Saskatchewan and Nunavut may finally get their due in Vancouver. A recently formed city naming committee recommends they join provinces and territories like Alberta, Ontario and Yukon in gracing two new Vancouver streets with their names.
The recommendations go before council at the July 24 meeting.
The naming committee, established in February, is composed of three members of the general public, one person from the Vancouver Historical Society and one representative from Vancouver Public Spaces Network. In the past, city staff made recommendations. Developers typically suggested names for streets in new developments.
At its July 5 inaugural meeting, the committee came up with recommendations for the new lanes and reviewed a handful of names pitched by the public for city streets, places or buildings.
The committee added the approved names to the civic asset name reserve list. (A previous list will be reviewed by the committee to decide which names from it will be kept.)
Vancouver needs to find names for two to six new streets a year. The city also has countless plazas, city buildings and bike lanes that lack monikers, Vision Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer told the Courier.
Saskatchewan Lane is pitched for a lane at the new development at Granville and West 70th. The committee noted one of the original streets in the Eburne townsite, West 72nd Avenue, was once named Saskatchewan Avenue.
The developer had suggested Lauren Mews, but Lauren sounds similar to Laurel and Laurie—names used more than once in Metro Vancouver.
Nunavut Lane is recommended for a street joining South West Marine Drive and West 64th Avenue between Cambie and Yukon streets to provide access to a new housing development at 8150 Cambie St.
The developer proposed Eburne Mews, Maple Leaf Mews and Marine Landing Mews, but they also didn’t meet city criteria mainly because they sound to similar to existing streets, which can confuse emergency responders.
During its review of public suggestions for the city’s reserve list, the committee rejected A.J. Haugh’s name. Haugh is a sports figure from the ’20s and ’30s, but his name sounds similar to Howe, Hay, Hawk and Hawks.
Andy Slobodian, a 22-year-old worker who died while building the Canada Line, was suggested for the Canada Line Bridge over the Fraser River, but the committee noted the bridge falls under TransLink and not city jurisdiction.
Iconic Canadian artist Lawren S. Harris’s name didn’t meet the criteria for a street name, as Lawren and Harris are too similar to existing street names, but the committee approved his name in its entirety for consideration for use on another type of city asset.
Kather for Kathleen Kather, B.C.’s first female lifeguard, was approved, as were Terry Fox’s and Rick Hansen’s names.
Occupy, for the Occupy Vancouver protest movement, was submitted for a street, place or building downtown. The committee approved it for the reserve list but noted that “future consideration to apply this name to a civic asset be subject to an evaluation as to the relevance of the name at the (future) current time.”
Reimer expected someone would submit the name of the late federal NDP leader Jack Layton since he died as the committee was formed.
“There were a lot of calls to put his name on this list, but his name actually isn’t on this list,” she said. “Although that opportunity still exists.”