Street, Park and Facility naming policy

Presumably to avoid disputes, Council is being asked to consider a new Policy that would guide them in the naming of Streets, Parks and Municipal facilities.   After going through a process, each name would be vetted by both the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and the Cobourg Heritage Advisory Committee. Where applicable, “external stakeholders” would also be consulted.  It seems to me that this would generally avoid the need for public meetings since anyone interested can make their case to the committees.  The final choice would be approved by Council.  The proposed Policy provides guidelines and procedures that are likely acceptable to most residents (that’s the intent) – see the covering memo and bylaw in the download link below.

Instead of separate bylaws for Streets and Parks, one bylaw covers both.  For both streets and parks, the process starts when the Street or Park is still owned by a developer and it will require consultation with staff, the developer and the advisory committees.  The criteria include some generalized guidelines and some specific ones.  Details below are extracted from the policy – details of process and some of the rationale have been omitted in the interest of brevity!  [Direct quote in blue].

General principles

  • names should give a sense of place, continuity, belonging and celebrate the distinguishing characteristics and uniqueness of the Town of Cobourg;
  • names should promote civic pride in the Town of Cobourg, acknowledge local cultural heritage, history and recognize unique features and geography (such as names that relate to local history, places, and events, native wildlife and natural features or unique characteristics of a neighbourhood or area.)
  • the rationale associated with the use of particular names shall be understandable to the majority of Town of Cobourg residents.
  • names may recognize the contributions of organizations such as a partnerships with or without financial contributions.

Priority shall be given to naming, renaming or dedicating a municipal street, facility, or park after:

  • the area or street in which the property or building is located to provide a geographical association to help the public to locate a park, bridge, neighbourhood or building more easily;
  • an historical name related to the Town of Cobourg’s cultural heritage and/or history;
  • an organization or individual to recognize particular activities and significant contributions to the community, and/or outstanding contributions and/or sponsorships made toward the development and/or enhancement of a property or building.

Commemorative naming

Where the commemorative naming of a municipal street, facility, or park, is being requested, only one of the following criteria shall apply:

  •  the nominated individual shall have demonstrated excellence, courage or exceptional service to the citizens of the Town of Cobourg, the Province of Ontario, and/or Canada, including past Mayor’s and veterans of military conflicts;
  • a direct relationship or association that existed between the place of residence and the community efforts undertaken by an individual and the property, building or element to be named;
  • an individual may be recognized for a significant financial contribution to a park or facility, where that contribution significantly benefits the community that the park or facility serves, in accordance with the Municipal Sponsorship Policy.

Changing names

  • The names of municipal parks, streets, and facilities, as well as major elements of such municipal assets named commemoratively should not be changed unless it is found that the individual’s personal character is or was such that the continuous use of their name for a park, street, or facility would not be in the best interest of the community.

Criteria for Street naming

The following criteria shall be used in determining the appropriateness of the municipal street naming designation:

a) Person who served as a Mayor in the Town of Cobourg;
b) Fallen World War 1, World War 2 and Boer War veterans (as endorsed by the Cobourg Legion);
c) Fallen Canadian Armed Forces Service Personnel;
d) A person, developer, group, or feature particularly identified with the land or a nearby facility; and
e) Local names of cultural or historical significance, to the community (as endorsed by the Cobourg Heritage Committee).


This Policy is not intended to address:

  • Individual memorial dedications such as commemorative benches, trees or plaques.
  • Naming Rights/Sponsorships opportunities addressed under the Town of Cobourg Sponsorship Policy. or
  • The naming of Town owned facilities leased to commercial tenants

Once approved, this will permit a change in the name of the West pier and also guide future new street and park names. And if someone wanst to rename the CCC, there will now be a process and some rules.

Note: At the C.O.W. Council Meeting on October 23, John Henderson said that public input on the Policy would be accepted and encouraged citizens to submit any comments.


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Maureen Holloway
6 years ago

I suggest that Cobourg consider renaming the numbered streets out in the old depot area. GPS does not distinguish between Second Street and 2nd Street. Many truck drivers, theatre-goers and mothers of little girls who want to audition for Annie have called the Firehall Theatre because they cannot find it out amongst the factories. The Firehall Theatre is on Second Street behind Victoria Hall.

Bill Thompson
6 years ago

I would like to propose that the name of the late Cobourg Legion Br 133 Padre Reverend Ware be considered for a street name.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bill Thompson
6 years ago

The full name should be used. Not Ware Street, but rather, Leonard Ware Street, or Rev. Leonard Ware Street, but that’s a lot of words on an address. Many of Cobourg’s streets used only last names, and as time passed, memory of the tribute faded. A tribute deserves a full name.