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Modified Pinwheel: Why are Folkway Drive and Sawmill Valley Drive different from Eglinton, Burnhamthorpe, Collegeway, and Dundas?

"When I first arrived to preach in Erin Mills, I turned onto Folkway Drive and kept going and going in circles for hours" (from an early sermon at my church)

Folkway Drive was never designed to be an east-west thoroughfare like Dundas, Collegeway, Burnhamthorpe, or Eglinton. Folkway Drive is a "finder" street within the 3 individual neighbourhoods of Pheasant Run, Arbour Green, and Olde Burnhamthorpe . Local streets within each neighbourhood are "short and curvilinear".  

Sawmill Valley Drive was never designed to be a north-south thoroughfare. Sawmill Valley Drive is also a "finder" street, not a thoroughfare.

It is appropriate to place a neighbouhood shopping centre along a finder street, together with some medium-density housing near the neighbourhood shopping centre (see Erin Mills New Town).

High-density housing belongs along east-west thoroughfares such as Dundas, Collegeway, Burnhamthorpe, or Eglinton.

High-density housing does not belong in a low density neighbourhood with a modified pinwheel system of two finder streets, Folkway Drive and Sawmill Valley Drive (with 2 schools) that are the neighbourhood's only two access points to the two thoroughfares, Erin Mills Parkway and Burnhamthorpe.

The "spine" of the community is Erin Mills Parkway. The planners paid special attention to the design of this high-traffic spine to prevent it from becoming a freeway and to avoid building any other north-south freeway. The design for Erin Mills Parkway included a lot of landscaping and trees. The image below is from Erin Mills New Town page 3.3.

Erin Mills South p. 3.3 figure 3.3_1.jpg

How was the Road System Planned?

1. Freeways (Highway 403)
2. Arterial Roads (Erin Mills Parkway, Winston Churchill, Base Line now Eglinton, Burnhamthorpe, Dundas)
3. Major Collectors (Glen Erin, Collegeway)
4. Minor Collectors (e.g. Folkway Drive and other modified "pinwheel" finder streets)

From Erin Mills New Town at 2.9:

"The characteristic grid pattern of the major road

structure will disappear with the minor collector

streets, which will be organized on a modified "pinwheel"

system. They will serve as the essential

"finder" streets within the individual neighbourhoods

and multiple-family groupings, and will provide

relatively continuous connections between

neighbourhoods, focusing on important neighbourhood

and community facilities. Local streets within

the neighbourhoods will be basically short and curvilinear

in design and will serve exclusively to provide

access for residents."

Below please see an image of the Road System proposed in Erin Mills New Town at 2.9. Note from the image that from the beginning, the early concepts of Folkway Drive and Sawmill Valley were "Minor Collectors" :

Page 2.9 Erin Mills New Town a.jpg

Compare the "Road System" above with the "Development Concept" image below in Erin Mills New Town. Notice the neighbourhoods outlined in yellow and the "neighbourhood shopping centres" which are the large black dots at Sawmill Valley/Burnhamthorpe and Glen Erin/St. Clare School. The high-density housing area is outlined in red near Eglinton and near Burnhamthorpe/Collegeway. Note the old Burnhamthorpe (Rogers Road, Burbank Drive) was eventually unstraightened and curved further south. All of Erin Mills was planned with diverse housing in mind in planned locations matching the road system.

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