Hwy 420 Hwy 420 Hwy 420   

This page contains historical and present day photos of Ontario's King's Highway 420 (Rainbow Bridge Approach). All photographs displayed on this page were taken by the Webmaster (Cameron Bevers), unless specifically noted otherwise. Historical photographs are arranged in approximate chronological order, while present day photographs (Year 2000 to date) are arranged by location from west to east. Click on any thumbnail to see a larger image!

Please note that all photographs displayed on this website are protected by copyright. These photographs must not be reproduced, published, electronically stored or copied, distributed, or posted onto other websites without my written permission. If you want to use photos from this website, please email me first for permission. Thank-you!

Historical King's Highway 420 Photographs


QEW #500             QEW #501

Left - Dorchester Road Traffic Circle on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Niagara Falls. See an Enlarged Photo here. Photo taken on April 14, 1961.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2013)

This early traffic circle was constructed along the Rainbow Bridge Approach (today's Hwy 420) in 1941. The "circle" itself was actually oval-shaped, and connected the dual highway approaching the Rainbow Bridge with Dorchester Road. The Hydro Canal leading to Queenston crossed through the middle of the traffic circle. Please click here to see a 1947 Aerial Photo of the Dorchester Road Traffic Circle. Two new structures were built along the "legs" of the oval to carry the highway perpendicularly across the Hydro Canal. The Dorchester Road Traffic Circle provided a very economical method of joining the two roads together, and worked quite well during the early days of the Queen Elizabeth Way. However, growing traffic volumes in the Niagara Falls area prompted the Department of Highways to replace the old 1941 traffic circle with a modern grade-separated interchange in the early 1970s. The Westbound Queen Elizabeth Way structure seen here was removed in 1971 when a new interchange was built at Dorchester Road and Hwy 420.


Right - Hydro Canal Bridge on the Dorchester Road Traffic Circle, facing east towards the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls. Photo taken on April 14, 1961.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2013)





QEW #502             QEW #503

Left - Approaching the exit to Dorchester Road North on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Niagara Falls. Note the oversized checkerboard sign at the far side of the structure, to warn drivers of the sharp curve ahead. The elongated oval shape of the Dorchester Road Traffic Circle and tangential entries and exits on the Queen Elizabeth Way encouraged motorists to travel through this rotary intersection at much higher speeds than what would be possible in a modern roundabout design. Excessive circle diameter and tangential entries and exits were common geometric design problems which plagued many older rotary intersections in North America. This led to a general rejection of the overall concept of rotary intersections by North American road authorities for almost 40 years, until more compact modern roundabouts with curved entries and exits began to appear in the 1990s. The first modern roundabout built on an Ontario provincial highway was completed on Hwy 33 in Picton in 2009. See an Enlarged Photo here. Photo taken on April 14, 1961.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2013)

Right - Hydro Canal Bridge on the Queen Elizabeth Way at the Dorchester Road Traffic Circle in Niagara Falls (April 14, 1961)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2013)





QEW #541             QEW #542

Left - Circa 1965 aerial view of the Rainbow Bridge Approach and Queen Elizabeth Way Junction in Niagara Falls. During construction of the Rainbow Bridge Approach (today's Hwy 420) in 1941, a decision was made to construct a traffic circle at the Queen Elizabeth Way and Rainbow Bridge Approach Junction instead of a grade-separated interchange. This traffic circle remained in service right up until the early 1970s, when the current multi-level interchange was built in 1971-1972. The Rainbow Bridge lies to the east (right in this photo), while the top of this photo faces north towards St. Catharines and Toronto. See an Enlarged Photo here.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2014)

Right - Circa 1965 aerial view of the Dorchester Traffic Circle on the Rainbow Bridge Approach section of the Queen Elizabeth Way (today's Hwy 420) in Niagara Falls. Completed in 1941, this traffic circle spanned the Hydro Canal and connected the north and south legs of Dorchester Road together. The Dorchester Traffic Circle remained in service right up until the early 1970s, when a new partial cloverleaf interchange was built at Dorchester Road and the reconstructed Rainbow Bridge Approach section of the Queen Elizabeth Way. The original Dorchester Road structure over the Hydro Canal can be seen in the centre of the oval-shaped traffic circle. The old bridge was closed to traffic in 1941 and fell into disuse for almost three decades. The old structure was finally removed in 1970 during preparatory work for the construction of the adjacent multi-level interchange on the Queen Elizabeth Way. The Rainbow Bridge lies to the east (lower-right corner in this photo), while the junction with the mainline Queen Elizabeth Way between Fort Erie and St. Catharines lies to the west (upper-left corner in this photo). See an Enlarged Photo here.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2014)





HWY 420 #13

Above - Overhead guide sign for the Hwy 420 and Hwy 20 Interchange on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Niagara Falls (September 16, 1981)
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2011)


Present Day King's Highway 420 Photographs


HWY 420 #1 - © Cameron Bevers             HWY 420 #2 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Facing west along Hwy 420 from the Portage Road Overpass in Niagara Falls during reconstruction in 2003.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Facing east along Hwy 420 towards Stanley Avenue from the Portage Road Overpass.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)





HWY 420 #3 - © Cameron Bevers             HWY 420 #4 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Portage Road Overpass on Hwy 420. Structure completed in 1941. The bridge was demolished during the reconstruction of Hwy 420 in 2004.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Facing west along Hwy 420 towards the Portage Road Overpass from Stanley Avenue during reconstruction in 2003.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)





HWY 420 #6 - © Cameron Bevers             HWY 420 #5 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Facing east along Hwy 420 towards the Rainbow Bridge from Stanley Avenue during reconstruction.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - View of the Hwy 420 reconstruction facing west from the Victoria Avenue Overpass.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)





HWY 420 #10 - © Cameron Bevers             HWY 420 #9 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Facing east along Hwy 420 from the Victoria Avenue Interchange in Niagara Falls during reconstruction in 2003.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - Victoria Avenue Overpass on Hwy 420. This beautiful stone-faced concrete rigid frame bridge was completed in 1941. It is the only one of its kind in the Province of Ontario.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)





HWY 420 #8 - © Cameron Bevers             HWY 420 #7 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - The "keystone" at the top of the stone arch bridge at Victoria Avenue is a sculptured concrete block, featuring a majestic crown marking the Niagara entrance to the Queen Elizabeth Way.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - The original 1940s concrete pavement on Hwy 420 was uncovered during the reconstruction project in 2003.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)





HWY 420 #12 - © Cameron Bevers             HWY 420 #11 - © Cameron Bevers

Left - Victoria Avenue Interchange on Hwy 420, as seen from the Palmer Avenue Overpass in Niagara Falls.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)

Right - View of Hwy 420 from the Palmer Avenue Overpass in Niagara Falls, facing east towards the Rainbow Bridge.
(Photograph taken on September 27, 2003  -  © Cameron Bevers)




More King's Highway 420 Photographs Coming Soon!



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