Nearly a year after his death, Toronto is looking to honour one of the most well-respected politicians in Canada. Mayor Ford will ask council to approve a motion that would rename the Toronto Island Ferry Terminal in order to honour Jack Layton, a former city councillor and leader of the New Democratic Party, the Official Opposition.
If council approves the mayor’s recommendation on either Jun. 6 or Jun. 7, it would be renamed the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. Ford acknowledged in the press release that he learned a lot from Layton because the two sat next each other when Ford first entered office.
“Renaming the Toronto Island Ferry Terminal in memory of Jack is a fitting tribute. Not only did he represent waterfront communities during his career as an elected representative, but he was also a great supporter of the Island Public School and helped save Island residents’ homes,” stated the mayor.
Usually there is a two-year waiting period, but the mayor’s report will waive the Honourific and Street Naming Policy guideline. Once approved, the General Manager of Parks Forestry and Recreation will initiate the necessary actions to implement the name change of the terminal.
Councillor Mike Layton noted that some of his most cherished memories as a child are taking the ferry to the island. He thanked Mayor Ford and Councillors Frances Nunziata, Pam McConnell, Norm Kelly and Paula Fletcher for the honour.
“About 1.4 million Torontonians gather at the ferry docks each year to travel to the Islands to enjoy their beauty and tranquillity.” said Olivia Chow, NDP Member of Parliament and Layton’s widow. “Our family shared many beautiful and special times there, so we are very grateful to Mayor Ford and his staff for this tribute.”
For months now, at the request of Ford, a committee of councillors have been working with the Layton family to discuss an appropriate honour for the longtime politician, who espoused ideas to fight for environmental justice, expand affordable housing and various support for urban issues across the country.