City council approved Mayor Rob Ford’s proposal to rename the Toronto Island Ferry Terminal to the “Jack Layton Ferry Terminal” in honour of late federal NDP leader and Toronto city councillor.The motion passed 41-0, Wednesday. (as well it should have!)
“Jack sat next to me in council when I was first elected, and he taught me a lot about politics,” Ford said in a release on May 31.
“Renaming the Toronto Island Ferry Terminal in memory of Jack is a fitting tribute. Not only did he represent waterfront communities during his career as an elected representative, but he was also a great supporter of the Island Public School and helped save Island residents’ homes.”
Layton’s son, Councillor Mike Layton said it’s a great honour to his father’s memory.
“Some of my fondest childhood memories are taking the ferry to the island and spending time with my family” said Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton. “I thank Mayor Ford and Councillors McConnell, Fletcher, Kelly and Nunziata for suggesting such a suitable and great honour to my father’s memory.”
Council had to approve waiving the normal two-year waiting period to rename a city street or building.
Jack Layton died in August 2011 from cancer. He is still missed..
Councillor Pam McConnell told city council, which voted unanimously Wednesday to rename the Toronto Islands ferry terminal, that the Ontario Federation of Labour plans to donate a statue to honour Layton.
It will portray the cycling advocate in the back seat of a tandem bike, she said, adding children and other Torontonians will be encouraged to sit in the front seat and “take a ride with Jack.”
Layton, who was felled by cancer last Aug. 26, sometimes rode a tandem bike with his wife, MP Olivia Chow.
Nancy Hutchison, OFL secretary-treasurer, said the statue is in the planning stages. She hopes it will be put in Harbour Square Park East, near the terminal, so Torontonians and visitors can have photos taken with it.
“The theme is ‘Jack has your back’ and we think he always had our back,” Hutchison said, adding the OFL is raising funds for the project.
A ceremony unveiling signs for the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is expected in early July, with more being added in August.