Commemorative Naming

​The intent of the Commemorative Naming Policy is to:

  • Continue the traditional practice of naming municipal property, buildings and features after significant geographical or historical elements
  • Recognize on an exceptional basis, significant contributions that organizations or individuals have made to the public life and the well-being of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent
  • Provide direction on how to apply for approval to name or rename municipal property, buildings or features
  • To ensure the application of a defined consultation process to encourage community participation
  • To ensure a clear, efficient and timely naming process
  • To ensure the application of key criteria to determine the effectiveness of a commemorative name

This policy is not intended to address the following:

  • Naming situations related to sponsorships or naming rights as it relates to those instances were public properties, buildings and features have their naming rights sold, usually for a specified term, as part of a naming partnership involving agreements normally comprised of a variety of benefits and opportunities for both the sponsor and the municipality
  • Individual memorial dedications such as benches, trees or plaques
  • Naming or renaming of municipal roadways
  • Core facilities (municipal centres, fire halls, EMS stations and public libraries)

Naming Criteria and Guidelines

All proposed names for any municipal property or building shall conform to the majority of the following guidelines:

  • Names should give a sense of place, continuity, belonging and celebrate the uniqueness and distinguishing characteristics of Chatham-Kent
  • Names should maintain a long-standing local area identification with residents of Chatham-Kent
  • Names shall be consistent with any other applicable Chatham-Kent policies and standards

Names which reflect or imply a reference to any of the following will not be eligible:

  • Elected officials currently in office
  • Political affiliation
  • Derogatory or offensive terms or references
  • Discrimination against race, gender, ethnicity, creed or sexual orientation
  • Duplication
  • Tobacco or alcohol products
  • Names considered inappropriate for a municipal facility or inconsistent with the Core Values or Strategic Plan of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent

Applications for Naming or Renaming

Residents of Chatham-Kent may, at any time, complete the Commemorative Naming Application to request the naming of an existing municipal property, building or feature that has no name or only an informal name.  The written request shall also provide the following supportive information:

  • Background information and/or biographical information (if named after an organization or individual) demonstrating that the proposed name is of significance to the community and/or municipality
  • Documentation including letters from organizations and individuals providing substantial support for the request
  • Documentation verifying that the person/organization being honoured is in agreement with the naming proposal (if they are living), or by their legal representative, should they be deceased.

Renaming of a Municipal Property, Building or Feature

Recognizing that established names contribute significantly to community identity, proposals to rename existing municipal property, buildings and features must be predicated by exceptional circumstances. Existing names will not be changed without consideration of:

  • The historical significance of the existing names
  • The impact on the individual or organization associated with the existing name
  • The cost and impact of changing existing signage, rebuilding community recognition and updating records

All applicants shall complete and submit the Commemorative Re-Naming Application, providing sufficient information as to how the proposed name satisfies the criteria of this policy. The cost associated with the renaming initiative will be the responsibility of the initiating individual or community organization.