TPSI had been monitoring and researching proposed city-wide Naming Rights and Sponsorship policies since 2007 up until December 1, 2011. Monitoring these policies was deemed important given their potential impacts on the public realm by allowing for virtually unlimited advertising in the form of name changes, signage, promotions and logos in public spaces without public consultation or controls to guide implementation. This past summer, fall, and winter, the policies finally made their way to city-hall, where TPSI sought their improvement along with various community partners.
TPSI did achieve some improvement to the policies, including enhanced transparency requirements. However, many of the public interest protections (such as children’s protections) and democratic consultation requirements that TPSI had proposed were not adopted, despite the efforts of many Councillors during a vigorous 2 hour debate and some close votes around them.
NOTE: This page is incomplete and additional background information and research conducted throughout the project will be added in the near future.
TPSI advocacy helped secure the following favourable policy amendments:
1. City Council amend Section 6.1, Naming of Properties and Streets, of Appendix 3 to the report (October 14, 2011) from the City Manager, by adding the Criteria for Name Selection set out in the City of Toronto Street Naming Policy, so that the Section now reads:
“6.1 Naming of Properties and Streets
6.1.1 In line with current practice, for the naming of ward-specific properties and streets, division staff shall only recommend names that:
- after consulting with the local community and councillor, are determined to have general public support;
- engender a strong positive image;
- have historical, cultural or social significance to the community, City or nation;
- are unique, to avoid confusion;
- do not lend themselves to inappropriate abbreviations or acronyms; and
- comply with this policy;
6.1.2 Streets should generally be named after people, places, events and things related to the City and citizens of Toronto. Proposed names should meet one of the following criteria:
a. to honour and commemorate noteworthy persons associated with the City of Toronto;
b. to commemorate local history, places, events or culture;
c. to strengthen neighbourhood identity; or
d. to recognize native wildlife, flora, fauna or natural features related to the community and the City of Toronto.
6.1.3. Consideration should be given to names of local area or historic significance.
6.1.4 Names of living persons should be used only in exceptional circumstances.
6.1.5 Only a person’s last name should be used as a street name unless additional identification is necessary to prevent a duplication with an existing street name in Toronto and surrounding municipalities.
6.1.6 Upon concluding its due diligence, the division will report to the relevant Community Council with the recommended name.”
2. City Council amend Appendix 1 – City of Toronto Sponsorship Policy, to the report (October 14, 2011) from the City Manager as follows:
a. Amend Section 5.2.1 to be consistent with the Naming Policy by adding the words: “The City reserves the right to refuse any proposal, including, but not limited to, those submitted by third parties whose activities are perceived to be incompatible with the City’s goals, values or mission.”,
so that Section 5.2.1 now reads:
“5.2.1 The City will consider all sponsorship proposals but has no obligation to accept any of them. The City reserves the right to refuse any proposal, including, but not limited to, those submitted by third parties whose activities are perceived to be incompatible with the City’s goals, values or mission.”
b. Amend Section 6.8 so that it now reads:
“6.8 The recipient division is to notify the local councillor when a ward-specific sponsorship is being considered.”
c. Add to the end of Section 6.9 the following new paragraph:
“Sponsorship and naming agreements are to be made available to the public”.