The Planning and Development Executive Committee agreed on nine names to replace Colonization Road East and Colonization Road West.
The nine names will be presented to council next Monday for a final vote. Members of the committee agreed to have different names for both roads as they are not connected to each other and to avoid confusion for emergency and ambulance personnel.
Colonization Road East will be renamed to one of the following five names: Agamiing (at the shore) Drive, Shoreline Drive, Harmony Drive, Nibi (water) Drive or Sunrise Drive.
Colonization Road West will be renamed to one of the following four names: Sunset Trail, Heritage Trail, Spirit Trail or Moonlight Trail.
The names Agaming and Nibi, are in Anishinaabemowin.
These nine names were chosen from a list of about 75 names that were submitted along with letters explaining the rationale behind each submission.
Prior to the meeting held this morning, Coun. Douglas Judson created an unofficial online survey, administered between April 29 and May 2, to get a sense of which names his constituents favour the most.
About 361 individuals from across different age groups completed the questionnaire over the 4-day period.
According to the unofficial survey results, respondents indicated that they would like to see at least one of the new names reflect Indigenous language, heritage or culture.
Mayor June Caul said she agrees with having one name in Anishinaabemowin as it shows the town’s commitment to reconciliation with First Nation communities.
Caul said having both road names in English is defeating the purpose of reconciliation.
In terms of implementation timeline, the committee agreed to have the selected names come into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Prior to that, the committee will meet in December of 2021 in order to have a better understanding of where residents and businesses are at with changing the required documents.
Finally, when the road names come down, Judson requested that one sign be kept at the Fort Frances Museum, the second be given to Manitou Mounds and the third be given to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
More comments from committee members and town officials on the process will be in the Fort Frances Times on Wednesday.