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Davenport Road

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Davenport Road

Davenport Road runs east - west at the foot of this scarp.
Davenport Road streetcar.

Davenport Road is a road in Toronto that follows a native trail along the foot of the scarp of the old shoreline of Lake Iroquois.[1][2] It currently runs from Yonge Street to Old Weston Road.

The road follows the longest First Nations trail to exist in Ontario. The trail, which continued along the modern route of Kingston Road east of the Don River, and what is now Dundas Street west of the Humber River. The Toronto portion of the trail had several earlier names, including "Plank Road", "Bull Road", and "the new road to Niagara"—but by 1797, it was known as Davenport Road.[3] The section east of Bathurst Street was originally a part of Vaughan Road.

The road was paved outside of York, Upper Canada in 1833, with the improvements to be paid for by tolls.[3] Tollkeepers' cottages were constructed every few kilometres, the cottage near what is now the intersection of Bathurst Street and Davenport Road surviving to the present day.

On April 20, 1891 the newly incorporated Davenport Street Railway Company was awarded rights to operate a streetcar by West Toronto Junction.[4] When the route began operation on September 6, 1892, it was the second electrified streetcar line in the Toronto area—earlier routes being horse-drawn. The route ran from Keele and Dundas streets to Bathurst and Dupont streets. The Davenport Street Railway Company was purchased by the Toronto Suburban Street Railway Company 1894, which was in turn acquired by the owners of the Canadian Northern Railway.[5] The line had originally used a broad gauge, like Toronto's other streetcar lines—so railway companies couldn't run freight on ordinary streets. Although it was later changed to standard gauge no freight was ever carried.

In 1896, The Daily Mail and Empire published a letter from a reader responding to recent article on roads requiring repair in Toronto described Davenport as being in "simply disgraceful condition".[6] The reader described Davenport Road, and several other roads, as being "block paved", and complained "this kind of pavement is anything but durable"—due either to Toronto's climate, or poor construction.

In 1994, bicycle lanes were added to Davenport Road.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ Jamie Bradburn (July 7, 2011). "Goin’ Down the Davenport Road".   mirror
  2. ^ "Davenport Road: There are four plaques about this road".   mirror
  3. ^ a b "Designating Davenport: Preserving Ontario's oldest road".  
  4. ^ Raymond L. Kennedy (2009). "Street Railways in the Junction".   mirror
  5. ^ Derek Boles (2009). Toronto's Railway Heritage: Images of Rail.  
  6. ^ Camaradia Kipps (August 21, 1896). "Some city streets".  
  7. ^ AG Macbeth (1999). "Bicycle lanes in Toronto".  
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