yonge street

Swedish government says Yonge Street is the best street in Canada

Toronto's main thoroughfare has recently been recognized somewhat bizarrely by a foreign government that has decided to chime in about the street's forthcoming redevelopment.

The Consulate General of Sweden has granted Yonge Street the accolade of "THE street in Toronto; arguably also in Canada," stating in a recent letter to the City that "the whole world knows Yonge Street."

The missive is one in support of yongeTOmorrow, a new project that would see the roadway completely revamped to include way more pedestrian space and bike lanes, with less priority given to cars.

The complete reimagining of the public space would be done while the watermain below is replaced, which, as the City states, "provides an opportunity to consider a new street design to better serve everyone."

Consulate General Lars Henriksson has apparently enthusiastically "followed and participated in the conversation around this exciting project," and is an avid supporter of a forward-thinking design that considers the safety and enjoyment of pedestrians and cyclists of utmost important.

Henriksson compared the city's recent initiatives to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injuries through its Vision Zero Plan — which has included changes to speed limits and other driving rulesroad safety blitzes, and new bike lanes — to ongoing efforts that have been going on in Sweden for decades.

"We think more can be done and would be delighted to assist in establishing contact with authorities in Sweden," he writes. "The Consulate General of Sweden would be pleased to assist the Infrastructure & Environment Committee and the City of Toronto in any way we can."

He also goes on to suggest some pretty cool new ideas for Yonge, such as an underground vacuum waste collection system that would help with the additional trash that comes with more shoppers, tourists and other visitors frequenting the transformed, newly-appealing space.

It is certainly a bit of a random gesture, but it is interesting that so many people in various places have such strong feelings about the project — which is being voted on by council today — and what it could mean for the city.

Lead photo by

Jim Cagney

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