History of King's Highway 83:
King's Highway 83 was a collector highway located in the Counties of Huron and Perth which once connected Highway 21 north of Grand Bend to Highway 23 at Russeldale. The highway was approximately 39 km in length and it existed from the late 1930s up until the late 1990s, when jurisdiction over the highway was transferred or "downloaded" from the province to Huron County and Perth County. Highway 83 was one of several Southwestern Ontario King's Highways lost entirely to provincial highway downloading in 1997-1998.
Highway 83 was first established in the late 1930s when the Thames Road from Grand Bend to Russeldale (via Exeter) was assumed by the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) as a new provincial highway. Preliminary Route Plans were prepared by the DHO dated October 1937, which showed the proposed route of the new provincial highway from Grand Bend to Russeldale. The DHO assumed jurisdiction over the Thames Road on April 13, 1938, and subsequently designated the new route as King's Highway 83. Originally, the entire route of Highway 83 was gravel-surfaced, and remained so until after World War II. The highway was paved in stages between 1951 and 1956.
As originally assumed in 1938, the province had jurisdiction over the entire route of Highway 83. The short section of Highway 83 which passed through the Town of Exeter remained under provincial jurisdiction up until 1992, when it was transferred to the municipality. Jurisdiction over this section of Highway 83 was transferred from the province to the Town of Exeter, effective June 18, 1992. This transferred section of Highway 83 was later designated as a Municipal Connecting Link by an Order-in-Council, effective September 15, 1994.
During the 1990s, Ontario conducted a review of provincial highway functions across the province as part of a general plan for a realignment of provincial services. It was determined that Highway 83 served a predominantly local function and the highway was recommended for transfer to the municipal tier. On March 31, 1997, the entire route of Highway 83 was downloaded to the Counties of Perth and Huron. The Municipal Connecting Link through Exeter was revoked by a Minister's Order, effective September 16, 1997. Highway 83 is now officially known as Huron County Road 83 within Huron County and Perth Line 20 within Perth County. However, the road is still commonly referred to as "Highway 83" by motorists. There are no services located along Highway 83 itself, but services are available on Highway 21 in Grand Bend and on Highway 4 in Exeter. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 83 is 80 km/h (50 mph) within Perth County and 90 km/h (55 mph) in Huron County. Please visit the Highway 83 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 83.
Additional Information About King's Highway 83:
King's Highway 83 - Route Information (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)