Tofino’s council remains unwilling to change any of the town’s street names.
During a recent regular meeting, council denied a request from Judi MacLeod to change the name of Wharf Street to MacLeod Street.
Council had previously denied a request from MacLeod to change Main Street to MacLeod Street, during an April 26 regular meeting.
MacLeod’s original request explained the MacLeod family came to Tofino in the 1890’s, raised families on Main Street and was active in its support for the Royal Canadian Legion and Tofino Hospital.
After reviewing MacLeod’s most recent request, Mayor Josie Osborne said the MacLeod family name is included in the district’s Naming of New Streets, Lanes and Parks Policy, which covers naming new streets and features but has no mechanism for changing current names.
Coun. Cathy Thicke said she had spoken to people around town and received no anecdotal support for changing street names.
“This opens up a whole can of worms and I, for one, do not want to go through the process of doing that and to trouble the [district] staff to do that,” she said.
“I do agree that the policy we have in place, which talks about new street names, is a good one and I think, personally, we should stick with that.”
Coun. Al Anderson agreed and said current names are important.
“They become part of the history of the town,” he said.
Coun. Greg Blanchette reiterated a concern he had raised during April 26’s conversation over the absence of First Nations’ names on the New Streets, Lanes and Parks Policy’s list.
“I’m still very concerned that our list of suggested names includes no First Nations’ names and I’m not sure how to move forward with that,” he said.
“Even seemingly small gestures, like naming a street or a park …can go a long way toward furthering the process of reconciliation. I’d really like to see that move forward within the district.”
He said some current names could be changed with little impact.
“We’ve got Anchor Park, we’ve got the Tofino Community Hall, both of which are official names which do not ring the bell of history or anything so, I think, we should think about some process whereby we can rename, with locally meaningful names, some existing facilities,” he said.
Osborne suggested Blanchette bring a notice of motion for council to consider during a future meeting.
District staff was directed to write back to MacLeod, explaining Tofino is not currently prepared to rename any streets.