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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