I feel sorry for anybody who buys a new
house and has to live on a street named Mike Myers Dr. The
proposed street will be located in a new subdivision near
Kennedy Rd. and Lawrence Ave. E. in Scarborough.
The zany idea to name a street after someone whose acting
career was based on his mostly misspent youth in Scarborough
raises serious questions about who approves the names of new
The Star reported last week that Councillor Lorenzo
Berardinetti (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre) recently persuaded
Heathwood Homes to name a new street after the actor, who
abandoned this country for fame and fortune in Hollywood.
Berardinetti also convinced the local community council to
rubber-stamp this non-starter.
Fortunately, the community council has no power to approve
anything, and our elected politicians will have a chance to
revisit the idea in the sobering light of day.
As his claim to fame, Myers immortalized the love of
head-banging rock, doughnut shops and suburban basement antics
in Wayne's World. That sketch on Saturday Night Live led
to two movies by that name, three Austin Powers films, and the
memorable (gag!) So I Married An Axe Murderer.
I'm not sure there are any written criteria for approving the
names of new streets in Toronto area subdivisions. I much prefer
naming Toronto streets after historical or heroic figures, or
those who have made significant contributions to Canadian life
and culture, not those who fled the country for opportunities
Back in 1979, the City of Toronto was looking for names of
new streets in the St. Lawrence neighbourhood housing
development. Following a public competition, six streets were
named after figures far more important to Toronto history than a
Longboat Ave., for example, was named after Thomas Longboat
(1887-1949), an aboriginal champion long-distance runner. The
famous Canadian artist Albert Franck (1899-1973) had his name
honoured on Albert Franck Place, while Henry Lane Terrace was
named after the architect who designed the Church of the Holy
Trinity, parts of Osgoode Hall, and the city's second city hall
now St. Lawrence Market.
Another winner in the 1979 competition was a court named
after Capt. Alexandre Douville (1698-1774), an early French fur
trader who established the first European trading post at the
mouth of the Humber River in 1720.
Portneuf Court took its name from Pierre Robineau, the
Chevalier de Portneuf (1708-1761), who built the first French
fort in Toronto in 1750. And the name of Toronto historian Henry
Scadding (1813-1901) was also placed on an avenue in the St.
Competitions are one way to name new streets. Another is to
name them after genuine local heroes. I commend those who
decided to name two Toronto streets after police officers Todd
Baylis and William Hancox, both of whom died in the line of
If we are still looking for streets to name after famous
Torontonians, why not consider Johnny Wayne, Frank Shuster or
We could also look nationally or internationally for street
names. We have lots of Churchill Aves. in the GTA, a few
Pearsons, and a Prince Charles, but the only Diefenbaker Court
in this area is in Pickering. Why not name a new street after
Pierre Trudeau, Mother Teresa, John F. Kennedy or Princess
How about a whole subdivision with names of famous composers,
scientists, ballerinas, musicians, doctors, mayors, writers,
premiers, prime ministers, judges, inventors or biblical
Why not sell off street names permanently or temporarily
to the highest bidder? A permanent name, for example, could sell
for $1,000 a block, while the rental charge for temporarily
renaming a mile of existing roads like Yonge St. might be $1,000
just for a weekend.
I wouldn't spend my money to name a new street Bob Aaron Dr.,
although someone might. But Mike Myers Dr.? No waaaaaayyyy.