Les Amis de la montagne

Les Amis de la montagne

January 11, 2007 11:40 ET

Les Amis de la montagne/A Common Front Asks the Commission de Toponymie du Quebec not to Make the de Bleury/du Parc Name Change Official

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 11, 2007) -

Attention News/Assignment Editors:

A common front of organizations and citizens concerned with heritage issues made a joint request to the Quebec Commission de toponymie to not make the Rue de Bleury-Avenue du Parc name change official during a press conference today.

The Commission de toponymie is meeting on January 16th to evaluate the name change proposal, a change that continues to generate controversy in the community.

The request by the common front to the Commission is based upon the importance of place names in our collective heritage, as well as the consultation and participatory process in which decisions of city-wide impact are taken.

"Avenue du Parc is an historic name that weaves the fabric of our city," said Phyllis Lambert, Founding Director and President of the Fiduciary Board of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. "By imposing a name change on Avenue du Parc, the Mayor of Montreal, in a way, denies his commitment towards a greater transparency in the decision-making process and reveals, by way of this gesture, relics of former regimes that we thought long gone and that augurs badly for the future."

According to Denis Hardy, chairman of the heritage committee of the Federation des societes d'histoire du Quebec, "The name of a Prime Minister who contributed as much to Quebec as did Robert Bourassa is worthy of being remembered by future generations through a place name or other form of recognition. However, the creation of new place names should not be made to the detriment of existing place names, often little known through a lack of knowledge of our history. Not only is the proposed name change null and void, but it risks the creation of a dangerous occurrence in all of Quebec."

"Heritage Montreal considers that place names are a component of society's cultural heritage," said Pierre-Andre Ouimet, President of the organization. "As stated in the City of Montreal's Heritage Policy, we need to ensure the permanence of our heritage and its appropriation by the community. The experiences drawn from many great cities around the world offer inspiring models that reconcile the conservation of existing place names and the commemoration of individuals who mark current history."

According to Peter A. Howlett, President of Les Amis de la montagne, "The creation of Mount Royal Park 130 years ago was the result of a citizens' movement. Avenue du Parc is a commemoration of this important contribution by the community. It is also the place name that has been appropriated by the different cultural communities that have established themselves over the course of the last century along its footprint to form a unique cultural landscape in this Quebec metropolis."

The common front invites the community to express its disagreement with the Rue de Bleury/Avenue du Parc name change in writing to the Commission de toponymie before January 16. For instructions on how to do so, please visit Les Amis de la montagne's website at www.lemontroyal.qc.ca.

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