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197) Drive all of Yonge Street 2 Aug 2012

For those unfamiliar with the arterial routes of Southern Ontario, Yonge Street is a major road that connects downtown Toronto to the upper Great Lakes; so major, in fact, it was once considered the longest street in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Sadly, as we discovered the other day, this claim to fame is sorely misguided — Younge Street ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Why so many of us out there still believe that it’s the Mother-of-all-Streets is just a combination of ignorance and pride.

Here’s the real deal: At one point in time, when Younge Street was part of Highway 11, technically speaking it WAS the longest street in the world at 1,896 kilometres (1,178 mi) long. But, like everything else in life, there’s always someone bigger, better, stronger and faster. Younge Street just couldn’t hold it down. Just like Toronto’s CN Tower couldn’t hold it down. I wonder how many Canadians still think we have the tallest freestanding structure in the world?

Oh boo, but we so wanted to drive the longest street in the world. Upon discovering that our to-do was a bust, we decided to drive it anyhow. After our camping trip up North, we took the long way home – beginning in Barrie where Younge Street begins – and ending back home in downtown Toronto at the shore of Lake Ontario. Took us about 2.5 hours. Along the way we saw lots of strip malls — and more strip malls.

4 Responses

    Mom says:

    I used to listen to Peter Gzowski when he was on Morningside. One morning, he talked about Yonge Street as an exciting adventurous street. If I remember correctly, at that time, he said that Yonge Street ended at Cochrane??

    Mari says:

    Actually, it goes past Cochrane and into Hearst and I think that’s where it ends or it could keep going. It takes 13 hours to get to Hearst Ontario

      Mari says:

      I found this on the internet

      It leaves Toronto to stream across forest wilderness and skirt the Great Lakes before tracing an arc over the prairies of northern Ontario and ending 1,178 miles away at Rainy River on the U.S. border.

    Laura & John says:

    I think it’s contentious debate. According to Wikipedia: “Yonge Street was formerly a part of Highway 11, which led to claims that Yonge Street was the longest street in the world. Running from the shores of Lake Ontario, through central and northern Ontario to the Ontario-Minnesota border at Rainy River, together they were over 1,896 kilometres (1,178 mi) long. But Yonge Street could only be called the longest street in the world if “Highway 11” and “Yonge Street” were synonymous, which is not the case.”