New Mississauga Waterfront Area to be Named After Jim Tovey
The late Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey was a passionate advocate and champion for Mississauga's waterfront, dating back to when he was just an activist championing the tear down of the abandoned smoke stacks that graced the Lakeview skyline for decades. Tovey was then elected to council in 2010, where he continued his efforts to do something better with the land.
His efforts resulted in a massive redevelopment project called the Lakeview Waterfront Connection, which was announced back in September 2016. The ambitious project is set to transform the previously lackluster section of the shore into a naturalized conservation area. The "4 sisters", as the aforementioned smoke stacks were known, were demolished back in 2006.
While it could take up to 10 years to complete, this large scale project is expected to include a publicly accessible conservation area the size of 48 football fields, with 1.5 km of new shoreline stretching from the old Lakeview generating station to Marie Curtis Park.
Tovey tragically passed away in January after a Planning Committee meeting. But there's no worry that his name will be forgotten any time soon, because there are plans to rename the Lakeview Waterfront Connection after him.
During the April 25 city council meeting, Mississauga councillors voted to honour their former colleague by renaming a part of the new park after his dog, Jake.
By his own, and others', accounts, Tovey came up with the idea of revitalizing the waterfront at Lakeview while walking his dog there, hence the proposed name: "Jake's Walk."
Mississauga's policy on naming city properties and facilities after people states that there needs to be a period of 30 days for public comment before renaming a city property and that there needs to be a minimum of one year having passed in order to honour an individual posthumously. But the circumstances of his passing were so sudden, council voted to waive those requirements.
As for renaming the entire conservation area itself, Ward 7 Councillor Nando Iannicca said that's up to approval by the Credit Valley Conservation Authority. But short of that formality, he didn't see any objection to renaming it after Jim Tovey.
Other suggestions for honouring Tovey came from Councillor Chris Fonseca, who proposed that a cycling ride along the waterfront be dedicated to him, dubbed the Jim Tovey Memorial Ride, since Tovey was an advocate of sustainable transportation and took part in a number of cycling rides throughout the city. Mayor Crombie also suggested there would be more opportunities on naming in the near future.
Jim Tovey may have been largely associated with waterfront development, but he also was a big advocate and supporter of hyperlocal journalism, and he encouraged the growth of local news outlets like insauga.com, as well as civic engagement.
Perhaps a series of "Tovey Talks" could be held in regular intervals to discuss various subjects that are important to the growth and development of Mississauga. Anyone who wants to participate can come, not necessarily just politicians. It would be interesting to get a gammant of ideas from people from all walks of life, pick their brains a little on how they think the city should be or what is missing that is needed.
In all honesty, "Lakeview Waterfront Connection" sounds like a very technical term, and even if the tragic circumstances of Tovey's passing had not come, they should still have given it a name more reflective of the history and evolution of the area from the industrial past to the future.
There will be a naming ceremony and community tribute at the Small Arms Building on June 2, and more details on that event will follow.
What do you think of the idea of renaming this massive waterfront revitalization project in Mississauga after Councillor Jim Tovey?
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