Critics oppose Robertson Road name change
Joanne Chianello, Ottawa Citizen
photo Pat McGrath
The City of Ottawa wants to rename Robertson Road in Bells Corners because of complaints that the small stretch is difficult to find.
A proposal to eliminate the name Robertson Road because it’s allegedly confusing for customers to find businesses met with some opposition Tuesday morning at a meeting of council’s planning committee.
Sharon Navin said her family has lived in Bells Corners since 1895 and doesn’t believe there’s any confusion that couldn’t be addressed with some large signage.
But more importantly, she said, “I have a problem swapping one family name for another.”
City staff want to rename Robertson Road – commemorating John Robertson, one of the founders of the Bells Corners district – to Lloyd Francis Boulevard, commemorating a former local MP and Speaker of the House. A small part of Richmond Road would also be renamed.
Her sentiments were echoed by former regional chair Andy Haydon, who said he’s “in full support of recognizing the contributions of Lloyd Francis,” but, “you don’t destroy the past to place a name in the future.”
One of the people in favour of the change was Lloyd Francis’s son, Paul, who said the proposed name change “is a movement to simplify and give an identity to Bells Corners.”
The proposed name change affect 130 civic addresses, including about 10 homes on a small piece of Richmond Road.
Undoubtedly, Richmond Road is somewhat confusing west of Baseline Road, where it continues west for about one kilometre, and then takes a sharp turn south where it continues on to the village of Richmond. Drivers travelling westbound along Richmond who continue straight instead of taking that sharp left find themselves on Robertson Road.
City staff believe that it would be less confusing to rename Robertson Road and that one-kilometre piece of Richmond Road after Lloyd Francis. The change would cost the city about $43,000, although residents and businesses would be responsible for any costs relating to the address change. Deliberations on the issue continue.
Former Nepeanite: Just goes to show, this committee just doesn’t get it. So happy to be moving out of this city.
Lucky Luke: We obviously have too many people on the city payroll – is there a reason for this street renaming? I mean, did a lot of people get lost and complain about this all of a sudden?
anonymous: Liberals naming things after Liberals…..same old story.
WestLight: The big problem is that Richmond Road disappears at Moodie and renaming Robertson Road is unlikely to cure that.
anonymous: I say we vote Sharon Navin for Mayor. After all she is my favorite aunt!
anonymous: I agree – the name Lloyd Francis Boulevard sounds small town cheap. The council clowns need to look up ‘boulevard’ in the dictionary.
Time for a ban on naming anything after politicians and shame on Paul Francis for participating in the action.
W_McLean: Whatever the merits of renaming Robertson Road, and whatever the merits of naming something after Lloyd Francis, (A) it’s cheesy to use BOTH names; last names only, please; and (B) even cheesier to give the grandiloquent name of “Boulevard” to a street that is clearly not a boulevard.
Small town cheap.
Middle Man: Just put a sign up to make the Richmond to Robertson transition clear. Why are these bureaucrats and councillors always finding ways to spend our tax dollars on nothing?
Also, I am sick and tired of politicians naming things after each other. If you want to name something after a person, find someone who made a real contribution.
trunkster: Lloyd Francis was a Liberal and council is Liberal-heavy including Watson, that’s why it’s being changed. There’s no reason they can’t honour Francis in some other way, but it’s just like the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport, it’s all partisan politics, because they can. Trudeau was responsible for Mirabel which turned out to be a white elephant but they didn’t call it the PET Airport, hypocrites!
anonymous: Confusing for sure – try moving here from another city and get to an intersection and find out that each road has a different name there.
Just because some greasy politician has to name a street after someone who made a large donation. How about maintaining the status quo and leave it alone?