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Bromley Park: counter-petition triples petition to rename it

Petitions prove community spirit strong at Bromley Park
Burlington’s parks are often named after the street they are on, and some residents want it to stay that way.

A campaign to change the name of Bromley Park has been met with overwhelming opposition by the community.

Kevin Jackson, brother of former Burlington mayor Cam Jackson, started the original petition to change the name of Bromley Park to ‘Donald and Patricia Park’ after his parents, who had lived in the area. It received some support in the months following its creation, collecting some 200 signatures.

Not everyone was onboard with the potential change, however, as Burlington resident Denise Davy started a counter-petition shortly after that, which garnered even more attention when she found that many of the signatures on Jackson’s petition originated from outside of Ontario, including Jackson himself who has resided in Türkiye for the past few years.

“I heard about the petition through an eNewsletter, and I was immediately confused about what the whole thing was about,” Davy said. “I did some research and looked at his reasons [for making a petition] and I looked through his website as well. I talked to (councillor) Paul Sharman, who told me that the only way to counter it was with a petition of my own.”

Davy found that she wasn’t alone in her worries about the park’s name.

“I wanted to see if my concern was reflected in the neighbourhood and if they shared the same concerns as me,” she said. “If even half of the people I spoke to had wanted to rename it Jackson park, I would have left it. But virtually everyone I talked to were appalled. So I started my own counter-petition and within two days it had 300 signatures.”

Many of the people who signed her petition found that Jackson’s parents hadn’t been involved enough in the community to warrant naming a local park after them and would prefer the family to sponsor a bench or tree in the park instead, she said.

As of the time of writing, Davy’s petition has amassed almost 600 signatures from Burlington locals to keep the name as Bromley park, while Jackson’s original efforts saw a sharp decline and has only seen two additional signatures in favour of a name change since December 2023.

Davy and Jackson spoke about their respective petitions, and while Jackson was initially receptive of the idea of sponsoring a tree or a park bench in Bromley Park, Davy said communication has since ceased.

“We haven’t had a formal ask from Kevin,” Sharman said. “We spoke of it and we would consider it if he formally submitted it to me, but that hasn’t happened yet.”

Sharman believes that the people of the community have the power to decide on matters such as public park names.

“This is absolutely a community mission and a community matter,” Sharman said. “A lot of people were saying ‘well why not put some benches out or do something for the community?’ The community quite likes the fact that it’s their park and always has been.”

Despite the back-and-forth, no plans to change the name of the park have been made official.

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Calum O'Malley

About the Author: Calum O'Malley

Calum O’Malley was born and raised in Burlington and became a full-time reporter in 2024
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