The Queensway/Queensway Avenue is a major street in the municipalities of Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. It is the western extension of Queen Street West, after it merges with King Street near Roncesvalles Avenue in Toronto. The Queensway is a divided roadway from just east of Parkside Drive westerly to just beyond South Kingsway, with ramps and centre median dedicated to the streetcar service. The road continues undivided west from the Humber River west to Highway 427 as a four or six-lane thoroughfare.
The Toronto section of the road ends at the Etobicoke Creek, but continues as Queensway (Peel Regional Road 20) in Mississauga, ending at Glengarry Road just west of Mavis Road. There is a road allowance with hydro lines, cutting into the Mississauga Golf and Country Club on the shores of the Credit River. In the 1990s, the name Queensway was eliminated on the roads on this allowance west of the river. The street gives its name to Etobicoke's The Queensway neighbourhood
Motorists may notice variation in name of the road as seen on overhead signs marking the exit to The Queensway from Highway 427 southbound. Older signs refer to it as "Queensway Avenue" while newer signs refer to it as "The Queensway". It is unclear as to why the older signs use an incorrect name. However, it may be informative to note that the extension of "The Queensway" in Mississauga to the west is referred to as "Queensway" (Queensway East east of Hurontario and Queensway West west of Hurontario). "Queensway Avenue" may have also been used to presumably to avoid confusion with adjacent exit signs for the QEW. After provincial downloading in 1998, there was no longer any need for 'Queensway Avenue' once the eastern QEW was redesignated as the Gardiner Expressway.
From 1953 to 1954 the Queensway was signed briefly as Ontario Highway 108 when it was under the then Department of Highways from Highway 27 (Highway 427) and the eastern end of the Queen Elizabeth Way.
What would become the Queensway in Mississauga was created in as 1st Concession Road South (or first concession road south of Dundas Street) in 1806 as a dirt trail and then gravel road in 1836.
The section between Roncesvalles and the Humber River was built in the 1950s, in conjunction with the construction of the Gardiner Expressway. The Queensway was built before the Gardiner to provide an east-west route for traffic while Lake Shore Boulevard was rerouted to accommodate the Gardiner. The project cost $4.9 million.
To build the Parkside Drive to Ellis Drive section, Metro government bought 18 acres (7.3 ha) of High Park from the city. This was in contravention of stipulations by original High Park owner John Howard that the lands be used for parkland only. Metro officials searched for descendants of Howard to obtain their consent.
The Queensway became the new location for the streetcar service along the lake shore in the area and a separate right-of-way was part of the design from Parkside Drive to the Humber. The right-of-way on the Queensway opened to streetcar service on July 21, 1957. It is the route used by the 501 Queen and 508 Lake Shore.
During the post-2000 period, the Queensway has been subject to new condominium development, particularly in the vicinity of the Humber River. An attraction to this development is the proximity to downtown streetcar service. The streetcar right-of-way has been proposed as a future subway corridor, parallel to the existing Bloor subway line, should transit ridership increase dramatically in the future. More immediately, there has been a move to consider creation of an extended right of way streetcar system on the portion of Queensway west of the Humber Loop transit terminus, offering direct access to downtown.
The right-of-way was rebuilt, starting in the summer of 2005, after a period of prolonged deterioration. The traffic lanes were also rebuilt. The eastbound lanes were finished early in 2006, while completion of the westbound lanes was realized in early 2007.
From east to west:
- TTC Roncesvalles Streetcar barns
- St. Joseph's Health Centre
- High Park
- Ontario Food Terminal
- Palace Pier Park
- Humber Bay Park
- Sherway Gardens
- Queensway Cathedral, a Pentecostal mega-church
- Trillium Health Centres (both Queensway and Mississauga hospitals)
- Huron Park Recreation Centre
- Credit Valley Golf and Country Club
- "Award Expressway Contract Today for Queen St. Bridge Over Humber". The Globe and Mail. March 22, 1955. p. 1.