A proposal to rename a one-block stretch of a North End street after Ukrainian folk hero and poet Taras Shevchenko was put on hold this morning.
The property and development committee opted to refer the issue to its September meeting, providing staff with time to determine cost implications and to canvass residents about alternatives.
The street renaming was raised at city council by Charleswood Coun. Paula Havixbeck, who wants to rename the one block of Aberdeen Avenue, between Main Street and the Red River, after Shevchenko.
Havixbeck, who is Ukrainian, said she believes Winnipeg should formally commemorate the 200th anniversary of Shevchenko’s birth in a meaningful way, adding the street was selected because the only private property owner on it is a Ukrainian religious group that owns several properties, including a nursing home and seniors’ facility.
However, city hall adopted a policy in 2011 that street renamings would only be honorary and not permanent, because of the costs to the city as a result of subsequent address changes.
City staff said renaming a street near the old football stadium after Milt Stegall cost city hall over $37,000 to cover the expenses incurred by the three businesses located on the street.
Representatives from several local Ukrainian groups came to city hall this morning to support the name change.
A spokeswoman from the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate, which owns and operates the Holy Family home and seniors’ centre, said the group supports the name change but is also concerned about the implications on the residents in the seniors’ building who would have to change their addresses.