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Yonge Street 1796

The shortest route between the upper and lower Great Lakes lies between here and Georgian Bay. For John Graves Simcoe, Upper Canada first lieutenant-governor, this protected inland passage had strategic military and commercial potential. He founded York (Toronto) in 1793, then ordered a road built to replace native trails which led north to Lake Simcoe and its water links with Lake Huron. Completed on February 16, 1796, it was named after British Secretary for War Sir George Yonge, an expert on Roman roads. Yonge Street developed from a muddy, stump-riddled forest trail into the main street of Toronto and the first part of Highway 11, which now extends 1,896 kilometres to Rainy River.

Plaque via Alan L. Brown's site Toronto Plaques. Full page here.

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