Friday Foto

Movies in the Square, outdoor movies, inflatable drive in, Kingston, OntarioA lot has been said about the renaming of Market Square, while the general consensus tends to lean towards the negative.  A few year’s back, Don Anderson commented on the ultimate cost of our heritage.

Unlike professional names like Kingston’s own Frontenacs or The Tragically Hip, Market Square’s name was heritage; something of value we owned without intention. Its value grew out of the collective memory and reputation of 200 years of locals in the open air, bargaining cash for goods. There was nothing glib in the naming of Market Square; nothing imposed or privately promoted in the shadows of political ambition and private interest. Market Square was simply generations of public memory; a valuable that until recently was without price; owned through realization. It never imposed itself on the public or owed its identity to a benefactor. It was likely named Market Square by farmers and housewives simply because it was a square where the goods they wanted to buy were marketed there by farmers selling them. It was just something we had that was ours, like a reputation. How can anyone buy a reputation without becoming known as a person who bought a reputation. We will still go down there and buy things from the same folks. It was a perfectly good reputation going to waste.

Years later, and especially during the Summer months, the crowds that converge behind City Hall tend dull the roar of opponents to the Square’s namesake.  From Fare on the Square to the Farmers and Antique markets, as well as Movies in the Square, this plot of real estate is undeniably well used.  And truthfully, we couldn’t ask for more. Still though, whether Market Square is brought to you by the Springers, Rosens or Tim Hortons, it will always remain a busy, and beautiful landmark.  I’m thankful for the generous donation, appreciative and proud of the end result, however I rarely include the Square’s proper, purchased name.  Is that such a big deal? It seems as though many of us have moved beyond the issue of naming, funding and controlling Springer Market Square.  Have we forgotten about this controversy, or have we simply focused our attention on Kingston’s next debacle in the making?  Can the little guys and gals get win in the Limestone City, or not?

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

8 thoughts on “Friday Foto

  • I didn't think anyone would say Springer Market Square and luckily this time I was right. As for it being a "generous donation". Hmmm, I look at as buying the naming rights. Just like the K-Rock Centre, or Invista Centre. But at least with the arena we knew they were selling the naming rights.

    The Market Square thing rubbed a lot of people the wrong way how it was done behind closed doors and sprung on people. That's the lesson learned there. Be up front.

    If I donate to charity but make them name something after me, that's not a donation. That's buying something. And stroking my ego. LOL.

  • It will always be Market Square. Selling it was an idiotic thing to do, but we're stuck with it. Any council that trys to change it now will just look petty.

    • If some future council were to rescind the name it would be no more contentious than the initial, less than transparent deal. Obviously that sort of move would make the headlines, and there would likely be some folks in favour of keeping the current, purchased name. Even so, I could deal with a council labelled as petty so long as they make decisions in the name of fairness and transparency.

  • No-one calls it the '——– Market Square' anyway, they just called it the Market Square. I think we should go further and just refuse to use the bought and paid name in writing and everywhere else – just leave it blank.

  • This was odious, and bitterness about this isn't going away anytime soon. It's never going away.

    Harvey, you refer to it as "Springer Market Square" all the time.

    Here's how Council votes on the matter came down, 2005 and also in related votes in 2007.

    Interesting that, back in 2007, Mark Gerretsen voted in favour of stiffing Corinne Farber for the City's legal expenses. Remember that? Odious!

    • Um, really? Have you actually searched the site to see how often "Springer Market Square" has been used. Sure we've used it here and there, but "ALL the time", hardly. Out of 1,010 posts "Springer Market Square" comes up a whopping 19 times, and it's important to note that Springer was used but appears crossed out in most of those instances. I don't think I need to defend that any further, again, it's hardy something that happens all the time.

  • Whats better for a community…someone who donates money….or a bunch of pub owners who take money and send their patrons into a long term alcoholic funk? Drinkston isnt exactly a flattering term…

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