Friday, February 4, 2011



Old Chelsea Gallery with Blue Tree / S. Shawcross / 20 x 26 / Oil on canvas / $120
Be sure to visit our painting blog:

This weeks feature video:
If only the powers that be in the Middle East knew what these guys know...

CURRENT COMMENTARY: This column was written in 2005. It's amazing the pace of change since then. The Giant Tiger at Wakefield was such a new and different thing and the empire building in Chelsea was pretty tame considering now how it has just moved to a different level. I know this because we just got the budgetary statement in the mail along with our municipal tax bill. What can you say... read it and weep?


What a great reward it was to see that the powers that be have relinquished their stranglehold on francophone names for the Gatineau Park in favor of historically significant names. And in that spirit I think perhaps we ought to consider changing the names of a few places. For example, there isn’t an eagle within eyeball’s distance of Gleneagle. The guy named Larry who used to live in Larrimac wasn’t even Scottish and there’s not a rosebud to be seen on Montrose. Never mind the pines of Pine road or the Sumac’s of Sumac road. Tamarack Road is the only road that actually has Tamarack’s on it I’d say.

Now sometimes it isn’t so much the name but how you pronounce it that needs to be clear. For example, the Giant Tiger in Wakefield is called by English people, the TEEEgrrrr GEEEantt with a little puffy lipped lisp. It just sounds better doesn’t it? Sure everything you buy there is made in China, or Indonesia, but even still there is a certain class to buying your underwear at the TEEEGrrrr GEEEantt. It makes it sound like Holt Renfrew. It makes prancing about in your long johns darnright classy somehow.

Sometimes though, changing names for places does not work particularly if you tend to want to name the place after what the locals call it. We can’t call Meech Creek Leech Creek and still encourage tourists. And take that lovely funeral and crematorium at the entrance to Wakefield e.g. It would do no good to put up a large sign calling the place the “Wake and Bake” because someone somewhere would be offended. Some people have no sense of humor whatsoever.

And what the heck’s going on with the rationale for naming Link Road. All sorts of people ripe with anticipation drive down it just to see what it links up to. But they’ve been had of course because Link road is a dead-end. And there’s no mine any more on Mine Road but I’ll bet everybody who lives there thinks the road is theirs. “It’s mine! No, it’s mine!” The people on Notch Road probably think they’re a notch above the rest of us..

Now I’m all for changing the name of Hollowglen. You see, the thing is, Hollowglen cannot possibly be hollow anymore. Hollowglen best as I can recollect has gotten a fire station, a community centre, a playground, agricultural protection, street lights and paved roads. Fortunately for those who live in Hollowglen, any change of name ought to be easy enough given that the Mayor himself lives there. So lets get on that shall we? We need to rename the place Fullerglen given its new status as the place full to the gunnels of municipally-funded projects.

Time we started naming things what they are. Yep.

P.S. A reader has asked if there is a ding dong living on chemin Bell and whose place is chemin Place anyway? I'll leave it to my readers to answer that one.

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