Would you really re-name the Eiffel Tower?

There is a movement afoot to name the recently unveiled Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge (better known as Ottawa’s Eiffel Tower) Vimy Bridge. Silly word games aside, I’m not really in favour of naming the bridge after the famous World War I battle, and I’m generally against the knee-jerk instinct to name new things after war, but what caught my attention was this comment by councillor Steve Desroches:

“My view was that the bridge naming would be of a national significance given our role as the nation’s capital,” said Desroches. “The focus to date has been 100 per cent on completing the project and getting it open to traffic and buses, and now that we’ve reached that milestone, I think it’s the right time to talk about the future name of the bridge.”

Being the nation’s capital is undoubtedly a significant part of Ottawa’s character, so it is only logical that certain names will have “national significance”. This is why we have Laurier Avenue or Prince of Wales Drive, or anything with the names Macdonald and/or Cartier. It’s also why we have deal with meddlesome federal bodies like the NCC.

However, Ottawa has a rich history outside of its role as national capital. It is entirely appropriate for prominent structures to carry names that carry local significance. It would be great if we could find a name that had direct and prominent links to Ottawa or the surrounding area.

So, naturally, Emjay Memorial Bridge it shall be.

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One thought on “Would you really re-name the Eiffel Tower?

  1. A few short years ago, Ottawa created its first park with seniors in mind. Located on Centrum Blvd. in Orleans the park was designed for area seniors and was a welcome addition. It was appropriately named the “Cumberland Seniors’ Park”. Last year, the City of Ottawa decided to change the name to recognize the “Royal 22nd Regiment” of Canada’s military. While the “Van Doos” are a well respected military unit, they are based near Quebec City and have no connection to our local community. Other than posting the proposed name change on the city’s website, there was no local public consultation. This simply supports the view that we may be coming obsessed with the notion of having to incorporate military designations in too many public locations. We can honour our military and our history without the need to flaunt it to excess.

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