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New east end road named for Jack Layton

Some might have expected the man to get a highway at least, given the high Jack Layton went out on, but according to Councillor Paula Fletcher, whose ward was part of Layton’s riding, Jack Layton Way is far more appropriate.

In addition to being an avid cyclist (and not an especially outspoken advocate for highways), "He was a very big community person," Fletcher says. "He always had time for difficult little community problems and he was very much connected to his neighbourhood. Even when he was occupied with big national issues, I could always call him up and he’d always have time for me and the area."

The naming ceremony on Sunday, which took place on the 400-metre-long road near the old Don Jail and the new Bridgepoint Hospital, included a lion dance, acknowledging the Chinatown that was so big a part of Layton’s professional and personal life.

Jack Layton Way will not be the only thing named for the late politician, who died of cancer in 2011. "This is our community’s tribute to Jack Layton," Fletcher says. "This is the community where he was elected as a metro councillor, a city councilllor and an MP. There is the ferry terminal named for him, which the City of Toronto named after him. The mayor, councillor O’Connell and Olivia Chow spent a lot of time looking [for] something that was a large piece of city infrastructure that would be appropriate."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Paula Fletcher
Photos: Paula Fletcher

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