Mr. Google’s Driving Directions are Weird

September 9, 2009

This past weekend I had to make the long six hour trek from Ottawa to Guelph Ontario to take our oldest daughter back to University.

Unfortunately it was not even a straight line trek, as it also included a quick stopover in Oakville to pick up some furniture being donated for her new apartment. (thanks G & L for that donation!)

So, not being an expert on driving through the Toronto area, I charted two sets of driving directions from Google Maps and set out.

Now here is why I stated that the directions were weird.

The routes I was sent on don’t make much sense! forget straight lines and simplicity – take the cow path!

If you are in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) you will see why! If not, well, just let me say that winding your way through the traffic of multiple Highways in Toronto is not what you want to spend hours doing.

First Stop

So, my first set of driving instructions from Mr. Google’s maps was from Ottawa to my stopover in Oakville. I dutifully followed the driving directions set for me, and did successfully find my way to that first pit-stop.

Hey, I thought all was good; Except that once I arrived there – my host was flabbergasted on the route Mr. Google sent me by.

You see, the straightest and easiest route to my destination would simply have been to take Highway 401 to Trafalger Rd, then hang a left, and drive straight through to Oakville. In other words a straight line, then hang a left!

But no!

Mr. Google’s Maps sent me on a twisty ride up Highway 401 to another highway, the 427, then had me switch over again to a third called the QEW and then finally up to Oakville.

I was lucky that QEW traffic was fairly light (For Toronto! meaning bumper to bumper but still moving – not parked) But my host advised I had probably added a half hour to my trip taking that twisty route through the heart of the city.

Second Stop

With that lesson learned from the first set of directions, my host then took a look the final leg of my journey’s driving directions from Mr. Google;

From my Oakville pit-stop  to the final address in Guelph.

My host then bust a gut laughing.

Again, the simplest and straightest route is to take that same Trafalger Rd. to Highway 401 and then exit the 401 at Highway 6 towards Guelph. Think about it, go straight, get on the highway and hang a right at the sign.

But no again!

Mr. Google chose to give me driving directions that sent me on a trip that included Toronto’s very nice, but very expensive Highway 407 Toll Road – and that was to get me to that very same aforementioned Highway 401. (why drive a straight line when you can loop-the-loop around the city right?)

So, Is there a point to this rambling?

Nah – I don’t think so.

Just don’t believe everything that a computer tells you!

Mr. Google was introduced to me by Whimsley

For Whom Google Tolls

For Whom Google Toll's

Photo Credit Wikipedia

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2 Responses to “Mr. Google’s Driving Directions are Weird”

  1. elliotross Says:

    Thanks Hal 🙂

    Yes – I know – it said Toll Road in red – but if you are following the directions – not diving into it manually looking for “short cuts” !!

    For the record – these were the exact directions;

    0. Take the ON-401/ON-416 exit on the left
    1.1 km
    11. Merge onto Veteran’s Memorial Hwy
    73.9 km
    12. Take the ON-401 ramp to Kingston
    0.7 km
    13. Merge onto King’s Hwy 401/MacDonald-Cartier Fwy
    367 km
    14. Take exit 352 for ON-427
    1.9 km
    15. Merge onto King’s Hwy 427 Expy
    5.7 km
    16. Take the Queen Elizabeth Way exit toward Hamilton
    1.2 km
    17. Merge onto QEW
    14.9 km
    18. Take exit 123 for Ford Dr
    1.1 km
    19. Turn right at Ford Dr
    0.3 km
    20. Take the 1st left onto Upper Middle Rd E
    3.6 k

    3. Take the 1st right onto Glenashton Dr
    0.6 km
    4. Turn left at Trafalgar Rd
    4.2 km
    5. Take the ramp onto Hwy 407 E/ON-407 E
    Toll road

    12.7 km
    6. Take exit 34B for ON-401 toward London
    Toll road

    0.5 km
    7. Merge onto King’s Hwy 401/MacDonald-Cartier Fwy
    34.8 km
    8. Take exit 295 for ON-6 toward Guelph
    0.8 km
    9. Merge onto Hanlon Expy
    10.7 km

  2. John B Says:

    I do worry about you on occasion, Elliot….

    My Mr Google gives me 3 options from Oakland to Guelph and even tells me that one option is a toll road (in red, no less…).
    But you’re right – Just don’t believe everything that a computer tells you.

    “I’m sorry – I can’t do that, Ellliot..”


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