Hwy 8D Sign Graphic Hwy 8D Title Graphic Hwy 8D Sign Graphic   

Ontario Highway 8D Quick Facts:
  • Years in Existence: 1937-1947
  • Current Status: Renumbered as King's Highway 102 in 1947
  • Current Name: Cootes Drive & King Street East
  • Location: Southern Ontario
  • Counties Served: Wentworth
  • Towns Served: Hamilton and Dundas
  • Western Terminus: Hwy 8 - Dundas (Main Street/Cross Street & King Street)
  • Eastern Terminus: Hwy 2 & Hwy 8 - Hamilton (Main Street)
  • Length in 1947: 3.5 km / 2.2 miles
King's Highway 8D Sign
Image courtesy of Jamie Malecki

History of King's Highway 8D:

King's Highway 8D was a short divided highway that was constructed in the 1930s to bypass a busy section of Highway 8 between Hamilton and Dundas which had poor road geometry and steep grades. The new highway was designed to draw through traffic off of Highway 8 before the steep hills at Binkley's Hollow between Hamilton and Dundas and later return through traffic to Highway 8 in Downtown Dundas. The first grading contract for the Dundas Diversion was tendered by the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) in June, 1936. Construction began on the new divided highway bypass in the Summer of 1936, and the grading of the dual roadways was completed by the end of the year. A follow-up contract was tendered in April, 1937, to complete paving work on the new 2 1/4 mile diversion. Following the completion of this paving contract in 1937, the new highway was officially opened to traffic. This short but interesting highway was one of the first divided highways ever built in Ontario and it served as a model for other four-lane divided highways built in the late 1930s, the most notable of which were the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) and the initial phases of Highway 2A (later known as Highway 401).

Highway 8D was also unique for its peculiar suffix. This was the only instance that a "D" suffix was used in conjunction with an Ontario highway route number. The "D" in this instance stood for "Diversion". However, it is unlikely that Highway 8D was actually a posted route number. This road was more often referred to as the Dundas Diversion or the Hamilton-Dundas Highway rather than by its highway number. Historical photographs of the Dundas Diversion suggest that the highway may have just been marked with destination guide signs indicating "To Hamilton" going eastbound and "To Dundas" going westbound. The highway was 3.2 km in length. Highway 8D began at the Highway 2 & Highway 8 Junction (Main Street West) near McMaster University and ended at the Highway 8 Junction in Downtown Dundas, at the intersection of Main Street/Cross Street and King Street. The section of Highway 8D from Main Street/Cross Street to York Street in Downtown Dundas was not under the jurisdiction of the DHO. This short section of the highway was under the jurisdiction of the Town of Dundas. After a maintenance agreement was signed between DHO and the Town of Dundas on April 3, 1945, the western section of the highway became a Municipal Connecting Link. Highway 8D was renumbered as Highway 102 in 1947. Highway 102 was ultimately decommissioned as a King's Highway in 1964 and was renamed Cootes Drive and King Street East.


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