Thank you for your interest in the City of Ottawa Commemorative Naming Program.
The Commemorative Naming Policy for Municipal Streets, Parks and Facilities was approved by Ottawa City Council in July 2002. On February 8, 2023, Ottawa City Council passed a motion to pause the Commemorative Naming Program to allow for a full program and policy review to align with the new overarching Municipal Commemoration Policy being developed as part of the City’s cultural development mandate. The review is intended to strengthen the City’s approach to commemoration and implement a more equitable and inclusive process that reflects the diversity and values of the City of Ottawa.
The City is requesting your feedback. Information gathered from this public engagement initiative will assist us in the development of a revised policy that values the perspectives and uniqueness of Ottawa. Please visit Engage Ottawa to complete the survey before February 16, 2024. Alternatively, feedback may also be submitted via email to NamingOttawa@ottawa.ca or by calling 613-580-2424, ext. 27551.
Should you wish to proceed with another type of commemoration, please contact Commemorative Trees or the Roadside Memorial Sign Program directly.
Commemorative Naming Policy for Municipal Parks, Streets and Facilities
Department: Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services
Branch: Strategic Support Branch
Authority: City Council
Approval Date: 24 July 2002
Effective Date: Upon Council approval (24 July 2002)
Revision Date: 5 December 2018
The City of Ottawa is committed to providing a fair, consistent and efficient process, while respecting the important need for public consultation and legislative approvals, with respect to commemorative naming of municipal streets, parks, and parts of parks, facilities, and parts of facilities after a person, persons, or family name.
For the purpose of this policy, the following definitions apply.
Commemorative - shall refer to the official naming of a municipal street, park, part of a park, facility, or part of a facility, to commemorate a person, persons, or family.
The main objectives of this policy are:
- To ensure a clear, efficient and timely naming process;
- To ensure the application of key criteria to determine the validity of a commemorative name;
- To ensure the application of a concrete consultation process and community participation;
- To ensure one central repository for all commemorative naming requests for streets, parks, parts of parks, facilities, or parts of facilities.
- To ensure the proper approval process and the importance of the role played by legislative bodies (i.e. Committee and Council approval and Ottawa Public Library (OPL) Board approval when necessary); and
- To serve as a working group that develops recommendations on commemorative names for Council’s consideration.
This policy applies to all City employees, including full-time, part-time, and temporary employees, summer students and co-op placements, and persons acting on behalf of the City (e.g. consultants, contractors), as well as Members of Council and the public with respect to the commemorative naming of municipal streets, parks, parts of parks, facilities and parts of facilities after a person, persons, or family name.
Any member of the public or City Council may submit a nomination for the commemorative naming of a municipal park, facility or street. For commemoration purposes, the term municipal park shall include other components, such as sporting fields contained within a larger park. The term municipal facility shall include other components, such as ice rinks or meeting rooms contained within a City facility, subject to any existing sponsorship naming rights with the subject facility.
The policy is, above all, principles-based with an emphasis on public consultation, a dignified process for nominees, and respect for Council’s decision making authority.
Where the naming of a street, municipal park, parts of a park, facility, or parts of a facility is being requested, at least one of the following criteria shall apply:
- The nominated individual shall have demonstrated excellence, courage or exceptional service to the citizens of the City of Ottawa, the Province of Ontario and/or Canada;
- The nominated individual shall have an extraordinary community service record;
- The nominated individual shall have worked to foster equality and reduce discrimination;
- Where the nominated individual is a current City employee, the individual shall have made an outstanding contribution to the City of Ottawa outside of their capacity and duties as a City employee or they may be recognized for their exceptional service once they are no longer a City employee;
- An individual may be recognized for a significant financial contribution to a park or facility, where that contribution significantly benefits the community that the park or facility serves;
- The nominated name has historical significance to the community, City of Ottawa, Province of Ontario, or Canada.
A commemorative name should only be used once.
The Policy is not open to commemorate an individual’s death. These applications will be directed to the Commemorative Bench Program, the Commemorative Tree Program, Roadside Memorial Sign Program, or other appropriate memorial program.
Commemorative Naming Application Form
The commemorative naming information sheet, application form, and required affidavits are available in French and English through the contact noted at the end of this policy document.
The commemorative naming process for municipal streets, parks, parts of parks, facilities, and parts of facilities may involve a different course of action depending on the circumstances surrounding the request/requirement for naming.
A. Process for Parks and Facilities
- Receipt of a Nomination/Application: All requests for commemorative naming are to be submitted in writing by completing the Commemorative Naming Application Form and supporting documentation.
- Processing of the Nomination/Application: Processing the application involves confirmation of criteria, reference checks (if applicable), discussion with the applicant and applicable City departments, initial meeting of the Commemorative Naming Committee (“CNC”), public consultation for a 30-day period, compiling consultation results, and a reconvening meeting of the CNC for a review of the public consultation results, if required.
- Report to Council: When a name is recommended for approval, a report to the appropriate Standing Committee and Council is prepared containing the CNC’s recommendation with the exception of the naming of OPL buildings and spaces within (including mobile units), which will be approved by the OPL Board.
- Implementation of Approved Nomination: Upon Committee and Council approval, implementation of the approved commemorative name is undertaken. This involves final notification to the nominator and nominee and an official unveiling ceremony for the nominee and family with the presentation of a plaque to be erected at the site, indicating the name as well as its significance for commemoration (the OPL assumes responsibility for any associated library naming event).
- In cases where there is no opposition received during the public consultation period, a report can be submitted directly to the appropriate Standing Committee and Council, without the reconvening of the CNC for a second meeting. Opposition is defined as a clear expression that the candidate in question does not meet the criteria for commemoration as outlined in this policy, and does not include general comments in opposition to the principles of the policy.
B. Process for Commemorative Street Naming
Commemorative street names shall remain the responsibility of the Building Code Services Branch. Where a request for a commemorative street name has been made, initial contact with Building Code Services Branch is made. The name will be vetted through the investigation and criteria evaluation process of this policy. Once endorsed, it will be forwarded to the Building Code Services Branch for processing in accordance with the Municipal Addressing By-law. A meeting of the CNC is not required for the naming of a street.
Notice and public consultation shall be undertaken in accordance with the size and scope of the park or facility being named, and in consultation with affected Members of Council. The public consultation period shall last 30 calendar days.
Written submissions and/or petitions received during the public consultation phase must be verifiable. To that end:
- Each written submission must include the submitter’s full first and last name; and
- Any petition must adhere to the guidelines outlined in Council’s Petition Policy with respect to petition requirements.
Upon request, City staff will provide the final decision on a proposal to individuals who submit a comment under the public consultation component, and provide a copy of the Commemorative Naming policy and redacted application form.
Commemorative Naming Committee (“CNC”)
The CNC, a staff-Council committee, is composed of the following representatives:
- City Clerk (or designate)
- General Manager, Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services Department (or designate)
- General Manager, Public Works and Environmental Services Department (or designate)
- General Manager, Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department (or designate)
- Mayor (or designate)
- Ward Councillor (or designate)
- Ottawa Public Library CEO (or designate) if required
- Ottawa Public Library Board Chair (or designate) if required
In the event that a park or facility crosses ward boundaries and is located in more than one ward, all affected ward Councillors shall be considered part of the CNC. Furthermore, in instances where the proposal is of a “City-wide” nature or significance, the General Manager, Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services may recommend that a chair (or designate) of a standing committee or board be invited to participate on the CNC.
The Council and Committee Services Unit within the Office of the City Clerk shall oversee the coordination of the CNC and associated reports to the appropriate Standing Committee and Council.
In instances where multiple names have been submitted for a single street, park or facility, the CNC may select one or more proposal(s) to move forward.
The CNC supports public consultation in a manner that is dignified for nominees. As such, the CNC may expand or narrow the number of proposals for a particular street, park or facility, as it deems appropriate.
The renaming process shall be identical to the commemorative naming process and also require City Council as the final authority for approving the proposed park or facility name. However, the renaming of an existing commemoration shall be subject to a 60-day public consultation period.
A Member of Council may request that the CNC address other commemorations such as the naming of other public features or public spaces. Although not applicable under this policy, a Member of Council may also request that the CNC conduct public consultation on a name that is not that of a person, persons, or family.
In keeping with its powers set out in the Municipal Act, 2001, Council may assign a commemorative name by resolution, notwithstanding the provisions included in the Commemorative Naming Policy.
The Ottawa Police Services Board has delegated authority for the naming of municipal police buildings in whole or in part.
Public List of Approved Commemorations
All approved commemorations are listed publicly on Ottawa.ca.
It is the responsibility of employees, including management, to:
- Understand and support this policy, and ensure that the policy is communicated to employees and the public.
- Work cooperatively with the General Manager of Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services, or designate, with respect to the provision of information and necessary approvals regarding municipal parks, streets and facilities.
- Direct relevant inquiries to the General Manager of Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services or the contact noted at the end of this policy document.
It is also the responsibility of departmental staff to notify the General Manager of Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services when a new park or facility is to be constructed. Furthermore, the appropriate staff will provide information regarding the specific park or facility and the applicable time frame for construction and City ownership, and, if applicable, information with respect to proposed names for the park or facility.
Enquiries regarding commemorative naming should be directed to:
Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services Department
City of Ottawa