History of King's Highway 74:
King's Highway 74 was a minor collector highway which linked New Sarum, Belmont and Nilestown to Highway 401 near Dorchester, southeast of London. The highway was 22 km in length and it existed up until the late 1990s, when it was downloaded from the province to the Counties of Elgin and Middlesex. The history of Highway 74 dates back to 1937, when the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) assumed the county road from New Sarum to Dorchester Road (known as Hamilton Road today) as a new King's Highway. Preliminary Route Plans were prepared in May 1937, showing the route of a proposed King's Highway through Elgin and Middlesex Counties. King's Highway 74 was assumed by the DHO within Elgin County on August 25, 1937 and within Middlesex County on September 1, 1937. Contrary to popular belief, Highway 74 did not connect directly to Highway 2 during its 60-year history, even though Highway 2 existed only a short distance to the north of Nilestown. Highway 74 and neighbouring Highway 73 are both strange anomalies of the Ontario provincial highway system, in that these two King's Highways ended at a county road junction and not at a provincial highway junction. Highway 74 was gravel surfaced for much of its length when it was first assumed in 1937. The highway was only paved between Belmont and Nilestown at the time of assumption as a King's Highway. The balance of the highway from New Sarum to Belmont was paved in 1952. The route of Highway 74 did not change much during its 60-year existence. The only significant change came about in 1966, when the route of Highway 74 through the Village of Belmont was transferred by the province to the municipality, effective June 18, 1966. The route of Highway 74 through Belmont was subsequently designated as a Municipal Connecting Link on June 30, 1966.
During the 1990s, the province determined that Highway 74 served mostly a local purpose and decided that the route was no longer needed in the provincial highway system. As a result, the entire route of Highway 74 was downloaded by the province to Elgin and Middlesex Counties on March 31, 1997. The road is now officially known as Middlesex County Road 74 and Elgin County Road 74, although the road is still often referred to as "Highway 74" by motorists. Services are available in most communities along the highway. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 74 is 80 km/h (50 mph). Please visit the Highway 74 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 74.
Additional Information About King's Highway 74: