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Sheppard Avenue is an east-west principal arterial road in Torontomarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker. A small portion of a continuation of the road in Pickering, Ontariomarker is also called Sheppard Avenue.

History

Sheppard is named for Joseph Shepard I, who acquired of land at the northwest corner of Sheppard and Yonge Street. His son opened a general store there. The site was occupied in 1860 by the Dempsey Hardware Storemarker, which was later moved and restored as a museum. In the former Scarboroughmarker municipality, Sheppard was once called the Lansing Sideroad.

Routing

Sheppard Avenue East

East of Yonge Street, Sheppard travels east through North York to Highway 404. Historically, it continued straight to Victoria Park Avenue at the Scarborough border, where travellers then turned south to meet up with the Sheppard section through Scarborough. However, a new section called the Lansing Cutoff was constructed joining the two disconnected pieces. The orphaned section of Sheppard between the 404 and Victoria Park was renamed Old Sheppard Avenue.

Sheppard continues straight east through Scarborough until just east of Meadowvale Road, where the Rouge River valley presents steep grades , and so Sheppard curves southwards to meet Kingston Road just north of Highway 401. At that junction, it also meets Port Union Road, which heads south into the Port Unionmarker neighbourhood. However, Twyn Rivers Drive continues east into the Rouge valley as a collector road, and becomes Sheppard again at Altona Road just east of the border of Pickering, Durham Regionmarker. It continues farther east until it ends at Fairport Road just north of Highway 2 / Kingston Road.

This routing parallels the alignment for Highway 401 and serves as an alternative if the highway is closed or congested.

Sheppard Avenue West

West of Yonge Street, Sheppard travels west past Bathurst Streetmarker and Wilson Heights Boulevard. Further west, the road allowance became blocked in 1939 by the appropriation of land for a DeHavilland aircraft plant and, after World War II, Canadian Forces Base Downsviewmarker. A crescent-shaped section of road was finally constructed along the northern edge of the now former base in the 1970s, connecting Sheppard at Wilson Heights to Keele Street. Today, Sheppard also intersects Allen Road on this section, but the intersecting portion of Allen Road was not constructed until 1982. Sheppard Avenue continues still further west to Weston Road, but cannot be extended because the Humber Sheppard Community Centre (the former site of St. Basil's Catholic High School) is on the west side of the intersection.

Public Transportation

The Sheppard Subway runs under Sheppard Avenue East from Yonge Street to Don Mills Road, with proposals to continue the line farther eastwards to the Scarborough Town Centremarker. There are five stations on the line providing access to Sheppard Avenue, including Bayviewmarker, Bessarionmarker, and Lesliemarker, as well as the Sheppard-Yongemarker (at the junction with the Yonge section of the Yonge-University-Spadina line) and Don Millsmarker termini. Downsviewmarker station is located at the corner of Sheppard and Allen Road at the northern terminus of the Spadina section of the Yonge-University-Spadina line.

GO Transit has stations at Agincourtmarker on the Stouffville line, on Sheppard between Kennedy Road and Midland Avenue, and at Oriolemarker on the Richmond Hill line, south-west of the intersection of Leslie Street and Sheppard.

Incidents

On the night of April 25, 2006, a water main burst underneath a bridgemarker on Sheppard Avenue West between Bathurst Streetmarker and Senlac Road, weakening the foundation and causing it to sink . Traffic and TTC routes were diverted by way of Senlac Avenue and Ellerslie Avenue to reach Bathurst Street. Repairs were initially expected to take as long as three months, but the closed section was re-opened on May 19, 2006.

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