If girlfriend ask someone in Toronto for directions and also they speak "it"s in ~ the end of the street", girlfriend had better make certain you"re not standing top top Yonge Street in ~ the time. Since "the finish of the street" is a mind-blowing 1178 miles away. Yonge Street is, in fact, the longest street in the world.
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Even for Canadians supplied to titanic distances, the concept of life on the very same street as someone a quarter of a continent and also time zone away is a bit difficult to swallow.
Office worker Lauri looks perplexed when I prevent her to ask directions. "The other end of Yonge Street?" she repeats, staring north. "It"s somewhere up over there - right?"
Technically yes. Yet we"re stand in downtown Toronto whereby Yonge Street begins, and also it doesn"t, together Lauri assumes, end on the suburbs of the city. In fact, Yonge Street roars with Toronto and then directly through the Ontario wilderness right into the sub-Arctic, throughout the height of the great Lakes. The street end only when it smacks straight into the U.S. Border at rainy River, Minnesota.
I reckon the expedition will take 4 days, however the periods are transforming and I need a car that"s up to potentially rotten weather. Therefore I"ve opted for a Mercedes-Benz E-Class for what promises to it is in an unpredictable journey. Ours E-Class package the company"s sensational, 387-hp V-8 and also a clever four-wheel drive device that need to keep united state well the end of trouble when the snows come. The Merc"s also got a hold of safety equipment that will keep us in between the ditches.
"It"s no a poor choice," reckons policeman Mal Chivers. "Snow, leaves, ice, animals, drowsy vehicle drivers -- you"ll operation the gamut this time of year. Us patrol the totality of Yonge Street. It"s a monster."
Before leaving the city, us take in the Hudson"s bay Company, which is maybe the single most vital entity in Canadian history. It was mainly Scottish hair traders and pioneers created remote outposts and also claims come the vast Canadian shrub that retained Britain"s host on this immense expanse of wilderness.
Across the street I meet Toronto skilled Richard Fiennes-Clinton from Muddy York Walking tours at the Elgin Theatre. The theatre opened once Yonge Street was a thoroughfare because that horses and carts.
"The street deserve its prominence as one of the paths down i beg your pardon the furs and also other wealth from the north concerned market in Toronto. Past here you would have seen the wide range of the country come by," the explains.
The following day"s a lengthy drive, even by Canadian standards. Cochrane come Thunder just -- the largest city exterior Toronto on Yonge Street -- is just quick of 500 miles.
This is wherein the Merc yes, really comes right into its own. With such massive ranges to cover, drivers routinely loss asleep at the wheel on Canadian roads - ours E-Class has a device that rouses you through a buzzer and a snapshot of a coffee cup if the senses you gaining drowsy. Likewise, if the automobile begins to wander ~ above the road, the steering wheel vibrates to warn you the you"re going off course.
My only planned stop was to it is in Kapuskasing, a ar so cold in winter that automobile companies test their vehicles there. But I couldn"t resist pulling over at the sight of a paris saucer parked by the highway in Moonbeam, Ontario. A sign educated me I had actually now arrived at the self-styled UFO funding of Canada.
Former automobile tester Pierette Peters sees me hovering by the saucer and also comes end to chat. "I was the end on Yonge Street one night once I experienced glowing lamp hovering in the night sky," she recalls. "I have actually seen them, rather in Moonbeam have seen them. Nobody can define it. However whatever anybody rather believes, I"m encouraged UFO"s exist."
Waking up because that my last press towards the finish of Yonge Street, a dusting of snow has actually fallen and the time zone has actually changed. Up below the skies and unbroken horizons room so substantial I have the right to sense the globe curving.
The Merc has clocked increase the miles without complaint, giving a quiet and refined communication from which to view this exceptional road.
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And finally we"re over there -- rainy River point out the spot where Yonge Street finishes. A lonely road sign reads, simply, "ENDS," and also standing there, Toronto is however a distant memory.