Thousand Islands Parkway

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Thousand Islands Parkway
Route information
Maintained by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission
Length: 39.1 km[2] (24.3 mi)
History: Opened 1947 as Highway 2S
Renumbered Highway 401 in 1952
Renumbered Highway 2S in 1967/68
Decommissioned September 8, 1970[1]
Major junctions
From:  Highway 401 west in Gananoque
   Highway 137 to Thousand Islands Bridge to the United States
To:  Highway 401 east near Butternut Bay
Highway system

Roads in Ontario

Highway 2A Highway 3

The Thousand Islands Parkway is a parkway in the Canadian province of Ontario, which extends easterly from an interchange with Highway 401 in Gananoque for approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the community of Butternut Bay, in Elizabethtown-Kitley, west of Brockville.

The parkway follows the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, and was formerly designated Highway 2S (for Scenic). It was constructed as a primary freeway segment in the Toronto-Montréal corridor during the late 1930s. The 1000 Islands Bridge opened in 1938, during the parkway's construction. The parkway was signed as part of Ontario Highway 401 when the 400-series highway system was established in 1952, losing this designation in 1968 once the current Highway 401 alignment (through Lansdowne, Ontario) was completed further north.

Evidence of its former use can be seen today in the wide right-of-way; the unused westbound lanes now serve as a bicycle trail and twin bridges span two locations along the parkway.

Route description[edit]

Thousand Island Parkway heading eastbound over Landon Bay

The Thousand Islands Parkway begins at a split with Highway 401 on the outskirts of Gananoque. There is no access from westbound Highway 401 to the parkway nor from westbound on the parkway to eastbound Highway 401. However, immediately east of the split, both highways interchange with the sole remaining portion of Highway 2 under provincial jurisdiction. East of this point the three diverge into the rugged terrain of the Frontenac Arch, a protrusion of the Canadian Shield southward into New York state. In this area, the soil is underlain by layers of Paleozoic limestone and a granite bedrock. The granite often extends above the ground surface as large rock outcroppings. Both layers are prominent in the Jones Creek ravine.[3]

At its midpoint, the parkway interchanges with Highway 137, an extension of Interstate 81 which serves as the Ontario approach to the international Thousand Islands Bridge. It continues northeast, serving the riverside communities of Darlingside, Rockport, Narrows, La Rue Mills and Mallorytown Landing. At Butternut Bay, the Thousand Islands Parkway merges into Highway 401 eastbound and a left-hand exit provides access to the parkway from westbound Highway 401.[3]

Throughout most of the length of the parkway, a recreational trail parallels to the north. The Thousands Islands Parkway follows what was the original alignment for Highway 401. However, because of the residential properties and the scenic nature of the route, a new inland route was constructed through the mid-1960s. The recreational trail follows the right-of-way for the westbound lanes, which were never completed.

History[edit]

While today only a two-lane road, it was a divided and paved four lane roadway in the early 1940s.[4][5][6]

The St. Lawrence River Road was given the designation of Highway 2S in 1947. This designation remained in place for several years, until the entire route was renumbered as Highway 401 by the end of 1952. Initially, the parkway was intended as the route of Highway 401 between Gananoque and Brockville. However, when the Department of Highways (DHO) encountered severe local resistance, it was instead decided that a new bypass should be built further inland. This bypass opened on October 11, 1968, at which point the entire parkway once again became Highway 2S.

This designation would also only last a few years. On September 8, 1970, the DHO transferred the jurisdiction over the parkway to the St. Lawrence Parks Commission;[1] it was subsequently renamed as the Thousand Islands Parkway.

Exit list[edit]

The following table lists the major junctions along Thousand Islands Parkway, as noted by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission.[2] The entire route is located in Leeds and Grenville United Counties.[3] All exits are unnumbered.

Location km[2] Mile Destinations Notes
Gananoque 0.0 0.0  Highway 401 west – Kingston Westbound entrance and eastbound exit
1.0 0.6  Highway 2 Provides access to eastbound and from westbound Highway 401
Ivy Lea 15.2 9.4  Highway 137 (to I-81 south)
Mallorytown Landing 29.4 18.3 County Road 5 north (Mallorytown Road) – Mallorytown
Butternut Bay 39.1 24.3  Highway 401 east – Brockville, Cornwall Eastbound entrance and Westbound exit
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Appendix 17 - Schedule of Reversions and Transfers of Sections". Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways. March 31, 1971. p. 153.
  2. ^ a b Google Inc. "Thousand Islands Parkway length and route". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://g.co/maps/kh7tx. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Peter Heiler (2010). Ontario Back Road Atlas (Map). Cartography by MapArt. p. 37, section A59–C62. ISBN 978-1-55198-226-7.
  4. ^ Ontario Department of Highways (April, 1941). Annual Report for the Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 1941 (Report).
  5. ^ Ontario Department of Agriculture and Food (April, 1942). Annual Report for the Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 1942 (Report).
  6. ^ Ontario Department of Public Works (April, 1950). Annual Report for the Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 1950 (Report).