‘The Bywalk’ would be better name for footbridge
Re: Corktown campaigners see results, May 30.
As someone of Irish descent, I am not criticizing the aspirations of those campaigning to name the footbridge for those rugged Cork County immigrants who suffered while building the Rideau Canal. With all due respect, I think the name “Corktown” is inappropriate for a footbridge.
True, the campaigners got 100 votes for the name in comparison to a few for Charlotte Whitton, the first female mayor of Ottawa, and Somerset, the street that connects to the footbridge.
Could we not just name the bridge with something that relates to the purpose of its construction and identity of the structure itself by calling it quite simply “The Bywalk?” After all, it acts as a bypass or byway of sorts between Ottawa neighbourhoods. And we walk across crosswalks at intersections.
More important, it would incorporate the name of Col. John By, who in the 1820s headed the engineering feat of building the Rideau Canal, and gives him his dues.
We would be ambling over “The Bywalk” across the canal, now giving us a well-constructed and timely shortcut.
Perhaps we can compromise by appeasing the campaigners and honour the canal workers. Together with a few donations, perhaps, the city taxpayers could pay for a fitting tribute to those Irish labourers and other nationalities who lived and died during its construction by erecting a large plaque or sculpture depicting the hardy pioneer workers of “Corktown.” It could be placed somewhere along the canal route in proximity to where they dwelled.
I find the current proposal incongruous with this type of walkway. I feel that the name of a building or architectural structure of this nature should reflect or convey its purpose and/or express its function instead of giving a footbridge, for example, a description not unlike a district title, “The Bowery,” for example.