Yes, we must be into the mayoral campaign, even among undeclared candidates.
At today’s meeting of Toronto’s Executive Committee, Councillor and sometimes-mooted candidate for the Mayor’s office, Denzil Minnan-Wong (better known as DMW to the blogging community) walked a proposal into the meeting to rename Union Station as Sir John A. Macdonald Station. It’s a slow news day, and this is the sort of thing we see at City Hall when the Ford Family hasn’t triggered any new scandals.
Never mind that this is a National Historic Site. If someone wants publicity, why not pick a great big monument and propose a new name for it?
Don’t ya know that old Sir John A., our first Prime Minister, is coming up on his 200th birthday, and what better excuse to rename the station after that master of the Canadian Pacific (despite the fact the railway was built long, long before the current Union Station even existed).
It seems there is a group called the Toronto Friends of Sir John A. Macdonald who, along with “appropriate groups and individuals”, are to be consulted in the preparation of a report on the subject that will be back at Exec by July 2 at the latest. This group even has a website with one rather trivial post that is over a year old.
According to The Star:
Supporters include Alan Broadbent of the Maytree Foundation, broadcaster Steve Paikin and journalist Richard Gwyn.
They should be ashamed. Just because “Union Station” seems rather prosaic does not mean the name is without significance in Toronto.
No doubt, part of the impetus for naming anything in Toronto after Sir John A. might be his reputation for drinking gin (conveniently disguised as a glass of water) in the House. A role model for our current Mayor, no doubt.
Poor DMW is doomed to be one of the also-rans in the mayoralty race, presuming he even puts himself on the ballot. The things people do to get attention. At least he has not changed his mind on transit funding and jumped on the subway bandwagon, yet.
This proposal is a waste of time for staff and Council who have far more important things to consider.
Leave Union Station alone!