Petition Calls For Winnipeg Highway To Be Renamed Bachman-Turner Overpass

BTO

Hundreds of people are calling on Winnipeg politicians to change the name of an elevated highway in the city to the Bachman-Turner Overpass.

The Disraeli Freeway was completed in 1959 and gets its name from Disraeli Street, which runs for 400 metres just beside and below it in the North Point Douglas neighbourhood. That street was named nearly 160 years ago by entrepreneur Edmund Barber, who had been reading a novel by British politician and author Benjamin Disraeli.

“Do you know who Benjamin Disraeli is and what [is] his connection to Winnipeg? Nope. Nobody does,” reads an online petition. “Randy Bachman and Fred Turner, however, have had a huge impact on the City of Winnipeg throughout their 50 years of touring.”

Bachman and Turner were both born in Winnipeg in 1943 and started their music careers in the city – Bachman was an original member of The Guess Who – before forming Bachman-Turner Overdrive, or BTO, in 1973.

Referencing one of the band’s 1974 hits, the petition reads: “It’s time to Let It Ride and re-name  (sic) the Disraeli Freeway the Bachman-Turner Overpass... because we all know, it's an overpass and not a freeway.”

Not surprisingly, BTO song titles also pop up in the comments. “Can’t wait to Roll on Down this Highway when I visit,” reads one. Another reads: “This is clearly the only way we'll be Takin' Care of Business!”

A similar petition popped up in 2010 when officials announced that improvements would be made to the Disraeli overpass.

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