Airport Road (Ontario)

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Airport Road is a major roadway in Ontario, Canada. It begins at Highway 427 in Mississauga and runs north through the Regional Municipality of Peel and Dufferin County. It is designated as Peel Regional Road 7 and Dufferin County Road 18, and gets its name from Toronto Pearson International Airport, which it passes by at its southern terminus. It is a four- to six-lane suburban arterial through Mississauga and Brampton, and is a two-lane rural road for the remainder of its length. It is 81 km. (50.5 mi.) long.

The route is a popular alternative to the combination of Highway 10 and the former Highway 24 (the historic Hurontario Street), as well as Highway 400 as a route to Wasaga Beach and Collingwood for travellers from the western part of the Greater Toronto Area. As a result, it can get congested during summer weekends. However, despite this role as a major route, it has never been designated a provincial highway.

Airport Road formerly ended at the community of Stayner in Clearview Township, by continuing up Simcoe County Road 42, but was officially truncated to the Dufferin/Simcoe county line in the mid-1990s to avoid confusion with a nearby road with the same name running by the Collingwood Airport with the implementation of the 9-1-1 system in Simcoe, although that road has itself since been renamed.[1] However, CR 42 is still mistakenly assumed to be Airport Road by most, and there is still signage in Stayner directing motorists to it.[2]

Route description

An Emirates Airbus A380 landing at Pearson Airport passes low over Airport Road

Airport Road begins as a continuation of Toronto's east-west Dixon Road at Highway 427 in Mississauga, and gradually arcs to the northwest as it runs alongside Pearson Airport to the west. It crosses over Highway 409, the main access route to the airport, and under the freeway's ramps to the terminals, as well as the elevated structure carrying the tracks for the Union Pearson Express airport train connecting the airport to Downtown Toronto. After passing Terminal 3, it travels underneath the guideway of the LINK Train people mover system. Near the northern boundary of the airport, it straightens out and passes by the large Air Canada hangar complex and the end of runway 05/23, where landing aircraft pass low over the road, making this a popular location for planespotting.

North of the airport, the road passes by the International Centre, and enters the neighbourhood of Malton, once an independent town that was a major centre of the aviation industry, at Derry Road. Immediately north of the intersection, it passes under the Metrolinx tracks carrying GO Transit's Kitchener line, with the Malton GO Station being situated a short distance down the line to the southeast. It then enters Malton's residential area, which soon becomes a mixed residential/industrial zone until reaching the Mississauga/Brampton boundary at the overpass of the Canadian National's Halwest Subdivision. The street then reenters a long, fully industrial zone, intersecting with the tolled Highway 407, and Queen Street (the former Highway 7). Just north of Williams Parkway, the road passes though a newer, and still-developing retail and residential area and narrows to four lanes.

Airport Rd. in Caledon East

Shortly after crossing Mayfield Road (Peel Regional Road 14), Airport Road narrows to two lanes as it enters the rural town of Caledon. It then traverses the Oak Ridges Moraine and goes through the small village of Caledon East. At Highway 9, it assumes the Dufferin Road 18 moniker as it enters Dufferin County and the Town of Mono. The road becomes very hilly and picturesque as it traverses the Niagara Escarpment, and this stretch is notorious for traffic accidents[3] (particularly head-on collisions) due to the road lacking passing lanes, which leads to drivers attempting to unsafely pass lines of slower vehicles on downhill stretches. The road crosses Highway 89, and passes through the hamlet of Mansfield. It officially ends at a minor concession road marking the Simcoe County line, and continues north as Simcoe County Road 42.

Airport Road formerly continued up CR42 and is still popularly seen as doing so today. Continuing along that route, the countryside gradually levels off through Clearview Township, until reaching its terminus in Stayner at Simcoe County Road 91 (formerly Highway 91) and Highway 26. The latter extends the continuous route still further north as it comes in from the east and turns at the intersection. As a direct continuation of Simcoe Road 42 and Airport Road, the highway, after passing by Wasaga Beach, takes travellers 15 km (9 mi)[4] to Collingwood.

History

Aerial view of Malton Airport, circa 1938, with Airport Rd. on the right

Much of Airport Road was originally named Mono Road, after the Town (originally Township) of Mono, which it passes through, or Sixth Line East. Sixth Line was effectively the meridian divide for the northern 2/3 of Peel County, as it was formed the common boundary of the former townships of Caledon, Chinguacousy, and Toronto to the west, and Albion, and Toronto Gore to the east. The name was changed in the late 1930s to Airport Road as far north as Highway 9 when the Malton Airport (the precursor to today's Pearson Airport) was opened, and was later extended north in the late 1960s through Dufferin County when a jog was eliminated. The road's original southern terminus was at today's Eglinton Avenue, but was shifted east to align with Dixon Road as the airport expanded dramatically in the postwar years to its present size onto part of the road's course, although the old terminus itself remained as a short stub south of the airport (and Highway 401) with the old Sixth Line East name until the early 1980s when it was removed for the development of a business park in the area. [5]

References

Template:Roads in Mississauga Template:Peel Regional Roads