Mississauga's Rather Unique Rules for Street Namings

During a General Committee meeting back in May, Mississauga city councillors approved another move to honour a former colleague by naming a street after him in the near future, as outlined in this corporate report from city staff:

Tovey was elected to represent Mississauga Ward 1 from 2010, and served until his untimely passing. During his time in office, he spearheaded a number of development projects along the city's waterfront, such as the Lakeshore Waterfront Connection, which plans to rename parts inside the park after Tovey.

City staff confirmed, after questioned by Ward 1 Coun. Dave Cook, that the name ‘Jim Tovey’ once registered applies to any configuration of street available, such as crescents, boulevards, drives, etc.

What is interesting to note is that renaming or proposing new street names requires the navigation of a process. More specifically, you have to go through the Region of Peel's Street Names Committee.

This committee was formed in 1976 to review street names proposed for new developments and the renaming of existing streets, regardless of jurisdiction to ensure there is no duplication, whether it sounds similar to existing or approved street names, is difficult to spell or difficult to pronounce in an emergency situation.

Representatives from Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga comprise the committee, along with those from Fire and Emergency Services, Peel police, paramedic and public works staff. The committee meets approximately every two months to consider names in accordance with the Street Naming Guidelines.

An updated version of the guidelines for 2017 was recently published and can be found here, with examples of names to be avoided. While this makes sense in some areas such as for benefit of simplicity for first responders, they are rather interesting:

Duplication: such as while there is a Church Street in Mississauga, there is no 'Church Avenue' to avoid confusion.

Pronunciation: in reference to names that can be pronounced in different ways (such as 'Herb' and 'Erb') and names that are too long and complex (i.e. Philanthropic Crescent). Although…there is a Philanthropic Drive in Virginia outside the suburbs around Washington DC.

Similar Sounding: such as 'Langtry' and 'Langtree', whereby one sounds too similar to an existing street name.

Emergency Confusion: proposed street names that could cause confusion in emergency situations are not allowed, such as after well-known locations or police / fire terminology, like Chase, Lake Front, or Smokey Hills.

There were also proposed names that are just deemed not suitable for the following reasons:

Ethnic Connections: street names shall not denigrate individuals or groups and shall not be based upon identifiable ethnic, racial group or religious afflictions. (e.g. Blarney, Methodist).

Offensive: any names with sexual overtones or names that may be considered offensive due to inappropriate humour, parody, slang or double meanings are not permitted, such as Joker Hill.

Frivolous: names that is considered "frivolous" or complicated, or has unconventional spelling. (e.g. The Growing Way, Little Way Way).

Special Characters: names that have special characters, such as hyphens or apostrophes, like Jack-O-Lantern. However, before the implementation of 911, there are street names in the region that that been registered with hyphens, like Point-o-Woods Road and apostrophes, such as Farmer's Lane.

The decision to name a street after Jim Tovey has no controversy surrounding it, and the street chosen would most likely be inside either Lakeview or the future West Village.

But to learn that there were such specific rules on how streets get named was quite an eye opener.

For more on streets in Mississauga with unique names, click here.

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