Hamilton Navigating

Highways and expressways

The following controlled access highways and expressways serve Hamilton:

Highway Where in Hamilton Where it can take you
Queen Elizabeth Way north Hamilton and Stoney Creeknorth-east to Toronto, south-east to Niagara Falls and Buffalo
Highway 403 Ancaster and west Hamilton to Brantford, Woodstock and the 401 West
Highway 6 Flamborough, Hamilton and Glanbrookto Port Dover on Lake Erie
Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway 'The LINC,' Mountainwest to the 403

Hamilton has several other current or former Ontario highways, but they are not divided controlled-access highways. The controversial Red Hill Creek extension of the LINC is under construction to join the LINC with the QEW in east Hamilton.


When George Hamilton laid out the city, he kept several east-west roads which were originally Indian trails, but laid out north-south streets were on a regular grid pattern. The major north-south streets spaced approximately one half-mile apart and major east-west streets generally spaced six tenths of a mile apart - thus enclosing 160-acre concessions. He named many of the streets after his offspring, including James, John, Catherine and Mary.

Streets were designated "East" or "West" if they crossed James Street or King's Highway No. 6. Streets were designated "North" or "South" if they crossed King Street or King's Highway No. 8. Grid streets on the Mountain bear the name of their lower city counterparts with the prefix "Upper" except for Garth Street, which would be Upper Dundurn Street if the pattern held.

East-west streets on the central and east Mountain are pretty regular, while those in the lower city (especially major ones) and west Mountain are very irregular. King and Main Streets run approximately parallel to one another though they intersect at the Delta. They are usually one way streets in opposite directions (Main-East, King-West), and can be thought of as a single (very wide) boulevard creating a usually efficient flow of traffic.

Several streets have recently converted from one-way to two-way, like James St. North, and have enjoyed a resurgence in local business, expediting reinvestment in buildings.

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