Photo by Graeme Phillips.
Another little piece of Toronto will soon bear Jack Layton's name.
Eight months after council voted to rechristen the city's ferry terminal in the late NDP leader's honour, on Wednesday councillors unanimously approved labeling a new street in Riverdale Jack Layton Way.
When the issue came to a vote Councillor Paula Fletcher, who put forward the idea, rose to thank Mayor Rob Ford for designating the street naming as one of his key items on council's agenda.
She said the street was a fitting tribute to Layton, who died on August 22, 2011 after a struggle with prostate cancer.
"This particular road is in the area that he represented for so long, in Toronto-Danforth," said Fletcher, who now represents the area herself.
"This is a very important road in our neighbourhood."
The new street was created as part of the Bridgepoint Hospital redevelopment, and replaces a section of the old Don Jail Roadway in the neighbourhood where Layton was elected as first as a city councillor and later as a federal MP.
Fletcher pointed out that Layton supported the redevelopment of the hospital, as well as the restoration of the nearby Don Jail and the cleanup of the Don River, which the street overlooks.
Councillor Mike Layton, Jack's son, said the street was an appropriate way to honour his father.
"It was in a part of the ward that we spent a lot of time growing up in, around Riverdale Park, and up and down Broadview and East Chinatown. So it's a lovely tribute, and I'm very thankful to Councillor Fletcher for bringing it forward," Councillor Layton said.
He also had some appreciative words for the mayor, who sat next to Jack Layton when they were both councillors in the early 2000s and backed the ferry terminal renaming last year.
"To his credit, the mayor has been nothing but a gentleman and a friend about everything in relation to my dad," Councillor Layton said.
Jack Layton Way will intersect with another new street, Blue Rodeo Drive, which council also approved on Wednesday. The latter street is named after the iconic country band, which has a recording studio nearby.
Councillors Fletcher and Layton will unveil the Jack Layton Way street sign at a ceremony on Sunday.