s, when ownership of the North Bay-Temiskaming Trunk Road was transferred from the Department of Northern Development to the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO). A Preliminary Route Plan was prepared by the DHO in May 1937, showing the proposed route of the new King's Highway between North Bay and the Ontario-Quebec Boundary at the Ottawa River in Temiskaming. The 41-mile (66 km) route was first assumed by the DHO on August 25, 1937. The new route was designated as King's Highway 63 (See Map). The highway was completed and officially opened to traffic on September 6, 1937, by Premier Mitchell Hepburn and Peter Heenan, Minister of Lands and Forests.
Initially, Highway 63 was gravel-surfaced for its entire length. A 10-mile section of Highway 63 was paved from Feronia northerly in 1946. Another 10-mile section, from 10 miles to 20 miles north of Feronia, was paved in 1947. This pavement was extended north by yet another 7 miles in 1948. As a result of the Lac-la-Cave Hydro Development on the Ottawa River north of Mattawa, it was necessary for the DHO to relocate 2.9 miles of Highway 63 in the Temiskaming area. Construction began on the relocation of Highway 63 above the proposed floodline of the hydro dam's headpond in 1950. The relocation of Highway 63 south of Temiskaming was completed in 1951. The old section of Highway 63 along the former banks of the Ottawa River was flooded once the new hydro dam went into operation. Paving operations resumed again in 1953, when the relocated section of Highway 63 south of Temiskaming was paved. The final gravel section on Highway 63, from North Bay to Feronia, was paved in 1954.
As originally assumed in 1937, the provincially-owned section of Highway 63 began at the North Bay Limits immediately west of today's Connaught Avenue. The section of Highway 63 within the limits of North Bay (Trout Lake Road) was a non-assumed section of the King's Highway which remained under municipal jurisdiction. On November 20, 1958, an Order-in-Council was signed which designated the non-assumed portion of Highway 63 through the City of North Bay as a Municipal Connecting Link. As the city expanded northwards towards Trout Lake during the 1960s, a section of Highway 63 was transferred by the province to the City of North Bay. A 3 km section of Highway 63 from the former North Bay City Limits near Connaught Avenue to Lees Road was transferred to North Bay, effective February 21, 1970. Since that time, provincial ownership of Highway 63 has begun at Lees Road beside Trout Lake. The transferred section of Highway 63 (Trout Lake Road) between the former North Bay City Limits and Lees Road was added to the existing Highway 63 Municipal Connecting Link by an Order-in-Council dated August 21, 1974.
During 1998, the routes of Highway 11B & Highway 17B through Downtown North Bay were decommissioned. As a result, the Highway 63 Municipal Connecting Link was revised so that the highway ended at the North Bay Bypass (Highway 11 & Highway 17) rather than Downtown North Bay. The section of Highway 63 via Cassells Street between Highway 11B & Highway 17B and the North Bay Bypass had its Municipal Connecting Link designation revoked under a Minister's Order dated November 6, 1998. The revision to the Municipal Connecting Link resulted in a reduction of the length of Highway 63 by approximately 2 km. Since 1998, the southern terminus of Highway 63 has been at the junction with the North Bay Bypass (Highway 11 & Highway 17).
Highway 63 passes through mostly rural portions of Northeastern Ontario. The only major town located along Highway 63 within Ontario is North Bay, located at the southern end of the highway. Most sections of Highway 63 are two lanes, although a part of the highway through the urbanized area of North Bay is a four-lane undivided highway. Services are only available in North Bay and Eldee, or across the Ottawa River in Temiskaming, Quebec. The speed limit on Highway 63 is 80 km/h (50 mph), unless posted otherwise. Please visit the Highway 63 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 63.
Additional Information About King's Highway 63: