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Cultural dancers on Canada Day

Names of Streets and Public Spaces

The names of streets and public spaces help to define the identity of a city and how citizens interact with it. Practically, they serve as a mailing address for deliveries, a location for emergency services, or a navigational tool. Culturally, they are the vernacular of a city; a beloved corner, a park dedicated with pride and reflection, a street name that tells a story. As a City rich in diverse histories, cultural identities, and natural resources, the names placed on a street or public space can help build social cohesion, and influence experiences and perceptions of the city.

The City of Saint John adopted the Street and Public Space Naming Policy in July 2023. This policy is intended for the naming and renaming of streets and public spaces and is used to provide a framework for adjudicating applications submitted to the Civic Commemoration Committee and City staff.

The City acknowledges that the names of streets and public spaces reflect community values by demonstrating how the City chooses to collectively recognize and honour the past. The City may use commemorative street and place naming as a tool to create an inclusive and diverse culture.

All commemorative naming of street and public spaces must comply with the guidelines and process outlined in the policy.

 

HOW TO PROPOSE A STREET OR PUBLIC SPACE NAME IN SAINT JOHN

STREET AND PUBLIC SPACE NAMING OVERVIEW

COMMEMORATIVE NAMES

PROPOSAL REVIEW PROCESS

PUBLIC REQUEST TO REVIEW AN EXISTING COMMEMORATIVE NAME

COMMEMORATIVE NAMES AND NON-COMMEMORATIVE NAMES

 

 

HOW TO PROPOSE A STREET OR PUBLIC SPACE NAME IN SAINT JOHN

The Naming Proposal Form is available on the City’s website to propose a name.

Letters to Common Council will be referred to staff and the applicant will be asked to submit a Naming Proposal Form submission. These will be placed in the queue to be processed.

Requests by staff or council regarding time-sensitive projects will be given precedence.

STREET AND PUBLIC SPACE NAMING OVERVIEW:

The City will not consider naming proposals that:

  • Propose to rename streets that have been named or renamed in the past ten (10) years.
  • Make direct or indirect reference to recent events or recently deceased individuals until two (2) years have elapsed since the event or death.
  • Are discriminatory or derogatory of race, colour, ethnic origin, gender identify or expression, gender, sexual orientation, creed, political affiliation, disability, or other social factors.
  • Are problematic for dispatching emergency services personnel or the City’s ability to deliver services. This includes but is not limited to duplicate or soundalike names.

COMMEMORATIVE NAMES

Members of the public interested in submitting a proposal for a commemorative name must:

  • Carefully review the Naming Proposal Form and the City of Saint John Street and Public Space Naming Policy
  • Consider the range of commemorative options beside streets and public spaces that are available through the City of Saint John, including the Memorial Bench Program, Memorial Tree Program, and Land for Public Purposes
  • Reach out to community members, organizations, and groups to develop a proposed name and to confirm that there is community support for the proposal (at least 75% of the street’s residences, property owners, and businesses via a petition, letters, or emails).
  • Maintain a record of the positive and negative feedback you receive from others.
  • Note important information about the proposed name you receive from historical sources (newspaper articles, historical documents, etc.)

 

PROPOSAL REVIEW PROCESS

All proposals will go through a Technical Review; if the proposed name is commemorative, the proposal will also be reviewed using the criteria in the Street and Public Space Naming Policy.

 

PUBLIC REQUEST TO REVIEW AN EXISTING COMMEMORATIVE NAME

The City will only consider requests to review a name of a City street or public space where in:

  • The name poses a threat to health and safety and/or wayfinding;
  • The name honouring a person has been misspelled;
  • The historical legacy of the namesake of a street or park has been found to be unfitting of honour.
  • The current name is inconsistent with City By-laws or policies.

The public may submit a proposal to rename a City Street or Public Space that currently has Wayfinding name or Commemorative name with a new Commemorative name.

The City will consider such proposals but is under no obligation to accept a proposed name.

Proposals by the public must be made using the City’s Naming Proposal Form and at minimum is to include:

  • The current name and/or address of the City Property;
  • The proposed Commemorative Name for the City Property or street;
  • The rationale for the proposed Commemorative Name and how the Commemorative Name adheres the Guiding Principles for Commemoration;
  • Documented support from the community, including but not limited to petitions and support letters.
  • A public request to rename a street requires 75% of residents, property owners, and businesses surrounding the street providing support through a petition, letter, or email.

 

The information above is sent to Community Services, and staff will prepare the information to be included in the Civic Commemoration Committee’s proceeding meeting. The Committee will use the Commemorative Naming Review.

If the Committee decides there is ample cause for renaming, the Committee will follow the process outlined in the Commemorative Naming Review.

COMMEMORATIVE NAMES AND NON-COMMEMORATIVE NAMES

Commemorative Name is a name assigned to a Street or Public Space to commemorate one or more individuals, communities, organizations, events, or ideas of significance to Saint John, New Brunswick, or Canada. If your proposed name is deemed by City staff to be commemorative in nature, your proposal will be assessed by the Civic Commemoration Committee.

Examples would include:

  • Horsler Drive (named after a mayor of Lancaster)
  • Champlain Drive (named after explorer Samuel de Champlain)
  • John T. McMillan (the owner and operator of Little John's Variety Store in Glen Falls and community leader)

 

Non-Commemorative Name is a name that is generic, aesthetic, or references topographic, flora, or fauna.

Examples would include:

  • Loch Lomond Road (named for the lake of the same name)
  • Sandy Point Road (leads to a sandy point in the north end)
  • Island View Drive (has a view of the island in the bay)