Ontario Highway 19

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Highway 19

Route information
Maintained by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario
Length24.1 km[2] (15.0 mi)
ExistedMarch 12, 1930[1]–present
Major junctions
South end Highway 3 in Tillsonburg
Major intersections County Road 18Mount Elgin
North end Highway 401 near Ingersoll
TownsIngersoll, Tillsonburg
Highway system
Highway 17 Highway 20
Former provincial highways
←  Highway 18

King's Highway 19, commonly referred to as Highway 19, is a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario, connecting Highway 3 in Tillsonburg with Highway 401 southeast of Ingersoll. The highway began as the Plank and Gravel Road, a toll road formed by the Ingersoll and Port Burwell Road Company. It was first assigned in 1930. Several extensions in the early 1930s took the route north to Highway 86 at Tralee. However, a significant amount of Highway 19 was decommissioned and turned over to local and county governments in 1997 and 1998.

Route description

The southern end of Highway 19 begins at Highway 3 in Tillsonburg, while the northern end terminates 400 metres north of the centreline of Highway 401, southeast of the Ingersoll town limits. Highway 19 is situated entirely in Oxford County and serves the communities of Ostrander, Mount Elgin and Salford. Prior to 1998, it began in Port Burwell on the shores of Lake Erie, while the northern terminus extended to Highway 86 east of Listowel in the community of Tralee.[3]

The route begins on the southern edge of Tillsonburg at Highway 3 (Talbot Road), travelling north along the eastern side of Big Otter Creek. This section of the highway, known as Vienna Road, lies next to a business/industrial park. At County Road 51 (Simcoe Street), Vienna Road ends and Highway 19 turns west, becoming Oxford Street and crossing Big Otter Creek. At Broadway Street, Highway 19 turns northwest and passes through the downtown strip as well as beside Tillsonburg Town Centre. It continues into residential subdivisions, eventually exiting the town into the municipality of South-West Oxford as it turns north at Quarter Town Line and becomes Plank Line.[3][4]

The route enters farmland, but bisects the hamlet of Ostrander shortly thereafter. It crosses the Ontario Southland Railway, which lies roughly parallel to the entire length of the highway, before passing west of Tillsonburg Airport and curving northwest. After travelling through farmland, the route enter Mount Elgin and intersects County Road 18 (Mt. Elgin Road). After, it continues through more farmland to the community of Salford, where it encounters County Road 46 (Salford Road). It turns northward briefly, emerging back into agricultural surroundings for the final stretch of the route. Just southeast of Ingersoll, it encounters an interchange with Highway 401 (Exit 218); Highway 19 ends immediately north of the westbound ramps. County Road 119 (Harris Street) continues northwest into the town to meet former Highway 2.[3][4]


The history of Highway 19 dates back to 1849, when the Baldwin Act and the Act to Authorize Formation of Joint Stock Companies were passed.[5] George Tillson, his sons, and his brother-in-law Benjamin Van Norman were the principal stockholders of the Ingersoll and Port Burwell Road Company, which they formed along with approximately 200 shareholders in September 1849. Proceeding quickly, the company established eight toll booths along the new route, which became known as the Plank and Gravel Road due to the materials with which it was constructed.[6] However, the greed of toll road operators resulted in diminishing upkeep, which forced the province to enact legislature allowing counties to assume ownership of the roads.[5] It took until 1907 for Oxford County to assume the toll road; the proprietors were compensated with $15,500 ($327,600 when adjusted for inflation from 1916).[6]

The gradual implementation of various legislation over the following decade allowed many counties to vastly improve roads under their jurisdiction. By the time the Department of Highways (DHO) assumed the road from Highway 3 in Tillsonburg to Highway 2 in Ingersoll on March 12, 1930 as King's Highway 19, it was once again a gravel road.[1] A year later, on May 27, 1931, the highway was extended north from Woodstock to Shakespeare. As a result of this, a concurrency with Highway 2 was created between Ingersoll and Woodstock. Several months later, on July 1, the department assumed the remainder of the Ingersoll to Port Burwell Road, extending Highway 19 south of Tillsonburg.[7]

As part of a depression relief program, the DHO and Department of Labour undertook several projects in 1933 and 1934, one of which included the Stratford to Tralee Road. On July 4, 1934, the DHO assumed the road as part of Highway 19. To remedy the discontinuity, a 12-kilometer (7.5 mi) concurrency with Highway 7 was established.[8] At this point, Highway 19 had grown from its original length of 25.1 kilometers (15.6 mi) to 148.4 kilometers (92.2 mi).[1][9]

The route remained unchanged until the early 1960s, when several highways were renumbered. On December 19, 1961, Highway 19 between Woodstock and Shakespeare was redesignated as Highway 59, while Highway 100 between Thamesford and St. Marys was redesignated as Highway 19. The concurrencies with Highway 2 and Highway 7 were relocated as a result of this renumbering; Highway 19 became concurrent with Highway 2 between Ingersoll and Thamesford, and with Highway 7 between St. Marys and Stratford. While the length of the route was reduced insignificantly as a result of this renumbering, it became more direct.[10][11][12]

Between then and 1997, no changes were made to Highway 19. On April 1, 1997, the section from Highway 3 south to Port Burwell was transferred to Elgin County, Oxford County and HaldimandNorfolk.[13] This was followed by a second round of transfers on January 1, 1998, which resulted in the section north of Highway 401 being decommissioned and assumed by Oxford County and Perth County.[14]

Today, the majority of the Port Burwell to Tillsonburg segment is designated as Elgin County Road 19. A short segment in Haldimand–Norfolk and Oxford County immediately south of Tillsonburg is designated as County Highway 19. The Ingersoll to St. Marys segment is now known as Oxford County Road 119, while the segment north of Stratford is designated as Perth County Road 119 through Brunner, then Perth County Road 131 through Milverton.[3]

Major intersections

The following table lists the major junctions along Highway 19, as noted by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.[2] The entire route is located in the Regional Municipality of Oxford.[3] 

Tillsonburg0.00.0 Highway 3 (Talbot Road)Beginning of Tillsonburg Connecting Link
5.58.9Tillsonburg town limits; end of Connecting Link
Mount Elgin14.323.0 County Road 18
Ingersoll24.138.8 Highway 401London, TorontoHighway ends at north end of interchange;
 County Road 119 (Harris Street)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c "Appendix 5 - Schedule of Assumptions and Reversions of Sections of the King's Highway System for the Years 1930 and 1931". Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways. March 31, 1932. pp. 76–38. Retrieved February 2, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  2. ^ a b Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (2016). "Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts". Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e Ontario Back Road Atlas (Map). Cartography by MapArt. Peter Heiler. 2010. p. 15. § S20–U21. ISBN 978-1-55198-226-7.
  4. ^ a b Google (February 23, 2014). "Highway 19 - length and route" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Shragge, John; Bagnato, Sharon (1984). From Footpaths to Freeways. Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Historical Committee. pp. 50–51. ISBN 0-7743-9388-2.
  6. ^ a b Gillies, Scott. "Highway 19 Was a Toll Road". Ingersoll Times. Sun Media. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "Appendix 5 - Schedule of Assumptions and Reversions of Sections". Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways. March 31, 1932. p. 78.
  8. ^ "Appendix 4 - Schedule of Assumptions and Reversions of Sections". Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways. March 31, 1935. p. 119.
  9. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Department of Highways. 1938–1939. § Mileage Table.
  10. ^ Information Section (December 19, 1961). "No title" (Press release). Department of Highways.
  11. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by C.P. Robins. Ontario Department of Highways. 1961. § T30–31.
  12. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by C.P. Robins. Ontario Department of Highways. 1962. § T30–31.
  13. ^ Highway Transfers List (Report). Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. April 1, 1997. pp. 2, 4, 7.
  14. ^ Highway Transfers List - "Who Does What" (Report). Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. June 20, 2001. pp. 10–11.

External links