History of King's Highway 25:
King's Highway 25 was a major collector highway which connected the Queen Elizabeth Way at Oakville to Highway 89 west of Shelburne. The highway was 98 km in length and it existed up until the late 1990s, when it was downloaded to the Regional Municipality of Halton and the Counties of Wellington and Dufferin. By the 1990s, the route of Highway 25 had changed considerably since the time the highway was first designated in the 1920s.
The history of Highway 25 dates back to 1927, when the Milton-Palermo Road was designated as Provincial Highway 25. A Preliminary Route Plan was prepared dated June 23, 1927, showing the proposed route of a new Provincial Highway through Halton County. The proposed highway began at the Highway 5 Junction at Palermo and ran north for 13 km to Milton. The route was assumed as Provincial Highway 25 by the Department of Public Highways of Ontario (DPHO) on July 13, 1927 (See Map). In 1928, Highway 25 was extended southwesterly to connect with Highway 2 at Campbell's Corners, located between Burlington and Aldershot. A Preliminary Route Plan was prepared July 18, 1928, showing the route of a proposed extension to the Provincial Highway from the Highway 5 Junction at Nelson southerly towards Burlington along Guelph Line. At the Lower Middle Road (today's Plains Road), the proposed highway turned west towards Campbell's Corners via Freeman. The proposed route of Highway 25 ended at the Highway 2 Junction at Campbell's Corners, located at the intersection of Lower Middle Road (Plains Road) and King Road. The south leg of Highway 25 was assumed by the DPHO on August 22, 1928. The DPHO decided to route Highway 5 & Highway 25 concurrently between Nelson and Palermo, in order to connect the north and south legs of Highway 25 (See Map).
Originally, the entire route of Highway 25 was gravel-surfaced, except for the concurrent route of Highway 5 & Highway 25 between Nelson and Palermo which was already paved. Highway 25 was paved between Freeman and Nelson in 1929. The rest of Highway 25 from the Highway 2 Junction to Freeman and from Palermo to Milton was paved in 1930. Provincial Highway 25 was re-designated as King's Highway 25 in 1930.
In 1936, the new Middle Road Highway, later known as the Queen Elizabeth Way, was completed and opened to traffic north of Burlington. This new divided expressway was constructed by building a new carriageway beside an existing section of Highway 25 for a distance of 4 km through Freeman, from just east of King Road to Guelph Line. For a number of years following the completion of the new Middle Road Highway, the Highway 25 designation was left in place along the new divided expressway to Campbell's Corners. In 1946, the Highway 25 designation was removed from the Queen Elizabeth Way between Guelph Line and Campbell's Corners. The route of Highway 25 was then truncated at the intersection of the Queen Elizabeth Way and Guelph Line, just north of Burlington.
In 1937, the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) decided to extend Highway 25 north from Milton to join with Highway 7 in Acton. A Preliminary Route Plan was prepared dated April 20, 1937, showing the proposed route of a new King's Highway through Halton County via the Milton-Acton Road. The extension of Highway 25 from Milton to Acton was assumed as a King's Highway by the DHO on August 25, 1937. Sections of the road passing through Milton and Acton were not assumed by the DHO and thus those sections of the route remained under municipal jurisdiction. The extension of Highway 25 in 1937 brought the length of the highway up to 48 km, including the municipally-owned sections within towns. The length of the highway then decreased slightly to 44 km in 1946, due to the removal of the Highway 25 designation along the Queen Elizabeth Way between Guelph Line and Campbell's Corners. The section of Highway 25 between Milton and Acton was paved during highway improvement projects that were carried out in 1950 and 1951.
In 1963, Highway 25 was extended from Acton northerly to the Highway 24 Junction at Ospringe (See Map). Preliminary Assumption Plans were prepared in March, 1963 and registered on April 1, 1963, showing the DHO's proposed assumption of County Road 71 through Wellington County and County Road 2 through Halton County between Acton and Ospringe. The extension of Highway 25 from Acton to Ospringe was designated as a King's Highway by an Order-in-Council on April 25, 1963, thus extending the route of Highway 25 by approximately 10 km. This new section of Highway 25 was gravel-surfaced when it was first assumed, but wasn't paved until the early 1970s. A contract was awarded in 1973 to pave the section of Highway 25 from Acton to Ospringe. This paving contract was noteworthy, in that it removed the very last gravel-surfaced section on a King's Highway in Southern Ontario.
As originally assumed in the 1920s and 1930s, the DHO owned Highway 25 in its entirety with the exception of the portions of the route passing through Milton and Acton, which were non-assumed. The non-assumed section of Highway 25 through Acton lying south of the Highway 7 Junction was designated as a Municipal Connecting Link by an Order-in-Council, effective December 22, 1958. When Highway 25 was extended north from Acton to Ospringe in 1963, the Municipal Connecting Link through Acton was also extended north to the town limits. The section of Main Street (Highway 25) lying north of the Highway 7 Junction in Acton was designated as a Municipal Connecting Link, effective August 1, 1963. A Municipal Connecting Link was established in 1960 for the non-assumed section of Highway 25 through Milton. The route of Highway 25 through Milton originally followed Ontario Street, Main Street and Martin Street. This route was designated as a Municipal Connecting Link by an Order-in-Council, effective August 11, 1960. The route of Highway 25 changed somewhat through Milton in 1970. Firstly, the section of Highway 25 via Martin Street from the Highway 401 Interchange southerly to Base Line Road (today's Steeles Avenue) was transferred from the province to the Town of Milton, effective April 1, 1970. The Municipal Connecting Link through Milton was also modified on April 1, 1970, so that Highway 25 bypassed Downtown Milton. Highway 25 then followed Ontario Street, Base Line Road (today's Steeles Avenue) and Martin Street.
A DHO Planning Study completed in 1970 identified the need for a new provincial highway extending south from Palermo on Highway 5 to the Queen Elizabeth Way. The report also concluded that the Burlington section of Highway 25 via Guelph Line served primarily a local purpose and recommended the transfer of that portion of the route to the City of Burlington. As a result of this study, a major rerouting took place at the southern end of Highway 25. The old route of Highway 25 between the Queen Elizabeth Way at Burlington and Highway 5 at Nelson was replaced by a new, more direct route from Palermo to the Queen Elizabeth Way. The old Highway 25 route via Guelph Line was decommissioned on April 1, 1970, while the Bronte Road (Halton County Road 2) from Palermo to the Queen Elizabeth Way was designated as the new route for Highway 25. A Preliminary Assumption Plan was prepared and registered on April 1, 1970, showing the DHO's proposed assumption of County Road 2 from Palermo to the Queen Elizabeth Way. The extension of Highway 25 from Palermo to the Queen Elizabeth Way was designated as a King's Highway by an Order-in-Council on April 16, 1970 (See Map).
In 1974, a major highway extension took place in Wellington and Dufferin Counties that increased the length of Highway 25 to 98 km. This massive 51 km highway extension consolidated several former county roads and the entire route of Highway 104 from Highway 9 to Grand Valley into the new route of Highway 25. An Assumption Plan was prepared by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC) on March 13, 1974 and registered on April 5, 1974, showing the MTC's proposed assumption of Wellington County Road 24 from Brisbane northerly to the Wellington-Dufferin County Boundary near Hillsburgh. Additional Assumption Plans were prepared on March 14, 1974 and registered on April 9, 1974, showing the MTC's proposed assumption of Dufferin County Road 6 south of Grand Valley and Dufferin County Road 4 north of Grand Valley. The entire Highway 25 Extension from Brisbane northerly to the Highway 89 Junction west of Shelburne was designated as a King's Highway by an Order-in-Council on May 22, 1974. In order to unite the north and south legs of Highway 25, the MTC designated Highway 25 concurrently with Highway 24 for 7 km between Ospringe and Brisbane. In addition, Highway 25 was signed concurrently with Highway 9 for 3 km near Grand Valley. Once the highway was extended in 1974, the northern terminus of Highway 25 moved from its former northern terminus at the Highway 24 Junction at Ospringe to the Highway 89 Junction, located about 12 km west of Shelburne (See Map).
Initially, Highway 25 was provincially-owned right through the Village of Grand Valley. However, on July 6, 1977, the 2 km section of Highway 25 lying within the village limits was transferred to the Village of Grand Valley. This transferred section of Highway 25 through Grand Valley was subsequently designated as a Municipal Connecting Link by an Order-in-Council, effective August 24, 1977. The Municipal Connecting Link through Grand Valley was repealed by a Minister's Order, effective July 31, 1997. This revocation coincided with the downloading of Highway 25 to Dufferin County earlier that year.
The route of Highway 25 remained unchanged from the 1970s up until 1997-1998, when the entire highway was downloaded. On March 31, 1997, the entire northern section of Highway 25 was downloaded, from Brisbane northerly to the Highway 89 Junction. On June 25, 1997, the section of Highway 25 lying between the Queen Elizabeth Way Interchange in Oakville and Milton was downloaded to the Regional Municipality of Halton. Six months later, on January 1, 1998, the remainder of Highway 25 from the Highway 401 Interchange in Milton northerly to the Highway 24 Junction at Ospringe was downloaded to the Regional Municipality of Halton and the County of Wellington. However, since the route of Highway 25 was discontinuous north of Acton, the counties which had the highway transferred to them had difficulty in establishing a replacement road numbering system that was consistent with the old King's Highway route number. This was further complicated by the fact that Wellington County already had an existing County Road 25 in their county road system prior to 1998. While many counties renumbered their county roads to avoid any numbering conflicts with downloaded provincial highways, Wellington County elected not to renumber their existing County Road 25, meaning that a different route number had to be assigned to Former Highway 25. As a result, Former Highway 25 now has seven different names, as follows: Halton Regional Road 25, Wellington County Road 125, Wellington County Road 124, Wellington County Road 24, Dufferin County Road 24, Dufferin County Road 109, and Dufferin County Road 25. Absolute madness!!
Highway 25 passes through several large towns along the southern portion of its route, but the highway becomes rather remote towards the northern end of its route. The only major towns located along the highway are Oakville, Milton, Acton and Grand Valley. The highway passes through few other communities along its 98 km route. Services are available in most larger communities on Highway 25, although services do become much less frequent north of Acton. There are no gas stations along Highway 25 north of Grand Valley. Most sections of Highway 25 are two lanes, but there are some undivided four-lane sections near towns. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 25 is 80 km/h (50 mph). Please visit the Highway 25 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 25.
Additional Information About King's Highway 25: