Yonge Street – Longest Street in the World

Yonge Street – Longest Street in the World

Anyone who has ever had any interest in Toronto at all knows that Yonge Street is a pretty big attraction, but many don’t know exactly why. This is the longest street not only in Toronto, but the world! Stretching nearly 1,900 km from Toronto Bay to Rainy River, Ontario, this street is practically a highway, filled with history.

Long before Toronto was a city and Yonge Street was a proper street, the Huron Indians used this same route as a trail. Traders also used it to reach the lake, where there was a trading post set up and Yonge Street boasts accommodation of famous feet such as those of Samuel Champlain, an explorer.

From Trail to Street to Tourist Attraction

It wasn’t until John Graves Simcoe, founder of Toronto, decided that the trail should become a more professional road that Yonge Street was paved. At first, only a small portion was paved, with the intention of providing military access to the lake, but this grew and grew as the city began to spring up around it. The street grew longer and long and eventually parts of it were used as a highway, Highway 11, though these areas have now fallen into disrepair.

Yonge Street has held many positions over the centuries. First, it served as a trail leading natives to trading posts, then for the military, offering a retreat option should the Americans decide to attack, then a busy city street. When the first subways were implemented into the city, they followed the line of this ancient street. These days, Yonge Street is a tourist attraction, as well as an integral part of Toronto. It’s lined with businesses and clubs, shopping centers and amazing sights and attractions and has become a tourist destination in its own right.

What to Do on Yonge Street

The majority of people who visit Toronto will only ever see a small portion of Yonge Street. If you have the time and inclination, it can be quite the trip to head all the way up to the lake and then drive down, stopping at the various sights. At the very beginning of Yonge Street, you have One Yonge Street, where the Toronto Star operates.

Also located on this very long street are such tourist sights as the Eaton Center, Empress Walk, Canon Theatre, Hockey Hall of Fame and Dundas Square, among others. There are plenty of shopping opportunities here, as well and the street is also home to businesses such as Sam the Record Man, which have long since vanished, but remain in the annals of historic photography.

Truly the Longest?

Not everyone believes that Yonge Street deserves its title of longest street in the world. They claim that since much of it now lies in ruin as the old Highway 11 that this no longer counts as part of the street. And perhaps they are right. However, no one will ever completely forget the world record for the longest street and the fact that Yonge Street received this recognition. It’s still an amazing part of Toronto and its history.

Yonge Street, whether you think it’s really the longest in the world or simply a great place to visit, is a huge attraction for anyone visiting Toronto Hotels. The sheer amount of history following this street is something that fascinates nearly everyone and offers a far richer story behind the street than most. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture or just want to buy the latest pair of designer shoes, Yonge Street is the place for you.