Honouring the Indigenous history of Kingston with the community selected name, ‘Waaban Crossing’ for the new Bridge

March 23, 2022

In honour of the rich Indigenous history and the continued vibrancy of the Indigenous community in Kingston, the City is excited to announce the community selected name for the new bridge that spans the Cataraqui River from the foot of Gore Road in the city's east-end to the foot of John Counter Boulevard in the north-end. “Waaban Crossing” was confirmed as the bridge’s proper name at last night’s City Council meeting.

The engagement involved 942 community participants; and included six in-depth meetings with Indigenous community members, 725 residents completed surveys on the names and naming themes, and 188 student submissions providing feedback to guide the final name selection. The name is seen as a hopeful metaphor for a brighter future for all. The use of “Third Crossing” will continue until the bridge construction is complete and the bridge officially opens at the end of 2022.

“Waaban is just such a beautiful word with a deeper meaning than dawn - it’s an awakening of life, when everything responds to the rising light, it’s the gratitude for having another day to live,” shared an engagement participant.

In July 2020, City Council committed to naming what is currently called the “Third Crossing” in a way that reflects and celebrates the stories and contributions of Indigenous communities in this region, both past and present. This naming of the new bridge is an important symbolic action and a commitment to the journey of reconciliation and to broadening the histories and cultures that we honour and reflect across our community.

“As a City, we’re broadening our understanding of Kingston’s history by incorporating more Indigenous stories, and by facilitating space for a community dialogue that values and prioritizes reconciliation,” says Mayor Paterson. “Naming the City’s largest ever infrastructure project as the “Waaban Crossing” is a symbolic step towards these important goals. This is about building bridges, not only from one shore of the Cataraqui River to the other, but within our community as we work toward mutual understanding and inclusion.”

The naming of the Third Crossing was an outcome of over two years of broad community consultation on how to expand the stories and histories we celebrate and recognize as a community. The specific engagement on the name commenced in February 2021 and was facilitated with the support of First Peoples Group. It was extensive - spanning six different engagement steps - and included consultation from Indigenous Nations with historical ties to the area along with interested members of the local Indigenous community, along with non-Indigenous local residents.

“The City of Kingston is proud to honour and celebrate Indigenous Nations, communities and peoples in and around Kingston,” says Jennifer Campbell, Director of Heritage Services. “The naming of the bridge is a symbolic action, but it speaks to a shared commitment across the community. A commitment to break through systemic barriers. Reconciliation is a partnership that requires all of us to commit to learning, sharing and working together toward a stronger tomorrow.”

Commitment to Reconciliation

The City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation. The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land. Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

Residents are encouraged to learn more about the naming process and the six steps of the Third Crossing Naming engagement project on Get Involved Kingston.

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  • Dinah Jansen
    published this page in News 2022-03-23 13:40:35 -0400