William R. Allen Road, known more commonly as Allen Road, The Allen Expressway or simply The Allen is a short expressway/freeway in Toronto, Ontario, which runs from Kennard Avenue (Wilson Heights Blvd. link) in the north, to Eglinton Avenue West in the south. The portion south of Sheppard Avenue forms part of Toronto's municipal expressway system. It was originally the completed section of the Spadina Expressway.
For the history and politics of the artery, see Spadina Expressway.
Source: Toronto Expressways - Transfer Points - February 2004 - pp8
A portion of the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line from Sheppard Avenue in the north to Eglinton Avenue to the south runs along, within, or near to the highway. The portion from Wilson Avenue to Eglinton Avenue runs in the median of the highway.
South of Transit Road (a collector road just north of Highway 401), Allen Road is a four-lane urban freeway (with the Y-U-S subway line in median) with a speed limit of 80 km/h (50 mph).
At the junction with Highway 401, the two freeways meet in an interchange which is a hybrid of the turbine and clover-stack. It is complex since some ramps are dedicated to serving the adjacent Yorkdale Mall rather than freeway to freeway traffic. The interchange, which was built when Highway 401 was expanded to its current collector-express configuration, is known for its poor sight lines, since not long after its completion, the speed limit on Ontario freeways was raised in 1968 from 80 km/h (50 mph) to 112 km/h (70 mph) (later reduced to 96 km/h (60 mph) in 1974, then 100 km/h (62 mph) with metric conversion in 1977). There are frequent complaints about the 401 westbound collectors exit to Allen Road, since it is located on the left-hand side instead of the conventional right. Most of the overpases were rehabilitated in 1995. From 2001-2004, retrofitting and improvements have widened the westbound collectors to four lanes, eliminating the forced exit lane. Due to the interchange's complexity and lower standard design, it one of the few on Highway 401 that uses conventional light poles instead of high-mast lighting.
North of Transit Road, Allen Road is a four-lane at-grade expressway with a speed limit of 70 km/h (45 mph) until it reaches Sheppard Avenue West to become an arterial route, still maintaining the higher speed limit. The route is three lanes until Dufferin Street commences, where the third lane exits to Finch Avenue eastbound.
South of Eglinton Avenue, the Spadina Expressway would have been extended to Spadina Avenue and Harbord Street, with a potential link to the Gardiner Expressway. That opportunity came and went in 1983.
No extensions are likely, due to the even greater opposition likely today and the high cost of any potential extension, leaving the Don Valley Parkway as the only expressway which leads to the downtown core from the north end of the city. Although, studies have claimed that extending Allen Road all the way downtown would reduce congestion on the 401 and area surrounding Allen Road since drivers only have the DVP and 427 along with the Gardiner Expressway to commute downtown. No plans have been drawn of recent, but talks about extending it have never ended since its inauguration.
|Intersection||Exit number†||Intersecting Roads||Direction|
|At-grade intersection/Half-Diamond interchange||0||Eglinton Ave. W.||Northbound, Southbound|
|Diamond interchange||3||Lawrence Ave. W.||Northbound, Southbound|
|Diamond interchange||5A||Yorkdale Rd.||Northbound, Southbound|
|Cloverstack||5B||Highway 401, MacDonald Cartier Freeway.||Northbound, Southbound|
|Slip ramp||7||Wilson Heights Blvd.||Northbound|
|At-grade intersection||8||Transit Rd.||Northbound, Southbound|
|At-grade intersection||9||Downsview subway station parking entrance||Southbound|
|At-grade intersection||10||Sheppard Avenue||Northbound, Southbound|