History of King's Highway 37:
King's Highway 37 is a relatively short but important arterial highway which links Belleville with Highway 7 at Actinolite. The highway passes through a predominantly rural area along its 47 km route. The only major towns located along the highway are Belleville and Tweed. The history of Highway 37 dates back to the early 1930s, when the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) established a new King's Highway through Hastings County. A Preliminary Route Plan was prepared by the DHO dated October 23, 1931, showing the proposed route of the new King's Highway between Belleville and Actinolite. The 29-mile (47 km) route was first assumed by the DHO on January 6, 1932. Highway 37 was designated in order to provide another provincial highway connection to Highway 7, which was still under construction between Madoc and Perth at the time. The majority of Highway 37 was gravel-surfaced at first. At the time the DHO took over the highway in 1932, the only sections of the highway that were paved were between Belleville and Corbyville, along with another short section through Tweed. Paving was completed between Corbyville and Roslin in 1944 and between Tweed and Actinolite in 1945. The last gravel section on Highway 37 between Roslin and Tweed was paved in 1951 and 1952.
The route of Highway 37 within the Village of Tweed was changed slightly as a result of the construction of a new bridge across the Moira River during 1937. Originally, Highway 37 crossed the Moira River on Bridge Street. During 1937, Victoria Street was extended north across the Moira River in order to provide a more direct route for Highway 37 through Tweed. The old route of Highway 37 via Bridge Street and Moira Street was transferred from the province to the Village of Tweed, effective October 19, 1938. The entire route of Highway 37 through the Village of Tweed was transferred to the municipality effective March 8, 1960. The 2.2 km route through Tweed was subsequently designated as a Municipal Connecting Link.
As originally assumed in 1932, provincial ownership of Highway 37 commenced at the north limits of the City of Belleville, situated at today's College Street. As the city expanded northwards, the DHO transferred a section of Highway 37 to the City of Belleville. The section of Highway 37 between College Street and the Highway 401 Interchange was transferred from the province to the City of Belleville, effective January 15, 1959. The entire route of Highway 37 lying south of the Highway 401 Interchange via Station Street and Cannifton Road was subsequently designated as a Municipal Connecting Link.
The alignment of Highway 37 has not changed much since the 1930s, apart from some minor revisions in a few locations. A small diversion was built in 1946 when a new bridge over the Moira River was constructed. Other small diversions were constructed around Thomasburg and Chapman during the late 1940s. In 1960, a bypass was completed around the communities of Corbyville and Cannifton. The old route of Highway 37 through Corbyville and Cannifton was transferred from the province to the Township of Thurlow, effective May 20, 1961. Another small diversion was completed in 1968, which bypassed the community of Plainfield.
Highway 37 is a two-lane highway for its entire length between Belleville and Highway 7. The highway provides a scenic alternate route for motorists travelling between Toronto and Ottawa who do not wish to stay on Highway 401 beyond Belleville. The route via Highway 37 and Highway 7 is actually 40 km shorter than the route via Highway 401 and Highway 416, although there is no significant difference in travel times between the two routes. Services along Highway 37 are somewhat scarce outside of major communities. The speed limit on Highway 37 is 80 km/h (50 mph), unless posted otherwise. Please visit the Highway 37 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 37.
Additional Information About King's Highway 37: