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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local Ottawa-Gatineau > Business, Politics & the Economy

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  #1  
Old Posted May 25, 2011, 6:20 PM
immanuel_smcs immanuel_smcs is offline
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Wellington Street (downtown) at risk of being renamed

In recent weeks, Ottawa residents had to deal with the renaming of Robertson Road.
For anyone who shares the concern that local history and heritage are being rolled over, you should also be concerned that there is another street renaming in the process.

This is hundred times bigger than Robertson Road.
This is about the oldest street in the city, Wellington Street, named by the city founder, Lt-Col John By himself to honor the Duke of Wellington who funded the building of the Rideau Canal with over £800,000 pounds between 1826-1832.

In case you missed it on the Ottawa Sun website, here is the story :
http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/05/24/...oject-for-city

The Rideau Canal is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site and 2012 will mark the 180th anniversary of its opening.
The canal is the centrepoint of the city. To the west is Wellington Street with the Parliament Buildings, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Library and Archives Canada, the Justice Department, the Bank of Canada and the Prime Minister's Office.
The west side of the canal was referred to as Uppertown or Upper Bytown.

On the east side, there is Rideau Street and closeby the By Market. This was Lowertown or Lower Bytown.

Renaming Wellington Street for the sake of renaming makes no sense.

Proposing to rename Wellington Street to Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard may seem like a noble cause. It is nothing less than a bear trap.
There is already a MacDonald Street (notwithstanding the spelling mistake - no capital D) which is parallel to Cartier Street. These street have been around since the 1880s and are known by the local population.

As an organization that bares the names of the two most important Father of Confederation, Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George-Étienne Cartier, we are not opposed to celebrating their achievements and commemorating their memories.

Quite the opposite. Since the early days of our campaign, we have proposed an alternative common-sense solution. A solution that would commemorate these great men equally which respecting local history and without disrespecting heritage.

What we have proposed is to rename Airport Parkway to Macdonald-Cartier Airport Parkway. It makes sense. The city's airport is named after Macdonald-Cartier. The current road name is administrative bland.

There is also historic precedent. The last time this issue was considered at city hall in 2003, the National Capital Commission had a "formal objection" to the matter. This time it's much less clear.

The mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson does not support the renaming, yet the Planning Committee is going ahead and is expected to receive a report in September.

If this issue interests you, please visit www.savewellingtonst.ca

Thank you,

Immanuel Giulea
Chair of the Save Wellington Street campaign
Founder and Executive Director, Société Macdonald-Cartier Society
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  #2  
Old Posted May 26, 2011, 3:40 PM
ThePlanner ThePlanner is offline
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If it's renamed McDonald Boulevard, they should move all the pubs to that street. Sir John A would approve.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 26, 2011, 3:43 PM
immanuel_smcs immanuel_smcs is offline
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Originally Posted by ThePlanner View Post
If it's renamed McDonald Boulevard, they should move all the pubs to that street. Sir John A would approve.
The name of our first post-Confederation Prime Minister spells Macdonald (not Mc and no capital D).
And let's hope the renaming never happens.

Wellington Street is too important to be renamed.

The pubs are on the pedestrian Sparks Street, government is on Wellington Street. It's fine the way it is now.

Immanuel

p.s. McDonald (your spelling) is a fast-food chain.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 26, 2011, 11:50 PM
ThePlanner ThePlanner is offline
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Keep in mind you're conversing with a planner. So don't tell me what is and isn't fine the way it is now. I intentionally misspelled our first prime minister's last name because I have nothing but contempt for him. The man was a drunken, corrupt racist. Read the hansards and prove me wrong!
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  #5  
Old Posted May 26, 2011, 11:52 PM
ThePlanner ThePlanner is offline
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Originally Posted by ThePlanner View Post
Keep in mind you're conversing with a planner. So don't tell me what is and isn't fine the way it is now. I intentionally misspelled our first prime minister's last name because I have nothing but contempt for him. The man was a drunken, corrupt racist. Read the hansards and prove me wrong!
By the way, I don't care whether the street is named for MacDonald or Wellington. Both are old dead colonizing elites who should be thrown into the dustbins of history.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 12:10 AM
immanuel_smcs immanuel_smcs is offline
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Originally Posted by ThePlanner View Post
Keep in mind you're conversing with a planner. So don't tell me what is and isn't fine the way it is now. I intentionally misspelled our first prime minister's last name because I have nothing but contempt for him. The man was a drunken, corrupt racist. Read the hansards and prove me wrong!
You probably had a lousy history teacher in high school, so you can't be blamed for your misinformed views of our greatest prime minister and his many achievements.

Buildings on both sides of Wellington date back from the 19th century and owned by the federal government. Any unused land is also owned by the federal government.
In short, there exist no spaces for private development.

But we're going off-topic, so I'll stop here.


Anyone else want to comment about the historical and heritage value of Wellington Street ?
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  #7  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 12:36 AM
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Dado Dado is offline
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Originally Posted by ThePlanner View Post
Keep in mind you're conversing with a planner. So don't tell me what is and isn't fine the way it is now. I intentionally misspelled our first prime minister's last name because I have nothing but contempt for him. The man was a drunken, corrupt racist. Read the hansards and prove me wrong!
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Originally Posted by ThePlanner View Post
By the way, I don't care whether the street is named for MacDonald or Wellington. Both are old dead colonizing elites who should be thrown into the dustbins of history.
What a sorry diatribe.
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  #8  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 7:52 AM
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bikegypsy bikegypsy is offline
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I'm aware that all things do change but then again some should be left as they are... this is such a case. It would be like renaming The Rideau Canal, the Mississippi River, Mount-Royal mountain or Time Square. Just don't touch it. No offense to Sir A. Macdonald.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 1:26 PM
immanuel_smcs immanuel_smcs is offline
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Originally Posted by bikegypsy View Post
I'm aware that all things do change but then again some should be left as they are... this is such a case. It would be like renaming The Rideau Canal, the Mississippi River, Mount-Royal mountain or Time Square. Just don't touch it. No offense to Sir A. Macdonald.
That's a beautiful way to put it out.
Wellington Street has been around for 185 years, since 1826.
Why change it now ?
There's already a MacDonald Street, named after Sir John A.
The Commemorative Naming Policy is clear about one commemorative per individual.

Immanuel

p.s. you didn't offend Sir John A.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 2:21 PM
adam-machiavelli adam-machiavelli is offline
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Well isn't this a fascinating conversation? I did a bit of research and discovered that the MacDonald-Cartier Society is very closely aligned with the Conservative Party of Canada -a little too close in my opinion. Given my past comments about conservative ideology, you can assume that anything an M-C society member says should be taken with a grain of salt.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 2:24 PM
immanuel_smcs immanuel_smcs is offline
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Originally Posted by adam-machiavelli View Post
Well isn't this a fascinating conversation? I did a bit of research and discovered that the MacDonald-Cartier Society is very closely aligned with the Conservative Party of Canada -a little too close in my opinion. Given my past comments about conservative ideology, you can assume that anything an M-C society member says should be taken with a grain of salt.
This kind of affirmation is unacceptable!
And completely off-topic

The Macdonald-Cartier Society is a registered federal non-profit that independent and non-partisan. We have no political affiliation or alignment.
Stating otherwise is defamation and unacceptable.

I ask you to retract your statement.

How about you look at our website : www.macdonaldcartier.org
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  #12  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 2:37 PM
Acajack Acajack is offline
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I do find that there are many "missing" street names in Ottawa, when you consider that it is the capital after all. Sir John A. Macdonald is notably missing some type of prominent recognition. Some other prime ministers are relatively absent as well. As are the names of many provinces and cities also.

That said, I am not sure that renaming stuff that is already named after someone significant like Wellington is the best approach. As others have said, banal names like the Airport Parkway might be a good idea. The Ottawa River Parkway, often called the Western Parkway, could also be a prime target for a nice renaming.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 2:52 PM
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Originally Posted by adam-machiavelli View Post
Well isn't this a fascinating conversation? I did a bit of research and discovered that the MacDonald-Cartier Society is very closely aligned with the Conservative Party of Canada -a little too close in my opinion. Given my past comments about conservative ideology, you can assume that anything an M-C society member says should be taken with a grain of salt.
Good grief Adam. The guy who is proposing a change of the street from Wellington to something Macdonaldesque, Bob Plamondon, is himself associated with the CPC. So at "worst" you've got various CPC-sympathetic individuals arguing with each other, which is frankly something I could do with seeing more of. And here, we've got an organization with Macdonald in its own name arguing against renaming a street to something Macdonaldesque.

There's a point at which you've got to give up on looking for a partisan angle on things. This is one of them.


Anyway, as I have suggested elsewhere, we can rename the Ottawa River Parkway from the Wellington-Portage intersection at the Garden of the Provinces westwards to at least the aqueduct as Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard. The Airport Parkway could also be renamed, perhaps to the Macdonald-Cartier Parkway.
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  #14  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 3:07 PM
immanuel_smcs immanuel_smcs is offline
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I do find that there are many "missing" street names in Ottawa, when you consider that it is the capital after all. Sir John A. Macdonald is notably missing some type of prominent recognition. Some other prime ministers are relatively absent as well. As are the names of many provinces and cities also.

That said, I am not sure that renaming stuff that is already named after someone significant like Wellington is the best approach. As others have said, banal names like the Airport Parkway might be a good idea. The Ottawa River Parkway, often called the Western Parkway, could also be a prime target for a nice renaming.
I agree that there might be streets "missing" but renaming historical streets in the downtown core is not the solution.

As founder of the Macdonald-Cartier Society, it would make no sense for me to argue against more commemorations for Macdonald or Cartier, the two most prominent and known Fathers of Confederation.
That said, there 36 of them, and elevating one above all others shows disrespect. Wellington Street is already part of the NCC ceremonial road Confederation Boulevard.

As for not enough recognitions of Macdonald, let's examine what Ottawa already has :
- statue of Sir John A. Macdonald on Parliament Hill
- MacDonald Street (misspelled) in Somerset ward, named after him since 1880s.
- Macdonald-Cartier Bridge linking Gatineau,QC to Ottawa
- Macdonald-Cartier International Airport

Elsewhere in Ontario:
- Macdonald-Cartier Highway
- statue at Queen's Park in Toronto
- boulevard in Kingston
- Historic site at his grave in Kingston
- Bellevue House in Kingston
- schools named after him in several cities

Despite all these recognitions, people still manage to misspell his name McDonald or Mcdonald or MacDonald.

So, in conclusion, the common-sense approach is to commemorate someone without wrecking the memory of someone else.
There is the "Airport Parkway" that leads to the Macdonald-Cartier Airport.
So why not rename it Macdonald-Cartier Airport Parkway or Macdonald-Cartier Parkway.

Immanuel

p.s. Did you know that apart from Ottawa, the only other Canadian city that has statues of both Macdonald and Cartier is Montreal,QC ?
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  #15  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 3:14 PM
immanuel_smcs immanuel_smcs is offline
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Originally Posted by Dado View Post
Good grief Adam. The guy who is proposing a change of the street from Wellington to something Macdonaldesque, Bob Plamondon, is himself associated with the CPC. So at "worst" you've got various CPC-sympathetic individuals arguing with each other, which is frankly something I could do with seeing more of. And here, we've got an organization with Macdonald in its own name arguing against renaming a street to something Macdonaldesque.

There's a point at which you've got to give up on looking for a partisan angle on things. This is one of them.


Anyway, as I have suggested elsewhere, we can rename the Ottawa River Parkway from the Wellington-Portage intersection at the Garden of the Provinces westwards to at least the aqueduct as Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard. The Airport Parkway could also be renamed, perhaps to the Macdonald-Cartier Parkway.
Thank you Dado!

Mr. Bob Plamondon is a former policy consultant of Larry O'Brien and friends with Peter Hume.
That's how this renaming ended up at Planning committee instead of following the proper process. That's something everyone should be concerned about. Why is the author of books about the Conservative Party misrepresenting himself as an historian when his background is from Marketing and not history.


Anyways, I agree with the renaming of Airport Parkway, we have proposed that since July 2010.
Macdonald-Cartier Airport Parkway or Macdonald-Cartier Parkway

Having a "Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard" would create confusion with the current MacDonald Street in Somerset, a concern for the Emergency Services. And it's also in direct violation of the city's Commemorative Naming Policy.
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  #16  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 4:22 PM
Kitchissippi Kitchissippi is offline
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Personally, I am not against renaming Wellington in the future if it were for a name more inclusive and evocative of Canada or because of some truly nation-altering event or development (like Quebec finally signing on to the constitution ). After all, Ottawa would have remained Bytown if people did not endeavour to change its name during the incorporation of the city, or we would still be flying the Red Ensign if nobody championed the Maple Leaf. But Sir John A. Macdonald? Meh, it's too Ontario-centric.

Sure, the Duke of Wellington bankrolled the Rideau Canal, and Colonel By named the street after his financier. It was the colonial version of sponsorship recognition, I would imagine the Duke got some sort of return from it even though he never set foot on Canada. I'll be as upset about the renaming as when someone else buys the naming rights to Scotiabank Place.
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  #17  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 4:31 PM
immanuel_smcs immanuel_smcs is offline
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Originally Posted by Kitchissippi View Post
Personally, I am not against renaming Wellington in the future if it were for a name more inclusive and evocative of Canada or because of some truly nation-altering event or development (like Quebec finally signing on to the constitution ). After all, Ottawa would have remained Bytown if people did not endeavour to change its name during the incorporation of the city, or we would still be flying the Red Ensign if nobody championed the Maple Leaf. But Sir John A. Macdonald? Meh, it's too Ontario-centric.

Sure, the Duke of Wellington bankrolled the Rideau Canal, and Colonel By named the street after his financier. It was the colonial version of sponsorship recognition, I would imagine the Duke got some sort of return from it even though he never set foot on Canada. I'll be as upset about the renaming as when someone else buys the naming rights to Scotiabank Place.
The Rideau Canal was not a private endeavor. There was no private interest or wealthy business family that acted as "the financier" of the project.

The canal was financed by the British government from taxes of the British people. Over 800,000 pounds (or shillings).

So the "return" theory is invalid. This was not about sponsorship.

Rideau Canal represented the centrepoint of Bytown (now Ottawa).
To the west, Wellington Street and Upper Town.
To the east, Rideau Street and Lower Town.

There are socio-economic realms related to Upper vs Lower Town.
The name of Wellington Street is deeply linked to 185 years of local history of Bytown/Ottawa but also Upper Canada/Ontario.

For example, the son of Robert Baldwin, W.W.Baldwin was the chairman of a group who in 1829 wrote to the Duke of Wellington requesting responsible government.

Even before that, the Duke was deeply interested in the affairs of the Canadas.
Why else would he commission a report about the defenses in British North America.
This is known as the Smythe Commission of 1825

And even before that, in November 1814, the Duke was willing to travel to Canada to assist with the war between Britain and US. As you may know, this never happened because Napoleon escaped from Elba and Wellington fought and defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.

All this great history is worth remembering.
The streets downtown Ottawa all have historical names and they were given for a reason.

For example, Sparks Street is named after Nicolas Sparks, a pioneer of Bytown.
No one would dare suggest renaming Sparks!
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  #18  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 5:25 PM
adam-machiavelli adam-machiavelli is offline
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Wow this is the first time I've been accused of defamation for connecting an organization with the Conservative Party.

Also, ThePlanner, I think you're a troll. Your comments are too ridiculous to be taken seriously.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 5:29 PM
immanuel_smcs immanuel_smcs is offline
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Originally Posted by adam-machiavelli View Post
Wow this is the first time I've been accused of defamation for connecting an organization with the Conservative Party.

Also, ThePlanner, I think you're a troll. Your comments are too ridiculous to be taken seriously.
Your affirmation was a serious accusation and completely unacceptable.

The Macdonald-Cartier Society is a non-partisan non-profit organization.
This is not open to debate. Our status is independent and non-partisan.

I strongly encourage and hope you will retract your accusation.

Immanuel
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  #20  
Old Posted May 27, 2011, 5:38 PM
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Originally Posted by adam-machiavelli View Post
Well isn't this a fascinating conversation? I did a bit of research and discovered that the MacDonald-Cartier Society is very closely aligned with the Conservative Party of Canada -a little too close in my opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by immanuel_smcs View Post
Your affirmation was a serious accusation and completely unacceptable.

The Macdonald-Cartier Society is a non-partisan non-profit organization.
This is not open to debate. Our status is independent and non-partisan.

I strongly encourage and hope you will retract your accusation.

Immanuel
OK, now I'm curious. Perhaps Adam-Machiavelli can provide citations for the research that he did so the rest of us can assess it for ourselves.
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