A balanced and workable
new transportation plan
for the City of Toronto

Crosstown Expressway

Originally known as the East-West Expressway in 1956, the six lane Crosstown Expressway would form the north end of the proposed inner ring of expressways. The first piece was actually built from the Don Valley Parkway to Bayview Avenue as a ramp to Bloor Street as part of Don Valley Park construction in 1961. It was proposed to continue west through the Park Drive Reservation ravine in Rosedale and then parallel the C.N./C.P. railway line north of Davenport Road west to join the Spadina Expressway at Spadina Road and join the Highway 400 Extension west of Bathurst Street. Some preliminary plans were drawn up in 1961 and revised in 1968, but no lands were yet acquired for the route. 

Originally, the route was planned to connect to the Don Valley Parkway further north near what is now the Millwood Road viaduct and continue east through the Taylor Creek valley to connect with the proposed Scarborough Expressway. However, in 1961 this was dropped and the route was slightly altered to pass through the Park Drive Reservation ravine in Rosedale to connect to the Don Valley Parkway further south near Bloor Street where the Bayview-Bloor ramps were built.

Much opposition to the Crosstown Expressway, particularly from Rosedale residents, existed, and some Metro planners even doubted the usefulness of the route because of its short length. In the final 1966 plan, a footnote stated the Crosstown Expressway, along with the Queen Street Subway may not be needed, since they were in close proximity to other existing major routes. The Crosstown Expressway would be near the Gardiner Expressway and the Queen Street Subway would be near the Bloor-Danforth Subway line. Many people began to feel that the Gardiner Expressway and Highway 401 could deem the short Crosstown route unnecessary.

After the cancellation of construction of the Allen (Spadina) Expressway in 1971, it was believed by the City planners that the Crosstown Expressway was no longer needed. It was only really meant to distribute traffic from the southern end of the Allen (Spadina) Expressway north of Bloor Street. Since the extension of the Allen into downtown was not going to be built, the Crosstown was no longer necessary. In 1973, the Crosstown Expressway was scrapped and completely deleted from the City's plans. It never made it past the initial design stage.

The newly-built Bayview-Bloor off ramps to the Don Valley Parkway looking east in 1961​

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The Park Drive Reservation ravine in Rosedale looking west across central Toronto. The Crosstown Expressway would have continued west through here from the Bayview-Bloor off-ramps to west of Mount Pleasant Road, where it would have continued further west along the east-west CN/CP railway corridor north of Davenport Road ​

The Bayview-Bloor off-ramp from the Don Valley Parkway looking east in the 1970's. There is more traffic on it now.​

The newly-built 0.5 km Bayview-Bloor off-ramps looking west from the Don Valley Parkway in 1961. This is the only part of the Crosstown Expressway to be built.​

The Crosstown Expressway

The Crosstown Expressway route was only ever in the initial planning stage and was proposed for long term construction, to start at least by 1995.

It was meant to be built with two other proposed expressways which in conjunction with each other would form a continuous route across Toronto from the Don Valley Parkway at Bloor Street to Highway 427 at Eglinton Avenue, also linking to Highway 400 and to the Gardiner Expressway along Christie and Clinton Streets. This route included the Crosstown Expressway proper, which was planned to run from the Don Valley Parkway to west of Bathurst Street parallel to Davenport Road; the Highway 400 Extension from Highway 400 southeasterly to connect to the Crosstown Expressway at Christie Street and then turning south to the Gardiner Expressway; and finally, the Richview Expressway connecting to the west parallel to Eglinton Avenue from the Highway 400 Extension to Highway 427. Together, these three proposed expressways would form a network which would span across the central and western parts of the city, but would never materialize, except for ramps from the Don Valley Parkway, a short arterial extension of Highway 400 known as Black Creek Drive, and a vacant corridor along the Richview route across Etobicoke. Also, along with the Highway 400 Extension to the west, the Gardiner Expressway to the south and the Don Valley Parkway to the east, the Crosstown Expressway would form the northern link in a ring of expressways around downtown Toronto. This idea did not meet with much public approval in the core of the city, particularly by the late 1960's.

The Bayview-Bloor off-ramps from the Don Valley Parkway is all that materialized of the Crosstown Expressway.

The Bayview-Bloor off-ramp from the Don Valley Parkway looking east today.​

A balanced and workable
new transportation plan
for the City of Toronto

The east-west CN/CP railway corridor north of Davenport Road. The Crosstown Expressway would have continued west along here to ultimately connect with the Spadina Expressway and the Highway 400 Extension

Detailed design plans for the Crosstown Expressway from the Don Valley Parkway to the Highway 400 Extension
 
Click on these maps for detailed plans for the Crosstown Expressway. This is all one large image. When it opens, scroll down to see all of the detailed plans​