Could you pass the City of Toronto's taxi driver accreditation course? Here are twenty questions about the local geography of Canada’s largest city

Map by Eric Fischer
Eric Fischer / CC By-SA 2.0

­­­­Earlier this year, Walrus editor-in-chief Jonathan Kay took the City of Toronto taxi driver accreditation course, as part of his research for our September issue’s cover story on the increasingly fierce competition between Uber and the traditional taxi industry. The questions below relate to the geography section of the course materials.

  1. What street marks the northern boundary of the City of Toronto?
    • Finch Avenue
    • Steeles Avenue
    • Highway 407
    • Highway 7
  2. On what commonly used two-way street, heading east from Toronto into the City of Pickering, would a motorist encounter a one-lane bridge that requires drivers passing in one direction to stop while cars pass in the other direction?
    • Plug Hat Road
    • Rouge Hills Drive
    • Twyn Rivers Drive
    • Taylor Road
  3. Under typical midday traffic conditions, the most efficient route from the area of Brimley Road and Eglinton Avenue East, to the area of Warden Avenue and Danforth Avenue, requires the use of this road:
    • St. Clair Avenue East
    • Midland Avenue
    • Danforth Road
    • Warden Avenue
  4. As a motorist proceeds westbound, at what point does the Gardiner Expressway turn into the Queen Elizabeth Way (better known as the QEW)?
    • As it crosses the Humber River
    • As it intersects with Highway 427
    • As it crosses Yonge Street
    • As it passes Kipling Avenue
  5. A commonly used secondary route from northwestern Toronto into downtown involves Scarlett Road and Dundas Street. Because no direct left turn is permitted from southbound Scarlett to eastbound Dundas, an experienced taxi driver typically will use which of the following streets to accomplish the manoeuvre?
    • Eileen Avenue, Florence Crescent, and Jane Street
    • St. Clair Avenue and Jane Street
    • St. Clair Avenue and Runnymede Road
    • Foxwell Street and Jane Street
  6. Which of the following roads does not traverse the full distance between Lakeshore Boulevard and the city’s northern boundary?
    • Bathurst Street
    • Islington Avenue
    • Royal York Road
    • Kipling Avenue
  7. As a motorist drives eastbound along York Mills Road toward its continuation as Ellesmere Road, the route takes on this name for a distance of several blocks:
    • Parkwoods Village Drive
    • Roywood Drive
    • Canadian Road
    • Metropolitain Road
  8. The Highland Creek Overpass, a notoriously complex and inefficient knot of Toronto roadwork, allows drivers travelling north or south along Meadowvale Road to traverse which of the following:
    • Lawrence Avenue East and Highland Creek
    • Kingston Road
    • Highway 401
    • The Rouge River
  9. Driving west along Wellington Street from the downtown business district, one encounters a T-intersection at which of the following streets?
    • Blue Jays Way
    • Clarence Square
    • Spadina Avenue
    • None of the above
  10. What street most directly links South Kingsway to the Kingsway?
    • Dundas Street West
    • Bloor Street West
    • Prince Edward Drive South
    • Humber Valley Road
  11. Taxi drivers traditionally have been taught to use “NEWS 2121” as a mental device to help remember that addresses on the north and west sides of Toronto streets typically are even, while those on the south and east sides typically are odd. In which of the following parts of the city is this rule of thumb most commonly broken?
    • Riverdale
    • Etobicoke
    • Downtown
    • Riverside and Leslieville
  12. Sheppard Avenue’s westernmost end lies at an intersection with:
    • Albion Road
    • Weston Road
    • Keele Street
    • Highway 427
  13. As a motorist drives southeast, Davenport Road becomes which of the following:
    • Church Street
    • Jarvis Street
    • Mount Pleasant Road
    • None of the above
  14. A driver can access a ramp to the Don Valley Parkway directly from which of the following east–west streets:
    • Eastern Avenue
    • Gerrard Street East
    • King Street East
    • Front Street East
  15. As a motorist travels westbound from Leslie Street along Lawrence Avenue East, the road stops at a dead end. In order to continue westbound along the portion of Lawrence Avenue that lies to the west of Bayview, the driver would take a route that includes which of the following elements?
    • Banbury Road
    • York University Glendon Campus roadways
    • Post Road
    • None of the above
  16. As Pottery Road rises eastward out of the Don Valley, it turns into what east-west street?
    • O’Connor Drive
    • Cosburn Avenue
    • Westwood Avenue
    • Mortimer Avenue
  17. Toronto contains thirty-seven important streets that are classified as “diagonals” because they exhibit, in whole or in large part, a southeast-northwest or northeast-southwest orientation. Which of the following is not properly included in this list?
    • Rexdale Boulevard
    • Vaughan Road
    • McRae Drive
    • Birchmount Road
  18. The intersection of Bloor Street West, Kipling Avenue, and Dundas Street West is known among taxi drivers as one of the most poorly engineered components of Toronto’s road infrastructure. An experienced taxi driver approaching the intersection while traveling eastbound along Bloor Street, and seeking to continue along Bloor on the other side of Kipling Avenue, would take which of the following routes?
    • Bloor Street, to Kipling Avenue southbound, back to Bloor Street
    • Bloor Street, to Beamish Drive southbound, back to Bloor Street
    • Bloor Street, to Auckland Road southbound, to Dundas Street, back to Bloor Street
    • Bloor Street, to Prennan Avenue northbound, to Mervyn Avenue eastbound, to Kipling Avenue southbound, back to Bloor Street
  19. The north-south course of Spadina Road is interrupted near its intersection with Davenport Road. What tourist attraction is located in the space separating Spadina Road’s two spurs?
    • Casa Loma
    • The Aga Kham Museum
    • The Bata Show Museum
    • Toronto Maple Leafs’ Hall of Heroes
  20. This final question is not derived from City of Toronto course material. Test-takers may consult a map. What neighbourhood contains the city’s exact geographic centre, as calculated by the Torontoist blog?
    • Lawrence Park
    • Victoria Village
    • Bathurst Manor
    • The Junction

Answers: 1) b, 2) c, 3) c, 4) b, 5) b, 6) c, 7) a, 8) b, 9) b, 10) b, 11) b, 12) b, 13) a, 14) a, 15) c, 16) d, 17) d, 18) c, 19) a, 20) a (“In Search of Toronto’s Geographic Centre”)

Jonathan Kay
Jonathan Kay (@jonkay) is a journalist, book author and editor, and public speaker.

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