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November 29 , 2008

The Yonge Street Story, 1793-1860

An Account from Letters, Diaries and Newspapers


This is the remarkable story of the trail that became the longest street in the world, as officially recognized by The Guinness Book of Records. Begun in 1794, Yonge Street was planned by the ambitious Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe as a military route between Lake Ontario and Lake Huron. Anxious to bolster Upper Canada’s defences against the new republic to the south, which he heartily loathed, Simcoe had his Queen’s Rangers survey and develop the route from Toronto to present-day Holland Landing, and laid out lots for settlement. Even the trusty Rangers, as one surveyor complained in 1799, needed little excuse to lay down tools and vanish "to carouse upon St. George’s day."

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Handsomely illustrated with the author’s drawings, and painstakingly researched, this book captures the not-so-distant days when muddy Yonge Street was the backbone of pioneer Ontario.

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