What's in a Name: Buildings

Most cities have a difficult time with changing the names of their civic amenities.

By Trey Shaughnessy
Published October 10, 2017

Most cities have a difficult time with changing the names of their civic amenities. Toronto citizens in particular are struggling with renaming the Air Canada Centre (ACC), the home of two professional sports franchises, to Scotiabank Arena.

The *Rogers Centre is still the called the Skydome by locals. Someone referred to the Molson Amphitheatre as the Budweiser Stage and I asked, "What the f- is that?". The Ryerson University whatever is still, now and forever, the Maple Leaf Gardens.

In Hamilton, let's face it, with all due respect to First Ontario, it will always be Copps Coliseum. And Ivor Wynne - well, it's basically the same stadium the same location since 1933 and just rebuilt sideways. It deserves to be named Ivor Wynne Stadium. All props to Tim Hortons (just move your head office to its rightful home).

'Tim Horton Stadium' under construction (RTH file photo)
'Tim Horton Stadium' under construction (RTH file photo)

My all-time favourite name of any sports and entertainment venue in Canada is the Saddledome, now called the Scotiabank Saddledome. You can tell the brand and architecture were thought through - a great name, branding and design for the Dallas of Canada. Unfortunately, the Saddledome is now the oldest NHL arena and will soon be retired. Maybe the new facility could be called Theo Fleury Arena. Sounds like a good name.

I'm all for naming medical and business schools after people because that's just cool. The DeGroote School of Business (McMaster University), Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto), Schulich School of Business (York University) and Ivey Business School (University of Western Ontario) schools - all great names.

The Joey & Toby Tenenbaum Family Gamma Knife Centre in the Krembil Neuroscience Centre at Toronto Western Hospital - well, some can get a little namey. In Hamilton, it just gets confusing, like the Juravinski Hospital. You mean Henderson Hospital? No. The Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital? No. the Innovation Tower at St. Joeseph's Hospital, Charlton Campus.

For airports I like using the codes. YYZ, BUF, JFK, LAX (not for security reasons) and YHM. Ah yes, the John C. Monro Hamilton International Airport - try branding that baby. Laval was a dope name, now it's named after the great legitimizer of dope.

As for the arts philanthropy, Hamilton has the Irving Zucker Sculpture Garden (the sculptures are nice, shame about the garden and water feature). His generous contribution also helped put shovels in the ground for the new home to Theatre Aquarius. Yes, the Dofasco Theatre: remember when it was the DuMarier Theatre? (Shame about rules regarding tobacco and alcohol advertising.)

And who knew the Studio Hall in the Ron V. Joyce Centre is now the Molson Studio Theatre? When did that happen? I would like to know the details of that baby.

I like looking at old atlases because I like to look up Hamilton. Seeing Industrial Sector H, Industrial Sector J, etc. sound like something on Coruscant. In particular, I pay attention to the name of the body of water bordering those industrial sectors, because it is rightfully named Hamilton Harbour.

Burlington Bay? Just how far has Hamilton's influence declined? Don't get me started about the name of the bridge crossing said body of ambiguous water.

As for the ACC, I can't blame Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) for not turning down the ridiculous $800-million offer. Take it and run away, far away, out of town if you can. People chill, call it the ACC if you want. As for MLSE, we know the money won't be spent on on-ice talent, because it might be bad for business. And if it ain't broke - well you know - there's always next season.

With files from Bill Bozzo.

Trey lives in Williamsville NY via Hamilton. He is a Marketing Manager for Tourism and Destination Marketing in the Buffalo-Niagara Metro.

His essays have appeared in The Energy Bulletin, Post Carbon Institute, Peak Oil Survival, and Tree Hugger.

And can't wait for the day he stops hearing "on facebook".


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