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Lake Shore Boulevard during a snowstorm in 1925.
Lake Shore Boulevard (commonly misspelled Lakeshore Boulevard) is an east-west arterial road running along most of the waterfront in Torontomarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker. Lake Shore Boulevard (along with Kingston Road) was previously designated as Highway 2. Lake Shore is heavily used by commuters as an alternate to the Gardiner Expressway.

Lake Shore Boulevard begins in the east at the foot of Woodbine Avenue in the east end and in the west, ends at the western boundary of the City of Torontomarker, west of Browns Line. (The street becomes Lakeshore Road as it continues into Mississaugamarker and beyond.) It does not extend into the eastern end of the city (The Beaches and Scarborough - in these areas Kingston Road is the primary thoroughfare closest to the lakefront.)

Route

Etobicoke section
Entering Toronto at the western city limit, Lake Shore Boulevard (designated Lake Shore Boulevard West) is a four-lane arterial road through the neighbourhoods of Long Branchmarker, New Torontomarker and Mimicomarker. This section is lined with commercial and retail uses. The area furthest to the west was industrial, but has been converted to housing. As the street gets near Humber Bay, the area becomes almost entirely residential and somewhat older as it was one of the first areas of cottage development for city dwellers. East of Park Lawn, the street is lined to the south with recently built condominium towers on the site of a former stretch of motels. Only one or two motels remain from the period when travellers would stay at motels here, which was then just outside the City of Toronto city limits.

Sunnyside/Exhibition section
It then crosses the Humber River and becomes a six-lane arterial road along Lake Ontariomarker, offering expansive views of the city and lake. The crossing is a major interchange with the Gardiner Expressway, and the eastbound lanes pass south of the highway, while the westbound lanes are routed to the north of the highway, rejoining the eastbound lanes just west of Park Lawn. The splitting of the Lake Shore was done at the time of the Expressway project, as new bridges were built to connect to the terminus of the Queen Elizabeth Way highway. The highway to the west has become part of the Gardiner, and the monument which designated its start was relocated nearby to the south of the Lake Shore Boulevard, just east of the Humber.

From the Humber River to Bathurst Streetmarker, the roadway is built on land infilled into the lake. The section east of the Humber was infilled in the 1910-1920s and was part of the Sunnyside Amusement Parkmarker development, which the road travelled through. The section south of Exhibition Place was infilled in the 1950s, at the same time as the Gardiner Expressway project. The original shoreline is elevated along the north side of the street. The area east of the Exhibition was infilled earlier. The original shoreline is north of the Boulevard, and the Queen's Wharf lighthouse is on the north side of the street. The Sunnyside/Exhibition section has lots of open space with some development, including recreation facilities, such as Ontario Placemarker, Sunnyside Bathing Pavilionmarker, Palais Royalemarker and the Boulevard Club.

Downtown section
In the downtown section, Lake Shore criss-crosses, runs parallel and underneath the elevated section of the Gardiner Expressway. It is designated Lake Shore Boulevard East for the section east of Yonge Street. This section travels through the old rail lands and port district. The streets in this area predate the designation as Lake Shore Boulevard but were connected in the 1950s and 1960s to form the Boulevard. From Dan Leckie Way to Yonge Street, the south side of the street has been entirely converted to high-rise condominium development.

East of the Don River
East of downtown, Lake Shore Boulevard continues as a six-lane arterial road to the Don Roadway, where it curves into the former Keating Street and continues east to Woodbine Avenue, eventually becoming a four-lane arterial road. The Keating section is straight from Cherry Street to Woodbine. It is an older industrial area that is in transition in the western part. Housing and retail has been built along the road further to the east.

Formerly on the waterfront, now north of Lake Shore Boulevard
.

Construction

Lake Shore Boulevard was built partly through the building of new road, partly through connecting existing roads. West of the Humber River, Lake Shore Boulevard is the old provincial highway. East of the Humber was built in sections in conjunction with the development of the Sunnysidemarker waterfront infill. The Lakeshore Road connected to Queen Street just west of today's St. Joseph's Health Centremarker. In the 1910s, an overpass over the waterfront rail lines was built to connect Queen Street to the Lakeshore Road. At the same time, Lake Shore Boulevard was built as a four-lane roadway east to the Exhibition Place area.

In the 1950s, as part of the Gardiner project, the Lake Shore Boulevard along Sunnyside was doubled in width. East of Sunnyside, a six-lane road was constructed to the area of Bathurst and Fleet Streets. Lake Shore Boulevard in the downtown was built to connect Fleet and Harbour Streets and was a service road for the Gardiner. West of Yonge, Lake Shore is one-way westbound, while eastbound traffic travels along Harbour Street. East of Yonge, Lake Shore is one single road under and alongside the Gardiner. East of downtown, Keating Street was built east to Woodbine as part of the project. When the Gardiner was completed to the Don River, the Lake Shore Boulevard was re-routed to Keating and the Keating Street section was renamed Lake Shore Boulevard.



Spelling

Lake Shore Boulevard is commonly misspelled as Lakeshore Boulevard. Many traffic signs, transit shelters and other signs contradict each other, sometimes on the same corner, as illustrated in the photograph.




1928 opening of streetcar

Public Transit uses

From the west end to the Humber, the street is the route of the TTC's 501 Queen and 508 Lakeshore streetcar routes to Long Branch loop. The 80 Queensway bus travels from Ellis Avenue to Parkside Drive along Lake Shore Boulevard. The 507 Long Branch use to run along Lake Shore until the route was axed in 1995 and merged into the 501 route.

The 110 Islington South and 110B buses runs along Lakeshore from Islington Avenue to 12th Street and 30th Street to Browns Line respectively.

The 509 Harbourfront and 511 Bathurst streetcars serve the area from Bathurst to Fleet Street. From Bathurst Street east to Woodbine, there is no full public transit service along the road (92 Woodbine South travels on a short stretch to a loop), although numerous north-south routes intersect.

Intersecting Streets



Attractions and Points of Interest



The Honda Indy Torontomarker and the former Molson Indy has used the section of Lake Shore south of the CNE (from Canada Boulevard to Ontario Drive) as part of the race circuit since 1986 (and excluding 2008). The section of roadway is closed for a few days in July to allow the race cars to run the course.

See also

  • Queen's Quay - actual lakeside road from Bathurst Street east to Parliament Street
  • Front Street - former lakeside road until infill of harbour during the late 19th Century.
  • Lakeshore Road - extension of Lake Shore into Mississauga.



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