Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Queen E

The QEW, or QE, or Queen E is the main highway that bisects Burlington. It was a logical and easy choice for ABCWednesday through my town.  It has all these nicknames since it is the only highway in Ontario without a numbered designation. It runs from Toronto to Niagara for a total of 85 miles (137km) and puts us pretty close to the centre (it takes roughly 40 minutes to get to Niagara Falls or to downtown Toronto). There are also no compass directions on the signs, instead there are tabs underneath giving the next control city. From Toronto, Hamilton is used instead of Burlington, probably due to its size as a city at the time. The road takes a sharp turn from its east-west direction towards the south as it becomes Niagara-bound. It is an elevated highway, so although it bisects the city it does not interfere too much with traffic flow. And unlike in Toronto, it is not a psychological barrier between the city and the lake.
Built in the 1930s, The Queen Elizabeth Way was named for the Queen Mum, not the current Queen Elizabeth.
The highway roughly follows the shores of Lake Ontario and occupies what was once called Middle Road.
We can thank a man named, oh so serendipitously, McQuesten for the design. It was originally a dual carriageway, which at the time was innovative. Now, parts of it are 12-lane.

And for those of you who have travelled this road, here is a sample of one of McQuesten's ideas - a boulevard down the middle of the carriageway where travellers could stop and have a picnic.
wall hanging in the McQuesten home (Whitehern)

I've shown a variety of the signs over on SightLines but here are two that I like. 

                which sign do you prefer?


  1. That was a nice idea he had but I don't think it would work today...(the picnic on the boulevard thing I mean).

    1. yeah, can you imagine?!!
      it sounds like a leisurely sunday tootle in the motor car.

  2. Beautiful!

    Come and take my Dementia Quiz
    Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

  3. was on that road last summer!
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. Seems impressive and perhaps not daunting to those of us who proved yet again a couple of days just how directionally challenged they are...!

  5. Interesting post- I am amazed that Canada would still name a road after a British monarch though, in this day and age ;-)

    Chrissy from Manchester: a photo a day at Mancunian Wave

  6. I love roadways were landscaping and structures play a big role.
    I prefer the roadway sign on the right. The blue one

  7. I just came from a blog who showed the road signs ! Nice scarf !
    ABC Team

  8. I like the blue sign.

    There's something so gracious about the idea of a park-like strip in the middle Can you imagine that now with cars and semis roaring past?

  9. Thats very sensible to have plenty of space for parking for a picnic. Like the grass in the middle.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May


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