UXBRIDGE: What's in a name?
It may be a way to raise funds to boost township coffers independent of taxpayers according to Ward 4 Councillor Jacob Mantle, after the question was raised by the President of the Uxbridge Youth Baseball Association at council's meeting on Monday, April 15.
In a letter to council, UYBA President Ian Weir requested that the Arena Diamond be renamed to Quaker Field.
"Renaming the diamond will be beneficial for both our House League and our Select teams," Mr. Weir said in his letter. "The existing name evokes an image of a diamond next to the Arena, and is of secondary importance. The name Quaker Field is a strong name which reflects the character of the diamond."
The move got immediate support from members of council praising the selection of the name in proximity to nearby Quaker Village subdivision, Quaker Village Public School and Quaker Hill, as well as invoking Uxbridge's heritage.
"It think it's a great idea," said Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy. "It really identifies where the diamond is, and differentiates it from the arena and its a perfect fit with the name of other things close by."
However, the new moniker may not be taking the field in time for the UYBA's Opening Day House League Tournament on Saturday, June 1 after speculation arose about the naming process for the Kennedy House lands, located at the corner of Ball Rd. and Main St. N.
The Kennedy House lands - which also once housed St. John Training School - are already home to the township's soccer fields and newly constructed skate park and are slated to be home to the proposed Aquatic Centre, tentatively scheduled to open in 2015 or 2016. As the township's current, and future, home to recreation facilities, a committee is currently working towards narrowing down a list of possible names for the sprawling facility that better reflects Uxbridge's character.
With that in mind, Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet cautioned councillors against making a decision prior to hearing the submissions from the Kennedy House renaming committee, and avoid the possibility of 'doubling up' on a name.
"We are currently in the process of renaming Kennedy House. By renaming this diamond, could we potentially be creating confusion in the future?" asked Councillor Highet.
The discussion prompted Ward 4 Councillor Jacob Mantle to raise the possibility of sponsorship, which would serve as a means of boosting township coffers through sponsorship of township recreation facilities to companies and organizations.
Councillor Mantle has been a vocal proponent of the benefits of partnerships with the private sector as a way of offsetting the cost of building recreation infrastructure within the community.
"It doesn't have to corporate naming rights. We've had a splash pad and a skate park built through partnerships with the Bonner Boys and the Rotary Club respectively," added Councillor Mantle. "That's been the approach taken in my time with the Skate Park Committee since day one and a great partnership with the Rotary Club made that project happen, and it serves as a great example going forward of the mutual benefit of naming rights."