Bathurst Street (Toronto)

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Bathurst Street Sign.PNG
YRR38.png YRR38Sign.PNG

Bathurst Street
York Regional Road 38
Bathurst within Toronto
Route information
Maintained by City of Toronto
York Region
Length: 57.4 km[1][2] (35.7 mi)
Major junctions
South end: Lake Ontario
   Highway 401
 Highway 407
North end: Holland Marsh
Counties: York
Major cities: Toronto, Vaughan
Towns: Richmond Hill
East Gwillimbury
Highway system

Roads in Ontario

Nearby arterial roads
← Dufferin Street Bathurst Street Avenue Road →

Bathurst Street is a main north-south thoroughfare in Toronto, Canada. It begins at an intersection of the Queens Quay roadway, just north of the Lake Ontario shoreline. It continues north through Toronto to the Toronto boundary at Steeles Avenue. It is a four-lane thoroughfare throughout Toronto. The roadway continues north into York Region where it is known as York Regional Road 38.

Route description[edit]

Bathurst Street begins in the south at the intersection with Queens Quay. The southernmost part of Bathurst, south of the Gardiner Expressway, was heavily industrialized until the 1970s. These factories are mostly gone; in their place some residential development has occurred, including the extended Queen's Quay. The former Omni Television headquarters are located in this area, before they relocated in October 2008. South of the intersection, Eireann Quay, which used to be a section of Bathurst Street, runs south to the Island Airport ferry dock and the Western Gap channel separating the Toronto Islands from the Toronto mainland.

Northward view of Bathurst Street from Toronto Western Hospital

North of the Gardiner is Fort York on the western side. The Sir Isaac Brock Bridge connects the section south of Fort York to the section north of the railways. The bridge, dating back to 1910, used to be the main bridge over the Humber River and was moved here. North of the tracks, the area is a mix of small commercial and residential buildings on the western fringe of downtown. North of Queen Street, the eastern side of Bathurst is the edge of the Alexandria Park cluster of housing projects, while to the west is Trinity–Bellwoods. North of Dundas Street, Bathurst is dominated by Toronto Western Hospital. This part of the street continues to be a mix of small commercial establishments and residential housing, generally rental apartments.

North of College Street, Bathurst becomes more residential, with the exception of certain areas, chiefly around the intersections with Bloor Street, St. Clair Avenue, and Eglinton Avenue. The portion of Bathurst Street north of Bloor Street is the western boundary of The Annex neighbourhood.

The Spadina segment of Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Line 1 Yonge–University crosses underneath Bathurst north of St. Clair, with the St. Clair West station located at St. Clair just east of Bathurst. North of Eglinton, the street continues as a four-lane arterial road into the former borough of North York. The street has lay-bys for TTC buses and turning lanes at intersections, expanding its width. Development along both sides of the road is both residential and commercial, with shopping plazas at many intersections. The West Branch of the Don River crosses Bathurst Street north of Sheppard and Bathurst Park is located on the east side of Bathurst Street.

A typical Bathurst Street sign, this one located at its intersection with Queen Street West.
A streetcar travels south on Bathurst on the Sir Isaac Brock Bridge above the railway lands. The bridge used to be located over the Humber River.

North of Steeles Avenue, Bathurst runs through York Region, and is also referred to as York Regional Road 38. From Steeles north, the road is a six-lane arterial road. It serves many residential sub-divisions on either side. It serves as the boundary between Vaughan and Richmond Hill north of Highway 407, and between King Township and Newmarket and Aurora.

Bathurst Street ends at the Holland Marsh, between Holland Landing (in East Gwillimbury) and Bradford. It is interrupted for roughly 500 m due to rugged terrain north of Morning Sideroad, north of Newmarket.


Located across from Bathurst subway station, St. Peter's Catholic Church is a landmark on Bathurst Street.

The street was named for Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl Bathurst, who organized migration from the British Isles to Canada after the War of 1812, granted the charter to King's College, and never visited Canada himself.[3]

The original Bathurst Street was between Government Wharf and Queen Street, and the section to the north was called Crookshank's Lane, a semi-private lane named after George Crookshank. In 1870, Crookshank's Lane was renamed "Bathurst Street". North of Bloor, Bathurst Street was a muddy trail.[3]

Bathurst Street has finished in the top 10 in Canadian Automobile Association's "Ontario's Worst Roads" poll in every year from 2004 to 2007.[4][5]

Jewish community[edit]

Bathurst Street has been the heart of the Jewish community of Toronto for many decades.[6] From the early part of the twentieth century, many Jews lived around Bathurst Street south of Bloor Street east to Spadina Avenue (and particularly Kensington Market) and west to past Christie Pits. After World War II, as the community became more middle class, it moved north along Bathurst Street, with wealthier members of the community moving to Forest Hill. The poorer members moved to the area around Bathurst and St. Clair Avenue or Bathurst and Eglinton Avenue.[7]

The community continued to move north along Bathurst and today, much of the Jewish community resides along the street from north of St. Clair Avenue and, in higher concentrations just south of Lawrence Avenue to beyond the city limits at Steeles Avenue, and extending further until about Elgin Mills Road in Richmond Hill.[8] Many synagogues and other Jewish community institutions are located on Bathurst:

The northern stretch of Bathurst, north of Sheppard Avenue West, has become one of the centres of the Russian community in Toronto. Many Russian Jewish immigrants started to settle in the apartment buildings there (many are located around the Bathurst/Sheppard intersection, and along Bathurst between Finch Avenue West and Steeles Avenue West),[9] starting from early 1970s in order to get easier access to services provided by the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, many Russian immigrants to Canada settled there. Many are affiliated with the Jewish Russian Community Centre.[10] The electoral district of York Centre, which includes Bathurst from Wilson Ave. to Steeles Ave. West, has the largest number of Russian Canadian voters in Canada. Numerous Russian delicatessens, restaurants, and book and clothing stores have earned the neighbourhood the unofficial moniker "Little Moscow".[11]

Public transit[edit]

Bathurst Station is a Toronto Transit Commission subway station located at Bathurst Street and Bloor Street along Line 2 Bloor–Danforth. The 511 Bathurst streetcar route runs from Bloor to Fleet Street, where it turns to connect to Exhibition Place. The short section of Bathurst south from Fleet Street to Queen's Quay is used by the mainly east-west 509 Harbourfront streetcar.[12] It is one of only two north-south streetcar routes in Toronto.

North of Bathurst Station, public transit is provided by the bus routes 7 Bathurst up to Steeles Avenue West, and 160 Bathurst North up to New Westminster Drive and Atkinson Avenue. During overnight hours when the subway is closed, the bus route 310 Bathurst Blue Night covers the entire length of Bathurst within Toronto. This makes Bathurst the only north-south arterial road in Toronto with both bus and streetcar service serving different parts of the street continuously with no overlapping.

Although not used in normal service, the streetcar tracks also continue along Bathurst (the southbound track briefly using Vaughan Road) as far as St. Clair Avenue to connect the TTC's Hillcrest Complex and the 512 St. Clair streetcar to the rest of the streetcar network.[13]

York Region Transit (YRT) runs several routes along Bathurst Street, including the 88 Bathurst from Finch Bus Terminal to Seneca College King Campus, part of Viva Purple, 90 Leslie South, and other connections at the Promenade Terminal.

Points of interest[edit]

The most notable attraction on Bathurst Street is the legendary bargain goods emporium Honest Ed's, located at Bloor Street. Other landmarks along Bathurst include:


  1. ^ Google (March 26, 2010). "Google Maps showing Bathurst Street south of Morning Sideroad" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ Google (March 26, 2010). "Bathurst Street north of Morning Sideroad" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Allan Gould and Leonard Wise (September 2000). Toronto Street Names. Firefly Books. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  4. ^ "Ontario's worst municipal roads – top 20" (PDF). Canadian Automobile Association. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  5. ^ "Top 20 Worst Municipal Roads in Ontario for 2007". Canadian Automobile Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 3 January 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  6. ^ On Bathurst, the Spine of Jewish Toronto[dead link]
  7. ^ Stephen A. Speisman. The Jews of Toronto: a history to 1937. 1979.
  8. ^ "Bathurst Manor - Jewish Toronto". 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  9. ^ "Newtonbrook Neighbourhood Profile - Doing Jewish in Toronto". 2011-11-09. Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "North York Times". North York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  12. ^ James Bow. "Route 511 - The Bathurst Streetcars" July 9, 2010
  13. ^ James Bow. "The Hillcrest Complex November 10, 2006

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°40′27″N 79°24′53″W / 43.6742°N 79.4147°W / 43.6742; -79.4147