Friday, December 8, 2017

On the Street Where You Live

We will all be travelling/driving a little more around Christmas time.  Shopping increases; there are more visits with friends; the family Christmas dinner brings people together from different areas.

I was driving in my little town of 30,000 people and came across the corner of Ontario and Adelaide Streets - made me think of Toronto as it has that intersection.  Street names can follow us in our travels.  We moved from Toronto's Sunnylea area to Grimsby's Sunnylea Crescent. In Toronto we lived in The Kingsway - we can drive on Kingsway Crescent in Grimsby. There is the intersection of Victoria and Front Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake, like in Toronto.  
There is a Yonge Street on the escarpment, but sadly no Yonge and Bloor intersection.

So I went in search of the authoritative guide to the most common street names in Canada.  The article is at website.   This website's mission is to tell compelling and unusual stories about Canada through maps, interactive charts and other interesting visualizations, so I encourage you to read the story on street names.

I am familiar with street names in Ontario.  However, the article notes: "there are 7,204 kilometers between Victoria and St. John's Newfoundland, and 4,529 Kilometres between Alert, Nunavut in the north and Windsor, Ontario in the south".  So my Ontario experience is limited - every Ontario town has an Ontario Street.

The most popular/common street name:  Second. That turns out to be the most popular street name in America as well.  Numerical street names are six of the top ten street names.  The Canadian distinction?  Maple!

Statistics Canada's Road Network Files for 2015 were the data source for the analysis - and the popular categories of street names were: numbers, nature, people, royalty, and other.

Why isn't First the most common street name?  They tell us it is because Second Street will often come after whatever serves as a city's primary thoroughfare.  Front Street  and Main Street are common for the primary street.

What's the distinction of 50th Avenue and 50th Street - it originated in Alberta and serves as the midpoint of many urban municipalities in the province.  It was a popular and easy navigation system in earlier times. 

"It comes as little surprise that names of royal descent appear on the list before those of famous Canadians. Victoria (501), King (479) and Queen (371) are more common than any historic Canadian, a testament to our enduring if not complicated ties to the British monarchy. After all, Queen Victoria has 501 streets named after her and a federal holiday to boot, while Canada’s first Prime Minister, John A. MacDonald, didn’t even make it onto the list".

Sometimes we worry over our complicated world - perhaps we can insert some simple pleasures - street names would qualify in my books.

Our pictures today feature nature and man - the back of a tropical leaf and the back of a transport truck.

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