Eglinton Avenue - History


The road name originates from Eglinton Castle in Scotland. Like most roads in Toronto, Eglinton was rebuilt from a country road, known as Fourth Concession, into an arterial thoroughfare in the mid-1950s. The eastern segment through Scarborough was known as Highway 5A between 1937 and 1953; this number also appeared on St. Clair Avenue West until 1952 (when the Toronto Bypass opened between Weston and Highway 11). The two pieces of "Highway 5A" were never connected. In 1953, what remained was renumbered as Highway 109; a year later, the road was removed from the provincial highway system. Because of its time as a provincial highway, the right of way through Scarborough was widened considerably. A right of way was also acquired to bridge the gap in Eglinton. Until the mid-1950s, Eglinton did not cross either of the valleys of the Don River. The road ended at Laird or Brentcliffe and resumed west of Victoria Park Avenue (then known as Dawes Road). The Department of Highways dropped the Highway 109 designation before this gap was closed (as 401 construction in the area would already be complete), placing the property in the hands of the newly formed Metropolitan Toronto. Metro built the new Eglinton Avenue, first between Dawes Road and Don Mills Road in 1955, and later between Don Mills Road and Leaside in 1956. The structure over the GO rail line and East Don River is known as the Harvey C. Rose Bridge, and honours the Chief engineer of the Toronto and York Roads Commission, later the Metropolitan Toronto Commission of Roads.

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