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

Detailed design plans for the Highway 400 Extension from Highway 401 to the Gardiner Expressway


- 1958 alignment
- Christie-Clinton alignment (1968)
- Keele-Parkside alignment (1968)
- Allendale alignment (1969)

Click on these maps below to enlarge them

At the end of the Highway 400 Extension as it turns into Black Creek Drive at the Maple Leaf Drive bridge 

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​

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

Congestion on Black Creek Drive approaching the signal at Lawrence Avenue West

Highway 400 Extension (Highway 401 to Maple Leaf Drive) and Black Creek Drive (Maple Leaf Drive to Weston Road) since 1982

Views of the Highway 400 Extension and Black Creek Drive from north to south

Click on the map below for a large detailed map of current land ownership for Black Creek Drive in Toronto
(This is a large file which may take a few minutes to download)

Black Creek Drive looking north from Lawrence Avenue West. North

of here, the road is a full expressway as it approaches Highway 400

Black Creek Drive at Eglinton Avenue looking north towards Trethewey Drive
Note how pedestrians and cyclists are not permitted, thus the road is treated more like an expressway

Black Creek Drive looking south near Trethewey Drive 

Highway 400 Extension (Black Creek Drive)

Looking east along Lawrence Avenue to across the Black Creek valley in the 1960's where a wide right-of-way is being protected for the Highway 400 Extension to Eglinton Avenue.​

The southern end of Black Creek Drive at Weston Road looking south

Black Creek Drive

Pro-expressway groups such as Go Spadina were elated at the paving of the Spadina Ditch in 1976 as they saw it as a revival of expressway construction. This equally angered expressway opponents who saw it as a betrayal. The Provincial government owned the right of way to extend Highway 400 south to Eglinton Avenue and agreed to construct it as a four lane arterial road. For the time being, it was to be known as the Northwest Arterial Road, though it was still officially the 400 Extension. Metro agreed to build a further extension south to St. Clair Avenue. Anti-Spadina groups fought hard against the 400 Extension roadway and tried to stop it along with the Spadina paving. People who lived further south in Parkdale believed that a 400 Extension as an expressway was coming through their neighbourhoods, so they joined in the opposition. The pro-Spadina group, which had become influential during the 1975 debate supported building the Northwest Arterial Road and were able to convince Parkdale residents that it would not affect them. They were also successful in convincing both Metro and the Province to endorse the new arterial roads. After the completion of the Allen Road to Eglinton in 1976, the Province began work on the Northwest Arterial Road. The City of Toronto objected to the roadway being constructed as far south as St. Clair Avenue. Due to the City's objections and due to the costs of hastily acquiring a right of way, Metro decided to compromise and terminate the new roadway on Weston Road just south of Eglinton Avenue. Weston Road would then be widened south to St. Clair Avenue. Thus, an existing road would be used and the controversy surrounding building a new one would be avoided. The Province constructed the extension south to Weston Road, and Metro widened Weston Road to St. Clair Avenue which connects to Keele Street and Parkside Drive which go directly south to the lakeshore. Thus, a continuous arterial roadway would now exist from Highway 400 south to the lakeshore. After its completion in 1982, the Northwest Arterial Road from Jane Street to Weston Road was transferred to Metro. Council decided to rename the extension to reflect its status as an arterial road, rather than call it a 400 Extension. The roadway was built beside Black Creek, so Black Creek Parkway was suggested. However, this name sounded like an expressway, so Metro agreed on Black Creek Drive. The new road was built as a four lane divided high capacity roadway, but with at-grade signalized intersections. Space existed so that a full expressway could be put in later. The space provided for a 400 Extension interchange along the Gardiner would be used for a future Front Street interchange. In 1982, Metro Council designated the Allen Road and Black Creek Drive as controlled access roads, thus maintaining them as parts of the Metro expressway system and not as parts of the street system. 

In 1980, Metropolitan Toronto adopted a new Official Plan to replace the one it had been using since 1966, which had proposed an extensive expressway system. This new plan was based on the recommendations of the transportation plan review group which had been set up in 1972, after the Spadina cancellation, which had presented its findings in 1975. When the new plan was officially adopted in 1980, all of the proposed Metropolitan expressways were deleted. Undefined transportation corridors replaced the Scarborough and Richview Expressways, the 400 Extension had become an arterial road and the Crosstown Expressway was taken out altogether. As expected, the rest of the former Spadina Expressway route, south of Eglinton Avenue, also disappeared. 

Since it was evident that the Allen would never be extended further south. in 1989, Metro Chairman Alan Tonks, who still believed in road improvements for Metro's northwest, initiated a study to look at extending Black Creek Drive south along the Georgetown GO rail corridor south to the Gardiner Expressway at Strachan Avenue. However, due to the objections of the City of Toronto, the study was eventually shelved.

Today, Black Creek Drive acts as a Highway 400 Extension and a 45 metre right-of-way is being maintained by the City of Toronto along Black Creek to eventually upgrade it to expressway standard. However, due to the political situation against expressways, this is a low priority with the City. Via its connection with Weston Road, Keele Street and Parkside Drive, Black Creek Drive forms part of a continuous arterial road system which connects Highway 400 directly with Lake Shore Boulevard and ultimately the Gardiner Expressway, but this is a slow and narrow route with lots of traffic lights. Meanwhile, traffic of expressway levels is using Black Creek Drive and severe congestion is occurring at the signalized intersections.

Views of the lands held and construction of Black Creek Drive (Highway 400 Extension) 1961 - 1983

The southern terminus of Highway 400 at Highway 401 looking east along Highway 401 in 1952. The right-of-way to extend Highway 400 south to Eglinton Avenue is protected and the southward ramps are roughly graded

The completed Highway 400 Extension approaching Black Creek Drive at Jane Street

1965 Plan for the Provincial section of the Highway 400 Extension to Eglinton Avenue ​

416-264-6939

Municipal Section (Eglinton Avenue West to the Gardiner Expressway)

It was proposed for the Metro section of the route to follow the main northwest C.N./C.P. railway line east of Keele Street to near Davenport Road and then swing east to near Bathurst Street to join the proposed Crosstown Expressway. The final leg of the Highway 400 Extension, known as the Christie-Clinton route, would continue south to the Gardiner Expressway, west of Bathurst Street. where the Gardiner structure was prepared for an eventual interchange. The exact route of the Metro section of the extension was not yet determined, so no lands were yet acquired. Two other ideas were considered for the Metro section of the extension as less damaging alternatives. One was a much shorter route, known as the Parkside alignment, which would continue south on Keele Street and Parkside Drive directly south to the Gardiner Expressway. The other, known as the Allendale alignment, would continue the route south along the C.N./C.P. railway line to the Gardiner Expressway west of Strachan Avenue near the C.N.E. grounds. Only preliminary plans were drawn up and no specific route was yet agreed upon. The original Christie-Clinton alignment was shown in the 1966 Metro Plan. 


The remainder of the proposed Metropolitan expressway system had contained three routes in the northwest. These were the Crosstown Expressway, the Highway 400 Extension and the Richview Expressway. After the cancellation of construction of the Allen Expressway, these routes went into abeyance and were reviewed, along with the Scarborough route, by the Transportation Plan Review group in 1973 and 1974. Metro Council scrapped the Crosstown Expressway as it would pass through the area where the Spadina would have been built and where opposition to expressways was the highest. The Richview Expressway was not considered very necessary and was redesignated as an undefined Eglinton Transportation Corridor for any possible future transportation purposes. Only the Highway 400 Extension was still seriously considered by Metro as a possibility, which could still be built. This would become an issue when the final plan review report was published in 1975. The Province still intended to eventually extend Highway 400 south to Eglinton Avenue. This and the Scarborough Expressway were considered to be the only new expressways to be built south of Highway 401 after 1973. Metro then began to consider possibly building the 400 Extension to the Gardiner Expressway, and by 1975, it was the only proposed Metro expressway in which no decision had been taken, after the Scarborough Expressway had been shelved the year before. 


After the cancellation of construction of the Spadina Expressway in 1971, then Metro Chairman Albert Campbell predicted that Metro Toronto would never build another expressway. History was to prove him to be correct. From this point on, highways transferred from the Provincial Government to Metro Toronto would be the only subsequent additions to the municipal expressway system in Toronto, except for short extensions of the Allen Expressway and Highway 400. Metro would now concentrate its efforts on expanding the public transit system with the construction of the Spadina Subway, extensions of the Bloor-Danforth Subway, Scarborough, Harbourfront and Spadina Light Rapid Transit Lines, and a Sheppard Subway. A Queen Street Subway was shelved in 1974 as unnecessary, in favour of routes further north. An Eglinton Subway was started, but stopped in 1995 due to funding difficulties.

Highway 400 crossing Highway 401 looking east along Highway 401 in 1969. The first piece of the Highway 400 Extension has been built as Highway 400 has been extended southeasterly to connect to Jane Street south of Highway 401 as part of the reconstruction of Highway 401 into an express and collector system freeway in 1966. 

Looking east along Lawrence Avenue to across the Black Creek valley in the 1960's where a wide right-of-way is being protected for the Highway 400 Extension to Eglinton Avenue.​

This six lane route would cut in from the northwest on an angle as the western leg of the inner ring road and was proposed in two parts. The section from Highway 401 to Eglinton Avenue would be a Provincial responsibility and from Eglinton Avenue south to the Gardiner Expressway would belong to Metro. By 1966, the Province had actually constructed the first piece from Highway 401 swinging southeasterly to Jane Street and had acquired all the necessary lands from there south to Eglinton Avenue through the Black Creek valley. The Highway 400 Extension had been thought of in the late 1940's before Metro was created. It was then planned for the Province to build their section down to the City of Toronto boundary line south of Eglinton Avenue West. Therefore, after the creation of Metro in 1953, the Province had already secured the route down to Eglinton, since it was mostly open farmland and valley lands. The Provincial section was on the long term construction schedule and reflected property ownership rather than construction intent. The Metro section would continue south of Eglinton Avenue.

This six lane route would cut in from the northwest on an angle as the western leg of the inner ring road and was proposed in two parts. The section from Highway 401 to Eglinton Avenue would be a Provincial responsibility and from Eglinton Avenue south to the Gardiner Expressway would belong to Metro. By 1966, the Province had actually constructed the first piece from Highway 401 swinging southeasterly to Jane Street and had acquired all the necessary lands from there south to Eglinton Avenue through the Black Creek valley. The Highway 400 Extension had been thought of in the late 1940's before Metro was created. It was then planned for the Province to build their section down to the City of Toronto boundary line south of Eglinton Avenue West. Therefore, after the creation of Metro in 1953, the Province had already secured the route down to Eglinton, since it was mostly open farmland and valley lands. The Provincial section was on the long term construction schedule and reflected property ownership rather than construction intent. The Metro section would continue south of Eglinton Avenue.​

Highway 400 Extension looking south from Highway 401 to its terminus at Jane Street

The Highway 400 Extension

While Metropolitan Toronto was pursuing construction of the Spadina Expressway and approval of the Scarborough Expressway (Gardiner Extension), the Highway 400 Extension was only in the initial planning stage and was proposed for long term construction, to start at least by 1995. It was to be built in two sections - a Provincial section from Highway 401 to Eglinton Avenue and a Municipal section from Eglinton Avenue to the Gardiner Expressway. The first piece of the Provincial section from Highway 401 southeasterly to Jane Street was constructed along with widening of Highway 401 in 1966. The Province had secured the right-of-way as vacant corridor in the Black Creek valley for the rest of their section of the extension to south of Eglinton Avenue. No right-of-way was ever established for the Municipal section as three different routes were being looked at.

Provincial Section (Highway 401 to Eglinton Avenue West)

This six lane route would cut in from the northwest on an angle as the western leg of the inner ring road and was proposed in two parts. The section from Highway 401 to Eglinton Avenue would be a Provincial responsibility and from Eglinton Avenue south to the Gardiner Expressway would belong to Metro. By 1966, the Province had actually constructed the first piece from Highway 401 swinging southeasterly to Jane Street and had acquired all the necessary lands from there south to Eglinton Avenue through the Black Creek valley. The Highway 400 Extension had been thought of in the late 1940's before Metro was created. It was then planned for the Province to build their section down to the City of Toronto boundary line south of Eglinton Avenue West. Therefore, after the creation of Metro in 1953, the Province had already secured the route down to Eglinton, since it was mostly open farmland and valley lands. The Provincial section was on the long term construction schedule and reflected property ownership rather than construction intent. The Metro section would continue south of Eglinton Avenue.