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A street sign for Dundas Street East in Mississauga.


Dundas Street in Torontomarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker, also known interchangeably as Highway 5 west of Toronto, is a major arterial street which forms a major intersection with Yonge Street where Dundas Squaremarker and the Toronto Eaton Centremarker are found. A second major intersection occurs at Spadina Avenue, where Toronto's downtown Chinatown is located.

Dundas Street is also one of the few east-west routes that has the distinction of being continuous from the Torontomarker/York Regionmarker to Peel Regionmarker (the others are Eglinton Avenuemarker, Steeles Avenue, Highway 7, and Castlemore Road/Rutherford Road/Carrville Road/16th Avenue, The Queensway, Bloor Street, and Lake Shore Boulevard).

Route

Dundas Street's route through the city of Toronto is irregular, ignoring the general east-west axis of the city's streets once it is west of Ossington Avenue. It meanders northwards towards Bloor Street, crossing it at Roncesvalles Avenue, heading north through The Junctionmarker neighbourhood (at Keele Street) until it reaches just west of Scarlett Road, where it once again turns south to meet Bloor Street again at Kipling Avenue. However, this route allows the street to traverse the west end of the city while avoiding obstacles that would have been expensive to cross in the 18th century, such as Grenadier Pond in what is now High Parkmarker, and the highest point of the Humber River valley (Bloor Street to the south requires a high bridge to cross the river at that point).

West of the western intersection with Bloor Street is the former Highway 5 . Westward this routes passes through Mississaugamarker, Oakvillemarker, Burlingtonmarker, extending across Ontario through St. George, Ontario, and ending in Paris, Ontario, with the junction of the former Highway 2, that proceeds west through Woodstockmarker, and London, Ontariomarker.

In London, the street ends just east of the forks of the Thames River, before it crosses the Kensington Bridge to west London. Originally, this section was called "Dundas Street West" with the eastern portion being "Dundas Street East". However, since construction in the mid-1980s, the entire western portion has been called "Riverside Drive". Some Londoners still refer to "Dundas Street East" though no part of the street retains that name.

In Toronto, Dundas Street is divided between Dundas Street East and Dundas Street West by Yonge Street, the east/west dividing line for all Toronto streets.

History

Dundas Street East in Mississauga.
Dundas Street was developed in different time periods and in different sections. Sections of Dundas Street were previously known under different names and connected together. Dundas Street is named after its onetime destination, the town of Dundas.

The section of Dundas Street near Dundas, Ontario was surveyed by Augustus Jones and constructed by the Queen's Rangers as a colonial road at the direction of John Graves Simcoe, first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada. It connected the town of Dundasmarker, to settlements west, and also around Lake Ontariomarker to Niagara-on-the-Lakemarker (Newark). The town itself was named for Henry Dundas - Viscount Melville, British Secretary of State for the Home Department from 1791 to 1801. In the early 19th century when Toronto's oldest streets were first named, Dundas was an important settlement in its own right, rather than simply a suburb of Hamiltonmarker, as it has since become.

The first section of Dundas Street constructed in Toronto, was constructed during the War of 1812. It connected today's intersection of Queen Street and Ossington Avenue to Lambton Mills. It was constructed by the militia under the supervision of George Taylor Denison. The section of today's Ossington Avenue from Queen Street north to the intersection of Dundas Street was also known as Dundas. At the time, the district along Dundas was not cleared.

Montgomery's Innmarker was built on Dundas Street in 1832 for travellers along this route, and became a center of neighborhood business as well. It stands today, operated as a museum by the City of Toronto.

From Ossington Avenue east, Dundas was pieced together from various streets. In the latter half of the 1800s, Arthur Street was connected from Ossington Avenue and Dundas Street to Bathurst Street along Dundas' current alignment. St. Patrick Street, the portion of today's Dundas from Bathurst Street to College Avenue (now University Avenue) bisected the Grange estate in 1877. The section from College Avenue (now University Avenue) to Yonge Street was known as Agnes Street. East of Yonge, Wilton Street with a portion called Wilton Crescent (George Street to Sherbourne Avenue) connected to River Street. A bridge was not built over the Don River until the 20th century. The various streets were connected by jogs in the 20th century to form the current road.

Children in front of a movie theater on Dundas Street, 1920s


In the 20th century, for purposes of efficiency, Highway 5 was redirected, just west of the former village of Waterdown, Ontariomarker and no longer passes through the town of Dundas, which was also located on the lower side of the Niagara Escarpment.

Neighbourhoods

Immigrant communities have sprung up along its route within Toronto and some still exist today just to name a few; Kensington Marketmarker was home to Toronto's first Jewish community; vibrant Chinatown nearby (at Spadina Avenue) is still Toronto's largest downtown Asian ethnic enclave; Brockton Villagemarker (at Dovercourt Rd.) became a west end destination for the immigrant Irish community in the mid-19th century, later on and still today the same area was settled by Portuguese and Brazilians, so much so one stretch of Dundas is aptly named "Rua Açores" or Little Portugal ; The Junctionmarker area attracted many immigrant labourers from Irelandmarker and Britainmarker, Southern and Eastern Europe due to its proximity to railways, meat packing and other heavy industries which sprouted up there in the late 19th century.

Downtown centre

Dundas Street is centrally located in downtown Toronto, about midway between Front Street and Bloor Street. It serves as a major east-west thoroughfare for vehicular, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic both downtown and beyond. The intersection of Yonge Street and Dundas, since the building of the Eaton Centre and the Yonge-Dundas Squaremarker has become one of the most busy intersections in the city. It is estimated that over 56 million people each year pass this intersection. To ease traffic, a pedestrian scramble has been installed.

Northeast of Yonge and Dundas is the Ryerson Universitymarker campus. To the east of downtown, Dundas St. travels through the Cabbagetown older neighbourhood and the large Regent Park public housing project fills the block to the south of Dundas between Parliament Street and River Street.

Art Gallery district

The newly constructed façade of the AGO along Dundas Street West
Dundas Street is the address of the Art Gallery of Ontariomarker, which takes a full city block on the south side of the street, at the corner of McCaul Street, just west of University Avenue. The street is also home to many other art galleries, including Bau Xi Gallery and Art Square. Just to the south of Dundas on McCaul is the Ontario College of Artmarker.




Transit connections

Dundas Street is served by the following subway stations:

Bloor-Danforth Subway line:



Yonge-University-Spadina line:



It is also served by the following GO stops:



It is also served by the following TTC surface routes:



References



External links






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