It may not happen for a while, but Penticton city council has given the go-ahead to rename a street in honour of the Penticton Vees, both the 1955 World Champions and the current record-breaking Canadian Junior A champs.
On the recommendation of the Heritage and Museum Advisory committee, council has directed staff to look at changing the name of a portion of Railway Street, from Eckhardt to Wade Avenue, in honour of the Vees.
“It may be Vees Way, or Vees Drive or Vees Avenue or Vees Street. We’re not sure yet,” said Mayor Dan Ashton. “It’s only the start of the process.”
According to Coun. Helen Konanz, council’s liaison to the heritage committee, they hope to have the commemorative name change made before the start of the next hockey season in September. Anthony Haddad, director of development services, said they will be back with a staff report as soon as they can, but there is a lot of consultation to do.
“We won’t be able to give you a time frame now, we will need to work with each of the businesses, the property owners and the tenants to make this change,” said Haddad. According to Ashton, there are about 18 businesses in the short block.
“Fortunately most of those businesses are in one block. The individual that owns the building and owns a lot of those businesses is quite associated with the Penticton Vees, so we are hoping for their blessing,” said Ashton. “There is a change in addresses and letterheads and phonebooks that take place over time.”
“We don’t get many of these applications coming through,” said Haddad, adding that they will also have to work with Canada Post to discuss the change, as well as discuss the costs, both to the city and businesses located in the area.
“We thought about some other choices of streets where the name would be easier to change,” said Konanz. They settled on the section of Railway because of the other celebratory features in the area. “That is where Memorial Arena is and the great hockey statue and it would really commemorate the season well if we were able to do that.“