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Lost road: Fourth Concession Etobicoke


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May 4, 2007
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An interesting thing I noticed while looking at a historical map of Etobicoke and noticed an extra concession road which appears to no longer exist. I checked on Google Earth and discovered that it still does---in three different sections; Carlingview, Humberline, and Renforth Drives I wondered why the road was broken up and decided to do some research:

Etobicoke Twp.jpg

I looked at some aerial photos from the City of Toronto archives. Here is a stitch of photos from 1947, showing its course from its foot at Rathburn Road to the future 401/427 interchange:


The 401 and 427 are not yet built. Eglinton Avenue was two separate roads; Richview Side Road and Lower Baseline. Indian Line and even Airport Road continued down to Lower Baseline and oddly converged at its eastern terminus with either of them linking both sections of the future combined arterial. And the 4th Concession was still intact. Even before the present massive interchange, this area was a complicated meeting of roads.


By 1969, the 401 is present and has now severed the 4th Concession into Carlingview and Renforth Drives. Construction has begun on the 401/427 interchange, with the latter's precursor, the Airport Expressway, already in place. The original Airport Rd. alignment and Indian Line have fallen victim to the 401 and the expanded airport, though both remain in service south of the freeway as connectors between the still-separate roads that will soon be joined as Eglinton. The abandoned portion of Indian Line will soon be resurrected as an extension of Renforth (dashed Line), as it is switches between the two old road alignments---and the still-open section (which appears to actually have been improved ) will be abandoned completely:


For comparison; the massive 401/427 interchange today:


South of Rexdale Boulevard in 1947, 1957 and 2018: The 4th Concession persists through the Mimico Creek Valley and points north---and still crosses the creek today, with the bend along the original bank being retained in Carlingview Dr. after the creek was re-channellized--- but was broken again after the construction of the new Woodbine Racetrack. through which it (temporarily) ran as a service roadway:


Even further north, the 4th Concession was broken again to form Humberline Drive in the mid-70's north of the Finch Avenue extension, (also under construction at the same time, but only to Humberline initially) after being abandoned through the valley of the west branch of the Humber River:


The northernmost section, between Albion Road and Steeles Avenue, was surprisingly, already closed in 1947 despite there being no obvious reason for doing so, and a house has been built on Albion in its right-of-way. Part of this short section is now incorporated into Signal Hill Avenue, and the rest still forms a lot line:

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