If a lane by any other name were to sound as sweet in Toronto, look no further than Little Italy.
Francesco Gallé and his family are famous in their community for sharing their Italian traditions and love of food. In their annual pepper roast every fall known as Peperonata, the Galle’s invite neighbours to partake in the festivities, and to enjoy a meal of roasted red peppers and potatoes.
It is a tradition so cherished that a lane way has been named in its honour.
On Sunday afternoon, locals and visitors gathered for the unveiling ceremony of the new street sign for Peperonata Lane, located east of Montrose Avenue and north of Harbord St.
The unveiling was a significant moment for Gallé, who gave thanks to his family for their work of many years, and emphasized the importance of taking on the traditions from the older generation.
“When they teach you the old traditional ways and you carry it on, there’s something deep about it,” said Galle.
“We started fifteen years ago with 20 people, and those 20 people told 20 friends after, and there’s a 150bnow, because it’s so primal. It’s so simple. That’s the beauty of it.”
The request to name the lane way was made last November by residents and community leaders, but it wasn’t until January that City Council granted permission.
City councillor Mike Layton, who was also in attendance, has contributed to the Peperonata fest since it first started. He stated that helping one another as a community is what Toronto is all about.
“We’re a city that looks out for one another,” Layton said. “That is a multitude of different backgrounds and cultures, and we celebrate the harvest together, we celebrate our meals together.”
Peperonata Lane marks the first in Toronto to be named after a neighborhood tradition, rather than that of a person. Gallé hopes to see more laneways named like this, so that neighborhoods could be recognized.
“That would be the best thing,” he said. “Not someone’s name, a tradition. So that we can move on and every lane can be filled with love.”