How Does CityPlace Pick Its Street Names?

Condos | May 9, 2011

Seriously?

“Iceboat Terrace.”

For real?  That’s not a joke that the MLS computer-nerds are playing, right?  That’s actually the name of a street?

Let’s take a look at all the ridiculous street names in CityPlace, starting from the beginning…

It started all well and good.

“Front Street.”

There’s nothing wrong with that!

Front Street is one of the original streets in our city and dates back over two hundred years.  The name itself is modest, yet historical, and I don’t think you can come up with a single negative association with the street – unless you got sick at East Side Mario’s during Garlic-Fest in the summer of ’02, but that’s a different story…

CityPlace began its humble takeover of the city before the turn of the millennium as they planned to build four condominium towers on Front Street, and by 2003, they had built “Apex” at 381 and 397 Front Street, and “Matrix” at 361 and 373 Front Street.

There’s nothing wrong with that!

*Front Street*

Who wouldn’t want to live on Front Street?  You can go wrong with King, Queen, or University, but how in the hell did we get to IceBoat Terrace?

After constructing four towers on Front Street, Concord Adex began redeveloping the land around Skydome, or “Rogers Centre” if you have no recollection of the 1990’s.

The built one single tower, before designing another four that together would form a complex known as “Harbourview Estates.”

The one tower was completed in 2003-04, and the four others followed the next year.

Somewhere along the way, the people in charge of naming the streets began to take large hits of acid and other psychedelic drugs, and thus spawned the beginning of what would eventually lead us to IceBoat Terrace.

(Author’s note – the above is a j-o-k-e.  Look into it.  I don’t need any more letters from lawyers…)

I’d like to know who or what was the driving force behind “Mariner Terrace” and “Navy Wharf Court,” because frankly, I have no clue what these names are supposed to represent.

What’s in a name, really?  I grew up in an area with streets like Parkhurst, Bessborough, Rolph, Rumsey, Airdrie, etc.  These don’t really have any “meaning.”

But the names of the streets in CityPlace are outright bizarre, and not just the names but also the street abbreviations.  The people in charge shied away from “street,” “avenue,” and “road” and came up with “Terrace,” “Court,” and “Mews.”

Mariner and Navy Wharf were likely attempting to play off the fact that Toronto has a water front, but it’s not like these streets are on the water.  In actual fact, they’re completely land locked, and are entirely surrounded by other condos, roads, buildings, and infrastructure.

Do we even have a navy, for that matter?

And where is the nearest wharf anyways?

As bad as Mariner Terrace and Navy Wharf were, they were just the beginning of the LSD-induced naming procession.

The next street to be named was “Brunel Court,” which I really don’t have much to say about.  “Brunel” could be anything, anywhere, and named after anyone – just like Rolph, Rumsey, or Airdrie from where I grew up.  But, it did continue the trend of using abbreviations like “Court” instead of anything remotely traditional like “Road.”

The next projects to come along had Spadina Avenue addresses, so there was no naming involved.

However, just to continue being completely ridiculous, they ended up with a LETTER in the address!  “Neo,” at 4K Spadina Avenue is one of the only streets I know with a letter, other than of course, “West One” at 2A Spadina Avenue.

Let’s not even get into a conversation about how meaningless names like “Neo” are, or we could be here all day.

Concord Adex began their westward assault as they started hammering up taller towers on the other side of Spadina in an awful cluster that would eventually become so dense that it made Harbourview Estates seem quaint by comparison.

“Montage” was next – a 46-storey tower built on a nameless street until somebody had the wherewithal to come up with “Telegram Mews.”

Really?  Telegram Mews?

When I think “Mews,” I think of green space for some reason.  I think of a ravine lot, or a sprawling estate north of the city.  I don’t think of a poorly-built glass tower stuck in the middle of a dozen others.  So who is sending this Telegram anyways?  And to where?

Next in line was “Luna Vista,” a modest 32-storey tower on a street that would be known as Capreol Court.

I’m thinking that “Capreol” must be somebody’s middle name, or at least the name of their dog, goldfish, or imaginary friend.

“Capreol” has no meaning, as far as I can tell, although they stuck with their own tradition and made this a “Court.”

But if you ever thought that we were done seeing bizarre names, the oddest came in the form of “Dan Leckie Way” when “Panorama” was finished in 2008.

As I’ve written on my blog before, 38 Dan Leckie Way is one of my most hated buildings in the city.

I mean, it’s just as hard to choose your most hated CityPlace condominium as it is to choose your favourite child, or which one of your friends you would kill first if you were stuck in a life raft at sea.  (I love you Ryan, but I think your flesh is the most tender and we’d likely survive for days until our rescue…)

But the design of 38 Dan Leckie Way (anybody wanna touch the Gardiner Expressway from my balcony?) and the location are are worse than anything else I’ve seen in CityPlace – and that’s saying a LOT!

In case you’re wondering, this is from the City of Toronto’s website:

Dan Leckie was a trustee of the Toronto School Board from 1972 to 1978, serving as Chair in 1977. While there, he introduced multi-culturalism programs, de-streaming and made vocational schools co-ed. In the same years, Leckie also worked with the Toronto Board of Health on ground-breaking initiatives like the Health Advocacy Unit, the Healthy City Programme and Toronto’s AIDS Defence Plan.How does one get a street named after oneself anyways?

As a policy advisor, Dan Leckie worked in the office of Mayor John Sewell, and in 1981 for New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Dan Heap. From 1986 to 1991, while in the office of City Councillor Jack Layton and as City Councillor himself from 1994 to 1997, Leckie developed many health and environmental initiatives, including the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, the Food Policy Council, the Toronto Bay Initiative, the Better Buildings Partnership and the Task Force to Bring Back the Don.

So if you’re keeping score,  that’s one Terrace, three Courts, one Mews, and FINALLY – a Way!

Dan Leckie Way!

How original!

So what do you do if you’re already out of ridiculous ideas?

How can you beat meaningless names like Telegram Mews, and street names that have nothing to do with the area such as Mariner Terrace or Navy Wharf Court?

Well, you go completely off the board and come up with…

(drum-roll…..)

Ice Boat Terrace!

Ta-Da!

Concord Adex has set the bar so high (for stupid names) that I think it’ll be impossible to come up with anything remotely as meaningless, insignificant, confusing, and out-of-place as IceBoat Terrace.

Until Concord names a street “Loser Lane,” I think Ice Boat Terrace will long-serve as the worst name in the city.

But what’s with the over-usage of Terrace?

What about Ridge, or Abby?

How about Acre, or Circle?

Bend, Byway, Chase, Centre, Downs, End, Gate, Gardens, Glen, Grove, Hill, Home, Heights, Lane, Lawn, Line, Manor, Park, Path, Pine, Plaza, Ridge, Row, Square, Turnpike, View, Walk, Way, or Woods?

Clearly, Concord Adex has some deep thinking to do!

I think the next CityPlace project should be built on “Realty Blog Ridge,” or perhaps “Dave Fleming Downs,” but I’ll leave the up to the folks to came up with IceBoat Terrace…

PROLOGUE 5/12/2011 – How could I forget “Grand Magazine Street?”  What the hell is grand magazine?  Not to sound like Seinfeld, but which magazine, and what makes it so grand?  It’s not as bad as IceBoat Terrace, but it’s worse than Telegram Mews.  Let’s call it the #2 stupidest name…

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11 Comments

  1. Moonbeam

    at 8:25 am

    Well I for one look forward to seeing a street named after you!!

  2. Franki

    at 11:46 am

    Where’s iceboat terrace? Never heard of it?

  3. nate

    at 12:46 pm

    Not to disagree with the general thrust of this article, but with respect to the comment “Mariner and Navy Wharf were likely attempting to play off the fact that Toronto has a water front, but it’s not like these streets are on the water. In actual fact, they’re completely land locked…”

    It’s actually not out of historical context to give a couple of street names a nautical theme, given that just about all of that land used to be under water. Historically the waterfront used to go up to Front street, pretty well. (Front marked more or less the shoreline of Lake Ontario when we were York.) The northern railway wharf was not too far from that whole project, just as an example. We only filled in the inner harbour in the late 19th century. So the nautical stuff is… reasonable from a heritage perspective.

    1. David Fleming

      at 1:29 pm

      @ Nate

      Good point, one that I over looked.

      In grade eight history class, we took a trip down to Front Street and we were told that this was originally the waterfront. Everything else was land fill, thus why Front Street was actually at the “front” of the city.

      1. Leon

        at 5:35 am

        Do you regret this “article” ?

        Sounds like you were going through the “life is hopeless and I want to die” phase

  4. Richard

    at 12:53 pm

    Next Monday, I take possession of my condo at 21 Grand Magazine Street. I happen to like the name Grand Magazine — it sounds cool.

    I think you’re overstating the street name issue. Most of the street names in Toronto sound pretty goofy to me anyway.

    BTW, Capreol is a town in the Greater Sudbury area of Northern Ontario where I grew up.

    I had seriously considered buying a unit at Panorama several years ago, but the idea of being right next to the Gardiner bothered me. I finally settled on West Harbour City (II) and I am very pleased with my new condo. Fantastic view of the city skyline and the lake! Lucky me.

  5. Richard

    at 5:59 pm

    “Mews” is defined as “a yard or street lined by buildings originally used as stables but now often converted into dwellings”. Sounds apropos to me as a street designation.

    The street at the rear of West Harbour City is Sloping Sky Mews. The name sounds rather whimsical, which is what I think they had intended. Some people like whimsy; I guess you don’t.

    Imagine having a street address such as 36 Sloping Sky Mews, Toronto, ON. I think more than a few people would like that.

    Hey, David, lighten up! Life should not be so serious…

  6. Anna

    at 6:09 pm

    @David Dan Leckie Way has been around for a number of years and was not named by Concord City Place. It existed between Lakeshore and Queens Quay when I used to live at 600 Queens Quay. The road just got extended when the City Place building got built. Can’t blame Dan Leckie Way on Concord City Place….Iceboat Terrace on the other hand….. 🙂

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