History of King's Highway 14:
King's Highway 14 was a minor collector highway which served several communities in western Hastings County until it was completely downloaded by the provincial government to the County of Hastings in 1996. While the road has served a predominantly local function since the mid-1980s, the highway once served a more important role in the Ontario Highway System.
The history of Highway 14 dates back to 1921, when the Department of Public Highways of Ontario (DPHO) assumed the Picton-Belleville Road and the Foxboro-Belleville Road as a new provincial highway. Preliminary Route Plans were prepared dated April 23, 1921, showing the proposed route of the new Provincial Highway through Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. The entire highway from Picton to Foxboro via Belleville was assumed by the DPHO on May 18, 1921. Sections of the road passing through Belleville and Picton were not assumed by the DPHO and thus those sections of the route remained under municipal jurisdiction. The highway was originally 47 km (29 miles) in length when it was first assumed. The Foxboro-Picton Highway was assigned the designation Provincial Highway 14 in 1925, when a new highway numbering system was employed across the province (See Map). Most of the highway was paved by 1925. There were two short gravel sections south of Belleville and north of Bloomfield, but both sections were paved over by 1926. This made Highway 14 the second earliest original Ontario Provincial Highway to be completely paved (the earliest was Highway 5), which is not particularly surprising since Highway 14 formed a vital transportation link between the island of Prince Edward County and the mainland. Highway 14 was extended north from Foxboro to Marmora (via Stirling) in the late 1920s (See Map). A Preliminary Route Plan was prepared dated March 6, 1928, showing the proposed route of the new Highway 14 Extension through Hastings County. The entire highway from Foxboro to Marmora via Stirling was assumed by the DPHO on April 18, 1928. Sections of the road passing through Stirling and Marmora were not assumed by the DPHO and thus those sections of the route remained under municipal jurisdiction. The extension to Marmora essentially completed Highway 14, at a total length of 83 km (51.6 miles). In 1930, Provincial Highway 14 was re-designated as King's Highway 14.
Although the southern section of Highway 14 was fully paved by 1926, the northern section of the highway from Foxboro to Marmora remained gravel-surfaced until the late 1930s and early 1940s. Paving was completed between Stirling and Harold in 1937 and from Harold to Marmora in 1938. Paving on the north section of Highway 14 was completed between Foxboro and Stirling in 1940. During 1934, a new long-distance King's Highway was established between Trenton and Kingston. This route, which became an extension of King's Highway 33, followed a portion of the route of Highway 14 between Bloomfield and Picton. The overlapped route of Highway 14 & Highway 33 remained in place from 1934 up until 1963, when Highway 14 was truncated at the Highway 33 Junction in Bloomfield. The overlapped route between Bloomfield and Picton disappeared from DHO mileage tables beginning in 1963, when Bloomfield began to be listed as the southern terminus of Highway 14 (See Map). The removal of the overlapped route between Bloomfield and Picton in 1963 reduced the overall length of Highway 14 by approximately 10 km (6 miles). The community of Foxboro was bypassed by a new Highway 14 diversion in the early 1960s. The Foxboro Bypass was completed and opened to traffic on November 1, 1963. Other changes were made to the route of Highway 14 through the City of Belleville. Originally, Highway 14 entered Belleville from the Belleville Bay Bridge, then turned right onto Dundas Street. At James Street, Highway 14 turned north towards Bridge Street, where the highway crossed the Moira River. Highway 14 then turned left onto Front Street in Downtown Belleville where the highway headed north out of the city. In 1955, the route of Highway 14 was altered slightly, when the highway was rerouted along Coleman Street and Moira Street in order to bypass Downtown Belleville. This route remained in place until 1978, when Highway 14 was rerouted once again along Dundas Street and Pinnacle Street which remains in place today. In December 1982, the new Norris Whitney Bridge over the Bay of Quinte was opened to traffic. It replaced the old Belleville Bay Swing Bridge.
The route of Highway 14 was altered substantially in the mid-1980s, when a route renumbering took place which significantly reduced the length of Highway 14. In 1984, Highway 14 was truncated at the Highway 62 Junction in Foxboro (See Map). The route of Highway 62 was then extended southerly along the former route of Highway 14 from Foxboro southerly to Bloomfield. Following the 1984 renumbering, Highway 14 was reduced to a total length of only 35 km. Suddenly, Highway 14 lost much of its provincial importance as a through highway and began to serve a mostly local purpose. After a number of years, the province determined that Highway 14 was no longer needed in the provincial highway system. On June 5, 1996, the remaining section of Highway 14 between Foxboro and Marmora was downloaded to the County of Hastings. The road was then briefly known as Hastings County Road 14. However, the County of Hastings transferred the ownership of its county road system to its own municipalities shortly thereafter. Thus, Former Highway 14 is now technically a municipal street. While it is still commonly called "Highway 14" by motorists, the road's official names are now Foxboro-Stirling Road and Stirling-Marmora Road. These two township roads are collectively signed with municipal "flowerpot" route markers bearing the number 14.
Highway 14 passes through a predominantly rural area. The principal towns located along the highway are Foxboro, Stirling and Marmora. Highway 14 is a rather scenic drive, offering some of Central Ontario's most pleasant rural scenery. Highway 14 is primarily a two-lane highway. Services are available in most communities along Highway 14. The speed limit on Highway 14 is 80 km/h (50 mph), unless posted otherwise. Please visit the Highway 14 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 14.
Additional Information About King's Highway 14: