Canton Avenue is 630 ft (190 m) long (the hill is about 213 feet long) and is claimed to include a 37% grade 21 feet (6.4 m) long. The Guinness Book of World Records says Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, New Zealand, is the world's steepest street with a gradient of 34.8%. This record is disputed; Pittsburgh news and international media have claimed Canton Avenue is the steepest street in the world. The United States record is also disputed, as Bradford Street in San Francisco includes a 39% grade nine meters long and Waipio Valley Road has sections as steep as a 45% grade. 
The National Map says the steep 213 feet of Canton Avenue averages less than 30%. The map's elevations can be off by a foot or two; probably Pennsylvania's LIDAR surveys done in the last few years can do better. Google Earth says the street averages 29% for 212 feet.
In March 2016 Canton Avenue was the subject of a commercial, featuring freeskier Bene Mayr, snowboarder Heikki Sorsa, downhill mountain biker Aaron Gwin, and racing driver Mattias Ekström for the Audi Quattro A4 automobile.
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- An article in the Pittsburgh Press on 11 January 1987 cites information compiled by the Surveys Division and the Snow and Ice Control Program, Dept of Public Works, that Canton Street has a steepness of 37 percent.
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- Bene Mayr, Heikki Sorsa, Aaron Gwin, Mattias Ekström (1 March 2016). Audi quattro challenge - The Steepest Street. Pittsburgh, PA. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- Blazina, Ed (3 March 2016). "Audi challenges Beechview's world-class-steep Canton Avenue". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved 4 March 2016.