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Queen Elizabeth Way; Hamilton to King's Highway 420

This past April I drove a portion of Queen Elizabeth Wayfrom Hamilton east to King's Highway 420 in Niagara Falls.


Queen Elizabeth Way ("QEW") is a 139.1 Kilometer/86.4 Mile 400 series freeway in the Province of Ontario.  QEW carries a hidden designation of King's Highway 451, the 400 series Provincial routes denote limited access roadways in Ontario akin to the American Interstate System.  QEW begins in Toronto at the junction of the Gardiner Expressway/KH 427 (note; the Gardiner Expressway was part of QEW) and is aligned in a southeasterly direction ending at Interstate 190 in Buffalo, New York.

Work on what would become QEW began in 1931 as a replacement of Lakeshore Road between Toronto and Hamilton.  At the time construction began this segment of roadway was known as the Queen Street Extension and more so ended up being called the Middle Road.  The original design of the Middle Road was to be a conventional un-divided four lanes.  Before the new roadway could be completed the design plans were altered in 1934 to more closely resemble the German Autobahns which had a grade separation between directions of travel.  The roadway was opened between Toronto and Burlington by 1937 and generally is considered to be the first truly limited access facility in North America.

The segment of QEW east of Hamilton began construction as the New Niagara Falls Highways in 1937.  By 1939 the New Niagara Falls Highway had opened between Stoney Creek (part of eastern Hamilton nowadays) and Jordan.  By June of 1939 during a visit from the British Royal Family the entire combined roadway of the Middle Road and New Niagara Falls Highway was designated as Queen Elizabeth Way.  When QEW fully opened it ended in Niagara Falls on what is now KH 420.  As QEW opened there was large sections of roadway that actually were paved in gravel, the entire route was not fully paved until 1956.   QEW as originally built was not a true freeway and had access roads built directly to it along with at-grade intersections.  Most of the direct access roads and at-grade intersections were mostly removed during the 1950s.

My approach to QEW eastbound was from the terminus of Red Hill Valley Parkway in Hamilton.




Niagara Falls is signed as 56KM away on QEW east of Red Hill Valley Parkway.


Access to Hamilton Road 455 on Fruitland Road is signed from QEW eastbound Exit 83.



QEW eastbound has a trunk inspection station just before Exit 78 for Hamilton Road 450 on Fifty Road.




QEW east enters the Municipality of Niagara and Grimsby.




At Exit 74 QEW eastbound has signed access to Municipal Road 10 on Casablanca Road in Grimsby.


At Exit 71 QEW eastbound accesses Municipal Road 12 in Grimbsy.


At Exit 68 QEW eastbound in Grimsby accesses Municipal Road 14.


East of Grimsby QEW enters the Town of Lincoln.


At Exit 64 QEW eastbound in Lincoln accesses Municipal Road 18.


At Exit 57 QEW eastbound in Lincoln accesses Municipal Road 24.


East of Municipal Road 24 QEW crosses over Jordan Harbor within view of the south shore of Lake Ontario.



At Exit 55 QEW eastbound in Lincoln accesses Municipal Road 26.


QEW eastbound enters St. Catharines traffic is advised that the United States can be accessed via; KH 405, KH 420 and QEW.




At Exit 51 QEW eastbound accesses Municipal Road 34 in St. Catharines.


At Exit 49 QEW eastbound has access to KH 406 towards downtown St. Catharines.


QEW eastbound crosses over Twelve Mile Creek and at Exit 47 QEW eastbound in St. Catharines accesses Municipal Road 42.


At Exit 44 QEW eastbound in St. Catharines accesses Municipal Roads 48 and 77.


QEW eastbound crosses the 1963 Garden City Skyway and the Welland Canal into Niagara-on-the-Lake.













Truck traffic is advised that the route over KH 420 to the United States is inaccessible to large vehicles.




At Exits 38 A/B QEW eastbound accesses Municipal Road 89 and KH 405 at Exit 37.




QEW eastbound enters Niagara Falls.



Traffic on QEW eastbound is directed to take KH 420 to downtown Niagara Falls.


At Exit 34 QEW eastbound accesses Municipal Road 101.


Niagara Falls (the actual falls) is directed to take KH 420.





At Exit 32 QEW eastbound accesses Municipal Road 57.


QEW eastbound reaches KH 420 at Exit 30A, this is where I split eastward towards the falls.




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