Go east! Why don’t they just say left or right?

Posted by York & U on August 14, 2012

Get In The Know

It is said that if you follow the North Star you will always find your way. Obviously someone forgot that we need direction in the daytime too.

In Toronton-speak, this is an example of the way directions are given:

“To get to York University, go east on Finch Avenue West until you hit Keele street, then go north on Keele street all the way to Keele and Steeles intersection“.

Do you have issues with the way directions are given in Canada? welcome to the club. I have been here for over three years and sometimes I use the sun or a compass application on my phone to navigate. The good news is with time you would be able to figure out where east is.

The way Canadians give direction may come as a surprise to many new international students. Don’t get upset; they aren’t trying to confuse you. Most international students are more familiar with been told to go left on this street or right on that avenue.

Toronto’s road network is very well planned and most major roads run from north to south or east to west, for example Keele street (the street on which York University is located ) runs from north to south (Tip: York University is north of Downtown Toronto). Another major street called Steeles Avenue West runs from East to west.

In Toronto, locations are also described using the word “INTERSECTION”; were two streets cross, for example Keele Street (which runs north to south) crosses Steeles Avenue West (which runs east to west). In Torontonian language to get to York University by going north on keele till you get to the “Keele and Steeles intersection”. So if you were asking for directions to get to some location it would be a good idea to know the name of the major intersection nearest to it.