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.