On Yonge Street

Album: A Painter Passing Through (1998)
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Songfacts®:

  • Yonge Street is the main street in Toronto. It connects the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto to Lake Simcoe, a gateway to the Upper Great Lakes. Lightfoot recalled the inspiration for this song during a Reddit AMA: "I was watching people with their children one day," he said, "I was in my car, and I saw these people looking after their kids and they were trying to cross the road and I was afraid I was going to plow into them at one point, and all of a sudden I got the idea to write that song, 'On Yonge Street."

    "In my car. I have ideas for songs when I am driving around in my car, you know? Ideas for songs when I am having a shower," the Toronto native added. "It's funny, the way it goes."
  • Yonge Street was formerly listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest street in the world at 1,178 miles. It has been replaced in the yearly publication by the Pan-American Highway with a network of roads of 30,000 miles from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina.
  • Other songs that namecheck Yonge Street include Canadian early '70's rock band Bush's cut, "Yonge St. Patty," (before you ask, they're nothing to do with the Gavin Rossdale fronted group). The song pays homage to "the girls from home," not far from where their vocalist Dominic Troiano grew up.

    Also British rapper Wiley recorded a tune for his 2011 album 100% Publishing, titled "Yonge Street (1,178 Miles Long)."

Comments: 1

  • Angus from Ottawa, CanadaGord's hometown is Orillia, not Toronto the "Good".
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