Developer's bid to rename Cemetery Road in Uxbridge might hit dead end, councillor says

A developer's attempt to have an Uxbridge street name changed to "something more appealing" will be deep sixed by council, one local politician predicts.

Homeowners on road 'not creeped out' by street's name, resident says

Uxbridge Township Coun. Willie Popp stands in front of the new development being built along Cemetery Road. (Turgut Yeter/CBC)

A developer's attempt to have an Uxbridge street name changed to "something more appealing" will be deep-sixed by council, one local politician predicts.

The name of the street in question? Cemetery Road.

The developer, Maple Brook Homes, is in the midst of building a 12-unit low rise building and 55 townhouses at the south end of the road.

In a letter to Uxbridge Township council earlier this week, president David Sud said some homebuyers have told him they're worried about the road's macabre name. 

It "may have an effect on the home value," he wrote.

"We feel also the residents living on Cemetery Road would appreciate this change," he wrote.

Cemetery Road in Uxbridge. Neighbours say they're happy with their street's name. (Turgut Yeter/CBC)

But at least one resident isn't on board.

Donald Bagshaw has lived on Cemetery Road, across from its namesake cemetery, for 10 years.

"The neighbours across the street are very quiet and neat," he said in tongue-in-cheek reference to the occupants of the graves across the street.

"It's a nice part of town and we like it. We're not creeped out by it at all."

Local councillor Willie Popp said he's never heard any resident on the street complain about the name, or ask that it be changed.

Cemetery Road is the subject of a quiet disagreement between a developer, who'd like to see the name changed to something 'more appealing,' and some of the street's residents, who like it just as it is. (Turgut Yeter/CBC)

"The name of the street may make some people cringe," he said, "but for others it would put a little bit of a smile on their face."

Sud's letter was presented to councillors Monday, and passed on to staff for review. Uxbridge's township council is scheduled to meet again on March 25.

"At this stage, the discussion is probably not dead," Popp said. "But I think we need to look through these things in depth before we jump to making a decision based on a developer's request."

Cemetery Road runs adjacent to a new development by Maple Brook Homes. The organization wants the township to change the street's name because of concerns it could adversely affect the new homes' property values. (Turgut Yeter/CBC)

However, he predicted it's unlikely the idea will find much traction with residents.

"I think there's a fair amount of legwork that would have to be done by each resident, whether it was for your mail or your credit cards," Popp said. "It's a pain to change the address on everything that you already have your address on."

As well, the move would be costly for the township, which would have to alter street signs.

"I think the liklihood of it happening would probably be slim," he said.

Coun. Stephen Holyday says street names in Toronto are rarely changed because of the difficulty in getting the requisite number of names on a petition and the conditions that must be met to satisfy city staff. (Paul Smith/CBC News)

In Toronto, Coun. Stephen Holyday said it's rare for streets to be renamed, partially because three quarters of residents must agree to the change, and also because of the conditions that have to be satisfied before a change gets the go-ahead.

"It's not as simple as just changing a name on a street sign," Holyday said.

"Technical staff will be looking for things in the name that are positive and are things that somehow relate to the city, the province or the country," he added. 

"In addition they'll be running that name against the list of existing streets in the city to make sure there isn't any confusion over the names so that emergency services don't have a problem."


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