Ontario Highway 53

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Highway 53 shield

Highway 53
Oxford County Road 55, Brant County Highway 53, Brant County Highway 2/53, Burford RoadRymal Road, Garner Road.
Route information
Maintained by City of Hamilton
Length76.5 km[1] (47.5 mi)
ExistedAugust 14, 1935–April 1, 1997
Major junctions
West end Highway 2Eastwood
  Highway 403
 Highway 24
 Highway 2
 Highway 6
East end  Highway 20 / Highway 56 (Upper Centennial Parkway / Rymal Road) – Hamilton, Stoney Creek
CountiesOxford County, Brant County, Hamilton
Major citiesWoodstock, Brantford, Ancaster, Ontario, Hamilton, Stoney Creek
Highway system
Highway 49Highway 58
Former provincial highways
←  Highway 52 Highway 54  →

King's Highway 53, commonly referred to as Highway 53, was a provincially maintained highway in the southern portion of the Canadian province of Ontario that connected Woodstock to Hamilton via Brantford. The route served as a southerly bypass to Highway 2, avoiding Paris, Ancaster and Hamilton.

First designated in 1935, the route remained in place until it was downloaded to local jurisdiction in 1997. For much of its history, the road was concurrent with Highway 2 between Woodstock and Eastwood, as well as between Brantford and Ancaster. Today the route is known by various local names, including Oxford County Road 55, Brant County Highway 53, Wilson Street, Garner Road and Rymal Road. It serves as a viable alternative to Highway 2 or Highway 403.

Route description[edit]

The route of former Highway 53 begins in the west at Oxford County Road 2, formerly Highway 2. From the community of Eastwood, which lies east of Woodstock, the road travels southwest through farmland as Oxford County Road 55 and crosses Highway 403, with which there is an interchange.[2] Soon thereafter, the route enters the community of Muir, at the Oxford County and County of Brant boundary.[3]

The route, east of this point known as Brant County Highway 53, continues southeast, passing through the community of Cathcart. It continues, eventually straightening out and travelling east through Burford. As the road approaches Brantford, it intersects Highway 24 (Rest Acres Road) and skirts the southern edge of Brantford Municipal Airport.[3]

Within Brantford, the road is known as Colborne Street, although the section through downtown Brantford is a one-way street; westbound traffic is directed onto Dalhousie Street. The route crosses the Grand River west of downtown, intersecting and becoming concurrent with former Highway 2 at Brant Avenue.[2] It intersects the southern terminus Wayne Gretzky Parkway towards the eastern end of town and eventually crosses a Southern Ontario Railway track into the community of Cainsville.[3] After returning to farmland, the route passes through the community of Langford and soon thereafter enters Hamilton.[3]


Highway 2 and Highway 53 split southwest of Ancaster

Highway 53 was created in the mid-1930s to bypass the congested section of Highway 2 between Woodstock and Brantford. It was later extended into Hamilton to improve the layout of highways around that city, specifically Highway 20A.

On August 14, 1935, the Department of Highways (DHO) designated the Burford Road as Highway 53. The route entered Brantford along Burford Street, turning onto Oxford Street at Welsh Street and becoming concurrent with Highway 24 to cross the Grand River. On the opposite side, Highway 53 ended at Highway 2. Burford and Oxford streets have since been renamed as Colborne Street West.[2] At its western terminus, the route intersected Highway 2 in Eastwood, then travelled concurrently with it for 7.7 km (4.8 mi) west into Woodstock.

In 1937, a series of route renumberings took place in the Hamilton area. Among these was the renumbering of Highway 20A, which prior to then followed Upper Gage Avenue to Rymal Road. Rymal Road was also numbered Highway 20A from Duff's Corners, south of Ancaster, to Elfrida, at the junction of Rymal Road and Centennial Parkway. Following the renumbering, the route north into Hamilton became Highway 55, while Garner Road and Rymal Road became an extension of Highway 53. To connect the two sections of the route, a concurrency was established along Highway 2 between Brantford and Duff's Corners.

The highway was fully paved by 1939, though most sections of it were paved when it was first commissioned as a provincial highway. In 1954, the concurrency with Highway 2 near Woodstock was discontinued, establishing the western terminus at Eastwood. The route remained this way until the late-1990s.

In 1997, the remainder of Highway 53 was downloaded to Regional Municipality of Oxford County, Brant County, and the City of Hamilton (formerly the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth). The road is now known as Oxford County Road 55, Brant County Highway 53, and Brant County Highway 2/53 (for being co-signed with fellow defunct road Highway 2). In Hamilton, the road is simply known as Rymal Road and Garner Road.

Rymal Road is named after William Rymal, (1759–1852), farmer and one of earliest settlers on the Hamilton mountain.[4][5]

Major intersections[edit]

The following table lists the major junctions along Highway 53, as noted by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.[1] In addition, it includes some minor junctions. 

OxfordEastwood0.00.0 Highway 2Woodstock, Paris
Norwich2.11.3County Road 15 (Towerline Road)
3.42.1 Highway 403Hamilton, LondonExit 6
Muir6.84.2County Road 22 / County Road 129 south / County Road 130 north
Brant County14.89.2County Road 25 (Middle Townline Road)
17.510.9County Road 202 (Harley Road)Formerly County Road 2
Burford22.213.8County Road 16 (Bishops Gate Road)
Brant County26.416.4 Highway 24SimcoeBeginning of former Highway 24 concurrency, prior to completion of Highway 403
30.318.8County Road 7 (Pleasant Ridge Road)
Brantford33.020.5County Road 24 (Mount Pleasant Street)
34.121.2 Highway 2 west (Brant Avenue)Beginning of Highway 2 concurrency; end of former Highway 24 concurrency, prior to completion of Highway 403; eastbound Highway 2 / 53 via Colborne Street; westbound Highway 2 / 53 via Dalhousie Street
36.522.7Colborne Street / Dalhousie StreetEastbound Highway 2 / 53 via Colborne Street; westbound Highway 2 / 53 via Dalhousie Street
36.822.9Wayne Gretzky Parkway
Cainsville40.425.1 Highway 54 south – Cayuga
42.126.2County Road 17 (Jerseyville Road) – Jerseyville
Langford47.129.3County Road 8 (White Swan Road) – Onondaga
HamiltonAncaster48.830.3Regional Road 203 north (Sunny Ridge Road) – Jerseyville
53.733.4 Highway 52 north
55.334.4 Highway 2 east – Toronto
59.036.7Fiddlers Green Road
60.937.8Southcote Road
63.539.5Glancaster Road
Ryckmans Corner66.441.3Upper James StreetFormerly Highway 6
Hannon69.142.9Regional Road 626 (Miles Road)
70.944.1Regional Road 634 (Nebb Road)
Stoney Creek73.345.5Upper Mount Albion Road
74.146.0Regional Road 614 (Fletcher Road)
76.547.5  Highway 20 / Highway 56Niagara Falls
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Provincial Highways Distance Table. Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. 1989. pp. 66–67. ISSN 0825-5350.
  2. ^ a b c Google (February 3, 2012). "Highway 53 length and route" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Ontario Back Road Atlas (Map). Cartography by MapArt. Peter Heiler Ltd. 2010. pp. 16–17. § Q21–S29. ISBN 978-1-55198-226-7.
  4. ^ Bailey, Thomas Melville (1981). Dictionary of Hamilton Biography (Vol I, 1791-1875). W.L. Griffin Ltd.
  5. ^ Burkholder, Mabel (1956). Barton on the Mountain. Hamilton Public Library.