The most well-known street in Toronto is Yonge Street. It has a rich history that could fill several volumes of a local encyclopedia. Due to its unsavory past and crucial part in the growth of this city, it is a street steeped in lore. However, there is some controversy about whether Yonge Street In Toronto is the longest street in the world. Let’s find it out with us!
Yonge Street In Toronto Was Really The Longest Street In The World!
If you believe the answer to the question, “What is the longest street in the world?” was simple, think again since nothing could be further from reality. Until this claim was purportedly disproved in 1999, it could no longer be referred to as Guinness World Records classified Yonge St. Ontario’s Yonge Street as the world’s longest street.
It was once believed that Yonge Street was the longest street in the world because it was a part of Highway 11. The highway was nearly 1,896 kilometers (1,178 miles) long, running concurrently with Yonge as far north as Barrie. Then continuing across central and northern Ontario to the Ontario-Minnesota border at Rainy River. However, Yonge Street could only claim to be the world’s longest street if Highway 11 were completely associated with it along its entire length. It has never been the case.
Nevertheless, Yonge is one of the world’s longest streets. It stretches 56 kilometers from Toronto’s Queens Quay to the Holland River, even if you exclude the problematic portions of the street. The street, which bears Sir George Yonge’s name and is one of the oldest in Toronto. It was first established in 1794. Sir George Yonge was a former British secretary of defense.
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6 Facts About Yonge Street Not Everyone Knew
- The Queen’s Rangers mapped out the path under the guidance of John Graves Simcoe in 1794, making it the most likely oldest street in Toronto.
- Simcoe is also responsible for the street’s name. It was given in honor of his close friend and former British Secretary of War, Sir George Yonge.
- Every Halloween in the 1960s and 1970s, near Yonge & College, at the St. Charles Tavern, drag queens and queers would parade down the street while frequently being attacked with eggs by a bigoted crowd.
- Yonge and Dundas Square was built to clean up the street’s last vestiges of depravity. Then, as a way to clean up Yonge St., local politician Kyle Rae vigorously advocated for the Square. It did so in a certain sense.
- Yonge Street was the city’s musical center prior to Yorkville becoming it in the 1960s. Through the 1950s, the entire strip was bustling with hotels and pubs that hosted live entertainment.
- This was the site of the first mall in the city. 52 shops were housed in the stunning Yonge Street Arcade, situated on the east side of Yonge near Temperance.
- It is common knowledge that Yonge St. is directly beneath the subway. But this is only true in downtown Toronto between College and King stations. The line really borders Yonge in many places.
- Contrary to what many people think, it’s not the world’s longest street. The Pan American Highway is the proper claimant. The problem is that Yonge St. only travels 86 kilometers because it is not connected to Highway 11 along its course.
The Yonge Subway: Canada’s first subway
Given the tremendous demand for north-south mobility within downtown Toronto, there were numerous plans to construct a subway for streetcars on Yonge Street starting in the early 1900s. The Yonge Street corridor between Union Station and Eglinton Avenue was the proposed route for a north-south subway line by the Toronto Transit Commission after World War 2.
At a cost of $59 million, the Yonge Subway became Canada’s first subway line in 1954. Since then, the line has been extended numerous times, most notably in 2017, to Vaughan, York Region. The route, now known as Line 1 Yonge-University, is one of the busiest in North America and the busiest subway line in Canada.
Through this article, we have learned about Yonge Street, one of the longest streets in the world and the oldest street in Canada. Please give your feedback by leaving a comment below!
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