Would you support the renaming of Hwy 60 to Tom Thomson Parkway?

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If Lake of Bays Mayor Bob Young has anything to do with it, Hwy 60 from Hwy 11 to the West Gate of Algonquin Park will be renamed Tom Thomson Parkway –  and hopefully by this summer.

Young said the idea was brought to him by friend, neighbour, photographer and artist Rob Stimpson, who asked what the municipality was doing to not only celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary but commemorate the fact that it’s been 100 years since Tom Thomson’s death.

Thomson’s earlier work began along the Oxtongue River in the Marsh’s Falls area, and he invited some of his friends to also visit and paint this scenic gem. Those friends eventually came to be known as the Group of Seven. “So there’s tremendous history all along this road, from Tom going back and forth to Huntsville, to using the road into the park. At the moment it’s just Highway 60, whereas if we could get them (Ontario Ministry of Transportation) to separate it out and agree to put up some decorative signs, we could really use this in promoting the area, especially internationally, because the park is an international destination,” said Young, adding that the park as well as the Group of Seven is becoming better known across the globe.

He said Stimpson’s idea just makes too much sense “so we’re trying to get people supporting it.”

The Town of Huntsville passed a resolution in support of the renaming at its May 23rd meeting and, according to Young, as have other municipalities such as Algonquin Highlands. He said the idea has been well received by area politicians, community and business owners as well.

He sent a letter to Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca a couple of days ago and is hoping to get as much support as possible in order to demonstrate the viability of the idea. If you support the name change and would like to add your voice, send Young an email at Ryoung@lakeofbays.on.ca  He will then tally the results and forward them on to the Minister.

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29 Comments

  1. Not in favor of renaming the section of 60 highway. As a truck driver I found that you rename sections other than what they are and have been for centuries makes for some terrible confusion when giving directions. Also even though Thomson was a great figure of the area how much do we have to give him in recognition before it’s too much. Why not call it Algonquin parkway if it needs a name,it has been around longer than Thomson.

  2. Not at all!! That would cost us taxpayers a lot of $$ for new signage etc.
    Highway 60 is well known by its name now!!!

  3. I don’t see any need to change the name of Highway 60. Mayor Young seems to think that the name Tom Thomson will be recognized internationally and be a draw, but Algonquin Park is already internationally renowned. Visitors are going to travel highway 60 to get there no matter what it’s called.

    We seem to be obsessed with Tom Thomson here in Huntsville. Enough already.

  4. Brian Tapley on

    We have the history, murals around town, statues and a really wonderful monument deep in the park that you need to canoe to reach and appreciate it’s real beauty.
    I think this is enough and I agree with several prior comments that the confusion and cost to re-name the highway is really not warranted. Besides, if he was still with us do you really think Tom would want his name associated with that four lane mess of lights and traffic between Hidden Valley and the Main Street intersection? Of course it might not be Main Street, it might be King William St. or maybe even Muskoka Rd 3 or perhaps Muskoka Rd. 3 North??? See how renaming streets confuses things………………

  5. Love Thomson’s work but enough with the European names. Algonquin Parkway has a nice ring to it or another native name would be better.

  6. John & Ruth Anne Mitchell on

    We fully agree with all the other negative comments. Enough is enough. Give this guy a break and let his beloved nature be the attraction for visitors.

  7. With no disrespect to Tom Thomson, I believe the “Pipe Man” will be in our minds every time we cross the town bridge. Then to name Hwy. 60 after him is a little outrageious!

  8. Rick de Gans on

    Hwy 60 is one of Ontario’s most scenic routes. Why not embrace the Hwy 60 icon as the Americans do with Route 66 ?

  9. Sarah Victoria on

    This town has become obsessed with Tom Thomson, which is becoming completely ridiculous. I understand his contributions and appreciate his work however, Huntsville has expressed Thomson through murals, statues, paintings, and other items throughout the town. This obsession needs to end and I highly encourage the council to direct their attention elsewhere. Also, in reference to the approval of the sign in front of the Algonquin theatre for an outstanding $40,000, I merely ask if people in council are sane? I would also feel obligated to inquire about removing the current Tom Thomson statue in the water? Both are prime indications the council should perhaps think prior to another obtuse decision.

  10. Daphne Stones on

    It would be confusing for Tourists . It’s totally unnecessary and will have a cost iinvolved if renamed (re: signage)

  11. Nancy LeBlanc on

    It continues to baffle me that our elected officials spend copious amounts of time on issues of this nature when affordable housing, the state of our roads, and keeping a tight rein on government spending are the important issues. Please listen to the people and keep the name, Highway 60, as is.

  12. Joan Jerrett on

    I agree with the “nays” regarding both the renaming of Hwy 60, and the silly thing floating in the water at the bridge.

  13. A wonderful idea, as was Dara Howell Way, or the “Highway of Heroes” on the 401, or the “Trans Canada Highway” on Hwy 17. The idea that the locals can’t handle the confusion is laughable – most of us are quite capable.

  14. Terry Russell on

    Had enough of Tom Thomson? How about something really useful like a “Tom Thomson Memorial Urinal” in Kent Park?

  15. I say no to the renaming of Hwy 60, perhaps the portion from 35 to the Park could be renamed as the Algonquin Parkway in tribute to the First Nations and the Park itself but that’s about it.

    How about spending some time slowing the traffic flow through Dwight, very few vehicles bother to slow until they come to the curve right in the village itself. It never fails to amaze me how oblivious people are in their vehicles, they would not tolerate someone barrelling through their neighbourhood streets at high speeds and yet here, those rules don’t apply to them. We get car horns blasted at us, we get comments yelled out and of course, the finger, all because we slow down, signal and turn into our driveway. I guess it impedes their vacation time or keeps them from being late for work or who knows what, but that would be a good use of the mayor’s time I think.

  16. I pretty sure Tom Thomson made the trip into the Park by rail from Scotia. The road to the Park didn’t exist when Tom was in the area.
    Maybe there’s some remnants of an old train station up in Magnetewan or Scotia that can be renamed!

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