Monday, November 17, 2014

The inexorable widening of Bathurst Street

 Photos by Barry Wallace
Bathurst Street, north of the Morning Sideroad, separating King Township and Newmarket, is seen above showing the preliminary widening of the road and the newly installed hydro lines.   Bathurst Street, north of this point, has been closed for decades (see sign below).

The closed section of Bathurst Street between the Morning Sideroad and the Holland Marsh was open back in the 1960s and early 1970s, and was known then as the 'Devil's Elbow'.   The 'Devil's Elbow' was a steep, winding track with sharp cut-backs and deep gravel ruts that provided a popular hill-climbing course for  drivers of sportscars (mine was a '61 Austin-Healey Sprite).   Below is the view looking south on Bathurst Street towards the Morning Sideroad and beyond that: Hwy. 9.   On the left are the new towering hydro lines which give another indication of the eventual width of Bathurst.   A handful of homes are to lose chunks of treed privacy as a result of the widening on the east side of the road.

Approximately two kilometres south of Hwy. 11 (near Bradford) and looking southward, the widened and paved Bathurst Street comes to a halt on the north slope of the King Ridge (the Oak Ridges Moraine).   When the southern and northern portions of Bathurst Street are reunited, atop 'The Ridge', the passage of wildlife will become newly perilous.

Please comment if you wish.
Barry Wallace     


  1. I find this sketch of Bathurst really fascinating. I started going out there in 2013 when The Star wrote an article about it. I managed to get out there twice before construction began, photographing and videoing the old closed course, and particularly the little bridge at the bottom. Been out there several times since to record the progress, up to and including last Sunday. The little bridge is long gone, and the old road course on its south side seems have been annexed by the property at the top of the hill. I think I've done all I can with it. I'm really jealous of you, having driven it back in the day. That must have been interesting and dramatic. Judging from the car doors, bumpers, and grills I found scattered in the creek bed around the bridge, it must have been pretty dramatic indeed at times. Thanks for giving me the name "Devil's Elbow" to refer to it as. :)

  2. P.S. If you ever see these comments, you might want to check out the thread where I wrote some of it up. :)