Seventeen lanes were named in Toronto this week

April 5, 2018

By Arianne Robinson

Seventeen lanes were named at community council meetings on Wednesday.

Of the 17, six were named after men, four were named after something to do with in Toronto’s history, three were named after women, two were named after animals, and the other two were named after a family and a nearby railway corridor.

A map showing where one of the newly named lanes is located.
A map showing where one of the newly named lanes is located.

1. Loop Line Lane

This lane is located east of Christie Street, extending south from Dupont Street, and is meant to commemorate the history of transportation at the nearby intersection.

From the staff report, quoting the applicant for the laneway name:

“The eastern section of Seaton village was serviced by the Bathurst cars in 1889 when tracks were laid from Bloor to the CPR Railway north of Dupont St., where the railway tracks initially created a barrier from continuing north. On April 19, 1894, an electrically powered line was instituted on Bathurst between King St W. and the CPR tracks. It wasn’t until December 1906 when cars left from Dupont and Christie Streets along Dupont St and Bathurst St down to Front St, Church St and King St.”

A map showing where some of the newly named lanes are located.
A map showing where some of the newly named lanes are located.

2. Cream Top Lane

This lane is located east of Manning Avenue, extending south from Dupont Street, and is meant to honour the neighbourhood’s history of dairy retail, including Willard’s Cream Top Dairy, Acme Farmers Dairy, Richardson’s Brothers, Walmer Dairy, Briar Hill Dairy, Silverwood’s Dairies Ltd., and Carruthers Whole Milk Dairy Company.

3. Skaters Lane

This lane is located west of Palmerston Avenue, extending north from Dupont Street, and recognizes the Toronto Skating Club, an indoor rink built in 1922, that now houses the Queen’s Club tennis facility.

4. Mourning Cloak Lane

This lane is located west of Palmerston Avenue and extends south from Vermont Avenue (which is south of Dupont Street). The lane is named after the mourning cloak butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa).

From the staff report, quoting the applicant for the laneway name:

“In our lane it is usually the first butterfly to be encountered each year and is always a welcome sign of brighter things to come. One or two of these impressive creatures can often be found sunning themselves on garage doors or patrolling the lane looking for a mate…  This butterfly is native to Ontario and, unusually for most insects, it lives year round in the area. We propose the name ‘Mourning Cloak Lane’ for our lane to celebrate the fact that the Mourning Cloak is one of the first signs of spring… It is a welcome sight after a hard winter!”

5. Cooper’s Hawk Lane

This lane is located east of Palmerston Avenue, extending north from Vermont Avenue, and is named after the Cooper’s hawk, seen in nearby Vermont Square Park in recent years.

A map showing where some of the newly named lanes are located.
A map showing where some of the newly named lanes are located.

6. James Kendle Lane

This lane is located west of Manning Avenue, extending north from Barton Avenue, and honours James Kendle Sr. who came to Toronto from Newfoundland in the 1880s Kendle is remembered by the applicant for building houses on Palmerston Avenue and Manning Avenue and his work in the coal business.

7. Ciamaga Lane

This lane is located east of Manning Avenue, extending south from Barton Avenue, and honours Gustav Ciamaga who lived on Markham Street and passed away in 2011.

From the staff report, quoting the applicant for the laneway name:

“Ciamaga joined the Faculty of Music at U of T in 1963 and became the Director of its Electronic Music Studio in 1965. He visited several European electronic music studios in 1970 while on sabbatical. Not only was he a composer of electronic music, but also composed a mass, a string quartet, pieces for Jazz bands, and 17 arrangements (1977-1985) of music by Berlin, Ellington, Gershwin, Porter and Rodgers. Most of his compositions from the latter half of the 1960s to the early 1980s employed electronic tape and computers. During this period he produced about 24 tape studio compositions as scores for films, theatre and TV documentaries. Beginning in 1985, using MIDI technology, he composed some 60 electroacoustic works with computers and synthesizers. He was a member of the Canadian League of Composers, and honorary founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community. During his tenure at The University of Toronto he chaired the Theory and Composition Department, serving as Dean from 1977-84 and was Principal of the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1983- 84. In 1994 he retired as Professor Emeritus.”

8. Erlichman Lane

This lane is located south of Barton Avenue, extending west from Manning Avenue, and honours Aaron and Madzia Erlichman, World War II concentration camp survivors who immigrated to Canada from Belgium in 1951. The couple lived with their two boys above Manning Cigar Store (the northwest corner of Manning and Bloor), which they had taken over. They city report says the store was a gathering place for immigrants and sold cigarettes, magazines, watches, comic books, milk, bread, scooped ice cream, and other basic food items. The lane was also an important place for the neighbourhood children to play ball hockey during hockey season and baseball during the summer, and where Aaron taught his sons how to ride bikes. The application states the years spent on Bloor and Manning were formative for both Charles and Stephen. “Seeing their parents working so hard every day and being inculcated by Aaron and Madzia about the importance of education (which had been denied to them because of World War II) resulted in Charles becoming a physician at Princess Margaret Hospital and ultimately the Chairman of the Department of Oncology at the internationally renowned Mayo Clinic and Stephen becoming a Harvard educated lawyer who currently practices corporate law and is the Executive Director of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance.”

A map showing where some of the newly named lanes are located.
A map showing where some of the newly named lanes are located.

9. Rae Davis Lane

This lane is located east of Euclid Avenue, extending north of London Street, and honours the late Rae Davis.

From the staff report, quoting the applicant for the laneway name:

“She was a contributing member of the Power Plant and of MoCCA and attended almost all the exhibitions of contemporary and conceptual art that proliferated around the city. She collected, too: works by Kelly Mark, Spring Hurlbut, and Kim Moodie. She gobbled the poetry of John Ashbery and loved attending contemporary Dance events at Harbourfront and elsewhere. She was a true Renaissance woman. A pioneering Canadian woman and performance artist, her entire oeuvre is now accessible for viewing at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa… Rae’s daughter Martha, a filmmaker, photographer, author and elementary school teacher, is a long-time resident on Markham St. in Seaton Village along with her partner Scott Whittington and their daughter Molly.”

10. Police War Horse Lane

This lane is located east of Palmerston Avenue, extending south from London Street (which is north of Bloor), and honours police war horses.

From the staff report, quoting the applicant for the laneway name:

“At the south west corner of Markham and London Streets stands the first and only former Police Station which was built in 1912 to serve Seaton Village and the surrounding areas of an expanding city. Once referred to as ‘The Old London Station’ it was formally #11 Station. Originally there were stables in the rear and detention cells in the basement of this listed heritage building, which is deserving of designation. Currently, it continues to serve the community as an EMS services depot for ambulances and supervisory vehicles and EMS staff. The former Police offices also have community social services using the space. August 1914: In the balmy heat of the Toronto summer 18 proud, strong horses were hand-picked from the Toronto Police Mounted Unit to serve as part of the first contingent of Canadian fighters sent to the Great War. Only one of the 18 would survive the war. This horse’s name was Bunny.”

11. Cosimo Tucci Lane

This lane is located east of Euclid Avenue, extending south from London Street, and honours Cosimo Tucci.

From the staff report, quoting the applicant for the laneway name:

“He arrived in Toronto from Calabria, Italy in 1953. My dad married my mom in 1960. The Seaton Village has been home to the Tucci family since their arrival to Canada. My parents helped bring many family members to Canada for a better life. Most of our family settled on Euclid Ave. Until this day, there are still several Tucci homes on Euclid Ave & in the Seaton Village. One of my dad’s passions was gardening. Throughout the decades my dad shared his passion with his family & neighbours. Many received great tomatoes & lessons on how to grow their own vegetables from him. In the early years, sharing his passion with non-Italians helped him break the language barrier. His vegetable garden was his pride and joy. He shared his tomatoes, beans and cucumbers with many. … My dad worked for the City of Toronto from 1959-1994. My dad was proud to say that he had worked on the sewers and drain systems in our own neighbourhood. The staff at the City also valued his passion for gardening. He was often given a patch of unused land to grow some vegetables.”

12. Eleanor Ross Lane

This lane is located north of Bloor Street, runs between Palmerston and Markham Street, and honours Eleanor Ross.

From the staff report, quoting the applicant for the laneway name:

“[Ross and] her husband, they personally preserved one of the few remaining two story lane structures that may have been a stable and wagon house behind their property at 784 Markham Street. Eleanor used the structure as an art studio for many years.

Eleanor worked for the City of Toronto as a public health nurse, an Equal Opportunity Division consultant, and a trainer. Through the efforts of the Equal Opportunity Committee, Public Health nurses received equitable pay in comparison with Health Inspectors (All male at the time). She was best known for managing the highly successful ‘Bridges’ program, which encouraged and assisted women to work in non- traditional trades. She worked closely with the Toronto Board of Education to establish ESL classes in workplaces across Toronto. She was also a founding member of a women’s group which continues to this day, which addresses issues important to women. In the early days it was responsible for ensuring porn magazines were out of sight for young eyes. After retiring from the City of Toronto, Eleanor established Eleanor Ross Consulting…  Eleanor was everyone’s favourite neighbour. She was endlessly and genuinely interested in people, loved to travel, and opened her home to guests from around the world. She was a tireless supporter of local artists in Seaton Village and the wider city, and hosted legendary potluck dinners with her neighbours each February.”

13. Ryva Novick Lane

This lane is located east of Markham Street, south of London Street, and honours Ryva Novick, who was the founder and executive director of The Children’s Storefront. It is believed by Ryva’s daughter that lane’s proximity to Bathurst Street is a shortcut she often used.

From the staff report, quoting the applicant for the laneway name:

“The Storefront’s tag-line was ‘a meeting place for parents and children’ but anyone who went there regularly knew that was just the beginning of what the Storefront offered. Based in strong theoretical ideas about early childhood development and asset-based family support, my mother created a place where a diverse range of families felt welcome, safe and supported. They felt safe expressing the daily challenges and joys of parenting and a public community was formed around the universal needs families have in daily life. My mother set the stage for the Storefront participants to do the connecting they needed at any particular time. … My mother’s core value was one of respect. She listened to individuals keenly and shared in their daily lives. She provided feedback and suggestions gently and created a space where families could connect, play, share and form lasting friendships. I have no doubt she has been an influential part of the Seaton Village community and I am very proud of her!”

A map showing where one of the newly named lanes is located.
A map showing where one of the newly named lanes is located.

14. Charley Roach Lane

This laneway is located north of St. Clair Avenue West, and extends west from Rushton Road to Arlington Avenue, honouring Charles Roach. The report describes Roach as being influenced by the civil rights movement in the United States, inspiring him to go to law school after he immigrated to Canada in 1955 from Trinidad.

From the staff report, quoting the applicant for the laneway name:

“One of his spectacular victories was the case of the seven Jamaican mothers who won permanent residency because of his activist-legal campaign. This eased the situation of domestic workers who had been in Canada for many years without hope of permanent status.

Along with Dudley Laws and others, Charlie founded the Black Action Defence Committee (BADC). For decades, BADC was the most prominent organization exposing and protesting racism in policing. In particular, BADC argued that we need an agency independent of the police that investigates when an officer kills or seriously injures someone. One of BADC’s main achievements was the creation, in 1990, of the Special Investigations Unit, the civilian agency that now investigates killings and serious injuries caused by police officers.

In addition to being an exceptional lawyer and activist, Charlie gave much to the community in other ways. He was the key founding member of Caribana back in 1967. He sat on the Board of Directors of Caribana for many years, helping Caribana to survive various difficulties. Charlie held the position of Chairperson on and off a number of times between 1967 and 2007… The laneway under proposal is right around the corner from where Charlie’s office stood. It is so close that he might have walked it on a lunch break or while discussing some idea to help move our City forward.”

A map showing where one of the newly named lanes is located.
A map showing where one of the newly named lanes is located.

15. Don Francks Lane

This laneway is located north of Tichester Road, extending west of Lonsmount Drive (which is just west of Cedarvale Ravine), and honours Don Francks who passed away in 2016.

From the staff report, quoting the applicant for the laneway name:

“As a spokesman for the Canadian television series, ‘Other Voices’ in the mid-1960s, he investigated a boy’s murder at Saskatchewan Red Pheasant First Nation. He married and moved there with his second wife, dancer and actor Lili Francks, who was named Red Eagle there. He was adopted as a Cree and named Iron Buffalo – ‘strong like iron; like the buffalo who knows where to go, is a good provider and good for his family.’ From 1979, he lived in Toronto with his wife, Lili, and their son, Rainbow Sun. His daughter, actress Cree Summer, lives and works in Hollywood. He also had two children by his first marriage. He was a poet, First Nations champion, author, and peace activist. He supported Greenpeace and Tibet. Francks composed songs and played the trombone, drums, and flute. He performed in many jazz clubs, including George’s Spaghetti House in Toronto and the Village Vanguard in New York City.”

A map showing where one of the newly named lanes is located.
A map showing where one of the newly named lanes is located.

16. Nick Vitantonio Lane

This laneway is located west of Spadina Road, extending south of Lonsdale Road, and honours Nick Vitantonio, the owner of the Forest Hill Barber Shop, which the applicant says is the oldest business in the village, operating continuously in the same location since 1931. “In every vibrant community, there are individuals and institutions that provide the ‘glue’ that creates community and holds it together. In Forest Hill Village, the Forest Hill Barber Shop is such an ‘institution’ and Nick Vitantonio is such an individual… In 1995, under [Nick’s] leadership, the staff of the Forest Hill Barber Shop created a golf tournament to raise funds for charity. The Forest Hill Barber Shop Charity Golf Tournament ran for 13 years… sold out every year and raised, in total, over $600,000, the bulk of which was donated to the Hospital for Sick Children, among other charities.”

A map showing where one of the newly named lanes is located.
A map showing where one of the newly named lanes is located.

17. Railway Lane

This laneways is located east of Weston Road extending south of Nickle Street. The rationale for the name of this lane is straightforward: to recognize the location of the name, which runs along the railway corridor nearby.

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