If you ask someone in Toronto because that directions and they speak "it"s at the end of the street", you had far better make sure you"re no standing ~ above Yonge Street in ~ the time. Due to the fact that "the end of the street" is a mind-blowing 1178 mile away. Yonge Street is, in fact, the longest street in the world.
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Even for Canadians used to titanic distances, the concept of life on the very same street together someone a quarter of a continent and also time zone far is a bit difficult to swallow.
Office worker Lauri looks confused when I prevent her come ask directions. "The other end of Yonge Street?" she repeats, staring north. "It"s what up there - right?"
Technically yes. However we"re standing in downtown Toronto where Yonge Street begins, and it doesn"t, as Lauri assumes, end on the suburbs of the city. In fact, Yonge Street roars through Toronto and then directly through the Ontario wilderness right right into the sub-Arctic, throughout the peak of the good Lakes. The street end only as soon as it smacks straight into the U.S. Border at merganser River, Minnesota.
I reckon the pilgrimage will take 4 days, however the periods are transforming and I need a automobile that"s up to potentially rotten weather. Therefore I"ve opted for a Mercedes-Benz E-Class for what promises to be an unpredictable journey. Our E-Class packs the company"s sensational, 387-hp V-8 and a clever four-wheel drive mechanism that need to keep united state well the end of trouble when the snows come. The Merc"s additionally got a organize of safety tools that will store us in between the ditches.
"It"s not a negative choice," reckons policeman Mal Chivers. "Snow, leaves, ice, animals, drowsy drivers -- you"ll operation the gamut this time that year. Us patrol the whole of Yonge Street. It"s a monster."
Before leaving the city, us take in the Hudson"s just Company, i beg your pardon is arguably the single most vital entity in Canadian history. The was mainly Scottish hair traders and pioneers established remote outposts and also claims come the substantial Canadian bush that maintained Britain"s organize on this enormous expanse that wilderness.
Across the street I accomplish Toronto skilled Richard Fiennes-Clinton from Muddy York Walking tourism at the Elgin Theatre. The theatre opened when Yonge Street to be a thoroughfare for horses and carts.
"The street earned its importance as among the courses down i m sorry the furs and other wealth from the north pertained to market in Toronto. Past here you would have seen the wealth of the country come by," that explains.
The next day"s a lengthy drive, even by Canadian standards. Cochrane come Thunder just -- the largest city external Toronto on Yonge Street -- is just brief of 500 miles.
This is wherein the Merc yes, really comes into its own. With such massive ranges to cover, vehicle drivers routinely fall asleep in ~ the wheel top top Canadian roadways - ours E-Class has actually a device that rouses you with a buzzer and a picture of a coffee cup if that senses you gaining drowsy. Likewise, if the automobile begins come wander top top the road, the steering wheel vibrates come warn you the you"re going turn off course.
My just planned protect against was to it is in Kapuskasing, a location so cold in winter that automobile companies test your vehicles there. Yet I couldn"t resist pulling over at the sight of a flying saucer parked by the highway in Moonbeam, Ontario. A sign educated me I had actually now arrived on the self-styled UFO funding of Canada.
Former car tester Pierette Peters look at me hovering by the saucer and also comes end to chat. "I was the end on Yonge Street one night once I saw glowing lights hovering in the night sky," she recalls. "I have actually seen them, others in Moonbeam have actually seen them. Nobody can describe it. But whatever anybody rather believes, I"m convinced UFO"s exist."
Waking up for my last press towards the end of Yonge Street, a dusting that snow has fallen and also the time zone has changed. Up here the skies and also unbroken horizons room so large I can sense the globe curving.
The Merc has actually clocked increase the miles without complaint, offering a quiet and refined communication from which to watch this exceptional road.
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And finally we"re over there -- rainy River point out the spot whereby Yonge Street finishes. A lonely roadway sign reads, simply, "ENDS," and standing there, Toronto is but a remote memory.