Eglinton Avenue

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Eglinton Avenue Toronto.PNG

Eglinton Avenue
Route information
Maintained by City of Toronto
Location
Major cities: Toronto, Mississauga
Highway system

Roads in Ontario

Nearby arterial roads
← St. Clair Avenue Eglinton Avenue Lawrence Avenue →
Eglinton Avenue East in Scarborough

Eglinton Avenue, originally known as the Richview Sideroad within Etobicoke, is an east-west arterial thoroughfare in Toronto and Mississauga, in the Canadian province of Ontario. Within Toronto, Eglinton Avenue is the only road which crosses through all six former boroughs. The road begins at 6th Line in Milton as Lower Baseline, becomes Eglinton Avenue as it crosses into Mississauga, then crosses through Toronto to end at Kingston Road. The Toronto sections was surveyed in the 19th Century as the 4th Concession Road in relations to Lakeshore Road (Queen Street).

Route description[edit]

Eglinton Avenue on a rainy day, with Canada Square and the Yonge Eglinton Centre

Eglinton Avenue runs through a number of neighbourhoods and is residential, for the most part, though it becomes a major commercial area from Allen Road to Don Mills Road. The Eglinton West area, which stretches from Oakwood–Vaughan to Keele Street, is home to a number of Caribbean and West Indian stores.

Eglinton Avenue is one of the few east-west routes north of Bloor Street that crosses Toronto uninterrupted in a more or less straight line across the entire city. Eglinton was also the only street to cross through all six municipalities that made up Metro Toronto: East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, Toronto, and York.

Sites along Eglinton[edit]

Eglinton Avenue West in York, west of Black Creek Drive.

History[edit]

The naming of Eglinton Avenue originates from Eglinton Castle in Scotland, itself named for the Earls of Eglinton. Several early settlers, impressed by the Eglinton Tournament hosted by the 13th Earl, named the hamlet developing at Yonge Street and the wagon trail between the third and fourth concessions after the Earl. The trail soon adopted this name, and was gradually improved over the years near Yonge Street. In 1953, Metropolitan Toronto (Metro) was formed. Seeking to build new connections to the rapidly developing suburbs, Metro widened and interconnected Eglinton to its current form through the decade.

The eastern segment through Scarborough was known as Highway 5A between 1937 and 1953; this number also appeared on St. Clair Avenue West until 1952 (when the Toronto Bypass opened between Weston and Highway 11). The two pieces of "Highway 5A" were never connected. In 1953, what remained was renumbered as Highway 109; a year later, the road was removed from the provincial highway system. Because of its time as a provincial highway, the road through Scarborough was widened considerably. A right of way was also acquired to bridge the gap in Eglinton. Until the mid-1950s, Eglinton did not cross either of the valleys of the Don River. The road ended at Brentcliffe and resumed at Victoria Park Avenue (then known as Dawes Road). The Department of Highways relinquished control of Highway 109 to the newly formed Metro government. Metro built the new section of Eglinton Avenue, first between Dawes Road and Don Mills Road in 1955, and later between Don Mills Road and Leaside in 1956.[1] The structure over the GO rail line and East Don River is known as the Harvey C. Rose Bridge, and honours the Chief engineer of the Toronto and York Roads Commission, later the Metropolitan Toronto Commission of Roads.[2]

Richview Expressway proposal[edit]

The western section ended at the Humber River until the 1970s. On the opposite side, Richview Sideroad followed the same alignment as far as the Toronto–Peel boundary. In 1943, city planner Norman Wilson indicated the possible future need for an new urban highway to connect Eglinton Avenue with the Richview Sideroad. These plans would mature into the Richview Expressway with the formation of Metropolitan Toronto in 1954. Part of the requirements for the Richview Expressway was staged construction of a parallel arterial road. This was approved in 1963, and construction began on Eglinton Avenue from west of Weston Road to Royal York Road. With its completion in 1970, the four-lane Richview Sideroad was renamed Eglinton Avenue West.[3]

In Toronto, the right-of-way to construct the Richview Expressway remains but the project has never come to fruition, save for high-speed ramps from Eglinton to Highway 401 and Highway 427 at that complicated interchange. Local opposition has made the proposed expressway unlikely, though the land remains owned by the city.

Transit[edit]

An Eglinton West roadside marker

Buses[edit]

The Eglinton West (at Allen Road), Eglinton (at Yonge Street), and Kennedy TTC stations are located along Eglinton. In Toronto, the street is currently served by the 32 Eglinton West and 34 Eglinton East TTC bus routes. Also, the eastern portion east of Kennedy Subway Station is served by routes 86 Scarborough and 116 Morningside.

In Mississauga, MiWay's route 35 Eglinton serves almost the entire length of the road, 34 Credit Valley serves the section west of Square One, and 7 Airport serves the section east of Square One; also sections of the road are served by routes 17 Timberlea, 89 Meadowvale-Subway and 109 Meadowvale Express during peak hours.

Bus rapid transit[edit]

In Mississauga, a grade-separated bus rapid transit line is undergoing construction since November 2010. Of the 12 BRT stations being built, four of them are planned to be built along Eglinton Avenue: Etobicoke Creek, Spectrum, Orbitor and Renforth. All of these stations are located at the Airport Corporate Centre at the east end of Mississauga, just south of Toronto Pearson International Airport. Renforth Station will become a hub for TTC, GO Transit, and MiWay buses; meanwhile, the other three will be served exclusively by MiWay.

Subway[edit]

The provincial government of Bob Rae started the Eglinton West line in 1994, as a way of appeasing politicians in Etobicoke and York (as North York would receive the Sheppard Subway), even though the official transit plan only recommended an Eglinton busway for the near future. The Eglinton subway was abandoned by Rae's successor Mike Harris, after a tunnel had been started from Eglinton West station.

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT, part of the TTC's Transit City light rail expansion program announced in 2007 called for an underground line to run from Jane Street to Laird Avenue, with above ground sections running to Pearson International Airport in the west and to Kennedy Station in Scarborough in the east. The provincial government's MoveOntario 2020 capital funding announcement in June 2007 funded the line.

Toronto mayor Rob Ford announced the cancellation of Transit City on the day that he took office.[4] The redesigned Eglinton–Scarborough Crosstown line along with a Sheppard line extension was announced four months later, with the support of Metrolinx and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.[5]

The new redesign puts the 19 kilometres (12 mi) Eglinton portion completely underground, integrates the Scarborough RT portion, and will run contiguously from Black Creek Drive in the west to McCowan Road in the east.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Over 200,000,000 Added to Assessment Rolls in 55' Realtors Told". Toronto Star. February 5, 1955. p. 12. 
  2. ^ Annual Report, Department of Highways. 1956.
  3. ^ Clark, M. "Historical Development". Review of the Richview Expressway. Metropolitan Toronto Transportation Plan Review. p. 10. 
  4. ^ Mayor Rob Ford: “Transit City is over” Toronto Life December 1, 2010
  5. ^ "Funding questions linger after new transit plan announced" By Natalie Alcoba, National Post. March 31, 2011