The PARA laneways committee was established by the PARA board and set to work in 2016 to name PARA’s laneways from Bathurst to Grace, between College and Harbord. In one respect, the committee’s work was inspired by the City, which has encouraged neighbourhood associations and citizens to give formal names to laneways so as to help emergency service providers respond more quickly and efficiently to urgent calls. But as the committee undertook its work, another good reason for naming laneways in our neighbourhood emerged: It is a wonderful way to recognize the contributions made over the years by individuals, groups, and activities in the neighbourhood. In celebrating the contributions of those who lived and worked in the PARA community before us, we deepen our sense of what this community means here and now.
The laneways committee’s first order of business was to send out a call for naming ideas for all unnamed laneways. Once suggestions were received, it then acted as the selection committee. Once the names were selected, the committee undertook the task of clearing the names with family members and the City. Once approved, the committee’s members began the time-consuming task of going door to door to ensure that a majority of residents who abut the laneway supported the name that had been chosen. On June 23, 2019 we celebrated the approval and installation of eight of these new laneways with a wonderful, musical walking tour of the neighbourhood – dedicating each laneway along the way.