Ontario Highway 81
|Maintained by the Ministry of Transportation|
|Length||69.6 km (43.2 mi)|
|Existed||September 11, 1936–January 1, 1998|
|South end||Highway 2 in Delaware|
| Highway 22 – Sarnia, London|
Highway 7 near Parkhill
|North end||Government Road in Grand Bend|
|Towns||Delaware, Mount Brydges, Strathroy, Parkhill, Grand Bend|
King's Highway 81, also known as Highway 81, was a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. The winding north–south route connected Highway 2 in Delaware with Highway 21 in Grand Bend, passing through Mount Brydges, Strathroy and Parkhill en route.
Highway 81 once served as a connecting route between Highway 2 and Highway 7 before its role was largely supplanted by the completion of Highway 402, which generally parallels the southern half of the route. Beginning at former Highway 2 in Delaware, what is now known as Middlesex County Road 81 travels west through Campbellvale, Mount Brydges and Caradoc, curving slightly to the northwest. The route travels through a large swath of farmland between Caradoc and Strathroy, the latter from which it exits to the north. After crossing Highway 402 at Exit 65, the highway encounters former Highway 22 at Wrightmans Corners.
From Wrightmans Corners, the highway takes a veering route north and west towards Parkhill, bisecting the communities of Crathie and Bornish. Immediately southeast of Parkhill, Highway 81 and Highway 7 shared a brief concurrency, though neither are provincial highways today.
North of Parkhill, former Highway 81 continues to zig-zag north and west towards Grand Bend on the shores of Lake Huron. A one kilometre (0.6 mi) section of the route between Corbett and Greenway straddles the boundary of Middlesex County and Huron County. Beyond there, the final 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) lay in the latter. The highway ends approximately 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) northwest of Highway 21 at Government Road, a beach access road along the shoreline of Lake Huron.
Highway 81 was first established by the Department of Highways (DHO) in late-1936 to connect Highway 2 at Delaware and Highway 22 at Strathroy. On September 16, 1936, 16.9 kilometres (10.5 mi) of roadway was assumed from Middlesex County. The following year, several more roads were assumed by the DHO on September 1 and numbered as an extension of Highway 81 to Grand Bend, bringing the highway to a length of 70.8 kilometres (44.0 mi).
Originally, the mostly-gravel-surfaced highway passed through the community of Springbank. However, it was relocated to the southwest in 1946 to eliminate several intersections along the route.
In 1998, as part of the recommendations of the Who Does What? Committee, Highway 81 was deemed to serve a local function and was transferred to Middlesex and Huron counties on January 1, decommissioning the route in the process.
|Middlesex||Delaware||0.0||0.0||County Road 2||Formerly Highway 2|
|Mount Brydges||6.1||3.8||County Road 14 (Glendon Drive)|
|22.4||13.9||Highway 402||Exit 65|
|Wrightmans Corners||23.8||14.8||County Road 22||Formerly Highway 22|
|Crathie||27.7||17.2||County Road 19 north (Petty Street) – Ailsa Craig|
|North Middlesex||32.5||20.2||County Road 12 west (Townsend Line) – Arkona|
|42.0||26.1||County Road 17 (Nairn Road)|
|44.1||27.4||Highway 7 east (Elginfield Road)|
|Parkhill||46.2||28.7||Highway 7 west (Elginfield Road)|
|Moray||52.6||32.7||County Road 24 (McGillivray Drive)|
|Middlesex–Huron boundary||Corbett||57.7||35.9||County Road 5 east (Mount Carmel Drive)|
|Greenway||59.0||36.7||County Road 5 west (Greenway Drive)|
|Huron||South Huron||63.9||39.7||County Road 10 (Crediton Road)|
|Grand Bend||68.9||42.8||Highway 21 (Ontario Street)|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- "Appendix 4 - Schedule of Assumptions and Reversions". Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways. March 31, 1937. p. 51.
- Transportation Capital Branch (1989). Provincial Highways Distance Table. Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. p. 77. ISSN 0825-5350.
- Highway Transfers List - "Who Does What" (Report). Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. June 20, 2001. pp. 7, 9.
- Mapart (2010). Ontario Back Road Atlas (Map). Peter Heiler Ltd. pp. 14, 20. § P12–U15. ISBN 978-1-55198-226-7.
- "Appendix 3 - Schedule of Assumptions and Reversions". Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways. March 31, 1938. p. 80.