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Calgary Trail & Gateway Boulevard

Calgary Trail
Gateway Boulevard
Calgary Trail & Gateway Boulevard is located in Edmonton
Calgary Trail & Gateway Boulevard
Calgary Trail & Gateway Boulevard
Start/End points of Calgary Trail & Gateway Boulevard
Former name(s)Calgary Trail
Gateway Boulevard
Part of Hwy 2
Maintained bythe City of Edmonton
and Alberta Transportation
Length14.5 km (9.0 mi)[2]
South end41 Avenue SW
Ellerslie Road, Anthony Henday Drive, 23 Avenue, 34 Avenue, Whitemud Drive, 51 Avenue, 63 Avenue, Whyte (82) Avenue
North endSaskatchewan Drive

Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard are a pair of major arterial roadways in Edmonton, Alberta. Gateway Boulevard carries northbound traffic while Calgary Trail carries southbound traffic. From south of 31 Avenue, they form a two-way freeway separated by a median; for this portion, the roadway maintains the separate names for northbound and southbound traffic. Near 31 Avenue, Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard separate and become parallel one-way arterial roadways to Saskatchewan Drive, at the edge of the North Saskatchewan River valley. Designated as part of Highway 2 south of Whitemud Drive, it is Edmonton's main southern entrance and is both a major commuter route, connecting to the Edmonton International Airport and Leduc, as well as a regional connection to Red Deer and Calgary.[2]

Route description

Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard enter Edmonton from the south along Highway 2, the city's busiest entrance.[3] It is a core route of Canada's National Highway System, and part of the North-South Trade Corridor. Despite the freeway being a two-way roadway, the northbound lanes go by the name Gateway Boulevard and the southbound lanes go by the name Calgary Trail. At the city limits, the northern terminus of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, is the interchange with 41 Avenue SW, which opened in 2015,[4] and is the only numbered exit on Highway 2 within Edmonton.[5] The freeway continues north past Gateway Park, a rest area which is marked by the historic Leduc No. 1 oil derrick; originally opened in 1987, it featured a tourist information centre that closed in 2014.[6][7] Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard reach Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216), Edmonton's ring road, which is the northern extent of both National Highway System and trade corridor designations.[8] It continues past South Edmonton Common and the interchange with 23 Avenue. North of 23 Avenue (around 31 Avenue), the freeway portion of the Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard ends and the roadways split into parallel one-way streets.

North of the one-way transition, the Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard become arterial roadways with numerous retail and commercial services located between the two roadways. The first set of traffic signals is at 34 Avenue, and it continues north to Whitemud Drive, where Highway 2 continues along Whitemud Drive west. North of Whitemud Drive and 51 Avenue at 54 Avenue is the transition where southbound 104 Street becomes Calgary Trail. Gateway Boulevard and 104 Street pass through mixed light industrial and commercial areas before entering Old Strathcona and intersects Whyte (82) Avenue. Gateway Boulevard and 104 Street end at Saskatchewan Drive at the edge North Saskatchewan River valley. North of University Avenue, 104 Street is a two-way street with a northbound bus-only lane between University Avenue and 83 Avenue, and a conventional two-way street between 83 Avenue and Saskatchewan Drive.

Calgary Trail (104 Street) and Gateway Boulevard function as the major connection between downtown Edmonton and the Edmonton International Airport; however, they do not directly connect with downtown or cross the North Saskatchewan River. Inbound traffic via Gateway Boulevard and Saskatchewan Drive can be accessed via Queen Elizabeth Park Road which connects with the Walterdale Bridge, or alternatively continuing along Saskatchewan Drive which connects with the James MacDonald Bridge and Low Level Bridge. The main outbound route via 104 Street (Calgary Trail) can be accessed via 109 Street and the High Level Bridge and then following Saskatchewan Drive to connect with southbound 104 Street.


Old Strathcona entrance sign along Gateway Boulevard.

The roadways are the remnant of the northern terminus of the Calgary and Edmonton Trail, a land transport route between the fur trading posts of Fort Edmonton and Fort Calgary, used as far back as the early 1800s.[9] The roadways were originally part of central Strathcona and conformed to the former city's quadrant numbering system, as such 104 Street (Calgary Trail) was known as Main Street and was the division between the west and east quadrants (Whyte Avenue was the division between the north and south quadrants), while Gateway Boulevard was known as 1st Street E.[1] In 1912, Edmonton and Strathcona amalgamated Edmonton adopted its present numbering system; Main Street was renamed as 104 Street while 1st Street E was renamed as 103 Street. As Alberta's highway system developed, 104 Street became part of Highway 1 (renumbered to Highway 2 in 1941) to the 54 Avenue area before shifting to the southeast and continuing south along the CP rail line Edmonton-Calgary line and aligned with 103 Street, going by the name of Calgary Trail.[10]

The City of Edmonton commissioned the 1963 Metro Edmonton Transportation Study (METS) to address the need for free-flow traffic corridors and more river crossings in the downtown area. The plan proposed a downtown freeway loop with feeder routes, including three southern approaches via Calgary Trail, 111 Street, and 91 Street / Mill Creek Ravine.[11] The transition from 104 Street to Calgary Trail was converted to a split intersection at 51 Avenue, and included partial access 103 Street, which had become a collector road adjacent to the CP rail line.[12] The freeway proposal through the North Saskatchewan River valley and its feeder ravines proved to be very controversial, with public protests suspending construction. In tandem with cost overruns, the majority of the project was cancelled in 1974.[13][14]

In the early 1980s, 103 Street, 104 Street, and Calgary Trail were converted to one-way streets, with 104 Street carrying southbound traffic while 103 Street and Calgary Trail (renamed as Calgary Trail Northbound) carrying northbound traffic. As part of the project, a parallel, one-way roadway was constructed from the 104 Street / Calgary Trail transition to the 31 Avenue area and designated as Calgary Trail Southbound.[15][16] The split intersection at 51 Avenue was partially removed (now the site of a Real Canadian Superstore) while the original transition alignment was designated as 54 Avenue. In 2001, Calgary Trail Northbound/103 Street and Calgary Trail Southbound were renamed as Gateway Boulevard and Calgary Trail respectively, initially the name change met with some controversy.[17][18]

Highway 2 used to enter Edmonton and abruptly transitioned from a freeway to an arterial roadway with traffic signals at Ellerslie Road and 23 Avenue; however the intersections were upgraded when interchanges were completed in 2001 and 2011 respectively.[19][20]

Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard have been synonymous with Highway 2 in Edmonton. Originally Highway 2 followed Calgary Trail and 104 Street to Whyte (82) Avenue before turning west to 109 Street, then crossing the High Level Bridge and eventually connecting with St. Albert Trail. In the mid-1980s, in an effort to bypass downtown, the Highway 2 designation was moved to Whitemud Drive;[21] however, "To Highway 2 south" guide signs still frequent Calgary Trail.


There have been proposals to improve the Gateway Boulevard connection with the Walterdale Bridge and downtown Edmonton by removing a hairpin turn required to access Queen Elizabeth Park Road. Due to the topography of the river valley, proposals have shown that Gateway Boulevard would have to be realigned in pass under Saskatchewan Drive.[22] There is no finalized alignment or timeline for construction.


List of neighbourhoods Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard run through, in order from south to north.[23]

Major intersections

The entire route is in Edmonton.

0.00.0 Hwy 2 south – Edmonton International Airport, Leduc, Red Deer, CalgaryHwy 2 continues south; south end of Hwy 2 concurrency
41 Avenue SWPartial cloverleaf interchange (exit 532); Edmonton city limits
Gateway Park rest area (left exit)
3.52.2Ellerslie RoadDiamond interchange; no access from Anthony Henday Drive
Anthony Henday Drive (Hwy 216)Stack interchange (northbound left exit); Hwy 216 exit 78
5.93.719 Avenue NWInterchange; no southbound entrance
6.74.223 Avenue NWSplit diamond interchange
7.34.5Freeway ends, splits into one-way road pair
8.35.234 Avenue NW
Whitemud Drive / Hwy 2 north / Hwy 14 eastHybrid split diamond interchange (traffic lights); north end of Hwy 2 concurrency
10.56.551 Avenue
10.86.754 AvenueFormerly part of Calgary Trail; north end of Calgary Trail; south end of 104 Street (southbound only)
11.87.361 Avenue
11.97.463 Avenue / Allendale Road
13.98.6Whyte (82) AvenueFormer Hwy 2 north / Hwy 14 east
14.59.0Saskatchewan DriveNo westbound exit
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

KML is not from Wikidata


  1. ^ a b c Mundy's Map of The Twin Cities Edmonton & Strathcona (Map). The Mundy Blueprint Co. 1911.
  2. ^ a b c Google (March 23, 2018). "Calgary Tr & Gateway Blvd in Edmonton, AB" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  3. ^ "2015 Traffic Flow Map" (PDF) (Map). City of Edmonton. May 13, 2016. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  4. ^ Westhaver, Eric (November 18, 2015). "Major QEII interchange in Edmonton's far south now open". Global News. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  5. ^ "41 Ave SW @ Hwy 2 in Edmonton". Google Street View. May 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  6. ^ Parrish, Julia (October 13, 2014). "Travellers react to coming closure of Gateway Park visitor centre". CTV Edmonton. CTV News. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  7. ^ Kent, G (October 10, 2014). "Edmonton's Gateway visitor centre to close by year end". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  8. ^ Canada's National Highway System: Annual Report 2016 (PDF) (Report). Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety. September 2017. p. 29. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  9. ^ Placenames of Alberta. "The naming along the Calgary - Edmonton Trail". Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  10. ^ Alberta Official Road Map (Map). Government of the Province of Alberta. 1962. Edmonton inset. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017.
  11. ^ Edmonton District Planning Commission (1963). "Exhibit 1: Phase 1 Development Key Plan" (Map). Metropolitan Edmonton transportation study: Plan and program. Vol. 2. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  12. ^ Official Tourist Map of Edmonton (Map). City of Edmonton. 1967. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  13. ^ Robinson, Danielle (September 2012). 'The Streets Belong to the People': Expressway Disputes in Canada, c. 1960-75 (PhD thesis). McMaster University. p. 118. hdl:11375/12753.
  14. ^ Powers, Dan (August 29, 1974). "City council kills plan for MacKinnon Ravine freeway route". Edmonton Journal. Press Reader. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  15. ^ Alberta Official Road Map (Map). Government of Alberta. 1978. Edmonton inset.
  16. ^ Alberta Official Road Map (Map). Government of Alberta. 1983. Edmonton inset.
  17. ^ "'Gateway Boulevard' idea may lead nowhere". CBC News. August 25, 2000. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  18. ^ "Name change brings mixed reviews". CBC News. July 26, 2000. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  19. ^ "Calgary Trail/Ellerslie Road Interchange". Kiewit. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  20. ^ Hicks, Graham (August 21, 2015). "Hicks on Biz: You can't blame Edmonton City Council for everything". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 23rd Avenue/Calgary Trail overpass: Original cost and completion date, $75 million, 2006: Actual cost and completion, $261 million, 2011.
  21. ^ Alberta Official Road Map (Map). Government of Alberta. 1988. Edmonton inset.
  22. ^ "3.0 Roadway/Bridge Alignment Options". Walterdale Bridge Replacement and Approach Roads Evaluation (PDF) (Report) (Concept Planning Study Final Report ed.). City of Edmonton. 2011. pp. 38–40. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  23. ^ "City of Edmonton map utility". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
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Calgary Trail & Gateway Boulevard
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