Jeff Heuchert, email@example.com
Can't get enough of Stratford's most famous son? How about a street sign adorning his name?
The possibility of a Justin Bieber Boulevard or some other variation with the singer's name could become a reality should the city choose to endorse a request from a local resident who believes the international pop icon is deserving of such an honour.
Murray Scott is asking that Bieber be added to the municipal list of approved street names that the city regularly provides to developers.
"His name is without doubt the most famous name world-wide in the history of Stratford people," Scott said about Bieber in a letter to the city.
He added that naming a street after the Biebs "will mean more free publicity for our city as well as being a show of support from the old hometown."
No one spoke against the idea during a brief discussion at Thursday morning's Planning and Heritage subcommittee meeting, where it was referred to staff for more information.
According to the city's manager of development services, Jeff Leunissen, the only consideration, outside of whether the name warrants being on the list, is whether Bieber's name conflicts with an existing street in the city or with a previously approved name, which could cause confusion for emergency services.
While many municipalities have a formal policy when it comes to naming streets after prominent citizens, Stratford has no such procedure in place. Stratford's list includes street names that aim to pay tribute to past residents like parks system founder Thomas Orr as well as former citizens who achieved prominence elsewhere such as Jennie Trout, Canada's first female medical doctor.
This is the second time Murray has advocated for a name to be included on the list. He successfully had that of Richard Manuel – whose career began in Stratford with the Revols before hitting the big time with The Band and Bob Dylan – added about 10 years ago.
It was only recently when he was reviewing the city's list of street names to see if Manuel's had been used that he was surprised to notice that the Baby singer's name wasn't already there.
"I though surely someone would have thought of that by now," he told the Gazette.
In his letter to the city, Scott goes into detail about Bieber's sudden rise from busking outside the Avon Theatre to international recording artist with 50 million Twitter followers.
At the age of 64, Scott said he may not be a rabid fan, but he respects Bieber's career. He also hinted as some of the controversy that has surrounded the singer, noting, "none of us will ever know what it's like to have well over $100 million at age 20."
Unlike Manuel's name, which he fears will become less likely to be selected as the years pass and his accomplishments become less well-known, Scott is optimistic Bieber's will be used if added to the list, given he remains one of the biggest celebrities around today.