weird streets toronto

The 5 weirdest Toronto street names

It's not easy naming a new street in Toronto. According to rules enforced by the city (PDF), each one must be unique, positive, historically relevant, and easy for emergency dispatchers to pronounce, lest ambulances and fire trucks get sent to the wrong parts of town.

As a result, there are approximately 9,600 different names for streets in Toronto.

The effort to give every street a unique name has inspired special creativity around the city, particularly as pertains to laneways, but also when it comes to our neighbourhood streets.

Here are some of the weirdest street names and their origins in Toronto.

Strange Street

Running dead straight for just a few metres south of Queen in Riverdale, there's really nothing that unusual about Strange St. Seekers of the paranormal will be disappointed to learn that the name comes from Maxwell Strange, an auctioneer who lived in the area around 1837. 

Disco Road

Toronto's only street named for a genre of dance music is home to a detention centre and anonymous industrial complexes. The name actually predates the musical style. Dominion Structural Steel had a plant on the road, which is a big hint. It was a descendent of the former Dominion Iron and Steel Company - DISCO for short.

Sesame Street

Unlike Disco Rd., Sesame Street near Pharmacy and Sheppard in Scarborough really does appear to be a cultural reference. Perhaps its location next to Fairglen Public School prompted developers to name the street after the popular long-running kids show starring Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Elmo.

Avenue Road

Avenue Road isn't necessarily a strange street name. After all, an avenue is just a name for a tree lined street or approach. There are numerous Avenue Roads in the U.K. and there's an Avenue Street is Oshawa. But in North America, "avenue" is primarily used as a suffix for particularly wide or important streets.

Cummer Avenue

Farmer Jacob Cummer - father of 14 kids - couldn't have known when he moved from Pennsylvania to the future site of Willowdale in 1797 that his last name would elicit giggles and guffaws from Toronto residents more than 200 years later. The Cummers operated a saw mill on the Don River near the street that currently bears their name.

Lead photo by

spongebob


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