Toronto highways

This is what Toronto highways looked like over the last 70 years

This is what Toronto highways looked like over the last 70 years

As much as Toronto's highway system may help to define the city as it exists today, prior to the 1950s not a single controlled access highway could be found running through the city.

While the QEW dates back to the early 1930s, it wasn't until widening efforts 20 years later that it would become a true freeway. The same can be said for Highway 2A, a major section of which became the stretch of the 401 that extends east from Scarborough to Oshawa in 1952.

Also dating back to the 1950s is the 400, which was then referred to as the Toronto-Barrie Highway.

Here's what Toronto highways have looked like through history.

Toronto highways

A map of expressways in the 60s.

Toronto highways

400 at 401 in 1952 (via the Ontario Ministry of Transportation)

Toronto highways

400 at 401 in 1969 (via the Ontario Ministry of Transportation)

Toronto highways

401 and Yonge in 1958

Toronto highways

401 at McCowan in 1961

Toronto highways

401 and Highway 27 in 1961

Toronto highways

401 and Allen Road in the 1960s (via Ontario Ministry of Transportation)

Toronto highways

401 east of Allen Road in 1967

Toronto highways

401 in the 1980s looking toward the 400 from Islington overpass

Toronto highways

DVP under construction late 1950s

Toronto highways

Gardiner Expressway, aerial view over Jameson in the 1960s

Toronto highways

The Gardiner at Dufferin looking east in 1959 (prior to opening)

Toronto highways

Gardiner and CN Tower mid-1970s

Toronto highways

Entrance to the QEW and monument 1940

Toronto highways

QEW and Highway 27 in 1958

Toronto highways

QEW and bus in the 1960s

Toronto highways

QEW near Highway 10 in the 1960s

Toronto highways

QEW in Oakville 1967

Toronto highways

QEW in Port Credit 1967

Toronto highways

Building what was then expected to be the Spadina Expressway in 1963

Toronto highways

Allen Road / Spadina Expressway to Eglinton.


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