Episode 61 – How a Park Gets a Name

Mathew Thomson asks: what’s the process for naming a park in Edmonton? We investigate: who has authority, how much do names mean, and what happens when someone goes rogue on Google Maps?

Trevor Chow-Fraser, Mathew Thomson, and Erin McDonald in ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞.

Our first stop was to meet Erin McDonald, Chair of Edmonton’s Naming Committee. They name everything from roads to transit garages around town — and, of course, parks. Erin told us the backstory behind the river valley’s Queen Elizabeth Park and ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞, the Indigenous art park within a park there.

Erin shows some of the brainstorming notes behind the name ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞
Trevor, Mathew, and Erin in Queen Elizabeth Park.

They also shared a bit about the Frederick Gage Todd Lookout on the other bank of the North Saskatchewan, and whether it was a good idea in retrospect.

Paige Helwig and her pup with Mathew in Porcupine Park.

Then we went south to Twin Brooks to meet resident Paige Helwig, who introduced us to Porcupine Park — a spot with a much less official (but much beloved) name.

Further Reading

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