Ontario Highway 4

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Highway 4

A map of Highway 4
  Highway 4   Connecting Links
  Sections downloaded in 1998
Route information
Maintained by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario
Length100.8 km[1] (62.6 mi)
ExistedJune 24, 1920[2]–present
Major junctions
South end Highway 3St. Thomas
Major intersections Highway 401
 Highway 402
 Highway 7
North end Highway 8Clinton
Major citiesSt. Thomas, London
TownsExeter, Clinton
Highway system
Highway 3 Highway 5
Former provincial highways
←  Highway 3B Highway 4A  →

King's Highway 4, also known as Highway 4, is a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. Originally much longer than its present 100.8 km (62.6 mi) length, more than half of Highway 4 was transferred to the responsibility of local governments in 1998. It travels between Highway 3 in Talbotville Royal, north-west of St. Thomas, and Highway 8 in Clinton, passing through the city of London inbetween.

Highway 4 was first designated in 1920, when a 51-kilometer (32 mi) route between Talbotville Royal and Elginfield was assumed by the Department of Highways. It was extended in the early 1930s both south to Port Stanley as well as north to Flesherton.

Route description

The Highway 4 / Talbot Street junction in St. Thomas

Highway 4 starts at an intersection with Highway 3 in Talbotville Royal and continues north as a two-lane undivided highway. For most of its length, the highway bisects agricultural land. It travels along a short 2.7-kilometer (1.7 mi) concurrency with Highway 401 from the community of Tempo to Wonderland Road. It encounters an interchange with Highway 402 before entering London city limits. As Highway 4 enters London, it becomes a Connecting Link, known locally as Wonderland Road. Wonderland Road is a 4-lane arterial thoroughfare serving western London, with several big-box stores, a mall, and residential areas. The route turns east onto Sunningdale Road West, which it for a short distance before turning north along Richmond Street.[3][4][5]

Highway 4 continues north, passing through Arva, when the surrounding terrain returns to farmland. Highway 4 passes through Birr before intersecting with the western terminus of Highway 7 at Elginfield, which is also 1 km east of the Highway 23 junction with Highway 7. The highway then curves slightly west, passing through Lucan before continuing north at Clandeboye. From here to its terminus in Clinton, Highway 4 is essentially straight for 45 kilometers (28 mi). Continuing to be flanked by farmland, it then passes through the communities of Huron Park and Exeter. At Exeter, it crosses the former route of Highway 83. From there, it continues north, passing through the communities of Hensall, Ontario and Vanastra, Ontario before terminating at Highway 8 in the community of Clinton.[3][4][5]


Highway 4 north of St. Thomas in 1948

Highway 4 was originally designated in 1920 when the provincial government assumed the road running from Talbotville Royal (St. Thomas) to the Northern Highway (later Highway 7) at Elginfield, via London. The portions within Elgin County were assumed on August 4, while the portions south of London were assumed on June 24. The portions north of and through London were assumed on August 6.[2] The 51.2-kilometer (31.8 mi) route featured a concurrency with the Provincial Highway (later Highway 2) between Lambeth and downtown London.[6][7]

Until the summer of 1925, Ontario highways were named rather than numbered. When route numbering was introduced, the route between St. Thomas and Elginfield became Provincial Highway 4.[8] 1927 saw several new sections of road assumed that would become portion of Highway 4. On September 14, the route was extended to Highway 8 at Clinton. Further north, a new highway was created on June 22, 1927, between Highway 9 at Walkerton and Highway 6 at Durham. This latter section was designated as Highway 4A.[9]

On March 12, 1930, Highway 4 was extended to Durham, fully absorbing the route of Highway 4A in the process. Two months later, on May 11, it was extended south to Bedford Street (now Edith Cavell Boulevard) in Port Stanley.[10] On April 11, 1934, the highway was extended east to the intersection of Highway 10 in Flesherton.[11] Highway 4 reached its maximum length of 275.6 kilometers (171.2 mi) when it was extended from Flesherton to Highway 24 in Singhampton in the mid-1970s.[12][13][14]


Former alignment of Highway 4 looking north towards Lambeth from the Highway 402 interchange in London

As part of a series of budget cuts initiated by premier Mike Harris under his Common Sense Revolution platform in 1995, numerous highways deemed to no longer be of significance to the provincial network were decommissioned and responsibility for the routes transferred to a lower level of government, a process referred to as downloading. Portions of Highway 4 were transferred to the counties of Elgin, Huron, Bruce and Grey on January 1, 1998.[15]

The former portion of Highway 4 south of St. Thomas is now signed as Elgin County Road 4. The former northern portion is broken into several different roads:

In 2017, the City of London announced that Highway 4 through London would be re-signed and re-routed via Richmond Street, Sunningdale Road, and Wonderland Road, resulting in a short concurrency with Highway 401 between the Colonel Talbot Road and Wonderland Road interchanges.[16]

Major intersections

The following table lists the major junctions along Highway 4, as noted by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.[1] 

ElginTalbotville Royal0.00.0 Highway 3St. Thomas
6.09.7 Highway 401Windsor, TorontoExit 177, ON-4 overlaps with Hwy 401 until Wonderland Rd S.[1]
MiddlesexLondon8.814.2Wonderland Road SouthON-4 exits and continues northbound along Wonderland Rd S.
15.925.6 Highway 402Sarnia
18.129.1Exeter RoadFormerly Highway 135
18.429.6Wharncliffe Road SFormer routing of Highway 4 (before Jan. 2018) and Highway 2 along Wharncliffe Rd
29.848.0Fanshawe Park Road WFormerly Highway 22 west
34.054.7Richmond St / Sunningdale RdFormer routing of Highway 4 via Richmond Street south
Arva31.650.9 County Road 28 (Medway Road)
37.259.9 County Road 16 (Ilderton Road)
Elginfield45.473.1 Highway 7 east – St. Marys, Stratford
 County Road 7 west (Elginfield Road)
Access to  Highway 23 via Highway 7 east
Clandeboye54.387.4 County Road 28 (Denfield Road)
Mooresville58.193.5Mooresville Drive
HuronCentralia64.2103.3 County Road 21
Exeter72.4116.5 County Road 83 (Thames Road)Formerly Highway 83
Hensall80.3129.2 County Road 84 (King Street)Formerly Highway 84
Kippen84.3135.7 County Road 12 (Kippen Road)
Brucefield90.4145.5 County Road 3 (Mill Road)
Clinton100.8162.2 Highway 8
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (2008). "Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Report on Provincial Highways". Annual Report (Report) (1920 ed.). Department of Highways. April 26, 1921. pp. 40, 43. Retrieved October 12, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ a b Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (2016). "Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts". Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Google (October 12, 2021). "Highway 4 – Length and Route" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Ontario Back Road Atlas (Map). Cartography by MapArt. Mapart Publishing. 2022. pp. 13–14, 20. ISBN 1-55198-226-9.
  6. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). 24 mi : 1 in. Ontario Department of Public Highways. 1923. Retrieved October 12, 2021 – via Archives of Ontario.
  7. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). 16 mi : 1 in. Ontario Department of Public Highways. 1925. Mileage Tables inset. Retrieved October 12, 2021 – via Archives of Ontario.
  8. ^ "Provincial Highways Now Being Numbered". The Canadian Engineer. Monetary Times Print. 49 (8): 246. August 25, 1925. Numbering of the various provincial highways in Ontario has been commenced by the Department of Public Highways. Resident engineers are now receiving metal numbers to be placed on poles along the provincial highways. These numbers will also be placed on poles throughout cities, towns and villages, and motorists should then have no trouble in finding their way in and out of urban municipalities. Road designations from "2" to "17" have already been allotted...
  9. ^ "Appendix No. 6 – Schedule of Assumptions and Reversions of the Provincial Highway System". Annual Report (Report) (1927 ed.). Department of Highways. March 1, 1929. pp. 59–60. Retrieved October 12, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  10. ^ "Appendix No. 5 – Schedule of Assumptions and Reversions". Annual Report (Report) (1930 and 1931 ed.). Department of Highways. October 24, 1932. p. 76. Retrieved October 12, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  11. ^ "Appendix No. 4 – Schedule of Assumptions and Reversions". Annual Report (Report) (1934 ed.). Department of Highways. March 18, 1935. p. 119. Retrieved October 12, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  12. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Cartography Section. Ministry of Transportation and Communications. 1974. § J21. Retrieved October 27, 2021 – via Archives of Ontario.
  13. ^ Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Cartography Section. Ministry of Transportation and Communications. 1977. §§ G21–22. Retrieved October 23, 2021 – via Archives of Ontario.
  14. ^ Transportation Capital Branch (1997). "Provincial Highways Distance Table" (PDF). Provincial Highways Distance Table: King's Secondary Highways and Tertiary Roads. Ministry of Transportation of Ontario: 12–14. ISSN 0825-5350. Retrieved October 13, 2021 – via Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
  15. ^ Highway Transfers List – "Who Does What" (Report). Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. June 20, 2001. pp. 5–7.
  16. ^ "Highway 4 Re-Route". City of London. Archived from the original on November 6, 2017. Retrieved October 13, 2021.