TORONTO – A proposal to name a Willowdale green space after members of the iconic Canadian rock band Rush seems to be hitting all the right notes with the public.
Councillor John Filion (Ward 23) brought forward the idea and wants to name the soon-to-be park Lee Lifeson Art Park, after rockers Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Both met and grew up in the area where they also attended Fisherville Junior High School.
“They are phenomenal musicians. They formed in Willowdale, they grew up in Willowdale, they even have songs that speak to the suburban experience,” Filion said.
Members of the band are known for their down-to-earth, generous natures and they still maintain a deep connection to their old neighbourhood.
In a 2010 documentary produced by Banger Films, co-director Sam Dunn sat passenger-side as the band drove through their old neighbourhood and mused about the past.
“It was kind of like a trip down memory lane and they were like, ‘that place use to be a diner, now it’s a parking lot, or now it’s a condominium.’ They seemed particularly connected to the residential streets and obviously the school,” Dunn said.
POLL: What other Canadian musicians should have their own park?
Rush was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
“They are right behind the Rolling Stones and Beatles in terms of consecutive gold and platinum albums. They’re just known throughout the world,” says Eric Alper of eOne Music Canada. He’s met the band and is distantly related to Geddy Lee.
“They’re the type of people who you go to when you’re looking for help in terms philanthropy, and also in terms of helping out your fellow man. They’ve always been very well respected for that.”
That’s likely one of the reason why naming the park after the members has received little opposition. The idea has already been favourably received at two community meetings. The final vote will take place on August 12th.