West-end neighbourhood chooses new moniker

Someone pitched Black Oak Triangle. Another proposed Perth Park. Everyone liked The Wedge.

These were three of the top-10 suggestions put forward in recent months by residents, all in an effort to come up with a colloquial name for their west-end Toronto neighbourhood.

“There will be people who call it whatever they want to call it,” Kevin Putnam said.

The winning name was announced today, however. The community has decided by democratic vote that it wishes to be known as The Junction Triangle.

Putnam is a founding member of Fuzzy Boundaries, a community-action group. The group’s naming project fulfilled an aspiration Putnam had when he moved to the area just east of Dundas Street West in 2004.

“I was with a few friends from the neighbourhood and one of them asked if we could each do one project, what it would be,” Putnam recalled. “I wanted the neighbourhood to have a name.”

Fuzzy Boundaries then invited residents to offer their name suggestions over 120 days ending Jan. 14. Fuzzy Boundaries compiled the 10 most popular names. Then, residents voted to narrow the list to their top three choices. A selection committee was then challenged to choose the winning name.

Round one received 217 votes from approximately 8,000 residents. The second round of voting started March 1. Forty votes were cast online before noon the first day and that surprised and encouraged Putnam. He felt that increased participation in the informal process means a greater chance of acceptance for the name.

“We think if 300 or 400 people start using the name, then it will stick,” Putnam said.

Fuzzy Boundaries spent $3,500 promoting the project. Initiatives to promote awareness included post card mailings, lawn signs and three public meetings. In November, the group chalked all the name suggestions along the West Toronto Railpath that borders the neighbourhood. And recently they tagged an abandoned building with the top-10 list, encouraging passersby to vote for their favourite.

Residents voted online or submit ballots at the local library and restaurants, Yasi’s Place and Nonna’s Place. Yasemin Zorlutuna of Yasi’s Place, a café on Wallace Avenue welcomed the opportunity to participate.

“Because I’m a business in the neighbourhood, I think it’s important for me to know what’s going on,” she said. “I wouldn’t want the neighbourhood to be named, suddenly hate that name and be kicking myself for not getting involved.”

Putnam himself, a public relations consultant, was motivated by his distaste of a name already proposed for the neighbourhood. He said the name South Junction Triangle was “the worst, from a branding perspective” but is willing to accept it, if chosen.

“If that’s the outcome,” he said. “I’m prepared to accept the process.”

To view the top-10 list or for more information, visit www.fuzzyboundaries.ca.