The recently-formed Gerrard-Woodbine Neighbourhood Association (GWNA) is one step closer to forging a unique identity, as residents in the area reach the final vote in their ‘Name the ‘Hood’ exercise.
The original list of submitted names had a total of 21 suggestions; a first round of voting cut that to 10, and a further vote ended with the top three – which, due to a tie, has resulted in four remaining names for the area centred at Gerrard Street East and Woodbine Avenue.
“It’s been really fascinating,” said GWNA organizer Kate Tennier of the ‘ranked ballot’ process used to whittle down the name candidates. The process, also known as a preferential ballot, allows voters to name their choices in a ranked order, rather than simply choosing one top candidate. “They (ranked ballots) are a bit more complicated, but they’re much more democratic.”
The final four names, in alphabetical order, are: Beach Hill, Gerrard Woodbine Village, Upper Beach Village and Upper Gerrard Village. The final choice will be announced at a neighbourhood potluck on Sept. 8. Tennier said the number of residents voting has increased with each round.
“When you ask people to name something, you give them a little bit more ownership,” she said. “It’s just one more way of getting people involved.”
The next steps for GWNA will be to find more people to adopt trees in the area. Some are already cared for by the businesses along Gerrard, along with several mail and utility boxes which are cleaned of grafitti by local residents. Tennier said the GWNA team is hoping for more ‘adopters’, and there are plans in the works for more flowers and new benches next year. For more information on GWNA, visit gerrardwoodbine.com.