Highway 27 is a major arterial highway running through the Etobicoke suburb of western Toronto. It is commonly referred to as the Etobicoke Parkway. Officially, it is classed as an arterial road because it has signalized intersections for most of its length, but it is considered an undivided expressway in Toronto's municipal expressway network. The southernmst section from Belfield Road to Highway 401 is built like a proper expressway with an interchange at Dixon Road. Although the Ontario Ministry of Transportation was once responsible for the length of this route, when it ran through much of Southern Ontario, it now only maintains a 2.3 km portion that extends from its interchange with Highway 427 to Dixon Road.
Highway 27 was originally a King's Highway that extended from Highway 2 in Long Branch (Etobicoke Township) to Penetanguishene on Georgian Bay. In the 1950’s, the highway was upgraded to a four-lane freeway between the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) and Highway 401. In 1964, the province opened the nearby Airport Expressway to connect to Toronto Pearson International Airport.
The freeway section between the QEW and Highway 401 was widened to a collector-express system in the late 1960s, and was re-designated Highway 427 upon completion in 1971, making it a 400-Series Highway. The section of Highway 27 south of the QEW was downloaded to Metropolitan Toronto and renamed Browns Line (which was the original name of all of Highway 27). The portion north of Highway 401 remained designated as Highway 27 and the collectors of Highway 427 default onto this remnant.
It was planned to turn the remainder of Highway 27 north of Highway 401 to the now-built Highway 407 into an extension of Highway 427. However, due to property requirements, this plan was dropped in 1970 in favour of utilizing the Airport Expressway for the 427 Extension instead. Mainline/express 427 traffic was rerouted to the Airport Expressway in 1971 (which was incorporated as part of 427 in 1979) or Highway 401, so the remainder of Highway 27 north of Highway 401 declined in importance afterwards.
After provincial downloading to municipalities in 1997, most of the remaining sections of Highway 27 south of Steeles Avenue West were removed from the Provincial Highway system and made the responsibility of the City of Toronto. York Region became responsible for the section north of Steeles Avenue West.
Today, the road is simply named as Highway 27 in Toronto. After the downloading in 1997, the City of Toronto proposed renaming Highway 27 to Etobicoke Drive but it was turned down due to potentially causing confusion.
The section just north of Highway 401 to just south of Rexdale Boulevard looks very much like the early highways on Ontario, namely Highway 400 as this section is built as a divided expressway.
Despite being a highway, since Highway 27 has traffic signals for most of its length, it was decided by the City of Toronto to designate it as a major arterial road and not as an expressway. Therefore, it is shown as part of the street system and not as part of the expressway system. It has also had the unofficial name of 'Etobicoke Parkway'.
Partial exits and cloverleaf are:
· northbound off ramps and overpass to Grandstand Entrace Road (Woodbine Race Track)
· northbound on/off ramps renamed as City View Drive; southbound off ramp renamed Brockport Drive
· southbound on/off exit to Fanboro Road
· partial cloverleaf and overpass at Dixon Road
There are green signs used on most 400 series highways along Highway 27 from Highway 401 to Dixon Road. Guardrails are found along the intersection with Belfield Road.
Highway 27 looking north from its present southern terminus at Highway 401 where it continues south as Highway 427. This section is built like an expressway
Highway 27 looking north from Belfield Road. This section is more like an arterial highway with signalized intersections, but with wide turning lanes and some off-ramps