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Answer Man: Is there a Simcoe Avenue?

Simcoe Avenue, at least for now.

Simcoe Avenue, at least for now.

Dear Answer Man,

What can you know about Simcoe Avenue in Kamloops?

My Garmin GPS identifies it as the lane which runs from the Esso station at the corner of Fortune & Sydney behind the Strauss Herb building.

I’ve lived here since 1975 and no other long time resident has heard of it, either. Maybe it is just a Garmin glitch, or was there actually a Simcoe Avenue in North Kamloops at one time?

JOHN WELLER

Dear John,

This one took quite a while to track down.

There was, indeed, a Simcoe Avenue in North Kamloops. In face, there still is. But there soon won’t be, thanks to your inquiry.

Question markFirst, though, I will confess to not being able to find out why Simcoe Avenue is named Simcoe Avenue. It sounds like some sort of fur-trade name to me but the Kamloops Museum and Archives was unable to track it down.

Then began a trail of inquiries through various departments at City Hall until it finally landed back on the desk of corporate services manager David Duckworth. He reported this:

“Apparently, Simcoe Avenue was built in 1959. Although it has the word ‘avenue’ in its name, it is actually a lane.

“There are no property addresses affixed to this lane. Accordingly, there are no street signs. We are looking at potentially eliminating the name, as lanes are typically not named.

“We cannot find any history about the origin of the name, nor why this lane was even named.”

Then, a couple of days ago, I got a call from Owen Gothard, a new traffic technician with the City. He said that since the lane was built and named by the former City of North Kamloops, it was simply left that way after amalgamation with Kamloops in 1967. Nobody paid much attention to it.

Now that’s it’s been brought to the City’s attention, a process has been started to change it to a no-name alley. That’s a fairly simple process involving sign-off in the planning department, he said, but first a check has to be done to make sure the name Simcoe Avenue doesn’t show up in any official land usage documents.

If it does, it would create confusion in future if somebody went looking for it. It looks, though, like Simcoe Avenue will soon be just another nameless back alley.

ANSWER MAN

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About Mel Rothenburger (9236 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on Answer Man: Is there a Simcoe Avenue?

  1. The name Simcoe adorns many features in Ontario: a lake, many streets,etc. Probably named in honor of this man:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Graves_Simcoe.
    He may be the reason behind our own mysterious Simcoe Ave.

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