|Thousand Islands Parkway|
|Maintained by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission|
|Length||39.1 km (24.3 mi)|
|History||Opened 1947 as Highway 2S|
Renumbered Highway 401 in 1952
Renumbered Highway 2S in 1967/68
Decommissioned September 8, 1970
| Roads in Ontario |
The Thousand Islands Parkway (TIP) is a scenic parkway in the Canadian province of Ontario, which extends easterly from an interchange with Highway 401 in Gananoque for approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) to rejoin Highway 401 in the community of Butternut Bay, in Elizabethtown-Kitley, west of Brockville.
The parkway follows the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, and was formerly designated Highway 2S (for Scenic). It was constructed as a primary freeway segment in the Toronto–Montréal corridor during the late 1930s. The Thousand Islands Bridge opened in 1938, during the parkway's construction. The parkway was signed as part of Ontario Highway 401 when the 400-series highway system was established in 1952, losing this designation in 1968 once the current Highway 401 alignment (through Lansdowne, Ontario) was completed further north.
Evidence of its former use can be seen today in the wide right-of-way; the unused westbound lanes now serve as a bicycle trail and twin bridges span two locations along the parkway.
The Thousand Islands Parkway begins at a split with Highway 401 on the outskirts of Gananoque. There is no access from westbound Highway 401 to the parkway nor from westbound on the parkway to eastbound Highway 401. However, immediately east of the split, both highways interchange with the sole remaining portion of Highway 2 under provincial jurisdiction. East of this point the three diverge into the rugged terrain of the Frontenac Arch, a protrusion of the Canadian Shield southward into New York state. In this area, the soil is underlain by layers of Paleozoic limestone and a granite bedrock. The granite often extends above the ground surface as large rock outcroppings. Both layers are prominent in the Jones Creek ravine.
It interchanges at its midpoint with Highway 137, the Ontario approach to the Thousand Islands Bridge which continues as Interstate 81 south of the Canada–United States border. The parkway continues northeast, serving the riverside communities of Darlingside, Rockport, Narrows, La Rue Mills and Mallorytown Landing. At Butternut Bay, the Thousand Islands Parkway merges into the eastbound lanes of Highway 401 and a left-hand exit provides access to the parkway from westbound Highway 401.
A recreational trail to the north runs parallel to the parkway for most of its length.The Thousands Islands Parkway follows what was the original alignment for Highway 401. However, because of the residential properties and the scenic nature of the route, a new inland route was constructed through the mid-1960s and the recreational trail follows the right-of-way for planned westbound lanes which were never completed.
While today only a two-lane road, it was a divided and paved four lane roadway in the early 1940s.
The St. Lawrence River Road was given the designation of Highway 2S in 1947. This designation remained in place for several years, until the entire route was renumbered as Highway 401 by the end of 1952. Initially, the parkway was intended as the route of Highway 401 between Gananoque and Brockville. However, when the Department of Highways (DHO) encountered severe local resistance, it was instead decided that a new bypass should be built further inland. This bypass opened on October 11, 1968, at which point the entire parkway once again became Highway 2S.
This designation would also only last for just under two years. On September 8, 1970, the DHO transferred the jurisdiction over the parkway to the St. Lawrence Parks Commission; it was subsequently renamed as the Thousand Islands Parkway.
The following table lists the major junctions along Thousand Islands Parkway, as noted by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. All exits are unnumbered.The entire route is located in Leeds and Grenville United Counties.
|Gananoque||0.0||0.0||Westbound entrance and eastbound exit|
|1.0||0.62||Provides access to eastbound and from westbound Highway 401|
|Mallorytown Landing||29.4||18.3||County Road 5 north (Mallorytown Road) – Mallorytown|
|Butternut Bay||39.1||24.3||Eastbound entrance and Westbound exit|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
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