Black Creek Drive
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|Maintained by City of Toronto|
|South end:||Weston Road|
|Eglinton Avenue West
Lawrence Avenue West
|North end:|| Highway 400
Black Creek Drive is a north-south arterial road in Toronto, Ontario that extends from Highway 400 at Jane Street, near Ontario Highway 401 to Weston Road in the south. Originally intended to be a freeway extension of Ontario Highway 400, it was built instead as an arterial road after public opposition to building freeways into central Toronto. The roadway is named after the Black Creek watercourse, and runs parallel to the creek for most of its route.
Black Creek Drive begins at Weston Road at the intersection with Humber Boulevard. The four-lane road passes beneath railway lines and travels north alongside Black Creek, with Keelesdale Park to the east. The road continues north and northwest, passing Eglinton Avenue West. Coronation Park and Trethewey Park occupy the eastern side of the road north of Eglinton, while the western side is occupied by commercial and industrial uses. Much of this land was a former Kodak plant, marked today only by the existence of Photography Drive. North of Trethewey Drive, the road passes between residential subdivisions within the Black Creek ravine. North of Lawrence Avenue West, the road diverges from the Black Creek ravine. It is separated at-grade from Queens Drive and Maple Leaf Drive, which pass overhead. At the Maple Leaf Drive overpass, Black Creek Drive becomes Highway 400 and thereafter falls under the control of the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.
The road has signalized intersections at Photography Drive, Eglinton Avenue West, Todd Bayliss Boulevard, Trethewey Drive and Lawrence Avenue West. From Trethewey north, the two directions are separated by a concrete barrier, and north of Lawrence, the directions are separated by a set of steel guard rails. South of Trethewey, the two directions are separated by a grass median. The speed limit is 70 km/h for the route's entire length. Bicycles and pedestrians are banned from using the roadway or paved shoulders.
By 1966, the province had completed the first leg of the Highway 400 Extension southeasterly to Jane Street, and had acquired the necessary lands through the Black Creek Valley south to Eglinton Avenue (which, at the time, was mostly farmland). This was part of an ambitious project, which included links to the proposed Crosstown and Richview Expressways, and would continue from Highway 401 along its present alignment (connecting with the Richview at present-day Eglinton Avenue), then following Weston Road and the CP right-of-way along Dupont Street (connecting with the Crosstown at present-day Christie Street), before continuing southward along Christie and Clinton Streets to the Gardiner Expressway. Alternate alignments included one following Parkside Drive south to the Gardiner, and one following the CN tracks south to Front Street, before connecting to the Gardiner.
The cancellation of the Spadina Expressway in 1971 spelled the end of expressway projects in Toronto, including the Crosstown and the Richview Expressways. However, the Highway 400 Extension was still being considered as a possibility, and the Province still intended to extend Highway 400 south to Eglinton Avenue.
The provincial government still owned the right-of-way along the Black Creek Valley and agreed to construct it as a four-lane arterial road, instead of a grade-separated expressway. The Metro Toronto government agreed to extend it farther south to St. Clair Avenue. The Province began construction on the 400 Extension in 1976.
Fresh from battling the Spadina Expressway, anti-Spadina groups started battling the extension and soon, Parkdale residents joined in the debate, fearing an extension would pass directly through their neighbourhood. Additionally, the City of Toronto objected to the construction of the road south to St. Clair Avenue. A compromise was reached at Weston Road; the 400 Extension would end there, but Weston Road would be widened to support the flow of traffic from Black Creek Drive.
The roadway opened in 1982 from Jane Street south to Weston Road. On March 1, 1983, Metro Council performed a land transfer in which the right-of-way for the Spadina Expressway south of Eglinton was assumed by the province in exchange for Black Creek Drive being transferred to Metro. In 1989, Metro Toronto initiated a study of the extension of Black Creek Drive south to the Gardiner Expressway.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Black Creek Drive, Toronto.|
- Transportation Services, City of Toronto (2008). City of Toronto - Road Classification System (PDF). City of Toronto. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
- Transportation Services, City of Toronto 2008, p. 55.
- Transportation Services, City of Toronto 2008, p. 33.
- Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (2004). "Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts". Government of Ontario. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
- Stein, David (February 26, 1983). "End of the Spadina Saga?". The Toronto Star. p. B5.
- Byers, Jim (June 2, 1989). "Tonks predicts big battle over traffic in west end". Toronto Star. p. A5.