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Queen’s York Rangers to receive permanent honour at Town Park

May 16, 2018   ·   0 Comments

2018-05-17-05

By Brock Weir

The Queen’s York Rangers regiment’s time at Town Park might now be just a memory, but it is a memory that is now ensured to live on for many generations to come.
Last week, Council voted to rename the path that bisects the historic downtown green space “Queen’s York Rangers Lane” in honour of the reserve regiment that called the historic Aurora Armoury on the park’s northeast corner home for well over a century – from the 1870s until 2012.
The move came at the suggestion of Mayor Geoff Dawe who put forward a motion after consultation with Regimental leaders.
In his motion, Mayor Dawe underscored the historical significance of the Regiment, which is now based at the Lt. Gov. John Graves Simcoe Armoury on Industrial Parkway South, formerly the home of Aurora Hydro. At the time of the historic Armoury’s closure, he said, it was the longest-serving active Armoury in Canada, a testament to its place as an “important gathering place and community hub” in Aurora’s history.
The Mayor’s motion, which was approved unanimously by Council, called on staff to investigate naming the pathway from Wells Street to Larmont Street in honour of the Regiment and for the old Armoury to be given the honourary address of 1 Queen’s York Rangers Lane.
“We were discussing some other way to acknowledge the presence of the Queen’s York Rangers with the change of purpose for the Armoury,” said Mayor Dawe on talks with Honourary Colonel Darrell Bricker on the Armoury’s transformation into a campus for Niagara College’s Canadian Food & Wine Institute.
“We originally came up with a street naming concept [but] given there are no real streets coming up, especially in short order with respect to naming opportunities, I bounced the idea off the Colonel of calling the pathway through Town Park as Queen’s York Rangers Lane. He felt that was quite appropriate, certainly given the proximity to the Old Armoury. There is an incredible tie-in between the Queen’s York Rangers, the Armoury, Town Park and even Niagara College, so I think it would be a great fit and I would certainly appreciate my colleagues’ support on this.”
That support came very quickly, with Councillor Wendy Gaertner calling it a “great idea.”
“I do think we have to honour the Queen’s York Rangers and everything they have meant to our Town for so many years,” she said.
Councillor Harold Kim added such a move would help remind people of the area’s ties to the regiment.
“Given that we were going through the process of [branding the Armoury], one of the suggestions for one of the logos was to remember the history of the Armoury and its prior usage,” said Councillor Kim. “Certainly the naming of this name would help rekindle some of the people’s memory of what the Armoury is or was.”
Also throwing in his support was Councillor Michael Thompson who said that once the naming was formally approved, an official event surrounding the naming should be considered. This idea received the support of Councillor Sandra Humfryes who suggested such a ceremony would be a good fit with the Aurora Farmers’ Market, which is now largely configured around the laneway in question.
“This is another great opportunity to honour the Queen’s York Rangers,” said Councillor Jeff Thom, who seconded Mayor Dawe’s motion. “They make up the fabric of Aurora, and this is a great idea. When the Mayor came to me, I thought it was a great idea and I think this is a really nice way to honour Aurora’s reserve regiment.”
Councillor Tom Mrakas said it was a great idea as well, adding: “I look forward to walking on Queen’s York Rangers Lane.”

         

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