“A Street, a name, a history”
Street sign history stroll in Deschênes to celebrate 100th anniversary
The Deschênes Residents’ Association (ARD) took to the streets to teach residents about the neighbourhood’s history last week, by installing panels on each street, explaining their significance. Initially meant to include a guided tour, the ARD’s Toponymy Project serves as a safe substitute for Deschênes’ 100th anniversary activities that got postponed to next year because of coronavirus. “All while respecting [social distancing], it’s to get the people out and discovering the place,” said the ARD’s President Howard Powles. “We were thinking about what we could do under the circumstances.”
Powles said each of the neighbourhood’s 22 streets will feature a green, black and white sign reading, “A street, a name, a history” with paragraph-long historical descriptions. The idea of ARD member Maxime Gauld, with the help of several other members, the project took around six weeks to complete and cost approximately $400, Powles said. ARD member Jasmin Morin designed the panels.
Obtaining some of the information for the panels on Gatineau’s Banque de toponymie website, ARD member Lynne Rodier also contributed some of data by searching through city council minutes from the 1920s to the 1970s. A few long-time Deschênes residents also contributed some information, Powles said.
Receiving a contribution from councillor Mike Duggan for the initiative, Powles said he was very thankful for the support. While the neighbourhood’s century mark celebration can’t happen this summer, Powles noted that the city has organized a series of outdoor concerts featuring tango band Norteño, which will make three stops at Parc Madaire. The shows are scheduled on July 26 at 7 pm, August 2 at 7pm and August 22 at the 3pm. Residents can follow up on the ARD’s activities via its website - http://www.vive-deschenes.ca