May 15, 2018
By Arianne Robinson
Earlier this month, community councils approved three names for laneways.
Two are named after men – one after Saul Korman, owner of Korry’s Clothiers to Gentlemen on the Danforth, and one after Andy Olvet who the local Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon said helped build the co-op buildings in the east part of her ward called the Estonian Houses Co. Ltd. A third laneway is named after Torontonians who settled in east Etobicoke from the town of Avellino in southern Italy.
The new Avellino Lane is named after Torontonians who immigrated from Avellino, Italy. The application from Councillor Cesar Palacio’s office describes the rationale for the name.
“As with most Italian immigrants in postwar Toronto, the Avellinesi played a very significant role in shaping and contributing to Toronto’s diverse communities and making a positive impact in its social and economic development … Many Avellinesi labourers, like other Italian immigrants, found employment in the construction and garment industries.”
The councillor’s office describes wanting “to pay homage and acknowledge those who helped build our neighbourhood, while providing a sense of history of the area that serves as an important link to its past.”
Curiously, the only part of the laneway being named is between Harvie Avenue and Nairn Avenue even though the entire laneway runs three blocks extending to Boon Avenue.
Andy Olvet Lane
The new Andy Olvet Lane is located in the Beach, north of Kew Beach Avenue, between Woodbine Avenue and Kippendavie Avenue. The lane is named after the late Andy Olvet who is remembered as an avid swimmer. “He would swim from his house, across the lake [Ontario] to get to the [Donald D. Summerville] pool, and he tried to encourage everyone to do so… He was very much loved in the community,” McMahon said at the community council meeting.
McMahon also credited Olvet for being one of the builders of the Estonian Houses Co. Ltd. which are co-op buildings located across from the 1930s R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant (described in detail including their Baltic and Scandinavian modernism detail in an article by Dave LeBlanc in The Globe and Mail).
Andy Olvet passed away in March of 2017. Even though the city’s naming policy says “Names of recent events or recently deceased individual may be considered after two years,” Olvet was considered an exception. “Based on the legacy of significant contributions made by Andy Olvet, it is determined that this naming is in compliance with the Street Naming Policy.”
Saul Korman Lane
The new L-shaped Saul Korman Lane is located near the Danforth Avenue, curving north from Harcourt Avenue and west to Carlaw Avenue. The lane is named after Saul Korman who is the owner of Korry’s Clothiers to Gentlemen located on the Danforth Avenue near Carlaw Avenue, which he established with his father Nathan.
The application is taken from the store’s website which describes Korman’s commitment to the Danforth, crediting him for helping the area grow in popularity. The description recalls a newspaper ad from the 1960s that referred to him as “the lonely Jewish tailor on the Danforth.”