Halifax staff recommend against renaming street after Sidney Crosby
City staff in Halifax are advising against renaming a road after Sidney Crosby, noting that Nova Scotia’s hockey darling doesn’t meet the existing criteria for commemorative naming because he has not yet retired.
A staff report up for discussion by council on Tuesday explores the implications of naming Dartmouth’s Forest Hills Parkway to Sidney Crosby Parkway, an idea first floated at city hall in 2016.
The report said that while staff acknowledge “the broad range of positive impacts that Sidney Crosby’s athletic achievements have on the local community,” renaming the street for him would conflict with municipal policies.
The guidelines, adopted in 2010 to provide staff with direction on commemorative naming, originally said the city would only consider naming public assets after people one year after their death, but was amended in 2015 to consider living nominees.
The extension is limited to people who have retired from their field or who have accumulated 25 years of volunteer community service – and at the age of 31, Crosby falls short of both requirements.
Moreover, the report noted that there were logistical barriers to renaming the street, saying an address change could have a “significant impact” on the businesses and homes along the three-kilometre stretch of road, all of which would need to account for having a new mailing address.
The new street name could also pose a problem for people seeking emergency services, as first responders might be confused by the change.
“Under these circumstances, it would be inappropriate for staff or the committee to recommend in favour of renaming the street,” the report said.
Instead, the report suggested six other ideas to commemorate Crosby, including the declaration of a “Sidney Crosby Day” and naming a future new street after him, neither of which would have financial implications.
Installing a public art project in his honour or naming an existing Cole Harbour park after Crosby were also suggested.
“It is important to note these are presented as examples only and none have been vetted or approved by Mr. Crosby,” read the report.
“Staff have engaged on a very preliminary basis with the Crosby family and advancement of any commemorative alternatives outlined in this report (including street renaming) will require Mr. Crosby’s consent.”
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Crosby, a Cole Harbour native, is widely considered to be one of the best athletes to come out of Nova Scotia, having brought the Stanley Cup to Halifax after each of his three championships, including in 2016 and 2017. This year, his team was eliminated by the Washington Capitals, who went on to win the Stanley Cup.
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain was named team captain just over 10 years ago, and became the youngest NHL captain to lead his team to a Stanley Cup victory in over 100 years in 2009. Over the summer, he was voted number one in a list of the province’s top 15 athletes compiled by the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.
In 2016, Crosby said he didn’t know what to think about the idea of having a street named after him, but he appreciated the thought.
“Um, it’s a compliment,” he said after the NHL Awards in Las Vegas in June of that year. “Definitely something that I don’t think necessarily needs to be done, but like I said it’s a compliment if they feel that strongly and want to do that then that means a lot to me.”
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