The success of November’s renaming of laneways in the Cedarvale and Wychwood neighbourhoods has spurred Councillor Joe Mihevc on to honour more local heroes.
With 100 anonymous laneways in Ward 21, the opportunity was taken by Mihevc and council to “honour some people who are local contributors and community builders”.
At the November laneway naming ceremony for Domenico Cozzi, the 82-year-old owner of the cornerstore at Davenport and Christie, nine other thoroughfares were announced. Among those include the Tollkeeper’s Cottage, 24-year-old rapper Barry Luksenberg, storyteller Helen Porter and poet Robert Zend.
Cozzi was known for feeding school children from local schools like St. Bruno Catholic School and Winona Drive Public School.
The remaining nine ceremonies are set for the spring, and if the numbers are as big as at Cozzi’s unveiling — 200 plus — it proves the community is behind the move.
“It’s been huge,” Mihevc said in a late January phone call. “I think part of it is because the suggestions have come from the community.”
A second round of nominations is set for February, and Mihevc is facilitating an adjudication committee to decide on more names.
The move also helps emergency crews navigate through the nameless routes tucked behind buildings.
“They like it when they’re named because it tells them where to go, rather than ‘the back of XX Eglinton Avenue, which makes it harder to find,” Mihevc said.
It’s been a great experience for the 61-year-old, as he says he’s been “tickled pink”.
“The reason is in this world of heroes we sometimes forget it’s the local folks who make the difference in our neighbourhoods,” he said. “This is our chance to honour those really local contributions.
“These are all great opportunities to recognize the people who often don’t get enough credit for their service.”
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