A comprehensive naming policy for all public spaces – parks, trails, streets, squares, downtown greenspaces, buildings, and public areas within buildings is needed in Guelph.
Currently the city does have a policy for street naming that mandates the commemoration of our WWI and WWII veterans. The City Parks Department has a policy that parks will be named for those who have made contributions to recreation, sports or community service.
A question has arisen, should the City honour the memory of fallen police officers and firefighters who gave their lives in performance of their duties? Absolutely they should but does it mean naming or even rename parks and other public spaces?
In Portland, a tiny parkette was set aside and named Portland Firefighters’ Park. It features a fountain as well as a area where names can be added for those who lost their life in the line of duty. The same could be done for Police as well. These type of areas do exist in Canada, mainly in larger cities but a few smaller ones as well. Toronto has a Police Monument near the HQ and there are several spots in Toronto (University Ave.) where parkettes and monuments exist.
Beside the Police Station, there is a small slate of green space that could house such a Park, although depending on any renovations or expanding of the station would have to be taken in consideration.
Additionally, creating small ‘parkettes’ on brownfieds or other locations (these are places where it isn’t like a full park but a small lot simlar to John Galt Park) would come in handy and I will write about this soon.
The Toronto policy has can be found by clicking this link.
As many of you read in the Guelph Mercury recently, the daughter of a fallen officer was pushing to have a central downtown greenspace named to commemorate Officers Macauley and Holloway, both police officers killed in the line of duty. This park already has a historic name, Lornewood, (and the IODE Fountain), and the site location is not directly connected with either officer. I propose a central park be selected and created as a memorial for police, fire and others who die in the line of duty. Scroll back up to read that.
As many people know, private corporations have for years bought naming rights to buildings, mostly stadiums or towers. Today, however, many cities are cash strapped and have started to sell naming rights to public spaces, even parks and squares. Is this something Guelph wants to go to? No. I want to protect our public spaces from these type of corporate invasion. However, as things get more difficult for many cities, one day Guelph may have to consider doing this like many other cities have done before and do now.
Once a good policy is developed, one that will consult with various community stakeholders and citizens, I think those who have contributed to our city will get the respect and honour deseved. I encourge council to consider the creation of a parkette beside the police station where those who have fallen can be honoured or elsewhere in the city.
For more reading on this, please check out the Ward 5 blog by clicking here.