By Alvin Tsang
The City of Ottawa is considering proposals to rename Tillbury Park and the Parkdale Park community stage in Kitchissippi.
The commemorative name up for consideration to replace “Tillbury Park” at 725 Sherbourne Rd. is “David Shentow Park.”
David Shentow, one of Canada’s best-known Holocaust survivors and educators, is being considered by the city in recognition of his work to reduce discrimination and foster equality. Shentow dedicated his life to teaching and inspiring thousands about the dangers of hatred, intolerance, and racism.
During the Second World War, Shentow survived the Dannes-Camiers labour camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, death marches and Dachau concentration camp, where he was liberated in 1945, according to the Ontario government website. He later immigrated to Canada in 1949.
Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper shared his thoughts on the nominated names.
“David Shentow’s contribution globally to combating hate through education is universally recognized, and he lived nearby for a significant period,” Leiper said.
“What I’d love to see is that, if this is passed, is some kind of specific education and outreach working with the nearby schools,” Leiper added.
Sarah Beutel, vice president of community building for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, thought Shentow’s name would be a great fit for the new park.
“David Shentow had an immense impact on all who knew him and especially on the many hundreds of students that he had the opportunity to speak with,” Beutel said. “As a Holocaust survivor, he made it his mission to speak at schools and to many different audiences to bear witness to the horrors that he himself experienced during the Holocaust.”
In 2016, Shentow received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General of Canada. For 30 years, he relayed his story to thousands of people through school seminars, interviews, films, and documentaries. In 2017, he passed away at the age of 92.
“He spoke with honesty, and, while he never spared any of the harsh details, the kindness that emanated from him and his message of tolerance are what I think made him such a compelling speaker and such an incredible educator and human being,” Beutel said.
The commemorative name being considered for the Parkdale Park community stage is the “Pat MacLeod Community Stage.”
“Pat was much beloved in the community and was a driving force behind getting the stage built,” Leiper said. “I know she was thrilled with how positive an addition to the community that is—it gets a lot of use and has been the focus of so many of the neighbourhood’s gatherings.”
MacLeod’s nickname was the “Mayor of Hintonburg.” She was locally well known for leading charitable causes across Hintonburg, including food drives, fundraisers, winter meals, free Christmas dinners, and more. MacLeod passed away in 2021 at the age of 70.
The City of Ottawa’s approval process is nearing its end, with the names validated for consideration. The current step is to conduct surveys and gather community feedback up until March 10, 2022.
The official survey can be found on the official City of Ottawa website or at: https://s-ca.chkmkt.com/?e=255641&h=90ADACD021CFC94