'We should have been given an opportunity to be consulted,' says longtime resident
By Jennifer Chevalier, CBC News
Homeowners on Rideau River Drive are fighting a street name change imposed by the City of Ottawa, saying their street is older, longer and more historically significant than a competing nearby private laneway.
Residents were sent a letter by the city June 9 telling them their street name was changing because it was too similar to Rideau River Lane.
Since the amalgamation of the City of Ottawa in 2001, 80 streets have been forced to change names to avoid confusion in the event of an emergency.
"Quite frankly I'm incensed," said Rideau River Drive resident Doretha Murphy. "It goes along the river ... it's appropriately called Rideau River Drive."
"Rideau River Drive existed a long time before Rideau River Lane," said Subodh Anand, who has lived on the street for 48 years. "That should be an important consideration."
Slightly more addresses on laneway
According to the city's own rules, once a decision is made that there could be confusion when police or an ambulance is called to streets with a similar sounding names, a set of criteria is followed to determine which street will get the short straw.
Typically the street with more residents gets to keep its name.
CBC News counted 23 townhouses on Rideau River Lane, which the city said make up 34 separate addresses.
Rideau River Drive comes up short with 20 homes, which the city counts as 25 separate addresses.
But there are other factors considered, including how long the street has existed, if it is a major road, its historical significance and if the street has an identifiable landmark.
The city said Rideau River Drive was renamed from Main Street in 1968, but has no record for when the private laneway was given its name.
While Rideau River Drive residents are organizing to fight the change, several residents on the Rideau River Lane CBC spoke to didn't want to talk about the street name.