Drawing of a potential widened Eglinton Avenue and rapid transit line in the Richview Expressway corridor
The Eglinton Flats - a large green area on the north side of Eglinton Avenue West at Jane Street which the Richview Expressway would have crossed, looking west
Completed section of expressway coming off Highways 427 and 401 connecting to Eglinton Avenue at Martin Grove Road. This was meant to be the western end of the Richview Expressway
The Richview Expressway
Originally known as the Toronto-Hamilton Expressway, the Richview route was meant to link as an eastern extension of Highway 403 in the west to the Highway 400 Extension. It was planned to run along Richview Side Road, later known as Eglinton Avenue, from the Highway 400 Extension, across Etobicoke, to join Highway 27 (later 427) and connect to a proposed eastern continuation of Highway 403 coming northeast from Hamilton. The route crossed open space and Metro acquired all of the lands necessary cheaply and secured an open corridor for the expressway.
Views of the vacant Richview Expressway corridor from west to east before 2010.
Eglinton Avenue looking west from Black Creek Drive - this would have been the eastern terminus of the Richview Expressway
Map of lands acquired by the former Metropolitan Toronto (now City of Toronto) for the Richview Expressway from 1958 to 1994. These lands were all vacant. Recently, most of these lands have been sold for development.
The Eglinton Transportation Corridor (the vacant right-of-way) for the Richview Expressway along the north side of Eglinton Avenue West to the east of Martin Grove Road looking east. Houses are now being built here.
The vacant Richview Expressway corridor (Eglinton Transportation Corridor) looking east from Royal York Road with Eglinton Avenue running parallel on the south side
The Eglinton Transportation Corridor
The former Richview Expressway route, designated as an Eglinton Transportation Corridor since 1973, in which Metro owned all of the lands, was retained. Eglinton Avenue existed alongside the corridor, so it was decided that the lands would be used for a future widening of Eglinton Avenue and a possible Eglinton rapid transit line which could fit along the corridor lands. However, attempts by Metro to widen Eglinton Avenue to six lanes met with fierce opposition from residents along the route who saw it as a back-door approach by Metro to turn the existing Eglinton Avenue into a Richview Expressway. Therefore, the corridor sat empty for the next twenty years. An Eglinton West subway line was approved and construction was commenced in the early 1990's, but due to funding shortages, construction of it was halted.
Metro had acquired nearly all of the lands along the Richview Expressway route and continued to hold them as an undefined Eglinton Transportation Corridor into the 1990's. The Province decided to swing Highway 403 northward at Highway 10 to terminate it on Highway 401 so there would now be no connection to the former Richview Expressway route. When Highway 27 was rebuilt as 427 in 1970, a Richview Expressway connection was provided for, which is now used to get to Eglinton Avenue. Eventually, it was decided that since Eglinton Avenue (formerly Richview Side Road) already existed alongside the Richview lands, a high capacity arterial road could be provided by widening Eglinton Avenue. In 1994, Metro decided to widen Eglinton Avenue West to six lanes from Black Creek Drive to Highway 427, effectively creating a Richview route. However, when Metro held public meetings on the proposal, there was so much opposition from local residents, that the widening plan was quickly shelved. The Eglinton West Subway, which would run from the Spadina Subway, along Eglinton Avenue, making use of the transportation corridor, was approved by Metro in 1994, and construction was started. However, in 1995, the Provincial Government withdrew funding for the subway due to extremely tight budgets and construction of the subway was halted. The Eglinton Transportation Corridor remained open to some type of development and Metro still retained the idea of eventually widening Eglinton Avenue, making use of the corridor possibly for bus lanes or a light rapid transit line.
Completed approach for the Richview Expressway from Highways 401 and 427 looking east. It connects to Eglinton Avenue West
The Eglinton Transportation Corridor (the vacant right-of-way) for the Richview Expressway along the north side of Eglinton Avenue West east of Kipling Avenue looking west. Houses are now being built here.
A balanced and workable
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The Acquired Land Remains until 2010
After 2005, the City of Toronto (formerly Metropolitan Toronto) still owned the lands acquired for the Richview Expressway. The Provincial Government, however, declared a moratorium on City-owned vacant land stating that they would remain as public greenspace, thus preventing the City from ever selling the lands off. The lands remain as vacant expressway lands. Plans call for them to eventually be used for a widened Eglinton Avenue and an Eglinton public transit line with greenspace along the north side.
In 2010, the City of Toronto declared the Eglinton Corridor to be surplus land and sold most of it. In 2013, construction began on new housing along the route.
Plans for a potential widened Eglinton Avenue and rapid transit line in the Richview Expressway corridor
By 1969, the land acquisition was completed within Etobicoke and preliminary plans were prepared. It would be a ten lane route, including a four lane Eglinton Avenue and a six lane Richview Expressway combined together. However, being such a low priority, construction was at least twenty years off after 1970. The battle brewing against the Spadina Expressway began to be heard even on the Richview route as residents began to oppose the acquisition of the last pieces of land necessary for it. The anti-expressway fervour was sweeping the entire Metro area.
In the early 1970's, the decision was made to terminate Highway 403 at a new Highway 410 in Mississauga and not connect it into Toronto. This meant that the Richview would no longer act as a Highway 403 extension and would now only connect Highway 427 to the Highway 400 Extension. Its construction also depended on the future of the Highway 400 Extension. It was only in the initial design stage and was a low priority, so the only progress was land acquisition. In 1975, it was decided to construct the Highway 400 Extension as an arterial road, later known as Black Creek Drive. So without a Highway 400 Extension as a freeway, it was unlikely that a Richview Expressway would ever be built. It was now to be maintained only as a potential transportation corridor with no designated use.
First and revised plans for the Richview Expressway
Click on the map below for detailed plans for the Richview Expressway
A balanced and workable
new transportation plan
for the City of Toronto
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