Eglinton Avenue illustrates the diversity and breadth of Toronto’s metropolitan form like no other street in the City. It is the only street in Toronto that fully spans the City from east to west, crossing through every former city and borough of Toronto. It also sits half way between the City’s northern and southern edges and links the Humber and Don River valleys. Eglinton Avenue intersects dozens of unique neighbourhoods, each of which is distinguished by the cultural diversity of its residents and the physical form of its development.
Over the past 100 years, Eglinton has evolved from an unplanned, disconnected dirt road at the northern edge of the City to be one of its most important urban thoroughfares. It now plays a key role at the neighbourhood, city and regional scale, serving as the main street for neighbourhoods and linking the broader region, both geographically and economically. It is important to recognize and understand the past and current significance of Eglinton as part of planning for future change.
The key influences that have driven growth along Eglinton are as follows:
• Natural Geography
• Colonial Survey and Concession Roads
• Urban Growth and Expansion
• Annexation and New Municipal Boundaries
• Roadway Improvements under Toronto’s Metropolitan Government
• Rapid Transit
• The preservation movement and neighbourhood change since the cancellation of the Spadina Expressway.
The Crosstown is launching a new chapter in the Eglinton Story; it will be a new driver of growth. It will have a transformative effect on mobility, economic organization and settlement patterns along the corridor, and result in new building types and a reimagined urban form.
Eglinton Avenue is a major transit avenue and a public space that is both green and urban, underground and at ground level, suburban and intensely urban, historic and modern, familiar and different, and neighbourhood-focussed and regionally significant. The EGLINTONconnects Study recognizes and embraces this evolving character.
Visit the Study Basics page to learn more about the Eglinton Connects project, and the policy framework that grounds it.