History of King's Highway 65:
King's Highway 65 is a minor collector highway which serves the District of Timiskaming. The highway passes through predominantly rural areas to the west and east of New Liskeard, but the highway traverses some very remote and rugged terrain between Elk Lake and Matachewan. The only town of any significant size on Highway 65 is New Liskeard, although there are some smaller communities which occasionally appear along the highway.
Highway 65 was first established in the 1930s, when the road from New Liskeard to Elk Lake and Matachewan was assumed by the Department of Highways as a new provincial highway. A Preliminary Route Plan was prepared by the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) in June 1937, showing the proposed 67-mile (108 km) route of the new King's Highway through the District of Timiskaming. This new route was assumed and designated as King's Highway 65 on August 7, 1937. Sections of the road passing through the urbanized portions of New Liskeard were not assumed by the DHO, and thus those sections of the route remained under municipal jurisdiction. Initially, Highway 65 was gravel-surfaced for its entire length. The first paving contract was awarded in the late 1940s. The first seven miles of the highway from New Liskeard westerly was paved in 1948. Paving work was started at Matachewan in 1954 and was completed to Elk Lake in 1955. The pavement was also completed on Highway 65 between Elk Lake and New Liskeard through a series of reconstruction contracts which concluded in 1960.
In the mid-1950s, planning got underway to extend Highway 65 easterly for about 14 miles (23 km) to the Ontario-Quebec Boundary. A Preliminary Route Plan was prepared in June 1955, showing the proposed extension of Highway 65 east of New Liskeard. The eastern extension of Highway 65 was assumed as a provincial highway on February 22, 1956. In order to connect the east and west sections of Highway 65, a 2 km section of Highway 65 was signed concurrently with Highway 11 (later Highway 11B) through New Liskeard, via Armstrong Street and Whitewood Avenue. Initially, the eastern extension of Highway 65 was also gravel-surfaced. The pavement was completed between New Liskeard and the Ontario-Quebec Boundary in 1961.
Following the extension of Highway 65 to the Quebec Boundary, the length of the highway stood at approximately 130 km (81 miles). Relatively few changes have been made to the route of Highway 65 over the years. A number of diversions were built in the Elk Lake area to improve the highway alignment and to shorten the distance between Elk Lake and New Liskeard. In 1971, a short section of Highway 65 leading into Matachewan was renumbered as Highway 66. This shortened the route of Highway 65 by approximately 5 km (3 miles). Following the renumbering, the route of Highway 65 ended at the Highway 66 Junction just east of Matachewan. In 2003, a 3 km section of Highway 65 running through Downtown New Liskeard was rerouted onto the Tri-Town Bypass (Highway 11). The new route of Highway 65 allows through traffic to bypass Downtown New Liskeard entirely. The old route of Highway 65 through Downtown New Liskeard is now known as Whitewood Avenue and Armstrong Street.
At the Quebec Boundary, Highway 65 links to Quebec's Highway 101 via Notre-Dame-du-Nord. With the exception of a short section of the highway running through New Liskeard, all remaining sections of Highway 65 are two lanes. Services are very scarce along Highway 65. Gasoline is only available in Matachewan, Elk Lake, Kenabeek and New Liskeard. Moose are quite common along Highway 65. These enormous animals can often be seen crossing the highway corridor. This represents a serious collision hazard, because these animals are difficult for motorists to see at night. Slow down and be prepared for moose if you plan to use Highway 65 at night. The speed limit on Highway 65 is 80 km/h (50 mph), unless posted otherwise. Please visit the Highway 65 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 65.
Additional Information About King's Highway 65: