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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Geddy Lee on the proposed Willowdale Lee Lifeson Art Park
11:06PM EST | comments |

We learned early last month that a new, arts-themed park in the Toronto neighborhood of Willowdale is slated to be named after 2 of Willowdale's most famous residents - Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. The Toronto Star recently spoke with Geddy Lee about the proposed Lee Lifeson Art Park (thanks RushFanForever).

... "I know my mom is very happy!" ... "We met with the park architects and were really impressed with the thought and plans they have for it," ... "[Willowdale] is where I met my best friend and bandmate," ... "We were humbly honoured by the suggestion to name the park after us." ... "On tour and during our travels, ... we get to visit and enjoy so many parks around the world and really appreciate having that communal green space that is so important to a vibrant city."

The idea was first put forth at a consultation meeting held on April 22, 2014 by Councillor John Fillon and was then formally recommended by the Toronto parks committee on July 17th:

... Early designs for the area include art installations, a collaborative performance space and even a small bandshell for "acoustic concerts," according to [Filion], who first hatched the tribute plan two years ago. "I was standing around one night with a fellow music lover trying to think of somebody who had grown up in Willowdale who was a famous artist or musician," Filion said. "We both came up with the name Geddy Lee almost simultaneously." The councillor contacted Lee with the idea, and he immediately got on board - albeit with one condition. "He said he was interested and honoured, but also suggested it be named after Alex Lifeson, too," Filion said. ...

The article also mentions the overwhelming support of the online fan community for the idea and the misplaced anger of some fans over the perceived snubbing of Neil Peart.

... Why isn't it being called Rush Park? The perceived snub of drummer Neil Peart is not intentional, the band's publicist explained. It's just that he didn't grow up in Willowdale. (Your move, St. Catharines.) ...

The proposal will come before the North York community council on August 12th and is expected to pass overwhelmingly.

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