Renaming 11th Avenue would be too costly, city staff report

It’s being recommended council re-name the street informally

Nearly one year after it was first proposed, city staff are recommending council refrain from legally changing the name of 11th Avenue in recognition of our war veterans.

Instead, it’s being recommended council re-name the street informally. City staff said re-naming the portion of 11th Avenue between Cedar Street and Shoppers Row to Veteran’s Way would be costly and potentially confusing.

“The formal change requires a number of steps and a cost to both the process and the potential financial support to business affected by this change,” said Drew Hadfield, the city’s transportation manager, in a report to council. “With keeping the legal name as is, there are no changes required to any business.

“Utility and emergency responders would not see a change and it is common to have local names for areas for which emergency responders and the public become familiar with over time.”

The solution? To give the block an honourary name change, which would limit the cost of signage and would avoid having just a small chunk of an existing road being legally known under a different name.

Hadfield’s report was prompted by a recommendation from Mayor Walter Jakeway made shortly after last year’s Remembrance Day ceremony. Jakeway wanted council to consider changing the name of the portion of 11th Avenue that leads up to the cenotaph in Spirit Square and which runs alongside the Royal Canadian Legion.

“I think it’s a great way to honour our vets, (re-naming) the street right in front of their building over to the cenotaph – we all meet there November 11,” Jakeway said at a council meeting last November. “It would be wonderful if we could designate it to the honour of our vets.”

Jakeway noted at the time that the name change would only affect the city’s Community Centre and three local businesses – the Legion, Uptown Willie’s cafe, and Britches and Hose Vintage Clothing. Jakeway said affected businesses could apply to have the city reimburse change of address costs up to $2,500.

Hadfield suggested the city avoid those costs altogether and adopt the honourary name change which would cost the city $500 in additional signs.

“The hnourary name change would have little to no impact on the existing businesses or the community as a whole,” Hadfield said. “This change would include the placement of new street blades signifying both names, with the prominence on the honourary name being Veteran’s Way.”

Hadfield’s recommendation was up for debate at Tuesday’s council meeting, after the Mirror went to press.