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Depot or station? Proposal to change Craigleith museum's name chugs forward

Though at least two members of council are cautious about a name change, the proposal is going to a public meeting for input from residents
The Craigleith Heritage Depot.

Residents of The Blue Mountains are being asked to weigh-in on a potential name change for the Craigleith Heritage Depot. 

At its committee of the whole meeting on Aug. 14, The Blue Mountains council approved a staff report that recommended taking the idea to a public meeting to get comments about the name change proposal from local residents.

The Blue Mountains Public Library, which operates the Depot as both a museum of local history and a library branch, recently requested that the name of the facility be changed from the Depot to Craigleith Station.

Library CEO Dr. Sabrina Saunders explained that the Depot name originated from a restaurant that was in the building from the late 1960s, until the late 1990s when the town acquired the heritage property after the restaurant closed. In addition, the building was originally a train station, which has a much different meaning than a depot in the world of trains.

Saunders told council that the building is registered as the Craigleith Station on the province’s list of heritage sites. The original signage for the building called it the Craigleith Station.

“The site we’re speaking of was never a depot, other than a restaurant,” she said.

The town does have a formal re-naming policy in place and a public meeting is a required part of the process. A staff report outlined the requirements of the policy.

Members of council did raise some concerns about the name change proposal, but voted unanimously in favour of going to the public meeting for input.

Coun. Gail Ardiel said she was a member of council when the town acquired the Depot property and she suggested some research into the meeting minutes of when the decision was made to retain the name.

“There was a reason we called it the Craigleith Depot. There was a lengthy discussion at council,” said Ardiel. “People get used to hearing things and nobody likes change.”

Coun. June Porter expressed concerns that the proposed new name didn’t include the word “museum” and she said based on her research, the word depot was fine.

“I still think the Depot is a reasonable name,” she said.

Mayor Andrea Matrosovs said the comments from council were a “heads up” for the library as to what kind of comments, concerns and questions may come from the public on the name change idea.

The public meeting will be scheduled for a future date.

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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