Hwy 8D Hwy 8D Hwy 8D   

Ontario Highway 8D Quick Facts:
  • Years in Existence: 1936-1947
  • 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. Construction began on the new divided highway bypass in early 1936. By the end of 1936, the grading of the two roadways was completed, and the route was unofficially opened to traffic. The highway was paved and officially opened to traffic in 1937. 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 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. The highway may have just been marked with 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. Highway 8D was renumbered as Highway 102 by the Ontario Department of Highways in 1947. Highway 102 was decommissioned as a King's Highway in the 1960s and was renamed Cootes Drive and King Street East.

HWY 8D ROUTE MAP - © Cameron Bevers             HWY 8D PHOTOGRAPHS - © Cameron Bevers

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