Saturday, August 27, 2011

Remembering Jack in 'Suitable' Ways

Toronto Star readers suggest some "fitting" memorials for Jack Layton:
Many readers like the idea of creating a network of commuter bike paths. It’s something the city needs, and would speak to Layton’s long-standing interest in cycling. Lou Ciotoli proposed bike lanes and paths throughout the central core, to be named the “Jack Layton Trail.” Aaron Duncan, a former Toronto cyclist now living in Guelph, endorsed the idea and added: “Bike lanes are something Jack long advocated for. He would have enjoyed using them himself and he would have been elated to see his fellow cyclists enjoying a healthy way to navigate about our beloved city.”
Rename a street or park. Some suggested Broadview Ave., home of Layton’s constituency office. Others nominated Riverdale Park, in his riding of Toronto-Danforth, or a space in the new West Don Lands neighbourhood. Irene and Viggo Zingenberg suggested putting Layton’s name on the new Portland St. pedestrian bridge over the downtown rail lands
• Rename Dundas Square “Jack Layton Square.” A Facebook page devoted to just that has attracted more than 2,000 fans. A few readers think it’s an overly commercial spot, but others said the busy, downtown feel of the space is just right.
Memorialize the words of Layton’s final letter (“Love is better than anger . . .”) in stone or concrete.
Create a fountain fed by rainwater and filtered so all can drink from it. Wrote Eva Ziemsen: “It will symbolize that we must always think of the glass as full — of ideas, of nourishment, of reusable resources and pureness of optimism.”
Mark Kim suggested encouraging people to participate in “a larger social action (let’s call it the Layton Collective Project for now)” that would involve improving their community, school or neighbourhood in accordance with principles Layton supported.
Don Stevenson, a former Ontario government representative to Quebec, proposed an annual Montreal-Toronto festival in honour of Layton, with each city alternating as host. “The festival would focus on innovative ways in which Jack’s two cities — and communities within them — have been dealing with urban issues and how they could learn from each other.”
A Jack Layton Foundation or think-tank to promote his ideas, and a Layton chair at Ryerson University, where he taught for many years.
A Jack Layton chair next to the mayor’s spot at city hall, “to which anyone could refer when an aura of civility is ever needed during meaningful discussions,” wrote Ted Tyson. The chair, he added, might be even more useful in the House of Commons.
Well said, Ted. But I think you and your ilk are thinking way too small. I say we should think big--that's what Jack did--and rename the whole freaking country for him!

I think "Laytonstan" has a nice ring to it.


Ms. Doubt49 said...

I know you. I should have seen this coming, but the ending had my coffee all over my keyboard....cough, splat, cough
G-d'll getya, Scaramouche:):):)

scaramouche said...

You're probably right--but thanks for laughing at my jokes.

alexb said...

I am waiting for the first person to show signs of Layton induced stigmata.