Owen Sound council picks their choice for bridge dedication name

cjos bridge

The Mayor of Owen Sound thinks the name council has backed for the new 10th Street bridge would go a long way in recognizing a part of the community that's been marginalized for decades.   

At their regular council meeting on Monday,  city council voted 5-4 to adopt the name 'Gitche Namewikwedong' which translates to Great Sturgeon Bay and was the name of this region before settlers arrived.  

Mayor Boddy was the tie breaking vote.  

"I just feel that we have not done enough to understand all of our history of the people of this community and this is just an opportunity to break those barriers and continue to make friends where, for some reason, a curtain has been drawn at some point.   I just think everybody should be included in our community no matter what their background is."

The name  was proposed by an Owen Sound resident and member of the Chippewas of Nawash.  

There are other names on the short list including Centennial Bridge - marking Owen Sound's 100 years of incorporation; Division Bridge - a nod to the original name of 10th Street and Reconcilliation Bridge.  

Mayor Boddy tells Dock News the councillors who voted against the name weren't voting it down persay.  

They were more concerned with procedural aspects of naming the bridge wanting instead to send it to the committee level followed by public input. 

And just because council has voted on its preferred name doesn't mean the decision is over. 

There will be public consultation. 

Boddy says residents of Owen Sound can write to their councillors.  

There's also a public meeting scheduled for Monday, October 19th. 

No matter what name is chosen, the dedication will be held sometime next spring or summer once all the final touches have been put on the bridge.  

The 8th and 9th Street bridges have also been dedicated with official names - the Tom Thomson Bridge and  Veteran's Bridge.  

Boddy says "as we look at reconciliation, this is just a small step in recognizing the history of the people and our place". 


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