It’s something that usually only comes up during election time, but in the City of Toronto, wards are designated by numbers. For example, the area bounded by Dovercourt Road to the west, Christie Street and Bathurst Street to the east, the CPR tracks to the north and Lake Ontario to the south is officially known as Ward 19. Nobody really calls area by its numerical name (hey dude, let’s party in the 19th tonight!), but just to keep things interesting, both Ward 19 and Ward 20 are unofficially known as Trinity-Spadina. It’s kind of a weird system.
Currently wards are designated by numbers because previous provincial legislation would not allow for the official use of names. But back in February, Councillor Howard Moscoe, seconded by Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker to the Executive Committee moved that when the Ontario Legislature passed the The City of Toronto Act, it allowed Council the right to designate its own districts.
The motion states, “This city has grown up around original settlements whose names are woven into the fabric of our urban environment. In the past, Council has expressed a desire to replace ward numbers with names that reflect the settlement and past political history and geography of our neighbourhoods.”
When the City Council’s Executive Committee meets next Monday they will decide the fate of this motion, which calls for ward numbers to be replaced with names, that a naming process be established and that this process should include solicitation of potential names for each ward from Councillors and the general public.
It seems like a good idea, as long as it doesn’t end up costing four million dollars. Now you have advanced warning. Get your thinking caps on and start brainstorming. Since Ward 19 has no Spadina in it, we need a Spadina-free name!
Photo by dznboy from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.