November 30, 2006

Those wacky Canadians

avenuerd.jpgI’m in Toronto today, and I’m staying at a hotel near a street called Avenue Road. But the zaniness doesn’t stop there. According to local legend (and by that I mean Wikipedia’s entry on the subject), the road got its name when the Lieutenant Governor was surveying the town, and he came to a point where he stopped, pointed north, and said in his English accent, “Let’s ‘av a new road.” Oh, Canada.


Charming. Here in Texas we have the equally charming USA Street, America Street, and United States Street… all in the same town.

They should get a Street St.

As a Canadian living in Los Angeles and former 15 year resident in Toronto, I have to say there are just as many odd things down here. I mean no Tim Hortons on every street corner? What are you guys thinking?

That being said though I bet you love the city… Toronto is great. Get down to Henry’s on Queen St at Church. Best camera store in the city, and your American dollar will get a little more bang for your buck.

Its like the one about the two settlers in canoes who on arriving to this new land found a creative way to name Canada. They put all the letters of the alphabet into a hat and decide to leave it to chance.

“I got a C, eh.”

“I got a N, eh.”

“I got a D, eh.”

Just south of Thunder Bay you’ll pass “Memory Road”.

Memory ROAD.

Is it so difficult to call it Memory Lane?

Is this a regional thing? Canadians take a “trip down memory road”?

In wonderful Greeley, CO, our streets are all avenues (north/south) and roads (east/west). This works great until you put houses in between two roads. Greeley is the only town I know of that has Street Roads, Avenue Court, etc - i.e., your address might be 1137 15th Avenue Road, which is fine until all your mail is sent to 1137 15th Ave because people don’t understand (or think you’re stupid) you need both the avenue and the road in the address. I’m looking at you, DishTV (not that I’ve dealt with this first hand….)

I went to school in TO and it never occurred to me until you pointed it out that Avenue Rd. is a very silly street name.

…but, an avenue used to mean a line of trees - so a road with lots of trees down it could easily be called Avenue Road. I understand there are quite a few Avenue Roads here in the UK. Not our fault whoever first started laying out grid-towns didn’t go for the more obvious Street/Road option…

I’m reminded of the troubles the New York Port
Authority must have encountered when the were
naming the Outerbridge Crossing:

I used to live on Avenue Road in Stoke (UK) — it was indeed tree lined —,-2.177868&spn=0.003402,0.015278&t=h&om=1