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Jack Layton's childhood stomping ground to be named after late NDP leader

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HUDSON, Que. - A unique tribute will be paid this weekend to the late Jack Layton, at an old childhood stomping ground where he got an early taste for political activism.

A park is being named after Layton in his hometown, Hudson, Que., with the official opening on Saturday.

The park was originally known as the Hudson Marina and the spot held a special role in Layton's early political life. As a boy, Layton would spend his summers there, at the next-door yacht club. He got into trouble once as a teenager, over an act of rebellion.

In the 1960s, Layton found a loophole in club rules that allowed him to invite non-members to an event there — so he invited scores of poorer francophone kids to a party at the posh Anglo club.

Last year, Layton told Maclean's magazine that, as a result of his gesture, the adults threatened to disband the youth club he led, so he shut it down himself.

The spot next to the yacht club will now be known as Jack Layton Park.

The official opening this weekend will be attended by Layton's family, as well as NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

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